And Samson said to the lad that held him by the hand, Suffer me that I may feel the pillars whereupon the house stands, that I may lean on them.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)That I may feel the pillars.—The temple of Dagon had a flat roof; but further than this we are unable to conjecture what was its architecture. An attempt to explain it is found in Stark’s Gaza, p. 332, seq.Jdg 16:26. The pillars whereon the house standeth — It is probable that this house, whether it were a temple or theatre, was no more than a wooden building, raised for the present occasion, much in the form of an amphitheatre, in the midst of which were two large wooden pillars, on which the main beams of the roof rested, so that if these should be pulled away, the building must necessarily fall. Pliny, in the fifteenth chapter of the thirty-sixth book of his Natural History, speaks of two theatres, built by C. Curio, in Julius Cesar’s time, each of which was supported only by one pillar, though many thousands of people sat together in it; and mentions the fall of an amphitheatre, by which fifty thousand people were killed or wounded.
suffer me that I may feel the pillars whereupon the house standeth; he might by information know in what manner the house was built, that it was supported by pillars, if he had never been in it before when he had his sight; and he might understand, by some means or another, that he was near these pillars, and placed between them, though being blind, did not know which way to direct his hands towards them to feel them, as he proposed to do, and therefore desired the lad that led him to guide his hands towards them:
that I may lean upon them; being, as he might at least pretend to be, weary, as Josephus says (x); either by grinding at the mill, or through being led to and fro in this house, that all might see him, and cast their flouts and jeers at him,And Samson said unto the lad that held him by the hand, Suffer me that I may feel the pillars whereupon the house standeth, that I may lean upon them.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Verse 26. - Suffer me, or it may be rendered, Let me rest. He pretended to be tired, and asked to be allowed to rest a few minutes and lean against the pillars. That I may feel, or, literally, and make me feel. He adds his motive for making the request - that I may lean upon them - to rest himself after the severe exercise of dancing. Judges 16:17). The historian observes, on the other hand, that "Jehovah had departed from him." The superhuman strength of Samson did not reside in his hair as hair, but in the fact that Jehovah was with or near him. But Jehovah was with him so long as he maintained his condition as a Nazarite. As soon as he broke away from this by sacrificing the hair which he wore in honour of the Lord, Jehovah departed from him, and with Jehovah went his strength.
(Note: "Samson was strong because he was dedicated to God, as long as he preserved the signs of his dedication. But as soon as he lost those signs, he fell into the utmost weakness in consequence. The whole of Samson's misfortune came upon him, therefore, because he attributed to himself some portion of what God did through him. God permitted him to lose his strength, that he might learn by experience how utterly powerless he was without the help of God. We have no better teachers than our own infirmities."-Berleb. Bible.)
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