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ject Many times this object could be accomplished in a short period. At other times, the object required the whole life to be devoted to it. In the case of Samson the object was, to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines. This he would not fully accomplish; and therefore he must be a Nazarite to the day of his death.
The wife of Manoah expresses the common opinion concerning the appearance of an angel. It was very terrible, for the reason probably, that she was greatly terrified.
Wine and strong drink. Strong drink differed from wine, by its having some drug put in it, that made it more exhilarating and more hurtful. The distinction between wine and strong drink authorizes the conclusion that wine itself is not strong drink.
Manoah did not reason that, because God had a spe. cific design to accomplish, through the mission of Samson, therefore, the parents had nothing to do. On the contrary, he sought exact instructions about the management of the child.
The last clause of verse 10th is literally “by day." Are we not to infer that such appearances were more commonly in the night?
How shall we order the child, and how shall we do unto him? More literally, What shall be the judgment of the child, and what shall be his work ? What do you wish the boy to do; and from what shall he guard himself ?” Vulgate. The answer was that the mother should observe the instructions given her on the former occasion.
The statement that Manoah knew not it was an angel he was talking with, is explanatory of what had gone before, which was liable to a misconstruction. His proposition to bring a kid might be understood of a kid för a sacrifice; or a kid for å common meal. As he knew not it was an angel, the proposition must have reference to a common meal. The words of the angel, however, show that it is not proper to offer sacrifices even to angels, but to God only. It should be added that the
wife had not called the visitor an angel. She had only said that his appearance was like an angel. But if he were not an angel, he was a prophet; and it was proper to treat him with the usual hospitality. Giving him a dinner, under the circumstances, was the least that could be expected of them.
It was common however, to offer a sacrifice to Jehovah, in connection with an ordinary feast. This probably had been the intention of Manoah from the first. The sacrifice was first offered ; then the feast followed. This was the order now observed; but strange to tell, the mysterious visitor disappears in the sacrifice, and so does not wait for the proffered feast.
One may be surprised that Manoah did not invite the man into his house, and give him an entertainment there. The reason is two-fold. He had some suspicions that the man might be an angel ; and besides, all' sacrifices were offered in the open air. Hence the proposition to bring the kid into the field. It is not inprobable that, since the angel had declined to eat food with Manoah, the latter had offered the whole kid in sacrifice, and retained none for a feast.
Manoah had the popular idea that seeing an angel was fatal. He speaks of the angel as God, even after the former had said to him that he was not God, or had used language that implied this. The explanation is, that such appearances were God, and were not God, according to the different constructions that may be put upon that language. The appearance was not God, as God is never circumscribed or compressed into the form and size of a man. God fills the universe with his presence ; and is never less than that. But the appearance was God, as it represented the divine being - spake in his name and by his authority. In the same way it is true that Moses saw God face to face; and also true that no man can see God.
The reply of the wife to Manoah, is as beautiful as it
is forcible and conclusive. “If he were pleased to kill us, he would not receive offerings at our hands."
Burnt offerings and meat offerings. A complete sacrifice consisted of three parts; a burnt offering, which was some animal; a meat offering, made of flour, oil, &c; and a drink offering of wine. The latter is not mentioned here, probably because wine was forbidden to the wife, and therefore not provided for the occasion.
Concerning sacrifices, see Vol. III, pp. 122-126. The camp of Dan was between Zorah and Eshtaol. These places were evidently near together. This will account for their being mentioned together, on the list of the cities of Dan. Jos. xix. 41.
This camp was near the home of Samson; and it was here that he showed indications of being under some special influence, that manifested itself in extraordinary feats of strength.
“ It is not at all likely that the Philistines, who had the Israelites at that time entirely under their subjection, should suffer them to have any standing camp.” Stack. house. We need not regard it as filled with armed men. Having once been occupied as a camp, it still retained the name, and was a suitable place for athletic exercises, and was resorted to by Samson and others for that purpose.
SECTION II. - Samson's MARRIAGE,
JUD. XIV. 1. And Samson went down to brethren, or among all my people, Timnath, and saw a woman in Tim. that thou goest to take a wife of nath of the daughters of the Philis- the uncircumcised Philistines ? And tines.
