Judges 15:20: The Days of Samson the Mighty

Verse 20:[1] (He seems to have judged South west Israel during twenty years of their servitude of the Philistines.) And he judged Israel (Judg. 13:1) in the days of the Philistines twenty years.



He judged Israel: that is, He pleaded their cause, and avenged them against the Philistines.



[In the days of the Philistines] That is, with the Philistines ruling the whole time of that (Vatablus, Drusius). From these words it is clear that the years of servitude are included in the years of the Judges (Lapide).


In the days of the Philistines, that is, whilst the Philistines had the power and dominion, from which he was not fully to deliver, but only to begin to deliver them, as it was foretold, Judges 13:5. From this place it is manifest, that in the computation of the times of the judges, the years of servitude or oppression are not to be separated from the years of the judges, and added to them, but are comprehended within them; which proposition is of great importance for clearing this difficult part of Scripture chronology, and for justifying that account of times given 1 Kings 6:1.

[1] Hebrew: וַיִּשְׁפֹּ֧ט אֶת־יִשְׂרָאֵ֛ל בִּימֵ֥י פְלִשְׁתִּ֖ים עֶשְׂרִ֥ים שָׁנָֽה׃

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Dr. Steven Dilday holds a BA in Religion and Philosophy from Campbell University, a Master of Arts in Religion from Westminster Theological Seminary (Philadelphia), and both a Master of Divinity and a  Ph.D. in Puritan History and Literature from Whitefield Theological Seminary.  He is also the translator of Matthew Poole's Synopsis of Biblical Interpreters and Bernardinus De Moor’s Didactico-Elenctic Theology.

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