Judges 14:6
And the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon him, and he rent him as he would have rent a kid, and he had nothing in his hand: but he told not his father or his mother what he had done.
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(6) The Spirit of the Lord.—Implying here an access of courage and strength. The verb rendered “came mightily” literally means pervaded, as in Judges 14:19, Judges 15:14; 1Samuel 10:10. (Comp. 1Samuel 18:10—of the evil spirit rushing upon Saul; LXX., “leapt upon him;” Vulg., irruit.)

Rent him.—Josephus (with the intention of making his Greek readers think of Hercules and the Nemean lion) says “he throttled him.” Of course this was a most heroic exploit, but it is not unparalleled. Pausanias, in his Eliaca (ap. Suid. Lex. s.v Polydamas), related a feat of the athlete Polydamas, who in his youth slew, while unarmed, a great and strong lion in Olympus, B.C. 400. Cases are recorded in which Arabs have done the same. Similar acts of prowess are attributed to David (1Samuel 17:54) and to Benaiah (2Samuel 23:28).

He told not his father or his mother.—This reticence shows how free he was from all boastfulness.

14:5-9 By enabling him to kill a lion, God let Samson know what he could do in the strength of the Spirit of the Lord, that he might never be afraid to look the greatest difficulties in the face. He was alone in the vineyards, whither he had rambled. Young people consider not how they exposed themselves to the roaring lion that seeks to devour, when they wander from their prudent, pious parents. Nor do men consider what lions lurk in the vineyards, the vineyards of red wines. Our Lord Jesus having conquered Satan, that roaring lion, believers, like Samson, find honey in the carcass abundant strength and satisfaction, enough for themselves, and for all their friends.His father and mother very properly opposed Samson's marriage with a Pagan woman, the daughter of the oppressors of his race. But they could not prevail, because it was the secret purpose of God by these means to "seek occasion" against the Philistines; i. e. to make the misconduct of the father of Samson's wife, which He foresaw, the occasion of destruction to the Philistines. Compare the marginal references for similar statements. Jud 14:5-9. He Kills a Lion.

5-9. a young lion—Hebrew, a lion in the pride of his youthful prime. The wild mountain passes of Judah were the lairs of savage beasts; and most or all the "lions" of Scripture occur in that wild country. His rending and killing the shaggy monster, without any weapon in his hand, were accomplished by that superhuman courage and strength which the occasional influences of the Spirit enabled him to put forth, and by the exertion of which, in such private incidental circumstances, he was gradually trained to confide in them for the more public work to which he was destined.

Came mightily upon him; stirred up and increased his courage and bodily strength.

As he would have rent a kid; as soon and as safely.

He told not his father or his mother, lest by their means it should be publicly known; for he wisely considered that it was not yet a fit time to awaken the jealousies and fears of the Philistines concerning him, as this would have done.

And the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon him,.... The Spirit of might from the Lord, as the Targum, inspiring him with courage and intrepidity of mind, and increasing his bodily strength:

and he rent him as he would rend a kid; as he came up to him to seize him, he laid hold on him and strangled him, as Josephus (b) says, caught him by the throat, and tore it out; for it does not seem that the carcass was torn to pieces, or limb from limb, by what follows; and this he did with as much ease as if he had had only a kid to deal with:

and he had nothing in his hand; not a staff to keep it off, nor a spear, sword, or knife to stab it with: in this Samson was a type of Christ, who has destroyed our adversary the devil, compared to a roaring lion, 1 Peter 5:8 to a lion for his strength, cruelty, and voraciousness; to a roaring lion, making a hideous noise and stir when the Gospel was carried unto the Gentiles, and they were about to be called and espoused to Christ; from among whom he was cast out, and by no other weapon than the ministration of the Gospel, accompanied with the power of Christ, and his Spirit:

but he told not his father or his mother what he had done; when he overtook them, as he quickly did, he said not a word to them of his meeting with a lion and slaying it; which, as it showed his modesty in not blazing abroad his wonderful and heroic actions, in which also he was a type of Christ, but his great prudence in concealing this, lest his great strength should be known too soon, and the Philistines be upon their guard against him, or seek to dispatch him privately; though no doubt he had pondered this in his own mind, and considered it as an omen and presage of the advantage he should have over the Philistines his enemies, whom he should as easily overcome as he had that lion, and that without any instrument of war.

