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Judges 16:10-12: The Cable of Muscle and Cords of Rope

Verse 10:[1] And Delilah said unto Samson, Behold, thou hast mocked me, and told me lies: now tell me, I pray thee, wherewith thou mightest be bound.

[Thou hast mocked me, הֵתַ֣לְתָּ בִּ֔י] Thou hast deceived me; thou hast lied to me (Vatablus). It is sufficiently clear from this that Samson was not aware of the ambush: and it is likely that she indicated that she wished to test him, whether or not he had spoken true things, and had turned the whole matter into laughter (Bonfrerius).

Verse 11:[2] And he said unto her, If they bind me fast with new ropes that never were occupied (Heb. wherewith work hath not been done[3]), then shall I be weak, and be as another man.

[If I shall be bound] Hebrew: If binding they shall bind me,[4] that is, they shall most carefully bind me fast (Vatablus). If…they restrain. It is an impersonal speech (Piscator).

[With cords, בַּעֲבֹתִים[5]] In ropes (Malvenda). It signifies thicker cords consisting of three (Drusius).

Verse 12:[6] Delilah therefore took new ropes, and bound him therewith, and said unto him, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And there were liers in wait abiding in the chamber. And he brake them from off his arms like a thread.

[1] Hebrew: וַתֹּ֤אמֶר דְּלִילָה֙ אֶל־שִׁמְשׁ֔וֹן הִנֵּה֙ הֵתַ֣לְתָּ בִּ֔י וַתְּדַבֵּ֥ר אֵלַ֖י כְּזָבִ֑ים עַתָּה֙ הַגִּֽידָה־נָּ֣א לִ֔י בַּמֶּ֖ה תֵּאָסֵֽר׃

[2] Hebrew: וַיֹּ֣אמֶר אֵלֶ֔יהָ אִם־אָס֤וֹר יַאַסְר֙וּנִי֙ בַּעֲבֹתִ֣ים חֲדָשִׁ֔ים אֲשֶׁ֛ר לֹֽא־נַעֲשָׂ֥ה בָהֶ֖ם מְלָאכָ֑ה וְחָלִ֥יתִי וְהָיִ֖יתִי כְּאַחַ֥ד הָאָדָֽם׃

[3] Hebrew: לֹֽא־נַעֲשָׂ֥ה בָהֶ֖ם מְלָאכָ֑ה.

[4] Hebrew: אִם־אָס֤וֹר יַאַסְר֙וּנִי֙.

[5] עֲבֹת/rope is related to the verb עָבַת, to wind or weave.

[6] Hebrew: וַתִּקַּ֣ח דְּלִילָה֩ עֲבֹתִ֙ים חֲדָשִׁ֜ים וַתַּאַסְרֵ֣הוּ בָהֶ֗ם וַתֹּ֤אמֶר אֵלָיו֙ פְּלִשְׁתִּ֤ים עָלֶ֙יךָ֙ שִׁמְשׁ֔וֹן וְהָאֹרֵ֖ב יֹשֵׁ֣ב בֶּחָ֑דֶר וַֽיְנַתְּקֵ֛ם מֵעַ֥ל זְרֹעֹתָ֖יו כַּחֽוּט׃

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