Judges 16:19
And she made him sleep upon her knees; and she called for a man, and she caused him to shave off the seven locks of his head; and she began to afflict him, and his strength went from him.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(19) Made him sleep upon her knees.—As his locks could hardly be shaved off without awaking him from any ordinary sleep, the expression looks as if she had administered some “drowsy syrup,” like mandragora.

She called for a man.—Probably the concealed spy (Judges 16:9). “Laying down his head amongst the strumpet flatteries . . . while he sleeps and thinks no harm, they, wickedly shaving off all those bright and weighty tresses . . . which were his ornament and his strength, deliver him over . . .” (Milton, Reason of Church Government). Whether the pagan legends of the lock of Nisus or Pterolaus were distant echoes of this incident we cannot say. But the hair of Samson was no magical amulet. It was only a sign of dedication to God. While he kept his vow the strength remained; it only departed when the vow was shamefully broken.

She began to afflict him.—Rather, to humble him (Judges 19:24). We cannot tell the exact meaning of the clause, since it is only in the next verse that Samson is said to awake. (Comp. Proverbs 7:26.)

Jdg 16:19-20. She made him sleep — By some sleepy potion; upon her knees — Resting his head upon her knees. She began to afflict him — To humble and bring him low, in which sense the original word is often used. For, it seems, as soon as the razor touched his head, his strength began to be diminished, which she perceived by some means or other. He awoke and said, within himself, I will go out as at other times — Samson probably did not find, immediately after he was awake, that his hair was shaven, which made him speak in this manner. He wist not that the Lord was departed — That he was not present with him as he had formerly been; that he no longer supplied him with that extraordinary and supernatural strength with which he had before endowed him. And justly, indeed, did God depart and withdraw his presents and gifts from a man who put it into the power of a harlot to rob him of that which he knew had been appointed the tenure whereby he was to hold them. For he hereby plainly showed that he regarded the caresses of a harlot more than the divine favour, and the preservation of such extraordinary endowments. Alas! how many have lost the favourable presence of God, and are not aware of it! They have provoked him to withdraw from them, but are not sensible of their loss!

16:18-21 See the fatal effects of false security. Satan ruins men by flattering them into a good opinion of their own safety, and so bringing them to mind nothing, and fear nothing; and then he robs them of their strength and honour, and leads them captive at his will. When we sleep our spiritual enemies do not. Samson's eyes were the inlets of his sin, (ver. 1,) and now his punishment began there. Now the Philistines blinded him, he had time to remember how his own lust had before blinded him. The best way to preserve the eyes, is, to turn them away from beholding vanity. Take warning by his fall, carefully to watch against all fleshly lusts; for all our glory is gone, and our defence departed from us, when our separation to God, as spiritual Nazarites, is profaned.And she fastened it with the pin ... - The meaning of the verses seems to be that the seven long plaits, in which Samson's hair was arranged, were to be woven as a woof into the threads of a warp which stood prepared on a loom in the chamber, which loom Delilah fastened down with a pin, so as to keep it firm and immoveable. But Samson, when he awoke, tore up the pin from its socket, and went away with the loom and the pin fastened to his hair.

The beam - Rather, the "loom," or "frame." The beam is the wooden revolving cylinder, on which the cloth is rolled as fast as it is woven, the Hebrew word for which 1 Samuel 17:7; 1 Chronicles 11:23; 1 Chronicles 20:5 is quite different from that here used.

19. she called for a man, and she caused him to shave off the seven locks of his head—It is uncertain, however, whether the ancient Hebrews cut off the hair to the same extent as Orientals now. The word employed is sometimes the same as that for shearing sheep, and therefore the instrument might be only scissors. She made him sleep, by some sleepy potion, which it is like she gave him upon other pretences, agreeable enough to his present and vitiated inclination.

Upon her knees; resting his head upon her knees.

She caused him to shave off, with a gentle hand, as if she herself had been but sporting with him. She did this more securely, partly because she had cast him into a deep sleep, and partly because if he had discovered it before it was finished, she would have said it was only an innocent intention to try the sincerity of his affection to her, and the truth of this last relation, which she had so just reason to doubt of, from his frequent dissimulation and lies.

She began to afflict him, i.e. to disturb, and awaken, and affright him, as by other ways, so particularly by crying out in a terrible manner,

The Philistines are upon thee, as she had done before, and as it follows, Judges 16:20.

His strength went from him; which, as is here implied, she perceived, because he could not now shake himself as he did before, i.e. with equal rigour and might, as is intimated in the next verse; or because she had bound him, though it be not here expressed, and found him unable to break his bands.

And she made him sleep upon her knees,.... Giving him, as some think, a sleepy potion; or however encouraged him to take a nap upon her knees, and by her fondness lulled him to sleep:

and she called for a man; a barber; in former times to shave was the work of a servant (f) and sometimes of a woman; she gave orders for one to be sent for; for Jarchi calls him a messenger of the lords of the Philistines:

and she caused him to shave off the seven locks of his head; this shows that they were not wove into one another, and made but one lock, as some interpret what she was before directed to do:

and she began to afflict him; as his hair was shaving off; though he was asleep, yet he discovered some uneasiness, the effects of it began to appear: though the word "began" here may be redundant, as in Numbers 25:1 and then the meaning is, that she afflicted him, or again afflicted him; for she had afflicted him, or at least attempted it, three times before, and therefore did not begin now; this Hebraism is used in Mark 4:1 and frequently in Jewish writings (g):

and his strength went from him; sensibly and gradually; though some understand it of her shaking him in a violent manner to awake him, and shrieking and crying out terribly to frighten him, with her old cry of the Philistines being on him, and of her binding him, though not expressed; whereby she perceived his strength was gone, and he could not loose himself.

(f) Vid. Pignorium de servis, p. 89, 90, 91. & Popma de servis, p. 57, 58. (g) See Lightfoot. Hor. Heb. in Mark iv. 1. Vid. Sterringae Animadv. Philolog. Sacr. p. 248.

And she made him sleep upon her knees; and she called for a man, and she caused him to shave off the seven locks of his head; and she began to afflict him, and his strength went {k} from him.

(k) Not for the loss of his hair, but for the contempt of the ordinance of God, which was the reason God departed from him.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
19. she made him sleep] Cf. Jdg 16:14 LXX. cod. A. For a man the original has the man, i.e. who was waiting in readiness. For and shaved (subj. Delîlah) the context seems to require the reading and he shaved; the man was called in for this purpose.

she began to afflict him] Can this mean, by cutting off his hair? Moore suggests that D. bound him (cf. Jdg 16:5-6), as may be implied in the words I will shake myself in Jdg 16:20. The Greek reads he began to be afflicted or humbled; his strength began to ebb away as the hair fell. So many moderns.

Verse 19. - She called for a man. It is she called to the man - the man whom she had secreted in the chamber before she put Samson to sleep, that he might cut off the locks. She caused him to shave. In the Hebrew it is she shaved, but it probably means that she did so by his instrumentality. She began to afflict, or humble, him. His strength began to wane immediately his locks began to be shorn, and it was all gone by the time his hair was all cut off. Judges 16:19"Then she made him sleep upon her knees, and called to the man," possibly the man lying in wait (Judges 16:9 and Judges 16:12), that she might not be alone with Samson when cutting off his hair; and she cut off the seven plaits of his hair, and began to afflict him, as his strength departed from him now.
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