Judges 16:14: Caught in the Web, and yet Escaping

Verse 14:[1] And she fastened it with the pin, and said unto him, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And he awaked out of his sleep, and went away with the pin of the beam, and with the web.



[And a pin, etc., thou fix, וַתִּתְקַע֙ בַּיָּתֵ֔ד] [They render it variously.] And thou fix on a nail (Montanus). [To him וַתִּתְקַע is in the second person, and he joins it with what precedes: similarly the Vulgate and Osiander, who place these things at the end of verse 13 as part of the response of Samson. But the second person is תִּתְקְעִי. To others, therefore, it is third person, feminine, and begins the following verse.] Thrusting in a nail (Munster, Tigurinus); she fastened with a nail. Something is to be understood, of this sort, And thus she wove it, and fixed with a nail, or lever, that cross-piece; that is, she made firm, or secured, or established, that cross-piece with a nail or wooden peg (Vatablus). And so she, with the wooden peg inserted, said to him (Junius and Tremellius). Understand, after she had doen what she had learned was to be done. Her perception: which is to say, With these things done she thrust a wooden peg into the beam, lest the cross-piece, with the cloth with which his hair was woven, might be able to be rolled (Junius). I translate it, she fastened the cross-piece with a wooden peg, and said. Now, there is here βραχυλογία/brachylogy,[2] and synecdoche of member. For there is a signifying of the action that preceded from the action that followed: namely, that first she wove the locks of Samson to the web wrapped around the cross-piece: then, she fixed that cross-piece with a nail or peg (Piscator).



With the pin: Having done what Samson directed, she adds this for sureness’ sake; she fastened the hair thus woven with a pin.


[Who extracted the pin, etc., וַיִּסַּ֛ע אֶת־הַיְתַ֥ד וגו״] He carried off the peg of the cross-piece (Vatablus), and the web that was rolled over the cross-piece (Vatablus). He departed with the peg (Junius and Tremellius, similarly Pagnine). The peg of the cross-piece he calls the peg with which the cross-piece had been fastened (Piscator): which is to say, he dragged everything with him (Vatablus).

[1] Hebrew: וַתִּתְקַע֙ בַּיָּתֵ֔ד וַתֹּ֣אמֶר אֵלָ֔יו פְּלִשְׁתִּ֥ים עָלֶ֖יךָ שִׁמְשׁ֑וֹן וַיִּיקַץ֙ מִשְּׁנָת֔וֹ וַיִּסַּ֛ע אֶת־הַיְתַ֥ד הָאֶ֖רֶג וְאֶת־הַמַּסָּֽכֶת׃


[2] That is, a colloquial shortening of expression.

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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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