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thousand men and women, that be- with the Philistines. And he bow held while Samason made sport. ed himself with all his might: and

28. And Samason called unto the the house fell upon the lords, and Lord, and said, O Lord God, re- upon all the people that were theremember me, I pray thee, and in. So the dead which he slew at strengthen me, I pray thee, only his death were more than they this once, O God, that I may be at which he slew in his life. once avenged of the Philistines for 31. Then his brethren and all the my two eyes.

house of his father came down, and 29. And Samson took hold of the took him, and brought him up, and two middle pillars upon which the buried him between Zorah and Eshhouse stood, and on which it was taol in the burying-place of Manoah borne up, of the one with his right his father. And he judged Israel hand, and of the other with his left. lwenty years. 30. And Samson said, Let me diel

The miracles of the Bible are nearly always natural events intensified, or modified by some circumstance that shows a special design of the Almighty.

The pulling down of the building, where the multitude was assembled to do honor to the god Dagon, was like the other miracles in these particulars. The strength of the man was one of the elements that entered into its composition. The character of the building was another. The common opinion is, that the building was the heathen temple, which of course was a substantial structure, probably built of stone. But it will be observed, that though the people were brought together to do honor to the god Dagon, for delivering Samson into their hands, it is not said that the assembling was in the temple.

Though the building is several times mentioned, it is never called a temple, but always a house. It was not only a house, but one of very peculiar form. It had a flat roof, and there were nearly three thousand men and women standing or sitting thereon. And the language implies that Samson was in sight of them. This can not apply to an ordinary temple of any kind. It more naturally applies to an amphitheater, so constructed that all inside, and on the roof, could look down into the arena, and see all that was going on.

Another thing is worthy of notice. This building

is so constructed that the two principal pillars were near together, so as to be reached by the two arms of a man; nor have we any hint that Samson was larger than other men, or had arms that could reach any further. We venture the assertion, that no heathen temple was ever built so that a man could grasp, with his two arms, its two principal pillars. The inference is, that this structure was erected for the occasion, and was a frail temporary building with the chief supports near the center, where Samson was placed, that he might be in the sight of the whole assemblage. A temporary amphitheater, built in circular form, with seats rising above each other, and with such a roof that people could look down upon the scenes below — such a building with the chief supports near the center, answers the description here given.

The destruction of this building, and of many of the people, was a miracle ; but it was a rational miracle, and not one that implies absurdities or contradictions, Samson was endowed with miraculous strength. The building, though temporary and frail, was one that no ordinary strength could prostrate. But on the other hand, it was providentially arranged that a building of this peculiar form and susceptibility should be con. structed for this occasion. The purpose was obvious; and the builders, architects, Samson and all, were the instruments in bringing it about.

“Pliny in the fifteenth chapter of his Natural History, thirty-sixth book, speaks of two theaters built by Č. Curio, in Julius Cæsar's time, each of which was supported by one pillar only, though many thousands of people sat together in it; and he mentions the fall of an amphitheater by which fifty thousand people were killed or wounded.” Benson. Samson was buried be. tween Zorah and Eshtaol. That was the family burying ground. In delivering up the body, the Philistines showed a generosity we should hardly expect under the circumstances. They were probably overawed by the

unmistakable interposition of Jehovah in Samson's behalf.

We may observe upon the whole of Samson's character, of what little value great bodily strength, and even great mental ability is, if not under the direction of a prudent and pious mind." Benson.

Dr. Clarke places Samson on a very low moral plane, and repudiates altogether the idea of his being, in any proper sense, a type of Jesus Christ.

6. Those who compare him to Hercules have been more successful. Indeed, the heathen god of strength appears to have been borrowed from the Israelite judge; but if we regard what is called the Choice of Hercules, his preference of virtue to pleasure, we shall find that the heathen is morally speaking vastly superior to the Jew."

