For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
Romans 15:4



 A Bible Study - Commentary by Jim Melough

Copyright 2000 James Melough

16:1.  “Then went Samson to Gaza, and saw there an harlot, and went in unto her.”

In the Timnathite woman of the previous chapter we have been presented with a symbolic figure of Israel, beloved by Christ in spite of her apostasy; and now in this Gazite harlot God is setting before us another symbolic picture of that same sinful nation, but this time with the focus on her spiritual harlotry, i.e., her turning from Him to give to idols the worship which belongs to Him alone. 

Gaza, meaning she was strong, was one of the principal Philistine cities, its mention here continuing to remind us that what began with apostasy, rejection of the truth once held, was quickly followed by idolatry, the worship of idols.  Nor is the principle confined to Israel.  Its application is universal.  Because one part of man is spirit he must worship someone or something, and if he rejects the truth as presented in Scripture, he will worship Satan, for in 1 Co 10:20 Paul warns that, “... the things which the Gentiles sacrifice (to idols), they sacrifice to demons, and not to God,” but since Satan is the prince of the evil spirit hordes, he is the ultimate recipient of all such idolatrous worship. 

This woman’s being a harlot confirms the typical meaning, for Israel is frequently described by the prophets as being a harlot, see, e.g., Isa 1:21; Jer 2:20; 3:1,6,8, etc.  The shame which the Lord endured because of His willingness to be associated with a harlot Israel, is symbolically portrayed in the shame attached to Samson’s relationship with the harlot of this chapter.  The closeness of Christ’s relationship with that harlot nation is made clear by what is written in 1 Co 6:16, “He which is joined to an harlot is one body,” and the closeness of His relationship, not only with harlot Israel, but with a sinful world, is further emphasized in what is also written in 2 Co 5:21, “He (God) hath made Him (Christ) to be sin for us ... that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”  When He went to Calvary it was as though He were the sinner, and God dealt with Him accordingly. 

16:2.  “And it was told the Gazites, saying,Samson is come hither.  And they compassed him in, and laid wait for him all night in the gate of the city, and were quiet all the night, saying, In the morning when it is day, we shall kill him.”

These Gazites, in the gate (the place of government), plotting the death of Samson, clearly portray the Jewish leaders and their scheming against the Lord Jesus Christ.  A further significant detail is added in that their conspiracy was “all the night,” for every Scriptural reference to literal night points to a corresponding spiritual state of darkness, and such was the spiritual state of the evil Jewish rulers who plotted the death of Christ.

16:3.  “And Samson lay till midnight, and arose at midnight, and took the doors of the gate of the city, and the two posts, and went away with them, bar and all, and put them upon his shoulders, and carried them up to the top of an hill that is before Hebron.”

What is being set before us in this symbolic miniature is not primarily a foreshadowing of Calvary, but since the faint delineation of that great event is discernible we will look at it first.

Samson’s sleeping till midnight and then arising, may represent the Lord’s death during the three hours of darkness and the time He lay in the tomb, followed by His resurrection; and his carrying away the doors of the city may point to Christ’s great victory over death and hell, as He Himself declared, “I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death” (Re 1:18).

Since the hilltop to which he carried them was “before Hebron” (lit., east of Hebron) it means that Hebron lay west of the hill.  But as the east is symbolic of departure from God, so is the west indicative of approach to Him, and since Hebron means communion, and in the present context, represents heaven, that hill, then, represents Calvary where the Lord won the mighty victory that makes it possible for all who come there in true repentance, to begin the journey that brings them spiritually westward to “Hebron,” that is, into the enjoyment of communion with God here on earth, and at the end of life’s journey, into heaven itself.  As a result of Christ’s death, that gate which had once been the portal from which Death emerged to seize his victims and carry them into his dread domain from which they could not escape, has become instead the doorway of life through which believing men and women pass from death to eternal life, as the Lord Himself declared, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved” Jn 10:9.

The primary truth of this passage, however, is of a very different nature.  The twice repeated “midnight” of verse three, speaks of the end of the day - in the present context, of the end of Israel’s day of grace.

