top of page

Judges 16:17: "With Her Much Fair Speech She Caused Him to Yield..."

Verse 17:[1] That he (Mic. 7:5) told her all his heart, and said unto her, (Num. 6:5; Judg. 13:5) There hath not come a razor upon mine head; for I have been a Nazarite unto God from my mother’s womb: if I be shaven, then my strength will go from me, and I shall become weak, and be like any other man.



[Disclosing the truth of the matter] This was done by Divine providence: 1. as a punishment for Samson on account of his lusts, etc.; 2. so that He might turn this at last unto the calamity of the Philistines (Bonfrerius).


Scylla Falls for Minos

[If be shaved, etc.] Indeed, with the covenant violated that was interceding for him with God, who was the giver of such great strength (Grotius). Samson’s strength was in his hair, as in a sign of grace graciously given, or in the symbol of the covenant between him and God (Menochius out of Lapide, Tirinus, Serarius). It was a quality superadded to his strength of nature, and that permanent, which was also remaining in him while quiet and sleeping (Bonfrerius); but with an agreement (Lapide). This strength was depending upon his hair as a moral cause (with respect to the Divine covenant and promise), not a natural cause (Bonfrerius). From this occurrence arose the history, or rather the fable, of Nisos King of Megara,[2] reigning about this same time, with hair so heavenly that, as long as he preserved it, he was not able to be overcome, nor to be driven out of his kingdom: But Scylla, the daughter of Nisos, by a bewitched love of Minos,[3] who was at that time besieging the city, cut the hair of her sleeping father, and thus betrayed her father and fatherland to the enemy (Lapide out of Serarius, similarly Junius). That Cadmus, so celebrated in Greece, having proceeded there from Palestine and Phœnicia, was the author, not only of their letters, but of their fables (Serarius). Question: Whether in his hair alone, or in all the practices of the Nazarite, was placed Samson’s strength? Response: Some assert the latter; for example, If he knowingly and with awareness drank wine, or touched the dead without the command of God, etc. (thus Tostatus). To others this is not satisfying (Serarius, Bonfrerius). For, 1. the Nazarite status of Samson was not interrupted by pollution over the dead. See on Judges 13:4. 2. Samson responds to Delilah otherwise, and mentions only the shaving of his hair: but, if there were many ways to lose his strength, he would have mentioned them; nay rather, he would make mention of that way that was only able to be employed with him willing and knowing (Bonfrerius, similarly Serarius). Moreover, God willed to bind this strength to his hair, because it was safer under a thing altogether common; and lest Samson ascribe it to himself and to the strength of his arms (Serarius).


Scylla Shaves Nisos

There hath not come a razor upon mine head, etc.: Not that his hair was in itself the seat or cause of his strength, but because it was the chief condition of that vow or covenant, whereby as he stood obliged to him, so God was pleased graciously to engage himself to fit him for, and assist him in, that great work to which he called him; but upon his violation of his condition, God justly withdraws his help, and leaves him to himself.

[1] Hebrew: וַיַּגֶּד־לָ֣הּ אֶת־כָּל־לִבּ֗וֹ וַיֹּ֤אמֶר לָהּ֙ מוֹרָה֙ לֹֽא־עָלָ֣ה עַל־רֹאשִׁ֔י כִּֽי־נְזִ֧יר אֱלֹהִ֛ים אֲנִ֖י מִבֶּ֣טֶן אִמִּ֑י אִם־גֻּלַּ֙חְתִּי֙ וְסָ֣ר מִמֶּ֣נִּי כֹחִ֔י וְחָלִ֥יתִי וְהָיִ֖יתִי כְּכָל־הָאָדָֽם׃


[2] Megara was a municipality in West Attica, Greece.


[3] Minos was King of Crete.

33 views3 comments

3件のコメント


Dr. Dilday - I find the parallel between Samson and Cadmus out of Phoenicia fascinating. To answer your question: yes, I think the Myth of Nisos and Scylla derived from the story of Samson. My guess is that Samson's story (his strength, how he defeated the Philistines, etc.) spread abroad and inspired many stories and legends. On a different note, I find Menochius' comment on Samson's hair as a "sign of grace graciously given" a good point.

いいね!

Dr. Dilday
Dr. Dilday
2019年2月08日

Matthew Henry: '[Lust] bewitched and perfectly intoxicated him, and by the force of it see...How she conquered him (Judges 16:17): He told her all his heart. God left him to himself to do this foolish thing, to punish him for indulging himself in the lusts of uncleanness. The angel that foretold his birth said nothing of his great strength, but only that he should be a Nazarite, and particularly that no razor should come upon his head, Judges 13:5. His consecration to God was to be his strength, for he was to be strengthened according to the glorious power of that Spirit which wrought in him mightily, that his strength, by promise, not by nature, might be a type an…

いいね!

Dr. Dilday
Dr. Dilday
2019年2月08日

Hebrew... Well, this is not exactly a Hebrew point, but I am such a nerd for the Euhemerism of the older interpreters.


The idea: About the time of the Judges, Cadmus came out of Phoenicia, and he gave to the Greeks their letters, literature, and stories...stories derived from real historical events that happened in the Palestine, and recorded in Scripture.


Is it possible that the Myth of Nisos and Scylla is derived from the history of Samson's fall? What do you think?


I highly recommend Theophilus Gale's The Court of the Gentiles (volume 1), and Edward Stillingfleet's Origines Sacrae.

いいね!
bottom of page