Judges Chapter 16  PDF  MSWord

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Go to Bible: Judges 16
Jdg 16:1

“and went into her.” An idiom for sexual intercourse; the Hebrew is more literally “he went to her,” but it can also be that he went “into” her. In this case there is a double meaning. Samson went into her house and then into her physically.

Jdg 16:2(top)
Jdg 16:3

“the hill that faces Hebron.” That is, a hill that is west of Hebron. The Bible does not say how far Samson carried the gates, but surely not as far as Hebron, which was some 40 miles away. Since Hebron was to the east, the hill that faces Hebron would have been east of Gaza, but how far east is not known.

Jdg 16:4

“Delilah.” Different meanings have been suggested for the name Delilah, but all seem speculative at this time.

Jdg 16:5(top)
Jdg 16:6(top)
Jdg 16:7

“bowstrings.” The intestines of some animals were squeezed out and dried to make bowstrings, the strings of instruments, etc. Here Samson says if he were tied with bowstrings that had not yet been dried, so they would be very flexible and would shrink tighter when they dried, that he would be weak. Samson is lying to Delilah, toying with her, but it is a dangerous game and one that we know eventually leads to his capture and death. It is unwise to try to toy with the Devil.

Jdg 16:8(top)
Jdg 16:9

“when it smells fire.” An idiomatic phrase, indicating that it got close enough to “smell” the fire.

Jdg 16:10(top)
Jdg 16:11

“bind, yes, bind.” Samson uses the figure of speech polyptoton for emphasis, saying the word “bind” with different inflections in an attempt to convince Delilah he was serious (for more on polyptoton and the way it is translated, see commentary on Gen. 2:16).

Jdg 16:12

“new ropes.” The new ropes did not work in Judges 15:13 and they did not work this time either.

Jdg 16:13

“the seven braids of my head.” Delilah is being persistent, and Samson is weakening in his resolve, and getting closer to the real source of his strength. He is toying with the Devil and beginning to lose the battle. He was not wise, and it is costing him. Eventually it will cost him his life.

“in the web.” That is, in the web of fabric in the loom.

Jdg 16:14(top)
Jdg 16:15(top)
Jdg 16:16

“pressed him hard.” His wife had pressed him to learn his riddle (Judg. 14:17), now Delilah pressed him to learn the secret of his strength. He gave in both times and both times ended up being hard on him and then hard on the Philistines.

“his soul.” Here the “soul” is used for himself with an emphasis on his mental activities; his thoughts and attitude. [For more on “soul,” see Appendix 7, “Uses of ‘Soul’”].

Jdg 16:17(top)
Jdg 16:18(top)
Jdg 16:19(top)
Jdg 16:20

“that Yahweh had left him.” Yahweh left Samson in the sense that the spirit from Yahweh was no longer upon him. It had begun to stir him years earlier (Judg. 13:25), and had been with him year after year, but now it was gone.

Jdg 16:21

“fetters of bronze.” The Hebrew is idiomatic: “double bronze.” The idea may be that each arm or leg was cuffed.

“he had to grind grain in the prison.” This was not the huge mill turned by oxen, as many works of art show; his strength was gone. This was the small hand-mill that women used to grind the grain for the household. The Philistines humiliated Samson by making him do women’s work.

Jdg 16:22(top)
Jdg 16:23

“god.” The word “god” is plural in form, but the associated verbs are all singular. The same thing occurs with Elohim, the God of the Hebrews, and the plural form does not make “God” into a plurality of persons.

Jdg 16:24(top)
Jdg 16:25(top)
Jdg 16:26

“the boy who held him by the hand.” The once mighty Samson now was led by the hand by a boy due to his being blind.

“that support the house.” More literally, “on which the house is established,” but that is not as clear in English.

Jdg 16:27(top)
Jdg 16:28(top)
Jdg 16:29(top)
Jdg 16:30(top)
Jdg 16:31(top)

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