But it came to pass within a while after, in the time of wheat harvest, that Samson visited his wife with a kid; and he said, I will go in to my wife into the chamber. But her father would not suffer him to go in.
I will go
And her father said, I verily thought that thou hadst utterly hated her; therefore I gave her to thy companion: is not her younger sister fairer than she? take her, I pray thee, instead of her.
Heb. let her be thine.
And Samson said concerning them, Now shall I be more blameless than the Philistines, though I do them a displeasure.
Now shall, etc
or, Now shall I be blameless from the Philistines, though, etc.
And Samson went and caught three hundred foxes, and took firebrands, and turned tail to tail, and put a firebrand in the midst between two tails.
Dr. Kennicott and others contend, that for sh¸‚lim, "foxes," we should read shˆ‚lim, "handfuls," or sheaves of corn. But, 1. The word lachad, rendered caught, never signifies simply to get or take but always to catch, seize, or take by assault or stratagem. 2. Though the proposed alteration is sanctioned by seven MSS., yet all the versions are on the other side. 3. Admitting this alteration, it will be difficult to prove that the word shˆ‚l means either a sheaf or a handful of corn in the ear, and straw. It occurs but thrice in Scriptures (1 Ki 20:10. Isa 40:12. Eze 13:9): where it evidently means as much as can be contained in the hollow of the hand; but when handfuls of grain in the shock, or sheaves are intended, very different words are used. See Ru 2.15, 16, etc. 4. It is not hinted that Samson collected them alone, or in one day; he might have employed many hands and several days in the work. 5. The word sh¸‚l properly denotes the jackal, which travellers describe as an animal in size between the wolf and fox, gregarious, as many as 200 having been seen together, and the most numerous of any in eastern countries; so that Samson might have caught many of them together in nets.
And when he had set the brands on fire, he let them go into the standing corn of the Philistines, and burnt up both the shocks, and also the standing corn, with the vineyards and olives.
he let them go
Then the Philistines said, Who hath done this? And they answered, Samson, the son in law of the Timnite, because he had taken his wife, and given her to his companion. And the Philistines came up, and burnt her and her father with fire.
And Samson said unto them, Though ye have done this, yet will I be avenged of you, and after that I will cease.
And he smote them hip and thigh with a great slaughter: and he went down and dwelt in the top of the rock Etam.
Then the Philistines went up, and pitched in Judah, and spread themselves in Lehi.
Then three thousand men of Judah went to the top of the rock Etam, and said to Samson, Knowest thou not that the Philistines are rulers over us? what is this that thou hast done unto us? And he said unto them, As they did unto me, so have I done unto them.
Heb. went down. the rock Etam. Probably near the town Etam, mentioned in 1 Ch 4:32.
And they said unto him, We are come down to bind 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.
to bind thee
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 became as flax that was burnt with fire, and his bands loosed from off his hands.
Heb. were melted.
And he found a new jawbone of an ass, and put forth his hand, and took it, and slew a thousand men therewith.
Heb. moist. slew.
Some would render the words aileph ish, "a chief;" but it is alluph, and not aileph, which signifies a chief; besides which, the Hebrew idiom would, even in that case, require it to be ish alluph, "a man, a chief," and not alluph ish, "a chief, a man." Add to which, that every version renders it "a thousand men."
And Samson said, With the jawbone of an ass, heaps upon heaps, with the jaw of an ass have I slain a thousand men.
with the jaw-bone
There is here a fine paronomasia upon the word chamor, "an ass," which also signifies "a heap;" bilchee hachamor, chamor chamorathayim, "With the jaw-bone of an ass, a heap upon two heaps."
heaps upon heaps
Heb. an heap, two heaps.
And it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking, that he cast away the jawbone out of his hand, and called that place Ramathlehi.
that is, the lifting up of the jaw-bone, or, the casting away of the jaw-bone.
And he was sore athirst, and called on 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?
he was sore
Thou hast given
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 Enhakkore, which is in Lehi unto this day.
or, Lehi. This reading is certainly preferable: it was in the place called Lehi where a spring was supernaturally opened.
Samson gave this expressive name to the miraculously springing water, to be as a memorial of the goodness of God to him. En-hakkore, the well of him that cried, which kept him in remembrance both of his own distress which caused him to cry, and the favour of Jehovah to him in answer to his cry. Many a spring of comfort God opens to his people, which may fitly be called by the name En-hakkore: and this instance of Samson's relief should encourage us to trust in God, for when he pleases he can open rivers in high places.
Isaiah 41:17,18 Samson at first gave the name of Ramath-lehi (the lifting up of the jaw-bone) which denoted him great and triumphant: but now he gives it another name, En-hakkore, which denotes him wanting and dependent.; Genesis 16:13, 28:19 30:30 Exodus 17:15 Psalms 34:6 120:1
And he judged Israel in the days of the Philistines twenty years.