|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 25. - The Spirit of the Lord, etc. See Judges 3:10, note. To move him - to urge and impel him to strange actions by fits and starts. It is an uncommon expression. In Genesis 41:8 the passive of the verb means to be troubled or agitated, and the substantive is the common word for a time in the phrases time after time, twice, thrice (according to the number specified), other times, etc.; also a footstep; and its derivatives mean an anvil, a bell. The idea is that of sudden, single impulses, such as are described in the following chapters. In the camp of Dan, or, as in Judges 18:12, Mahaneh-Dan, where the reason of the name is explained. For Zorah see ver. 2, note. Eshtaol has not hitherto been identified with any existing place, but it ought to lie east or north of Mahaneh-Dan, since this last was between Zorah and Eshtaol (see note on Judges 18:12). Kustul, a conical hill one hour west of Jerusalem, has been suggested.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And the Spirit of the Lord began to move him at times in the camp of Dan,.... To go out into it, in order to be trained up in and inured to military exercises; or it began to "strike" his mind, inject thoughts into it, and impress it with them concerning doing great things for the people of God in time to come; and for the present put him upon doing strange and wonderful exploits, which were omens of what was to be done by him hereafter; and these were done by him now and then, not always, but as the Spirit of God came upon him, under the impulse of which he did them, and by the strength he gave him; so the Targum,"and the Spirit of strength from the Lord began to strengthen him.''This camp of Dan was either a camp formed in that tribe, to prevent the incursions of the Philistines; or rather, since it does not seem that Israel had strength enough to resist them, they having got the power over them, this was the name of a place called Mahanehdan near Kirjathjearim, from the Danites encamping in it, when they went to besiege Laish, Judges 18:11 for the fact was done before this time, though related afterwards:
between Zorah and Eshtaol; which were two cities in the tribe of Dan, and upon the borders of the tribe of Judah; of which see Joshua 15:33. It may be observed, that as the tribe of Dan lay near to the Philistines, and so liable to their ravages, and might be most oppressed by them, so a deliverer of Israel was raised up in this tribe.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
25. the Spirit of the Lord began to move him at times—not, probably, as it moved the prophets, who were charged with an inspired message, but kindling in his youthful bosom a spirit of high and devoted patriotism.
Eshtaol—the free city. It, as well as Zorah, stood on the border between Judah and Dan.
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