A j¹ 1-3. In Gaza. j² 4-20. In Sorek.
j¹ k 1. Samson. Harlot of Gaza. l 2-. Information given. l -2. Expectation roused. k 3. Samson. Gates of Gaza.
1120 to 1100 B.C.
1: And went Samson to Gaza (= the fortified; the strong. About 35 miles south of his native place), and saw there a harlot (He could tear apart a lion, but no his lusts. He could break his bonds, but not his habits. He could conquer the Philistines, but not his passions.), and went in unto her.
2: And it was told the Gazites, saying, “Samson is come to this place.” And they compassed him in, and laid wait for him all night in the gate of the city,
and were quiet all the night, saying, “In the morning, when it is day, we shall kill him.”
3: And Samson lay till midnight, and arose at midnight, and took the doors (i.e. unhinged both leaves. Cp. Isa. 45:1) of the gate of the city, and the two posts, and went away with them, bar and all, and put them upon his shoulders, and carried them up to the top of the hill that is over against Hebron.
j² m 4. Samson. Gaza to Sorek. n 5. Delilah's bribe. n 6-20. Delilah's snares. m 21-31-. Samson. Sorek to Gaza.
4: And it came to pass afterward, that he loved a woman in the valley of Sorek (= red), whose name was Delilah (= languishing).
5: And the lords of the Philistines (see Josh.13:3) came up to her, and said to her, “Entice him, and see wherein his great strength lies, and by what means we may prevail against him, that we may bind him to humble him: and we will give you every one of us eleven hundred pieces of silver.” (One of the two occurrences of this number 11 = the number of defective administration [12-1. #12 = governmental perfection]. Cp. 17:2, where similar want of rule is seen. This 1,100 ruined them politically; the other [17:2] ruined them religiously)
n o¹ 6-14. Delilah's attempts. Failure. o² 15-20. Delilah's attempts. Success.
o¹ p¹ q¹ 6. Binding. r¹ 7. Means. Green withs. s¹ 8. Used. t¹ 9. Broken. p² q² 10. Binding. r² 11. Means. New ropes. s² 12-. Used. t¹ -12. Broken. p³ q³ 13-. Binding. r³ -13. Means. Web and pin. s³ 14-. Used. t³ -14. Carried away.
6: And Delilah said to Samson, “Tell me, I pray you, wherein your great strength lies, and wherewith you might be bound to afflict you.”
7: And Samson said to her, “If they bind me with seven green withs that were never dried (= green twigs. Anglo-Saxon, a willow, because of its twining and flexibility), then shall I be weak, and be as any other man.
8: Then the lords of the Philistines brought up to her seven green twigs which had not been dried, and she bound him with them.
9: Now there were men lying in wait, abiding with her in the chamber. And she said to him, “The Philistines be upon thee, Samson.” And he snapped the twigs, according as a thread of tow (Old English. Coarse flax or hemp for spinning or twining. Occurs only here and Isa.1:31. Very inflammable) is broken when it smells (before it touches) the fire. So his strength was not known.
10: And Delilah said to Samson, Behold, you have mocked me, and told me lies: now tell me, I pray you, wherewith you might be bound.”
11: And he said to her, “If they bind me fast with new ropes that never were occupied, then shall I be weak, and be as any other man.”
12: Delilah therefore took new ropes, and bound him therewith, and said to him, “The Philistines be upon you, Samson.” And there were liers in wait abiding in the chamber.
And he brake them from off his arms like a thread.
13: And Delilah said to Samson, “Hitherto you have mocked me, and told me lies: tell me, I pray you, wherewith you might be bound.”
And he said to her, “If you weave the seven locks of my head with the web.” (Note the Fig. Homœoteleuton. In the primitive text these words were probably followed by "and fasten them with a pin". For the Sept. adds "I shall be as any other man. And it came to pass that when he was asleep that Delilah took the seven looks of his had and wove them with the web, and she fastened them with a pin". Ginsburg suggests that some ancient scribe, in copying the first words, "fasten them with a pin", carried his eye back to these last words, and omitted the whole of this clause, which has been preserved in the Sept.)