And inasmuch as the city gate was the place of government, the carrying away of that gate portrays the destruction of Israel’s autonomy, which occurred in A.D.70.  The leaving of the gate in a place east of Hebron is the symbolic announcement of the fact that whatever governmental function has been left to Israel since then, including that which she has exercised since 1948, and will yet exercise in the Tribulation, is spiritually “east” of God, and will remain so until she emerges from the Tribulation, repentant and converted, to take her God-appointed place as the head and not the tail of the nations in the Millennium.

Since the gate is synonymous with a city’s security, the removal of the gate of Gaza by Samson is the symbolic announcement of the fact that apostate  Israel’s rejection of Christ, coupled with her spiritual harlotry, has resulted in the removal of God’s protecting care, so that for the past two millennia she has been the prey of the nations, and will be so in yet fuller measure in the Tribulation.

It is instructive to note that unlike Samson’s relationship with the Timnathite and with Delilah, there was no love involved in his affair with this harlot; and this is in keeping with the symbolic picture before us in which Christ is presented as dealing in judgment with the nation portrayed both as an apostate city and as a harlot.  It is equally instructive to note that in Revelation the travesty masquerading as the true church is also represented by a city (Babylon), and by a harlot, while the true Church is portrayed by the heavenly Jerusalem and by a chaste virgin espoused to Christ.

16:4.  “And it came to pass afterward, that he loved a woman in the valley of Sorek, whose name was Delilah.”

This continues to portray Christ’s love for Israel whose apostasy is presented in the Timnathite, and whose spiritual harlotry is set before us in the nameless harlot of the preceding three verses, and whose treachery is portrayed in the activity of Delilah.  Were it not for the fact that we know it to be true it would be impossible to believe that Christ should love such a people, that he could love us, for in these three we have God’s portrait, not just of Israel, but of all men, for Israel is God’s mirror to the world.

Valley of Sorek” is literally “the brook of Sorek,” the name itself meaning choice vine, one of the Biblical symbols of Israel, e.g., Ps 80:8 “Thou hast brought a vine out of Egypt,” where the reference is unmistakably to Israel.

The fact that the woman dwelt by the brook of Sorek, reminds us that Israel has always dwelt in the “valley” which is watered by the Word, for running water is one of the Biblical symbols of the Scriptures, and in spite of all his apostasy the Jew has clung to the Scriptures, even though ignorant of their spiritual content.

Delilah means brought low, and in this we see declared the state of the nation to which Christ came at His first advent.  She had been “brought low,” for she was not only under the heel of the Romans, but worse, she had departed from God.  And just as Samson loved Delilah, treacherous Philistine though she was, so did the Lord love Israel, even though she was a spiritual “Philistine,” that is, apostate.

16:5.  “And the lords of the Philistines came up unto her, and said unto her, Entice him, and see wherein his great strength lieth, and by what means we may prevail against him, that we may bind him to afflict him: and we will give thee every one of us eleven hundred pieces of silver.”

These Philistine lords represent, not only the Jewish leaders who sought to destroy the Lord Jesus Christ, but also the evil spiritual forces behind them; and their using Delilah anticipates their use of the common people to bring about the Lord’s death.  And the silver they were willing to give her reminds us that it was with thirty pieces of silver the Jewish leaders bought the services of the traitor Judas.  But inasmuch as silver is the Biblical emblem of redemption, the truth being declared here is that he who rejects Christ and remains at enmity with Him, gives up what the silver represents: the redemption of his own soul. 

As noted also, the numbers of Scripture are not without their lesson, and the eleven hundred mentioned here is no exception.  The basic number is eleven, and the method of treating such numbers appears to be that we must first divide it into one, the number of God, and then consider the significance of the remainder, which in this case is ten, the number of God in government.  The message is easily read: the redemption, of which the eleven hundred pieces of silver are here the type, is a matter which, however much man may try to ignore it, involves the government of God.  Man may treat salvation as a trivial matter, but it is anything but trivial to God, for it cost Him the death of His Son.  Man must either accept salvation as God’s priceless gift, and enjoy eternal blessing; or reject it, and suffer eternal judgment.

