Judges 16:27
Now the house was full of men and women; and all the lords of the Philistines were there; and there were upon the roof about three thousand men and women, that beheld while Samson made sport.
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(27) The house was full of men and women . . . upon the roof about three thousand men and women.—The words for “men and women” in the first clause are anashim and nashim, and in the second eesh and eeshsha. The more distinguished people were with the lords in the house itself; the common people were on the flat roof.

There were upon the roof.—The temple may have been like a Turkish kiosk, “a spacious hall, of which the roof rested in front upon four columns, two of them standing at the ends, and two close together in the centre. Under this hall the chief Philistines celebrated a sacrificial meal, whilst the people were assembled above upon the top of the roof, which was surrounded by a balustrade” (Faber, Archäol. d. Hebr., quoted by Keil). “His puissant locks,” as Milton says, “sternly shook thunder with ruin upon the heads of those his evil counsellors, but not without great affliction to himself.” In the life of Samson and the incidents of Judges 18 we find the chief illustrations of the character of his tribe as described in Jacob’s blessing Genesis 49:16-17). Hence, perhaps, he is called Bedan in 1Samuel 12:11, if we follow the improbable gloss of the Targum in making the word there mean a Danite.

Jdg 16:27. There were upon the roof, &c. — The roof was flat, and had windows, through which they might see what was done in the lower parts of the house.

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.More literally, "let me rest, and let me feel the pillars, that I may lean upon them." He feigned weariness with his dancing and singing, and asked to recover himself by leaning against the pillars. The flat roof, from the top of which, as well as under it, spectators could see what was being done on the stage in front, was mainly supported by two pillars. The lords and principal persons sat UNDER the roof, while the people, to the number of 3,000, stood ON the flat roof. When the pillars were removed, the weight of 3,000 people brought the roof down with a fearful crash, and those above fell together with the stones and timbers upon those below, and a great slaughter was the result, Samson himself perishing under the ruins. 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. The roof, after the manner of the times, was flat, and had windows through which they might see what was done in the lower parts of the house.

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.

Now the house was full of men and women; and all the lords of the Philistines were there; and there were upon the roof about three thousand men and women, that beheld while Samson made sport.
27. and all the lords … three thousand men and women] No doubt an insertion to heighten the effect; grammatically full of men and women is carried on by that beheld, shewing that the intervening words are not original. No mention of the people on the roof is made in Jdg 16:30. The LXX. cod. B has 70 for 3000.

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. Judges 16:27When their hearts were merry (יטוב, inf. of יטב), they had Samson fetched out of the prison, that he might make sport before them, and "put him between the pillars" of the house or temple in which the triumphal feast was held. Then he said to the attendant who held his hand, "Let me loose, and let me touch the pillars upon which the house is built, that I may lean upon it." הימישׁני is the imperative Hiphil of the radical verb ימשׁ, which only occurs here; and the Keri substitutes the ordinary form המישׁ from מוּשׁ. "But the house," adds the historian by way of preparation for what follows, "was filled with men and women: all the princes of the Philistines also were there; and upon the roof were about three thousand men and women, who feasted their eyes with Samson's sports" (ראה with בּ, used to denote the gratification of looking).
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