And when the people saw him, they praised their god: for they said, Our god has delivered into our hands our enemy, and the destroyer of our country, which slew many of us.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Judges 5; Exodus 15.
23. the lords of the Philistines gathered them together for to offer a great sacrifice unto Dagon—It was a common practice in heathen nations, on the return of their solemn religious festivals, to bring forth their war prisoners from their places of confinement or slavery; and, in heaping on them every species of indignity, they would offer their grateful tribute to the gods by whose aid they had triumphed over their enemies. Dagon was a sea idol, usually represented as having the head and upper parts human, while the rest of the body resembled a fish.Daniel 5:4 in hymns and songs composed for them, the substance of which was as follows:
for they said, our god hath delivered into our hands our enemy, and the destroyer of our country; as he had been, by tying firebrands to the tails of three hundred foxes, and letting them go into their cornfields, vineyards, and oliveyards:And when the people saw him, they praised their god: for they said, Our god hath delivered into our hands our enemy, and the destroyer of our country, which slew many of us.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)24. saw him] As Samson does not appear till the next verse, Lagrange suggests that him refers to Dagon, whose image was uncovered at this moment or carried out in procession. It is more likely that the order of the narrative has been disturbed; if we place Jdg 16:24 after Jdg 16:25 everything falls into natural sequence.
Our god hath delivered] The song is constructed of four lines, each ending with a rhyming suffix -çnu = our. The last line runs lit. ‘and who multiplied our slain.’ Other specimens of this kind of rhyme, common in Arabic poetry but rare in the O.T., may be seen in Jdg 14:18 b (‘my heifer … my riddle’); Genesis 4:23; 1 Samuel 18:7. It will be noticed that all these are popular, traditional verses.Verse 24. - And when the people, etc. The .people, as distinguished from the lords in the preceding verse, to show how universally the capture of Samson was ascribed to Dagon. Rulers and people alike praised Dagon. Saw him. Not on the occasion of his being brought into the temple as mentioned in ver. 25, but after his capture, and whenever they saw him grinding or elsewhere. It was this universal ascription of praise to Dagon that led to the celebration of this great feast. This praise of Dagon is also dwelt upon to show that God, in what happened, vindicated the glory of his own great name, which was blasphemed by the servants of Dagon when they thus made him superior to Jehovah. So Milton makes Samson say, "All the contest is now 'Twixt God and Dagon .... He, be sure, will not connive or linger, thus provoked, but will arise, and his great name assert." Generally, the 'Samson Agonistes' is an excellent commentary on the history of Samson.
(Note: The Keri reading לי arose simply from a misunderstanding, although it is found in many MSS and early editions, and is without any critical worth. The Masorites overlooked the fact that the main point is all that is related of the message of Delilah to the princes of the Philistines, namely that they were to come this time, and that the rest can easily be supplied from the context. Studer admits how little ועלוּ suits that view of the clause which the Keri reading לי requires, and calls it "syntactically impossible." He proposes, however, to read ויּעלוּ, without reflecting that this reading is also nothing more than a change which is rendered necessary by the alteration of להּ into לי, and has no critical value.)
The princes of the Philistines came up to Delilah on the receipt of this communication, bringing the money, the promised reward of her treachery (Judges 16:5), in their hands.
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