The transaction denotes loose notions of the sanctity of marriage among the Philistines. It should be noted carefully that the practical lesson against ungodly marriages comes out most strongly in this case and that the providential purpose which out of this evil brought discomfiture to the Philistines, has nothing to do with the right or wrong of Samson's conduct. Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary Samson's wife was given to his companion, whom he had used as his friend—that is, "the friend of the bridegroom," who was the medium of communicating during the festivities between him and his bride.
The acceptance of her hand, therefore, was an act of base treachery, that could not fail to provoke the just resentment of Samson. By her father, and with her consent, both being affronted and provoked by Samson leaving her, who judged her not only to be injured, but hereby discharged from him, and free to marry another: and whom he had used as his friend; though there were thirty of them that were his companions, yet there was one of them that was the principal of them, and was the most intimate with him, whom he used in the most friendly manner, and admitted to a more free conversation than the rest, the same that is called the friend of the bridegroom, John while the others were called the children of the bridechamber, Matthew It is not unlikely that this person had too much intimacy with Samson's wife before, and so had the secret of the riddle from her, and so very readily married her, as soon as Samson departed; and all this furnished out an occasion and opportunity, which Samson sought for, to be revenged on the Philistines, as in the following chapter.
Geneva Study Bible But Samson's wife was given to his companion, whom he had used as his friend. After this violent rupture, and to make up for the disgrace inflicted upon the bride, she was given to his groomsman who had acted as his groom ; cf. Jdg ; Jdg , St John Pulpit Commentary Verse The sad end of this unhappy alliance fully justified the opposition of Samson's parents to it in ver. In addition to avenging his own grievance, he did this to teach the Philistines a lesson for their frequent pillaging of the Land of Israel.
The sages of the Talmud teach that Samson was not simply a man of brute strength. The Talmud describes how the Divine Presence would ring before him like a bell, escorting him wherever he went. He was incredibly modest, and in the 20 years of his rule, he never once took advantage of his position by asking anyone to do anything for him. Some say the Samson was in fact lame in both legs, and struggled to walk.
One night, when he had wandered into Gaza, one of the chief Philistines cities, his enemies surrounded the walls and barred the gates, intending to attack and kill him in the morning.
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Samson guessed their evil designs, so he arose at midnight, unhinged the two giant gates, placed them on his shoulders bar and all, and carried them far away. Another time, after the incident with the foxes, the Philistines tried to mollify Samson's anger by burning the houses of his unfaithful wife and her father. But when Samson heard what they did, he refused to accept their belated repentance. He attacked the Philistines and killed a great number of them.
The Philistines amassed a great army and camped by the Judean town of Lehi, where Samson was hiding out. They sent a message to the Jews threatening them to either hand Samson over or be killed. At Samson's own suggestion, they bound him and brought him to the Philistine camp. The joyful Philistines rose to capture him, but at that moment he tore off the cords as though they were burnt flax. One day, the Philistine lords came to Delilah and offered her great wealth if she were to discover the secret to her husband's strength.
If she would aid them in capturing him, they would reward her handsomely. Delilah agreed. Every day, Delilah would torment her husband, trying to lure his secret from him. A few times, Samson gave her made up explanations, but Delilah was relentless.
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Each time, she would cry, "Samson, the Philistines are upon you! Tearfully, Delilah told him, "How can you say 'I love you,' while your heart is not with me? These three times you have mocked me, and you have not told me wherein is your strength so great. Finally, Samson told her the secret of his strength.
If I will be shaven, then my strength will leave me, and I shall become weak and be like any man. This time, the treacherous Delilah knew that Samson was telling her the truth. She hastened to summon the Philistine lords to her house. When Samson was asleep, one of the men cut his locks off, and then Delilah cried: "Samson, the Philistines are upon you! Samson jumped up, prepared to defend himself. But the Divine strength he had possessed had departed from him, and the men who lay in wait easily overcame him.
The heartless Philistines gouged out his eyes and led him to Gaza in chains. The Talmud teaches that Samson was punished in his eyes because he looked at the Philistine women and desired them. Gathered in the great hall in Gaza, the Philistines made a great feast to celebrate their victory over Samson. They sang and danced and gave thanks to their gods for delivering him into their hands. Then they sent for the blind Samson to entertain them. Tormented and cruelly humiliated, he could not bear their rude jests and idol worship.
Turning to his guide, he said, "Lead me to the pillars, so that I may lean upon them and rest for a minute. It matters not if I die with them! Samson stretched out his hands, tearing down the pillars supporting the building. The next instant, the walls and the roof came crashing down, destroying the entire building.
Every single Philistine, together with Samson himself, was killed in the great crash. That day, Samson killed more Philistines than he had throughout his entire life.
Later, his body was brought home, and he was buried on the land he had fought so valiantly to defend. Samson was the acknowledged judge of the people of Israel for 20 years. Dan will be a serpent by the road, a viper on the path. He lived among the Philistines, and attacked them from behind, crippling them.
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Tradition records that Samson ruled for 40 years, although in actuality it was only His teachings continued to inspire and guide the Jews long after he passed away, so much so that he is considered to have actually ruled in those years. Additionally, the fear he had implanted into the Philistines was so powerful, his intimidation so intense, that for 20 years after his death they were afraid to harm the Jews and left them alone.
See Radak to Judges Maimonides, Mishneh Torah, Forbidden Relationships Radak to Judges Jerusalem Talmud Sotah However Tosafot to Shabbat b writes that in our Scriptures it only ever says twenty. Bamidbar Rabbah teaches that since the verse records that Samson ruled for twenty years twice, equalling forty, this teaches us that he ruled twenty years during his lifetime and twenty years after his death.
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But how can he be a nazirite if he came into contact with corpses That he created? Shimshon was different than all other nazirites because he did not become a nazirite by his vow but by his parents', as instructed by an angel prior to his birth. Therefore his status was unique and he was only required to observe the laws preventing him from drinking wine and cutting his hair, but it did not include avoiding corpses.
HI Shlomo Chaim. A fascinating and excellent insight. And even death, that devouring monster, being robbed of his sting, and stripped of his horror, forwards the soul to the realms of bliss. In these and other senses, out of the eater comes forth meat, and out of the strong, sweetness. Samson's companions obliged his wife to get the explanation from him.
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A worldly wife, or a worldly friend, is to a godly man as an enemy in the camp, who will watch every opportunity to betray him. No union can be comfortable or lasting, where secrets cannot be intrusted, without danger of being divulged. Satan, in his temptations, could not do us the mischief he does, if he did not plough with the heifer of our corrupt nature. His chief advantage against us arises from his correspondence with our deceitful hearts and inbred lusts. This proved an occasion of weaning Samson from his new relations. It were well for us, if the unkindness we meet with from the world, and our disappointments in it, obliged us by faith and prayer to return to our heavenly Father's house, and to rest there.
See how little confidence is to be put in man. Whatever pretence of friendship may be made, a real Philistine will soon be weary of a true Israelite. The transaction denotes loose notions of the sanctity of marriage among the Philistines.
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