These Philistine lords, each willing to part with eleven hundred pieces of silver to accomplish the death of Samson, represent those who refuse to trust in Christ as Savior, but who, by that refusal, are giving up what the silver represents - the salvation of their souls.  Judas, too late, learned the folly of such a transaction.

Inasmuch as there were five Philistine lords, and five is the number of responsibility, we are being reminded that each man is responsible for his own soul: to save it by confessing himself a sinner, and trusting Christ as Savior, or to lose it by refusing to make that confession and trust in Christ.  The man who refuses to confess and trust, is represented by these five Philistine lords.  Such a man gives up what the silver represents: the salvation of his soul.

16:6.  “And Delilah said to Samson, Tell me, I pray thee, wherein thy great strength lieth, and wherewith thou mightest be bound to afflict thee.”

This portrays the efforts of the Jews to bring about the death of Christ, see for example Jn 11:53, “Then from that day forth (the raising of Lazarus) they took counsel together for to put him to death.”

16:7.  “And Samson said unto her, If they bind me with seven green withs that were never dried, then shall I be weak, and be as another man.”

Of the many suggested meanings of withs, the most likely in the present context are bow strings, or harp strings, which had not become brittle with age; and if Samson was simply lying, as is generally assumed, then there is no readily discernible lesson in these details.  But what if he wasn’t lying, and was using a parable, as the Lord Himself often did?  Then a meaning does suggest itself.  The bow is the symbol of power, and the harp directs attention to the emotions, for it is as a creature of emotion that man is influenced by music.  The statement then becomes, If I can be bound or influenced by any power other than my own, or if I can be induced to act by any emotional appeal other than that of my own heart, then I will be reduced to the level of an ordinary man.  Since Samson is a type of Christ, this may very well be what he was saying in parabolic language; but as the Jews failed to see the spiritual import of the Lord’s parables, so here also Delilah and the Philistine lords failed to see beyond the literal language, hence their failure to bind Samson with the withs.  (For an example of the Jews’ failure to understand the true meaning of the Lord’s words, see John 6:52, “The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat?”). 

The lesson appears to be, in fact, that in this we are being given a symbolic revelation of the truth as related to the Lord’s dealing with unbelieving Israel, relative to whom He said, “Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.  And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: for this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see ... and hear ... and should understand ... and should be converted, and I should heal them” (Mt 13:13-15).

16:8.  “Then the lords of the Philistines brought up to her seven green withs which had not been dried, and she bound him with them.”

16:9.  “Now there were men lying in wait, abiding with her in the chamber.  And she said unto him, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson.  And he brake the withs, as a thread of tow is broken when it toucheth the fire.  So his strength was not known.”

This may certainly portray one of the times when the Lord escaped the attempt of the Jews to kill Him, because His time had not yet come to die; but beyond that fact lies the truth that in this incident is demonstrated symbolically the failure of the Jews to see that it wasn’t in their power to do anything to Christ.  Their binding Him that night in Gethsemane was by His permission, not by any power they possessed.

16:10.  “And Delilah said unto Samson, Behold, thou hast mocked me, and told me lies: now tell me, I pray thee, wherewith thou mightest be bound.”

This points to the persistence with which the Jews sought to accomplish the Lord’s death; and her assertion that he had lied, simply foreshadows the attitude of the unbelieving Jewish leaders who also accused the Lord of lying.

16:11.  “And he said unto her, If they bind me fast with new ropes that never were occupied, then shall I be weak, and be as another man.”

This continues to foreshadow the Lord’s parabolic method of teaching.  The “new ropes that were never occupied (used)” continue to declare the character of the divine love.  There never has been, nor ever will be a love like it, as it is written, “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (Jn 3:16), and again, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (Jn 15:13), “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.  For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.  But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Ro 5:6-8).  “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 Jn 4:10).

16:12.  “Delilah therefore took new ropes, and bound him therewith, and said unto him, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson.  And there were liers in wait abiding in the chamber.  And he brake them from off his arms like a thread.”

