|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 20. - And he judged Israel, etc. See ch. 16:81. It looks as if it had been the intention to close the history of Samson with these Words, but that ch. 16. was subsequently added, possibly from other sources. Compare the close of chs. 20. and 21. of the Gospel of St. John. A possible explanation, however, of this verse being placed here is that it results from the statement in ver. 19, that Samson's spirit came again, and he revived, or came to life again, after being on the very point of death; and, adds the writer, he judged Israel after this for twenty years.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And he judged Israel in the days of the Philistines twenty years. While they had the power over the Israelites, who were not entirely delivered out of their hands by Samson, he only began to deliver them, but did not completely do it; though he got many advantages over them, and wrought many salvations and deliverances, yet was not the author of perfect salvation, see Judges 13:5 however, he was a check upon the Philistines, and protected the Israelites from heavier oppressions, which otherwise they would have come under; and no doubt administered justice and judgment among them, and was an instrument of their reformation, and of preserving them from idolatry; for in such things the work of a judge chiefly lay: some from hence observe, that this shows the years of servitude and bondage are included in the years of the judges.
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