Judges 16:25: Israel's Mightiest Judge Made Lust's Fool

Verse 25:[1] And it came to pass, when their hearts were merry, that they said, Call for Samson, that he may make us sport. And they called for Samson out of the prison house; and he made them (Heb. before them[2]) sport: and they set him between the pillars.



[And, rejoicing, etc., וַֽיְהִי֙ כְּיט֣וֹב] It is written כִּי ט֣וֹב; it is read כְּטוֹב: It is much the same either way (Drusius). They translate it; and it was, when their heart was good (Piscator), when it was well to the heart (Junius), when they were of a cheerful heart (Syriac, similarly the Arabic, Pagnine, Junius and Tremellius). A good heart is a cheerful hear, Isaiah 66:14; a good day, that is, cheerful[3] (Drusius).


[And he make sport before them, וִישַׂחֶק־לָנוּ] And let him laugh with us (Montanus); she shall sport before us (Pagnine, Vatablus). Or, for us, that is, for our good, namely, to amuse us (Piscator). So that he might bring laughter to us (Vatablus).



[He made sport before them] How? 1. By dancing and acting the fool (Lapide). But it is not likely that he was able to be forced to this by fear; for a noble spirit would refuse it even with death threatened (Bonfrerius). 2. This was his game, that he gave matter of entertainment and laughter to the Philistines by his very afflictions (Serarius). He provoked laughter, not be acting, but by suffering all things whatsoever it had pleased them to inflict; what things, namely, hatred, and drunkenness, and childish petulance suggested; abuses, insults, reproaches of his blindness, blows, thrusts, spitting, etc. (Bonfrerius).



He made them sport; either, first, Passively, being made by them the matter of their sport and derision, and of many bitter scoffs, and other indignities or injuries; or, secondly Actively, by some ridiculous actions, or some proofs of more than ordinary strength yet remaining in him, like the ruins of a great and goodly building; whereby he halted them asleep in security, until by this seeming complaisance he prepared the way for that which he designed; otherwise his generous soul would never have been forced to make them sport, save in order to their destruction.

[1] Hebrew: וַֽיְהִי֙ כִּי ט֣וֹב לִבָּ֔ם וַיֹּ֣אמְר֔וּ קִרְא֥וּ לְשִׁמְשׁ֖וֹן וִישַֽׂחֶק־לָ֑נוּ וַיִּקְרְא֙וּ לְשִׁמְשׁ֜וֹן מִבֵּ֣ית הָאֲסִירִ֗ים וַיְצַחֵק֙ לִפְנֵיהֶ֔ם וַיַּעֲמִ֥ידוּ אוֹת֖וֹ בֵּ֥ין הָעַמּוּדִֽים׃


[2] Hebrew: לִפְנֵיהֶם.


[3] See Esther 8:17; 9:19, 22.

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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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