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vere punishment was suffered to fall on the - Ephraima i tes, were, impiety, envy, pride, arrogance, and a spirit of

ingratitude, • Jephthah was succeeded by Ibzan of Bethlehem : he

had a very numerous issue, thirty sons and thirty daugh. ters, whom he lived to see married, and settled in difa: ferent places ; he judged Israel seven years. After Ibzan, Elon a Zebulonite was judge for ten years, when he died, and Abdon governed Israel, who was famous for the number of his offspring, which were forty sons : and thirty grandsons. There is reason to suppose that Abdon had contests with the Philistines ; but we do not find that there was any war or internal commotions during the lives of these three last judges : the swords : of Gideon and Jephthah had probably intimidated their enemies, and the Israelites did not provoke the LORD by idolatrous practices.



- . From Judges, Chap. xiii..

And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight; of the LORD, and the LORD delivered them into the : hand of the Philistines forty years. - And there was a certain man of Zorah, of the family of the Danites, whose name was Manoah, and his wife had no children.

And the angel of the LORD appeared unto the wo. man, and said unto her, Beware, I pray thee, drink not** wine nor strong drink, and eat not any unclean thing. For lo, thou shalt bear a son, and no razor shall come



on his head : for the child shall be a Nazarite to God from his birth : and he shall begin to deliver Israel from the Philistines.

Then the woman came and told her husband, saying, ' A man of God came unto me, and his countenance : was like the countenance of an angel of God, very.. terrible ; but I asked him not whence he was, neither told he me his name.

Then Manoah intreated the Lord, and said, O my LORD, let the man of God which thou didst send, come again unto us, and teach us what we shall do unto the child that shall be born. .

And God hearkened unto the voice of Manoah ; and the angel of God came again unto the woman as she sat in the field: but Manoah her husband was not with


And the woman made haste, and ran, and shewed her husband, and said unto him, Behold, the man hath appeared unto me, that came unto me the other day. "

- And Manoah arose, and went after his wife, and came to the man, and said unto him, Art thou the man that spakest unto the woman? And he said, I am.

And Manoah said, Now let thy words come to pass : How shall we order the child, and how shall we do unto him?

And the angel of the Lorv said unto Manoah, Of all that I said unto the woman, let her beware.--All: that I commanded her let her observe. '.

And Manoah said unto the angel of the Lord, I pray · thee, let us detain thee, until we shall have made ready a kid for thee.

And the angel of the Lord said unto Mancah, Though thou detain me, I will not eat of thy bread : and if thou wilt offer a burnt-ofiering, thou must offer

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it unto the Lord: for Manoah knew not that he was an angel of the LORD.

And Manoah said unto the angel of the LORD, What is thy name, that when thy sayings come to pass, we may do thee honour? i

And the angel of the Lord said unto him, Why askest thou thus after my name, seeing it is secret ? : So Manoah took a kid, with a meat-offering, and offered it upon a rock unto the LORD: and the angel did won drously, and Manoah and his wife looked on. 's

For it came to pass, when the flame went up toward heaven from off the altar, that the angel of the LORD ascended in the flame of the altar: and Manoah and his wife looked on it, and fell on their faces to the


(But the angel of the LORD did no more appear to Manoah and to his wife.) Then Manoah knew that he was an angel of the Lord.

And Manoah said unto his wife, We shall surely die, because we have seen God. But his wife said unto him, If the Lord were pleased to kill us, he would not have received a burnt-offering and a meat-offering at our hands, neither would he have shewed us all these things, nor would, as at this time, have told us such things as these.

And the woman bare a son, and called his name Samson : and the child grew, and the Lord blessed him.

And the Spirit of the Lord began to move him at times in the camp of Dan, between Zorah and Eshtaol.


The Philistines were descended partly from Casluhim, and partly from Caphtorim, two sons of Misraim the


pro Abraham's daye the Mediterie princi

son of Ham. They came originally from Egypt, and removed to the southward of the land of Canaan. In: process of time, they made inroads upon Canaan, and in Abraham's days they had got possession of some parts which lay along the Mediterranean sea : this tract of ground was divided into five principalities or little kingdoms, called Gaza, Askelon, Ashdod, Gath, and Akron.

The Philistines were a very warlike people, and in the days of Abraham and Isaac they were a hospitable nation ; and being originally descended from a son of Noah, they must at first have known the true God ;. but they became like other idolatrous nations, and then their arrogance and ambition were great, and their en mity to Israel irreconcileable. The Israelites had received a command to destroy the Philistines ; but on their breaking the covenant, God's anger was kindled, and He resolved that the Philistines and others should be left to prove His people; and they were at times extremely oppressive and vexatious, as we shall find in the course of the history.

We may suppose that the Israelites now began to repent as formerly, when afflictions made them consider :: the cause of their calamity, therefore it pleased God to : raise up a person to begin their deliverance.

It was the will of God that Samson should be a Na. zarite from his birth. A Nazarite was one who, under the Jewish law, made a vow of particular purity, and separated himself in an extraordinary manner. for the service of God. During this time the person abstained ! from wine and all strong liquors, did not cut his hair, nor come near a dead body: after the time of his separation was ended, he offered such sacrifices as the law required, and returned to Society, It is likely that the Lord testified his acceptance of


Manoah's sacrifice, by sending fire to consume it. Ma noah felt immediate conviction that God had revealed Himself as He had done to other chosen persons, and he was seized with the utmost apprehension that he should not long survive it. Manoah's wife had much more composure of mind, and she expressed it with the utmost propriety.

We may reasonably suppose, that as Manoah and his wife had entered into a covenant with the LORD, in Samson's name, they acquainted him, as soon as he was capable of understanding them, with the conditions on which the Lord had promised to give him extraordinary endowments—That he was to regard himself as a person chosen of God to begin to deliver Israel—that the spirit or power of the LORD would always assist him in the work, provided he observed the rules which were required of him, that he might be distinguished for the sanctity of his life, and so contribute by his example to the reformation of that people he was born to deliver.



From Judges, Chap. xiv. AND Samson went down to Timnath, and saw a. woman at Timnath of the daughters of the Philisa cines.

And he came up and told his father and his mother, and said, I have seen a woman in Timnath of the daughters of the Philistines : now therefore gęt her for me to wife.

Then his father and his mother said unto him, Is there never a woman among the daughters of thy bre


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