As in the preceding verses, this pictures the tenacity of the Jews in their attempt to destroy the Lord, while Samson’s breaking the ropes continues to declare parabolically that nothing but His own great love could impel the activity of Christ, that love leading Him out to Calvary to die for those who were His enemies, as Samson’s love for Delilah brought him also down to death. 

16:13.  “And Delilah said unto Samson, Hitherto thou hast mocked me, and told me lies: tell me wherewith thou mightest be bound.  And he said unto her, If thou weavest the seven locks of my head with the web.”

The persistence with which the Jews sought the Lord’s life continues to be symbolically portrayed in the tenacity with which Delilah sought to discover the secret of Samson’s great strength; but there continues also Samson’s parabolic method of responding to her questioning, which we have already seen to point to the Lord’s method of responding to the questioning of the unbelieving Jewish leaders who sought His life.       

Since, as already discussed, it is a shame for a man to have long hair, Samson’s uncut locks speak symbolically of the Lord’s willingness to suffer shame for the Father’s glory, and for our sakes.  That willing submission was impelled by a love such as no other man was capable of yielding.  It is the symbolic declaration of the strength of the divine love for sinful men, the only thing that can separate them from that love being their refusal to accept it, that rejection being declared in their refusal to trust in Christ as Savior.  Concerning love it is written, “Love is strong as death” (Ca 8:6), reminding us that the Lord’s love extended all the way to death.  He was willing to die to save us from hell and fit us for heaven.  Samson’s phenomenal strength may, in fact, be intended to foreshadow the measureless love of the Lord Jesus Christ.  The “seven locks” incidentally may refer to seven plaits into which his hair may have been braided, the seven declaring the fulness of God’s love.

The weaving of his hair “with the web” refers to the process which involves the interlacing at right angles of the threads of the weft or woof with the warp to form cloth.  This seems to be the parabolic announcement of the truth that God’s love is interwoven with all the events which make up the web of every man’s life, a thought beautifully expressed in the words of the hymn:

With mercy and with judgment,

My web of time He wove;

And aye the dews of sorrow,

Were lustered with His love.

It is our sins, not us, that God hates.

16:14.  “And she fastened it with the pin, and said unto him, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson.  And he awaked out of his sleep, and went away with the pin of the beam, and with the web.”

Her fastening it with the pin or beater refers to the weaving process which involves the pressing of the horizontal threads tightly together with a comb-like instrument so as to form a close weave.  Spiritually this speaks of taking selfishly and without gratitude all that the Lord’s love lavishes upon us, e.g., family, friends, health, food, clothing, etc.

His carrying away the pin and the web is the symbolic announcement that he who takes all that the Lord’s love provides, but without trusting Him as Savior, will also suffer loss: he will lose his soul.  Since cloth is used primarily to provide clothing, and since clothing represents righteousness (the righteousness of Christ which clothes the believer; or the self-righteousness which clothes the unbeliever), the spiritual counterpart of Delilah’s loss of the web

is that the person who doesn’t love Christ, i.e., one who hasn’t been born again, will ultimately lose even the righteousness he thinks he has. 

The failure of his enemies to bind Samson by this method translates into the spiritual truth that Christ’s love can’t be compelled.  There is nothing man can do to merit it; no price with which he can buy it.  Love is an inherent part of God’s nature, as it is written, “God is love” 1 Jn 4:8,16, the same writer reminding us in verse 19 that, “We love him, because he first loved us.”  The nature of Christ’s love is well described also in the words of another who, in reference to the gift of life made available to men through that love, has described the gift as being

“unbought, unmerited, unheeded, and unsought.”

16:15.  “And she said unto him, How canst thou say, I love thee, when thine heart is not with me? thou hast mocked me these three times, and hast not told me wherein thy great strength lieth.”

This continues to depict the determination of the Jews to find a pretext upon which to put Christ to death.

16:16.  “And it came to pass, when she pressed him daily with her words, and urged him, so that his soul was vexed unto death;”

The words “his soul was vexed unto death” become invested with a special significance, when we remember that on the night when the type was fulfilled, and the Lord Jesus Christ was delivered into the hand of His enemies, and the time of His death drew near, He used almost the same words, “He took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy.  Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful even unto death” Mt 26:37-38.

