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Judges 16:16: "...with Her Words She Forced Him"

Verse 16:[1] And it came to pass, when she pressed him daily with her words, and urged him, so that his soul was vexed (Heb. shortened[2]) unto death…

[Not allowing space for quiet, וַתְּאַלֲצֵהוּ[3]] אִלֵּץ/illetz [in the Piel] is not found elsewhere in Scripture (Malvenda). [They render it variously.] And she harassed, or oppressed, or constrained, him (Septuagint, Jonathan, Montanus, Pagnine, Kimchi and Cajetan and Buxtorf and Schindler and others in Malvenda, Drusius); she deafened (Tigurinus Notes). She compelled, or, she was tiresome to him. אִלֵּץ is from חָלַץ, to draw out, or to be active; as אֲרוּזִים is from חֲרוּזִים (a necklace hanging from the neck, Ezekiel 27:24[4] (Schindler in his Lexicon); for these letters are interchanged (Drusius). She skillfully pressed him (Junius and Tremellius); she enticed (Forster in Malvenda); she pursued, or, persistently asked with daily clamors (Mercerus in Malvenda). Our translation undoubtedly matches it with אֵצֶל/beside, with the letters transposed; that is to say, she was always with/beside him (Malvenda).

[His soul failed, etc., וַתִּקְצַ֥ר נַפְשׁ֖וֹ לָמֽוּת׃[5]] And was shortened, or, cut short, his soul to die (Munster, Drusius). The mournful soul is said to be short and contracted, Numbers 21:4;[6] Judges 10:16;[7] Job 21:4;[8] Proverbs 14:17.[9] The soul is contracted in grief, is expanded in joy (Drusius). It lost vigor, fainted, that is, it began to lose vigor, that is, to be of a looser habit in soul. She began to make him weary of his life, and he longed for death (Vatablus): although he did not wish to displease the little woman, yet he was not thinking it sufficiently safe to disclose his secret to the woman (Bonfrerius). Thus the Devil and the flesh overcome many with both the continuance and prolixity of temptation, who at first had given a most vigorous resistance to it: for gradually by this duration souls with strength become faint and are weakened (Lapide).

His soul was vexed unto death: Being tormented by two contrary and violent passions; desire to gratify her whom he so much doted upon, and fear of betraying himself to utmost hazard. But being deserted by God, it is no wonder that he chooseth the worst part.

[1] Hebrew: וַ֠יְהִי כִּֽי־הֵצִ֙יקָה לּ֧וֹ בִדְבָרֶ֛יהָ כָּל־הַיָּמִ֖ים וַתְּאַֽלֲצֵ֑הוּ וַתִּקְצַ֥ר נַפְשׁ֖וֹ לָמֽוּת׃

[2] Hebrew: וַתִּקְצַר.

[3] Judges 16:16: “And it came to pass, when she pressed him daily with her words, and urged him (וַתְּאַלֲצֵהוּ), so that his soul was vexed unto death…”

[4] Ezekiel 27:24: “These were thy merchants in all sorts of things, in blue clothes, and broidered work, and in chests of rich apparel, bound with cords, and made of cedar (וַאֲרֻזִים), among thy merchandise.” אָרוּז/firm is related to ארז, to be firm, and to אֶרֶז/ ceder. חָרוּז is a string of beads, related to חרז, to string beads. Song of Solomon 1:10: “Thy cheeks are comely with rows of jewels, thy neck with chains (בַּחֲרוּזִים).”

[5] קָצַר signifies to be short.

[6] Numbers 21:4: “And they journeyed from mount Hor by the way of the Red sea, to compass the land of Edom: and the soul of the people was much discouragedוַתִּקְצַ֥ר) נֶֽפֶשׁ־הָעָ֖ם, and the soul of the people was contracted) because of the way.”

[7] Judges 10:16: “And they put away the strange gods from among them, and served the Lord: and his soul was grieved (וַתִּקְצַ֥ר נַפְשׁ֖וֹ, and his soul was contracted) for the misery of Israel.”

[8] Job 21:4: “As for me, is my complaint to man? and if it were so, why should not my spirit be troubled (לֹא־תִקְצַ֥ר רוּחִֽי׃, should not my spirit be contracted)?”

[9] Proverbs 14:17: “He that is soon angry (קְצַר־אַפַּיִם, contracted of anger) dealeth foolishly: and a man of wicked devices is hated.”

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