(b) Antiqu l. 5. c. 8. sect. 5.

And the Spirit of the LORD {c} came mightily upon him, and he rent him as he would have rent a kid, and he had nothing in his hand: but he told not his father or his mother what he had done.

(c) By which he had strength and boldness.

6. came mightily upon him] Cf. Jdg 14:19, Jdg 15:14, 1 Samuel 10:6; 1 Samuel 10:10; 1 Samuel 11:6; the expression denotes a sudden rush of superhuman power.

and he rent him … a kid] rent him as a man rends a kid; the verb only here and in Leviticus 1:17, where it is used of the ritual learing asunder of a fowl in burnt offering. The comparison as one rends a kid may refer to some ceremonial act, as Moore suggests, but we have no evidence of such a practice. Milton’s version, ‘Who tore the lion, as the lion tears the kid,’ Samson Agonistes, l. 128, gets over the difficulty by substituting ‘the lion’ for the indefinite subject (as one rends). The hero’s fight with a lion is a favourite theme in ancient mythology and folk-lore; e.g. the scene represented on early Bab. seals, above, p. 130; the reliefs from the palace of Ashurbanipal (A. Jeremias, l.c. 479); Herakles and the Nemean lion figured on Greek coins1[55]; the stories of David and of Benaiah (1 Samuel 17:34-36, 2 Samuel 23:20).

[55] Hill, Catal. of Gk. Coins in the Brit. Mus., Cyprus, Pl. xxv. 6–8; Lycaonia, etc., Pl. xvii. 5, xl. 12. Instances of this motif from ancient sources are collected by Stahn, Die Simson-Sage, 1908, pp. 32 ff.

but he told not etc.] The clause introduces some confusion, and may be an interpolation from Jdg 14:9.

Verse 6. - The Spirit of the Lord, etc. - as a spirit of dauntless courage and irresistible strength of body. Came mightily. Hebrew, fell upon him, or passed over upon him, as in ver. 19; 15:14; 1 Samuel 10:6, 10; 1 Samuel 18:10, etc. He rent him, etc. He "had nothing in his hand," no weapon or knife, nor even a stick; but he rent him with as much ease as the kid is rent. The Hebrew has the kid, with the definite article, which is not prefixed unless some particular kid is meant, as in Genesis 38:23. Perhaps the kid means the one about to be served, which the cook rends open either before or after it is cooked. Unless some such operation is alluded to, it is not easy to understand what the rending of the kid means. He told not his father, etc. This is mentioned to. explain ver. 16; but it shows that Samson had wandered some distance from his parents among the vineyards (see note to ver. 5). Judges 14:6When Samson went down with his parents to Timnath, a young lion came roaring towards him at the vineyards of that town. Then the Spirit of Jehovah came upon him, so that he tore the lion in pieces as a kid is torn (lit. "like the tearing in pieces of the kid"), although he had nothing, i.e., no weapon, in his hand. David, when a shepherd, and the hero Benaiah, also slew lions (1 Samuel 17:34-35; 2 Samuel 23:20); and even at the present day Arabs sometimes kill lions with a staff (see Winer, Bibl. R. W. Art. Lwe). Samson's supernatural strength, the effect of the Spirit of Jehovah, which came upon him, was simply manifested in the fact that he tore the lion in pieces without any weapon whatever in his hand. But he said nothing about it to his parents, who were not eyewitnesses of the deed. This remark is introduced in connection with what follows.
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