|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
16:25-31 Nothing fills up the sins of any person or people faster than mocking and misusing the servants of God, even thought it is by their own folly that they are brought low. God put it into Samson's heart, as a public person, thus to avenge on them God's quarrel, Israel's, and his own. That strength which he had lost by sin, he recovers by prayer. That it was not from passion or personal revenge, but from holy zeal for the glory of God and Israel, appears from God's accepting and answering the prayer. The house was pulled down, not by the natural strength of Samson, but by the almighty power of God. In his case it was right he should avenge the cause of God and Israel. Nor is he to be accused of self-murder. He sought not his own death, but Israel's deliverance, and the destruction of their enemies. Thus Samson died in bonds, and among the Philistines, as an awful rebuke for his sins; but he died repentant. The effects of his death typified those of the death of Christ, who, of his own will, laid down his life among transgressors, and thus overturned the foundation of Satan's kingdom, and provided for the deliverance of his people. Great as was the sin of Samson, and justly as he deserved the judgments he brought upon himself, he found mercy of the Lord at last; and every penitent shall obtain mercy, who flees for refuge to that Saviour whose blood cleanses from all sin. But here is nothing to encourage any to indulge sin, from a hope they shall at last repent and be saved.
Verse 27. - Now the house was full, etc. We do not know what was the construction of Philistine temples or houses of amusement; but from the description here given it seems that the interior was ranged like an amphi- theatre, with seats for the lords and principal people, and with an open front, so as to command a view of the stage just outside, and that front supported by pillars on which the beams of the roof, both the transverse beam and the longitudinal ones running into it, rested. The roof itself was fiat, and had the weight of 3000 people upon it, throwing a great strain upon the beams which rested upon the pillars. The sudden removal of the pillars would bring the roof down at that end, crowded as it was with the people, and would inevitably drag the whole mass in the same direction one over another, while the swaying of the people would bring the whole roof down upon the heads of those beneath, who would be crushed by the heavy timbers and stones and bodies of men falling upon them.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Now the house was full of men and women,.... Within it, who were gathered together from all parts of the city, and perhaps from other places on this occasion:
and all the lords of the Philistines were there; their five lords, the lords of Gaza, Ashdod, Ashkelon, Gath, and Ekron:
and there were upon the roof three thousand men and women; it being a flat roof, as the houses in Canaan and Phoenicia, and the places adjacent, were; see Deuteronomy 22:8 and there might be some openings or windows in several parts of it, through which the people might see who were below them, and were within the house, and what was doing there, and particularly could have a sight of Samson through them as follows:
that beheld while Samson made sport; or was made a sport of; while he was buffeted and used in a ludicrous manner.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
27. there were upon the roof about three thousand men and women, that beheld while Samson made sport—This building seems to have been similar to the spacious and open amphitheaters well known among the Romans and still found in many countries of the East. They are built wholly of wood. The standing place for the spectators is a wooden floor resting upon two pillars and rising on an inclined plane, so as to enable all to have a view of the area in the center. In the middle there are two large beams, on which the whole weight of the structure lies, and these beams are supported by two pillars placed almost close to each other, so that when these are unsettled or displaced, the whole pile must tumble to the ground.
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