|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
15:18-20 So little notice did the men of Judah take of their deliverer, that he was ready to perish for want of a draught of water. Thus are the greatest slights often put upon those who do the greatest services. Samson prayed to God in this distress. Those that forget to attend God their praises, may be compelled to attend him with their prayers. Past experiences of God's power and goodness, are excellent pleas in prayer for further mercy. He pleads his being exposed to God's enemies; our best pleas are taken from God's glory. The Lord sent him seasonable relief. The place of this action was, from the jaw-bone, called Lehi. And in the place thus called, God caused a fountain suddenly and seasonably to open, close by Samson. We should be more thankful for the mercy of water, did we consider how ill we can spare it. Israel submitted to him whom they had betrayed. God was with him; henceforward they were directed by him as their judge.
Verse 19. - But (or, and) God clave, etc. Cf. Exodus 17:6; Numbers 20:8, 11. The A.V. (as the Septuagint and Vulgate seem to have done, and Luther and others) has quite misconceived the statement in the text, as if God had cloven a hollow place in the jawbone, and brought out the water thence; whereas the statement is quite clear that God clave the hollow place which is in Lehi (hal-Lehi, ver. 9, note), and that a spring of water came out, to which Samson gave the name En-hakkorch, the spring of him that called upon God, which name continued till the time of the writer. The spring apparently continued till the time of St. Jerome, and of other later writers, in the seventh, twelfth, and fourteenth centuries; but Robinson was unable to identify it with any certainty ('B.R.,' 2:64). The word translated the (not a) hollow place (ham-maktesh) means a mortar; also the cavity in the jaw from which the molar teeth grow. The hollow ground from which the spring rose, with which Samson quenched his thirst, from its shape and from the connection with hal-Lechi (the jawbone) was called hammaktech. In Zephaniah 1:11 it is also a proper name, apparently of some spot near Jerusalem. The name thereof, i.e. of the fountain, with which thereof, which is in the feminine gender, agrees. Which is in Lehi unto this day. This punctuation does not agree with the Hebrew accents, which put a strong stop after Lehi. The Hebrew accents rather convey the sense that the name En-kakkoreh continued to be the name of the well unto the day of the writer.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And God clave an hollow place that was in the jaw, and there came water thereout,.... A socket in which was fastened one of the teeth, and was in the form of a mortar; so Jarchi and Ben Melech, as the word for an hollow place signifies; one of the grinders was knocked out, and so the place where it had been was left hollow, and out of that sprung a stream or flow of water; which was very wonderful, since out of such a place rather blood, or purulent matter, would naturally have issued; the Targum is,"the Lord clave the rock which was in the jaw;''which Kimchi interprets thus, the rock was under the jaw and the rock was made as a hollow place, and therefore they call it "mactes", a mortar: the sense seems to be this, that the place on which Samson cast the jawbone was a rock, and there God clave an hollow place, out of which water sprung, and which perhaps was under the jawbone, and sprung under it, and through it; and so Josephus says (o), that God at his prayer brought a sweet and large fountain out of a certain rock; and the words of the text will bear to be rendered, "and God clave, an hollow place, which is in Lehi"; that is, in the place called Lehi, Judges 15:9 and not in the jawbone itself:
and when he had drank, his spirit came again, and he revived; his spirit was sunk and gone, as it were, but upon drinking a draught of this water he was refreshed and cheered, recovered his spirits, and became brisk and lively:
wherefore he called the name thereof Enhakkore; that is,"the fountain of him that was calling;''of Samson that called upon God in prayer, and was heard, in memory of which he gave it this name; so the Targum,"therefore its name was called the fountain that was given through the prayer of Samson:"
which is in Lehi unto this day; or in the jawbone: not that the jawbone continued unto the time of the writer of this book, but the name of the place where this miracle was wrought, which was in Lehi, continued to be called Enhakkore unto that time, and it may be the fountain itself continued also; nay, Giycas (p) says, who lived but about six hundred years ago, that the fountain continued unto his time, and was to be seen in the suburbs of Eleutheropolis, and was called the fountain of the jawbone.
(o) Ibid. (Antiqu. l. 5. c. 8. sect. 9.) (p) Annal. par. 2. p. 164. apud Reland. Palestin. Illustrat. p. 872.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
19. a hollow place … in the jaw—"in Lehi"—taking the word as a proper noun, marking the place.
there came water thereout; and when he had drunk, his spirit came again—His strength, exhausted by the violent and long-continued exertion, was recruited by the refreshing draft from the spring; and it was called
En-hakkore—the "supplication well," a name which records the piety of this heroic champion.
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