16:17.  “That he told her all his heart, and said unto her, 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.”

It is difficult to believe that at this point Samson could have been ignorant of the treacherous nature of Delilah, so that his disclosing his secret was tantamount to placing his life in her hands, knowing, or at least having good reason to suspect, that she wouldn’t hesitate to use that knowledge to destroy him.  It seems clear therefore that he told her simply because he loved her, and in this we have a foreshadowing of the fact that the Lord Jesus Christ, out of His great love for treacherous Israel, placed His life in her hands, knowing full well, what Samson may have only suspected relative to Delilah, i.e., that it would cost Him His life.

16:18.  “And when Delilah saw that he had told her all his heart, she sent and called for the lords of the Philistines, saying, Come up this once, for he hath showed me all his heart.  Then the lords of the Philistines came up unto her, and brought money in their hand.”

Next to Judas’ betrayal of Christ, this must surely stand in the chronicles of treachery as one of the vilest examples.  That it is exceeded by that of Judas, simply emphasizes the vileness of the man who would sell the Lord for a mere thirty pieces of silver, the price of a gored slave, for since there were five lords of the Philistines, Delilah’s blood money was fifty-five hundred pieces of silver.  She at least might plead the greatness of the inducement to betray the man who loved her.

16:19.  “And she made him sleep upon her knees; and she called for a man, and she caused him to shave off the seven locks of his head; and she began to afflict him, and his strength went from him.”

The cutting off of Samson’s hair was the outward sign that his Nazariteship was gone: he was defiled.  It corresponds to the Lord Jesus Christ’s being made sin for us; and as the loss of Samson’s hair resulted in his death, so did the Lord’s being made sin (figuratively losing His Nazariteship) result in His death.  (It is to be remembered, however, that even when He was made sin for us, He never ceased to be in Himself inherently holy).

While this is clearly a typological picture of the Lord’s betrayal, we should not miss the contrasts.  Samson may have suspected that Delilah would betray him.  The Lord knew that His love for Israel would cost Him His life.  Samson lay asleep as the trap closed upon him.  The Lord watched and prayed while the disciples slept.

The meanings of the word afflict are so many and obscure as to make it virtually impossible to determine just what is meant in the present context, though one translator gives it as her resolve “to cast off and spurn his love” (Knox).

16:20.  “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 was departed from him.”

There doesn’t appear to have been any counterpart of this in the Lord’s experience, though it seems in general to portray the hours in Gethsemane and in the judgment hall.  The one part that appears to have no application to Christ at this point is God’s departure from Samson, for the only thing that could correspond to it would be when the Lord was forsaken, and cried “My God, My God, why has thou forsaken me?” but clearly that moment, and the other events of Calvary are portrayed later when Samson pulled down the house, and died himself.

16:21.  “But the Philistines took him, and put (bored) out his eyes, and brought him down to Gaza, and bound him with fetters of brass; and he did grind in the prison house.”

The only thing that would seem to correspond to Samson’s being blinded would be the three hours of darkness from the sixth to the ninth hour, but again we do not appear to have reached that point in this typological picture.  It may be therefore that the literal darkness into which Samson entered as a result of his having been blinded, is symbolic of the spiritual darkness that began to envelop the Lord from the time He entered Gethsemane until His death.

His being brought down to Gaza, being bound with fetters of brass, and being made to grind corn in the prison house, would all seem to speak of Calvary, except that, as noted already, we don’t seem to have yet reached that point in the symbolic picture.

Since Gaza she was strong represents the power of the enemy, his being brought there speaks of Christ’s being brought of His own volition under the power of the enemy; and since brass is the Biblical emblem of judgment, his being bound with fetters of brass points to the Lord’s submitting to the judgment that ought to have fallen upon us.  His grinding grain while in the Philistine prison, declares the truth that the Lord fulfilled the type by becoming the bread of life through the experiences that culminated in His death on the cross.

16:22.  “Howbeit the hair of his head began to grow again after he was shaven.”

Since this held out hope of the return of his great strength, it may be that it is mentioned here so that the typological picture would also include the promise of the Lord’s resurrection.

