« הקודםהמשך »
thee, that we may deliver thee into the hand of the Philistines. And Samson said unto them, Swear unto me that ye will not fall upon me yourselves.
And they spake unto him, saying, No: but we will bind thee fast, and deliver thee into their hand: but surely we will not kill 'thee. And they bound him with two new cords, and brought him up from the rock.
And when he came unto Lehi, the Philistines shouted against him: and the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon him, and the cords that were upon his arms bscame as flax that is burnt with fire, and his bands loosed from off his hands.
And he found a new jaw-bone of an ass, and put forth his hand and took it, and slew a thousand men therewith.
And Samson said, With the jaw-bone of an ass, heaps upon heaps, with the jaw of an ass have I slain a thousand men.
And it came to pass when he had made an end of speaking, that he cast away the jaw-bone out of his hand, and called that place Ramath-lehi.
And he was sore athirst, and called 6n the Lord, and .said, Thou hast given this great deliverance into the hand of thy servant, and now shall I die for thirst, and fall into the hand of the uncircumcised?
But God clave an hollow place that was in the jaw, and there came water thereout: and when he had drunk, his spirit came again, and he revived. Wherefore he called the name thereof En-hakkore, which is in Lehi unto this day. . J
ANNOTATIONS And REFLECTIONS.
It is roost likely that Samson did not know that his wife was given to another, and that his affection for
her, her, which appears to have been great, again took place when his rage subsided; the present of a kid was probably a token of reconciliation according to some prevailing custom.
The method of revenge which Samson made use of, as expressed in our Bibles, is very difficult to account for, though some of the learned have endeavoured to reconcile it by various arguments. An author* well skilled in the Hebrew language says, that the Word translated fox:s may be rendered wheat-sheaves; and then we easily suppose, that if Samson and his attendants set a number of these on fire, the flames might communicate from place to place, and cause a general conflagration. There was however great barbarity in the action, which nothing could justify but a general commission from God Himself, to use every means of annoying the Philistines; particularly by destroying their corn, wine, and oil, as they were unthankful to the Lo B D for those blessings, and even devoted part of them to the honour of idols in their abominable rites.
The treachery of Samson's wife was soon punished, for the Philistines, regarding her as the occasion of Samson's enmity to them, burnt her and her father to devh: so that she met with the very fate, to avoid which she had betrayed her husband.
Samson seems to have understood that the Philistines meant to soften his resentment by this act; but he assumed the character which properly belonged to him of the instrument of Divine vengeance against them, and made a desperate attack on them.
One would suppose, that with such a valiant commander as Samson, the men of Judah would have glatlly embraced the opportunity which offered to shake
* Dr. Sharpe's Introduction to Universal History.
off the Philistine yoke; but they had debased themselves to such a degree with their idolatrous practices, that they appear to have had no courage left, and were dispirited and sunk to the most abject meanness; reconciled servitude, contented to pay tribute to the Philistines, and ready to submit to any indignity, rather than make an effort to recover their liberty. Blind to their own interest, the Israelites gave up their champion into the hands of the Philistines, who, without doubt received this mighty captive with transports of joy; exulting in their own safety, and the hopes of revenge for the injuries they had sustained from his hand. Their security however was of short duration, and the Philistines once more beheld their formidable enemy at liberty, fired with rage at the- indignities offered to himself, and urged by the Divine impuht to destroy the worshippers of Dagon, that mock deity which they had exalted in their impious abominations above the only true and living God. Samson had neither sword to attack them, cor a shield to defend himself, but stood alone, opposed to thousands; yet, with the jaw-tone of an ass he slew a thousand men. This may be thought very improbable; but we must consider, that though Samson in many instances was extremely faulty, he did not forsake the worship of God, and join with idolaters; but observed the Divine command in respect to abstaining from wine, and in suffering his hair to grow; he was therefore, by these marks, distinguished as the servant of God in respect to the destruction of the Philistines; and he had reason to expect the aid of the Lord, whenever he attacked them; so that we need no longer wonder, that his enemiej, however numerous, lay dead at his feet.
Samson seems to have been greatly elevated with this victory, for he boasted of his mighty deeds, forgetful ful of the aid of the Lord, to which he ought to have imputed them; but he was soon reminded of his own natural infirmity, for he suffered the most extreme thirst, which humbled his spirit, so that he. thankfully acknowledged the goodness of God, and intreated the Lord to compassionate his present sufferings: hia prayer was heard, and a miracle wrought to relieve him.
It is said just before, that Samson, by way of memorial, named the place where he slew the Philistines Ra* math Lehi *, which means the casting away of the jawbone. Some learned men are therefore of opinion \, that instead of translating the passage, God clave an hollow place that was in the jaw, it ought to he, an hollow place that was in Lehi; and this construction seems to be confirmed, by the words which follow alter Samson's recovery is mentioned; that he called the name thereof En-fiallore, or the well of him that cried, which is in Lehi unto this day (the time when the' history was written): now the jaw-bone would scarcely have remained so long; besides, the testimony of many travellers, that a fountain remains in the very spot which is supposed to be Lehi, that bears the name of the fountain of the jaw, strongly tends to confirm this opinion.
The fate of Samson's wife and her father may be considered as a remarkable instance of God's judgments on treachery and deceitfulness, and should be a warning to all persons not to be guilty of any unlawful practices, lest they bring down mischief upon their own heads.
* Clarke's Annotations, f Stackhouse on the Bible, and Essay for a new Translation.
SECTION SECTION LXI.
SAMSON CARRIES AWAY THE GATES OF GAZA—DE
.. I tif;MtAH BETRAYS HIM.
From Judges, Chap. xvi.
Then went Samson to Gaza: and it was told the Gazites, saying, Samson is come hither. 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.
And Samson lay till midnight, and arose at midnight, and took the doors 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 an hill that is before Hebron.
And it came to pass afterwards, that he loved a woman in the valley of Sorek, whose name was Delilah.
And the lords of the Philistines came up unto her, and said unto her, Entice him, and see wherein his great strength lieth, and by what means we may prevail against him, that we may'bind him to afflict him: and we will give thee every one of us eleven hundred pieces of silver.
And Delilah said to Samson, Tell me, I pray thee, wherein thy great strength lieth, and wherewith thou mightest be bound to afflict thee?
And Samson said unto her, If they bind me with seven green withs that never were dried, then shall I be weak and be as another man.
Then the lords of the Philistines brought op to her seven green withs which had not been 'dried, and she bound him with them.
Now there were men lying in wait, abiding with her in the chamber. And she said unto him, The Phifis
Vot. II. N tines