CONCLUDING REMARKS. The Philistines. It may be proper here to give some account of the Philistines, who have been so conspicuous in the recent chapters of the sacred history. They were one of the most powerful nations the Israelites had to contend with, in the time of Joshua, and for a long period after; and occasionally, and for considerable periods, had the ascendency over them.

The Philistines were no more the original inhabitants of the land of Canaan, than the Hebrews, though their occupancy of the country was earlier. They were there when Abram came over from Chaldea.

Moses tells us they were originally from Caphtor, and were called Caphtorim. They drove out the Avim, as the children of Esau did the Horim of mount Seir. Deut. ii. 23. But where Caphtor was, is a question that has never been settled. Some think the name is another form of Capadocia. The resemblance in the names favors that view, but does not establish it as correct. It is not important that it should, as the question itself is not important. We learn from Gen. x. 6, 13, 14, that both the Philistim and Caphtorim are descended from

Misraim a son of Ham, and father of the Egyptians. They are regarded as two distinct bodies. They were so, after a branch of them came off from the rest, and established themselves in another country, though before that, they may have been one people. It is not presumed that all the Caphtorim left their country and settled in Palestine.

That these two peoples were originally one, we learn from other passages. In Jer. xlvii. 4, they are called the “remnant of the country of Caphtor.” They were not all the people of that country, but only a portion or " remnant."

Calmet renders the word for country in this passage " island," and thinks the reference is to the island of Crete. He thinks that was the Caphtor of Scripture. In Amos ix. 7, it is said that the Lord brought the Philistines from Caphtor as he did the Israelites froin Egypt. In Ezek. xxv. 16, we find the fol. lowing: -"I will stretch out mine hand upon the Philistines, and I will cut off the Cherethims and destroy the remnant of the sea coast.” This name Chere. thim is thought to mean the Cretans. Zephaniah says “Wo unto the inhabitants of the sea coast, the Cherethites.” And in 1 Sam. xxx. 14, 15, “The Amalekites made an irruption into the country of the Cherethites ;” and the sequel shows that the Philistines were intended.

That the Cherethites had been Cretans is proved, it is thought, by the fact that the Seventy have Cretans (Kpītae) for Cherethites. Ezek. xxv. 16; Zeph. ii. 5, 6.

The Philistines were not Canaanites, though both were descended from Ham. The former came from Ham through Misraim; the latter through Canaan. Their country was not devoted (herem,) though it was to come under the Israelite government. 2 Sam. v. 17.

They were a powerful nation, and had more or less control over the Israelites for 120 years. But in the time of David, they were subdued, and were retained under the Israelite government, for a period of 246 years.

They then regained their liberty, and were subject to a variety of fortunes, till at last they came under the govcrnment of Syria, and are now so mixed with the Turks and other nations, that they can not be said to bave a separate identity.

The name Palestine comes from Philistine, though the former term is now much more extended. Herodotus speaks of Syria-Palestina ; and Palestine has once been a part of Syria.

Samson's Foxes. Samson had received a great injury at the hands of the Philistines; and he contrives how to be avenged on them.

It was wheat harvest. There was the wheat in the sheaves, in the shock, and awaiting the sickle. How he could destroy this grain, was one of the most natural questions that could be suggested to his mind. He is not long in answering it. The country was full of jack. als, which our translators have mistaken for foxes, which last are very scarce in that country.

Samson, with the aid of his servants, friends, etc., manages to collect three hundred of these animals in . different parts of the country. At the proper time they are all tied together by the tail

, in pairs

. This could be easily done by lapping the two ends of the tails, and tying à cord closely round them. Then, at an equal dis. tance from each, a torch is attached, which, by being kept in motion in the open air, will burn a long time. The torches were not accidental brands of fire, but a sort of artificial taper, of which every family kept a supply, to use as a substitute for candles or lamps, especially out doors. The lamps of Gideon were of this kind. vii. 16, 20.

Thus prepared the jackals are let loose in the fields of grain, all over the country, where there was the best opportunity to do execution. It is impossible to conceive of an expedient that would more certainly and more effectually accomplish the object. One animal would

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