Samson said unto his father, Get 2. And he came up, and told his her for me; for she pleasuth me father and bis mother, and said, I well. have seen a woman in Timnath of 4. But his father and his mother the danghters of the Philistines: knew not that it was of the Lord, now therefore get her for me to that he sought an occasion against wife.
the Philistines ; for at that time the 3. Then bis father and his moth- Philistines had dominion over Israel. er said unto him, Is there never a 8. Then went Samson down, and woman among the daughters of thy his father and his mother, to Tim.
nath, and came to the vineyards of out of the strong came forth sweetTimnath: and behold a young lion ness. And they could not in three roared against him.
days expound the riddle. 6. And the Spirit of the Lord 15. And it came to pass on the came mightily upon him, and he seventh day, that they said unto rent him as he would have rent a Samson's wife, Enjice thy husband, kid, and he had nothing in his that he may declare unto us the hand: but he told not his father riddle, lest we burn thee and thy or his mother what he had done. father's house with fire; have ye
7. And he went down, and talked called us to take that we have ? with the woman: and she pleased is it not so ? Samson well.
16. And Samson's wife wept be8. And after a time he returned fore him and said, Thou dost but to take her, and he turned aside to hate me, and lovest me not; thou see the carcass of the lion; and be- hast put forth a riddle unto the hold, there was a swarm of bees and children of my people, and hast not honey in the carcass of the lion.
told it me. Aud he said unto her, 9. And he took thereof in his Behold, I have not told it my fathhands, and went on eating, and er nor my mother, and shall I tell came to his father and mother, and it thee? he gave them, and they did eat: 17. And she wept before him the but he told not them that he had seven days, while the feast lasted; taken the honey out of the carcass and it came to pass on the seventh of the lion.
day, that he told her, because she lay 10. So his father went down unto sore upon him: and she told the the woman; and Samson made there riddle to the children of her people. a feast: for so used the young men 18. And the men of the city said to do,
unto him on the seventh day be11. And it came to pass, when fore the sun went down. What is they saw him, that they brought sweeter than honey ? and what is thirty companions to be with him. stronger than a lion ? And he said
12. And Samson said unto them, unto them, If ye had not plowed I will now put forth a riddle unto with my heifer, ye had not found you; if ye can certainly declare it out my riddle. me within the seven days of the 19. And the Spirit of the Lord feast, and find it out, then I will came upon him, and he went down give you thirty sheets and thirty to Ashkelon, and slew thirty men change of garments :
of them, and took their spoil, and 13. But if ye cannot declare it gave change of garments unto them me, then shall ye give me thirty which expounded the riddle. And sheets and thirty change of gar- bis anger was kindled, and he went ments, And they said unto him, up to his father's house. Put forth thy riddle, that we may
20. But Samson's wife was given hear it.
to his companion, whom he had 14. And he said unto them, Out used as his friend. of the eater came forth meat, and
We have heard of Timnath before. It was the place where Judah, the son of Jacob, kept his sheep, and
“The young of
whither he went at shearing time. Gen. xxxviii. 12. Judah went up to Timnath ; and Samson went down to the same place. Their respective residences were in different directions from that town.
“She pleaseth me well.” Dr. Clarke quotes the following stanza as applicable to Samson's views of his intended wife :
" Thou hast no fault, or I do fault can spy,
Thou art all beauty, or all blindness I." The sequel shows the latter part of the verse to have been the truth.
It was not permitted by the law of Moses that an Israelite should marry out of the nation. It was only per. mitted, in the present instance, to accomplish a special purpose of the Almighty.
A young lion. A lion of the lions. a lion." Sep. and Vul. More probably a very strong lion. As the phrase “king of kings” denotes a very powerful king, and a “servant of servants and degraded servant, so a "lion of lions" must be understood as we have suggested. The authors of the Septuagint and Vulgate, as well as English version, evidently desired to reduce the lion to the natural strength of a man. The author of this history had a different view of the subject.
The vineyards of Timnath. The finest vineyards and the best wine in the world were found in this country.
Seven days of the feast Marriage feasts were com. monly held seven days. It was so in Syria when Jacob was married.
Gen. xxix. 27, 28. It was common to make presents of raiment. Not thirty sheets, but thirty shirts -- not thirty changes of raiment, but thirty cloaks or mantles, such as all Orientals were accustomed to wear. See Gen. xlv. 22; 2 Chron. ix. 24; Ezra ii. 69; Neh. vii. 70.
We should expect the word for feast to be taken from some term that denotes eating. But it is from a word
a very low