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tines be upon thee, Samson. And he brake the withs, as a thread of tow is broken when it toucheth the fire. So his strength was not known. "And Delilah said unto Samson, Behold, thou last mocked me and told me lies : now tell me, I pray thee, wherewith thou mightest be bound...
And he said unto her, If they bind me fast with new ropes that never-were occupied, then shall I be weak, and be as another man,. ,
Delilah therefore took new ropes, and bound him therewith, and said unto him, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And there were liers in wait abiding in the chamber. And he brake them from off his arms like a thread.
And Delilah said unto Samson, Hitherto thou hast mocked me and told me lies : tell me wherewith thou mighteşi be bound. And he said unto her, If thou weavest the seven locks of my head with the web,
And she fastened it with a pin, and said unto him, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And he awaked out of his sleep, and went away with the pin of the beam and with the web. · And she said unto him, How canst thou say, I love thee, when thine heart is not with me? thou hast mocked me these three times, and hast not told me wherein thy great strength lieth.
And it came to pass, when she pressed him daily with her words, and urged him, so that his soul was vexed unto death, that he told her all his heart, and said unto her, There hath not come a razor upon mine head; for I have been a Nazarite unto Gop from my birth: if I be shaven, then my strength will go from me, and I shall become weak, and be like any other man. . .
And when Delilah saw that he told her all his heart, she sent and called for the lords of the Philistines, say. ing, Come up this once ; for he hath shewed me all his heart. Then the lords of the Philistines came up unto her, and brought money in their hand.
And she made him sleep upon her knees :, and she called for a man, and she caused him to shave off the seven locks of his head; and she began to afflict him, and his strength went from him. · And she said, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson, And he awoke out of his sleep, and said, I will go out as at other times before, and shake myself. And he wist not that the LORD was departed from him. ...,
But the Philistines took him and put out his eyes and brought him down to Gaza, and bound him with fetters of brass ; and he did grind in the prison house.
ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS.
him in and amazemented to preventus appw
Perhaps it was in defiance of the Philistinęs, that Samson went to a city belonging to them, How he was apprized of their scheme to surprise him suddenly is not mentioned: but it is likely, that feeling the Spirit of the LORD was upon him, he understood from this circumstance that the Philistines were about to attack him ; and arose in the night, and, to their great confusion and amazement, took the city gates, which pro. bably were well fastened to prevent his escape, and carried them, with all their ponderous appurtenances, to the top of a hill which was at several miles distance.
Delilah was certainly a mercenary wretch, who lived with him from interested views, such an one could not reşist a bribe. How strange it appears, that Samson should not be better guarded against her artifices, than (with a weakness of mind which will ever disgrace his
name) to suffer the important secret to be drawn from him. : We must not suppose, that the natural quality of Samson's hair differed from that of other men; but his remaining a Nazarite, under covenant with God, of which his hair was 'a token, made it impossible for the Philistines' to subdue him : 'because the Lord had promised; that whilst he abstained from wine, and let no razor come on his head, he should be assisted by the power of the Lord in order to conquer them. This Divine assistance was not given to Samson as a reward for his own' merit, but for the punishment of the Philistines, , , and the deliverance of Israel ; though his being chosen by the Lord, for this purpose, gave him opportunities of shewing his faith as' Joshua had done ; of which if Samson had availed himself, he would have escaped the dreadful misfortunes wherein he was involved.
We find from his discourse with Delilah, that Sam. son understood that his extraordinary strength was not inherent in him, but would be taken away, if he broke the Covenant with God: no excuse therefore can be made for him ; nor can we wonder that he was left to the unhappy consequences of his folly and wickedness, as he rather chose to please an abandoned woman, than to be the distinguished servant of the Lord.' : What mortifying reflections must have arisen in the mind of Samson, when he felt that his strength was gone from him! And what agonies must-have, torn his wretched bosom, when he suffered the cruelties inflicted by the enraged Philistines ! He now found himself a miserable captive, in the hands of enemies, who had suffered so much from him, that he could expect 'no mercy. He was deprived of his eyes, bound with fetters of brass, condemned to the most servile of all employments, and subject to continual insult and derision. It was an inexcusable fault in Samson repeatedly to
form connexions with the Philistine women. The unhappy consequences of his attachment to Delilah should teach men to be on their guard against the artifices which are usually practised by wantons ; these unprincipled females, having no affection for those who are weak enough to waste their tenderness upon them, are ready to betray or ruin them whenever it will answer any mercenary views of their own.
HowBeit, the hair of Samson's head began to grow again after he was shaven. . : Then the lords of the Philistines gathered themselves together for to offer a great sacrifice unto Dagon their god, and to rejoice: for they said, Our god hath dem livered Samson our enemy into our hand.
And when the people saw him, they praised their god: for they said, Our god hath delivered into our hands our enemy and the destroyer of our country, which slew many of us.
And it came to pass, when their hearts were merry. that they said, Call for Samson, that he may make us' sport. And they called for Samson out of the prisonhouse, and he made them sport. And they set him between the pillars.
And Samson said unto the lad that held him by the hand, Suffer me that I may feel the the pillárs whereupon the house standeth, that I may lean upon them. ; Now the house was full of men and women: and all N 3
the lords of the Philistines were there : and there were upon the roof about three thousand men and women, that beheld while Samson made sport.
And Samson called on the Lord, and said, O LORD, God, remember me, I pray thee, and strengthen me, I pray thee; only this once, O God, that I may be at once avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes.
And Samson took hold of the two middle pillars upon which the house stood, and on which it was borne up, of the one with his right hand, and of the other with his left. . .
And Samson said, Let me die with the Philistines : and bowed himself with all his might: and the house. fell upon the lords, and upon all the people that were therein. So the dead which he slew at his death, were more than they which he slew in his life.
Then his brethren, and all the house of his father, came down and took him, and brought him up, and buried him between Zorah and Eshtaol, in the burying place of Manoah his father. And he judged Israel twenty years, it i
. . . .
ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS.
The heavy calamities which fell upon Samson awakened his conscience, and he acknowledged that the punishment was justly inflicted, for slighting the gift of God. We may conceive that in his doleful prison, he uttered the bitterest sighs and groans, repented with the utmost contrition, implored the pardon of GOD, and the renewal of the covenant, and resolved never more to part with one sacred hair, but to devote himself entirely to God; though he despaired of future opportunities of performing the part allotted him, and