And Samson said to her, If they bind me with seven green thongs that were never dried, then shall I be weak, and be as another man.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Green withs.—The meaning of the words is uncertain. Probably the LXX. and the Vulg. are right in taking them to mean moist, i.e., fresh sinews (Psalm 11:2) (LAX., Neurais hugrais; Vulg., Nerviceis funibus necdum siccis et adhuc humentibus). Josephus says “vine shoots,” but fresh vine shoots would be ridiculously inadequate. The number seven is used as the sacred number implying perfectness; and it is one of the signs that even thus early Samson is playing about on the confines of his secret.
As another man.—Literally, as one man, i.e., as an ordinary man.Judges 3:3 note.
His great strength lieth - Rather, "wherein his strength is great."
Eleven hundred pieces of silver - The greatness of the bribe offered to Delilah, 5,500 shekels of silver, nearly two talents (Exodus 38:24, note), shows the importance attached to Samson's capture.
if they bind me with seven green withs that were never dried; the word is sometimes used for nerves, and cords or ropes; but neither of these can be here meant, since these, if moistened or made wet, are the less fit to bind with, and the drier the better; but rods or branches of trees just cut off, such as faggots are bound up with, or green osiers, which are easily bent and twisted, and may bind with; Josephus (u) calls them vine branches:
then shall I be weak, and be as another man; which cannot well be excused from a lie; for Samson knew full well that being bound would not weaken his strength; but as he had fallen into one sin, it is no wonder he was drawn into another: unless this can be understood, as it is by some, as jesting with her; however, it shows that he was "compos mentis", as Josephus (w) observes, and was upon his guard with respect to the secret of his strength.And Samson said unto her, If they bind me with seven green withes that were never dried, then shall I be weak, and be as another man.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)7. seven green withes] Follow marg.; similarly LXX and Vulgate The cords (cf. Psalm 11:2; Psalm 21:12) were to be made of fresh or moist gut. Elsewhere the adjective is applied to trees or fruit, hence the rendering of EV; withes = flexible twigs, esp. of willow; Josephus thinks of vine stalks. There may have been a magic charm in the number seven here and in Jdg 16:13.Verse 7. - As another man - literally, as one of men, i.e. of mankind, not different from other men. As regards the word rendered withs, it is not certain whether strings of cat-gut are not meant In Psalm 11:2 the same word is used of a bow-string. The word rendered green means fresh or new, and might be equally applied to catgut strings or withs. Joshua 13:3. אל כּוא is used in the same sense as in Genesis 6:4 and Genesis 38:16. It is not stated in this instance, as in Judges 14:4, that it was of the Lord.
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