Judges 16:20: Samson's Defense Departed

Verse 20:[1] And she said, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And he awoke out of his sleep, and said, I will go out as at other times before, and shake myself. And he wist not that the LORD (Num. 14:9, 42, 43; Josh. 7:12; 1 Sam. 16:14; 18:12; 28:15, 16; 2 Chron. 15:2) was departed from him.



He awoke out of his sleep, and said within himself, that is, he purposed and attempted it.


[Just as previously, כְּפַ֤עַם בְּפַ֙עַם֙] Verbatim: according to an occurrence on an occurrence: that is, as previously, also at this time (Vatablus).


[I will shake myself[2] (thus Montanus, Septuagint, Vatablus, Drusius, Pagnine)] Either, 1. from sleep (Drusius, Munster): or, 2. from the bonds wherewith she had bound him, to know for sure if he were able to break his bounds; as to which, since he was not able, the Philistines took possession of him securely (Lyra). But Samson was not yet actually bound (Drusius). Or, 3. from their hands; that is, I will escape (Vatablus). When I have shaken myself (Junius and Tremellius).


Shake myself, that is, put forth my strength to crush them, and to deliver myself. He wist not; being not yet well awake, and not distinctly feeling the loss of his hair, or not duly considering what would follow upon it.



[The the Lord had departed from him] With respect to the grace freely given, that is, Samson’s strength (Menochius).


The Lord was departed from him; in respect of the strength and help he had formerly given him.

[1] Hebrew: וַתֹּ֕אמֶר פְּלִשְׁתִּ֥ים עָלֶ֖יךָ שִׁמְשׁ֑וֹן וַיִּקַ֣ץ מִשְּׁנָת֗וֹ וַ֙יֹּאמֶר֙ אֵצֵ֞א כְּפַ֤עַם בְּפַ֙עַם֙ וְאִנָּעֵ֔ר וְהוּא֙ לֹ֣א יָדַ֔ע כִּ֥י יְהוָ֖ה סָ֥ר מֵעָלָֽיו׃


[2] Hebrew: וְאִנָּעֵר, in the Niphal conjugation.

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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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