14: And she fastened it with the pin, and said to him, “The Philistines be upon you, Samson.”
And he awoke out of his sleep (i.e. the sleep mentioned in the Fig. mentioned above), and went away with the pin of the beam, and with the web.
o² u 15-18. Strength. Secret given. v 19. Sleeping. v 20-. Waking. u -20. Strength. Secret gone.
15: And she said to him, “How can you say, ‘I love you’, when your heart is not with me? you have mocked me these three times, and have not told me wherein your great strength lies.”
16: And it came to pass, when she pressed him daily with her words, and urged him, so that his soul was vexed (became impatient, or grieved) to make him die;
17: That he told her all his heart, and said to her. “There has not come a razor upon mine head; for I have been a Nazarite to God (= separate to Elohim) from my mother's womb: if I be shaven, then my strength will go from me, and I shall become weak, and be like any other man.”
18: And when Delilah saw that he had told her all his heart, she sent and called for the lords of the Philistines, saying, “Come up this once, for he has showed me all his heart.” Then the lords of the Philistines came up to her, and brought money in their hand.
19: And she made him sleep upon her knees; and she called for a man, and she caused him to shave off the seven locks of his head; and she began to afflict him, and his strength went from him.
20: And she said, “The Philistines be upon you, Samson.” And he awoke out of his sleep, and said, “I will go out as at other times before, and shake myself.”
And he knew not that the Lord was departed from him.
B w 21-. Servitude. x -21. Prison-house. Labor. y 22. Hair growing. z 23,24. Festival. z 25-27. Sport. y 28. Strength restored. x 29,30. Prison-house. Destruction. w 31-. Burial.
21: But the Philistines took him, and put out his eyes, and brought him down to Gaza, and bound him with fetters of brass (Heb. "two brasses". Put by Fig., for the two fetters made of brass);
and he did grind in the prison house (the work of women and slaves. Denotes the condition to which he was reduced. Cp. Ex. 11:5. Isa. 47:2).
22: However the hair of his head began to grow again after he was shaven.
23: Then the lords of the Philistines gathered them together for to offer (Heb. "slay") a great sacrifice to Dagon (= a fish) their god, and for rejoicing: for they said, “Our god has delivered Samson our enemy into our hand.”
24: And when the people saw him, they praised their god: for they said, “Our god has delivered into our hands our enemy, and the destroyer of our country, which slew many of us.”
25: And it came to pass, when their hearts were merry, that they said, “Call for Samson, that he may make sport before us.” And they called for Samson out of the prison house; and he made sport before them: and they set him between the pillars.
26: And Samson said unto the lad that held him by the hand, “Let me alone, that I may feel the pillars whereupon the house stands, that I may lean upon them.”
27: Now the house was full of men and women; and all the lords of the Philistines were there; and there were upon the roof about three thousand men and women, that beheld while Samson made sport.
28: And Samson called to the Lord, and said, “O Lord God, remember me, I pray You, and strengthen me, I pray You, only this once, O God, that I may be at once avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes.”
29: And Samson took hold of the two middle pillars upon which the house stood, and on which it was borne up (recent excavations at Gaza have laid bare two smooth stone bases close together in the center, on [not in] which these two pillars stood. On these the main beams rested, and by which the whole house was sustained. Samson had only to pull these pillars out of perpendicular, to effect his object), of the one with his right hand, and of the other with his left.
30: And Samson said, “Let my soul die with the Philistines.” And he bowed himself with all his might; and the house fell upon the lords, and upon all the people that were therein. So the dead which he slew at his death were more than they which he slew in his life.
31: Then his brethren and all the house of his father came down (probably his parents were now dead), and took him, and brought him up (i.e. from Gaza, v.21), and buried him between Zorah and Eshtaol (where the Spirit had first come to him, 13:25) in the burying place of Manoah his father.
And he ruled Israel twenty years (but he only began to deliver Israel. See 13:5).