|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
13:24,25 The Spirit of the Lord began to move Samson when a youth. This was evidence that the Lord blessed him. Where God gives his blessing, he gives his Spirit to qualify for the blessing. Those are blessed indeed in whom the Spirit of grace begins to work in the days of their childhood. Samson drank no wine or strong drink, yet excelled in strength and courage, for he had the Spirit of God moving him; therefore be not drunk with wine, but be filled with the Spirit.
Verse 24. - Called his name Samson. No doubt the name was significant of what the child should be (see note to ver. 17), but the etymology and meaning of the name are doubtful. Josephus ('Antiq.,' V. 8:4) says the name means "a strong one," but he does not say in what language, and it does not appear to have such a meaning in any Semitic dialect. It is commonly interpreted to mean like the sun, from shemesh, the common word for the sun; and so Jerome in his 'Onomasticon' expounds it as the sun's strength,' possibly with an allusion to Judges 5:31. Others make it equal shim-shorn, from the Pilpel conjugation of shamem, to devastate. Another possible derivation is from the Chaldee shemash, to minister, specially in sacred things, a root from which the Nestorian, Syriac, and Arabic names for a deacon are derived. If this were the derivation, it would be a reference to his dedication to God as a Nazarite from his mother's womb, the only thing his mother knew about him when she gave him the name.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And the woman bare a son, and called name Samson,.... After these appearances were over, Manoah and his wife returned to their habitation, and she soon became pregnant, and at the usual course of time brought forth a son, and she gave him the name of Samson; for what reason it is not easy to determine. Josephus says (s) the word signifies "strong"; perhaps he was born a strong robust child, which is not unlikely, or the woman might have some prophetic hint of his future strength, and so gave him this name; but the word has not the signification of strength in it; it rather signifies the sun, which is indeed a strong body, and is compared to a strong man running his race, and so a strong man may be compared to that; but rather, with respect to the sun, this name might be given him, because of the splendour of his countenance with which he might be born, or in memory of the shining countenance of the angel which brought the tidings of his birth, or because he was to be the instrument of dispelling the darkness of calamity and distress Israel were now in: but the word more properly signifies a minister or servant, from whence the sun has its name; for Samson was to be, and was, a minister and servant of God, and of his people Israel. There is an agreement between the type and the antitype in this name in either sense. Christ is the mighty God, and mighty Saviour, the sun of righteousness, the light of the world, and the deliverer of his people from darkness of calamity and distress; and who came not to be ministered unto, but to minister and perform the great service of redemption and salvation:
and the child grew in bodily strength and stature, and grew up to man's estate, Luke 2:40.
and the Lord blessed him; not only with extraordinary strength of body, but with great endowments of mind, with the Spirit and graces of the Spirit; with grace, and blessings of it, and with his gracious presence; with this compare Psalm 21:3.
(s) Ut supra, (Antiqu. l. 5. c. 8.) sect. 4.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
Jud 13:24, 25. Samson Born.
24. the woman bare a son, and called his name Samson—The birth of this child of promise, and the report of the important national services he was to render, must, from the first, have made him an object of peculiar interest and careful instruction.
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