16:23.  “Then the lords of the Philistines gathered them together for to offer a great sacrifice unto Dagon their God, and to rejoice: for they said, Our god hath delivered Samson our enemy into our hand.”

This clearly corresponds to the gathering of the Jews in Jerusalem for the feast of Passover, for it must be remembered that the mass of the nation was apostate, and as noted already, the Philistines represent apostasy.  In spite of all their outward appearances, the majority of those who celebrated that Passover were spiritual Philistines.  Those unbelieving Jewish leaders were also on that occasion rejoicing in the fact that they had finally succeeded in securing the death of the One they also counted their enemy.  As for that Passover, it too might as well have been a feast to a heathen god, for it was an abomination to Jehovah, being simply an empty ritual performed by those who knew Him not, and who were responsible for the death of His Son. 

16:24.  “And when the people saw him, they praised their god: for they said, Our god hath delivered into our hands our enemy, and the destroyer of our country, which slew many of us.”

The Jews who combined the celebration of Passover with their celebration of the death of the One they counted their enemy, were as spiritually blind as were the Philistines who gathered to worship Dagon, and celebrate their victory over Samson.

16:25.  “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 sport: and they set him between the pillars.”

It isn’t difficult to see in this the foreshadowing of the conduct of the multitude assembled around the cross to mock the Lord; and in their setting him between the pillars there may be a faint preview of the Lord’s being impaled on a cross set also between two others.

16:26.  “And Samson said unto the lad that held him by the hand, Suffer me that I may feel the pillars whereupon the house standeth, that I may lean upon them.”

As has been noted by others, the nameless servant who sought the bride for Isaac, and the nameless man who guided the disciples to the upper room, are types of the Holy Spirit; and it seems that this nameless lad who guided Samson is also a type of that same Holy Spirit Who guided the Lord at Calvary no less than at any other time of His life, for in He 9:14 we are reminded that it was through the Holy Spirit that the Lord offered Himself without spot to God.

16:27.  “Now the house was full of men and women; and all the lords of the Philistines were there; and there were upon the roof about three thousand men and women, that beheld while Samson made sport.”

The distinction made here between those in the house, and those on the roof, may be to remind us that the multitude around the cross included also two groups: there were the unbelieving people, and there were also the demons, the pleasure of both in their seeming victory over Christ, as great as that of the Philistine lords over Samson.  As Samson “made sport” for the Philistines, so did the Lord also “make sport” for those who mocked and rejoiced in His death.

16:28.  “And Samson called unto the Lord, and said, O Lord God, remember me, I pray thee, and strengthen me, I pray thee, only this once, O God, that I may be at once avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes.”

This is reminiscent of the Lord’s cries from the cross beginning with the plea, “My God, my God, Why hast thou forsaken me?” (Mt 27:46), and ending with, “It is finished” (Lk 19:30).

16:29.  “And Samson took hold of the two middle pillars upon which the house stood, and on which it was borne up, of the one with his right hand, and of the other with his left.”

There is undoubtedly spiritual significance attached to these two pillars supporting that Philistine building, but I am unable to discern what that lesson is.

16:30.  “And Samson said, Let me die with the Philistines.  And he bowed himself with all his might; and the house fell upon the lords, and upon all the people that were therein.  So the dead which he slew at his death were more than they which he slew in his life.”

This depicts the destruction of Satan’s “house” when the Lord completed His great work at Calvary with the words, “It is finished.”   Samson’s victory didn’t bring an immediate end to Philistine activity, nor has the death of Christ brought an immediate end to the activity of Satan, but as the Philistines were potentially destroyed that day, so was Satan at Calvary.  His present activity is that of a foe in his death throes.

The emphasis upon the greatness of the victory achieved by Samson in his death, is the symbolic anticipation of the mighty victory that has been accomplished through the Lord’s death.

16:31.  “Then his brethren and all the house of his father came down, and took him, and brought him up, and buried him between Zorah and Eshtaol in the buryingplace of Manoah his father.  And he judged Israel twenty years.”

No spiritual mind will fail to see in Samson’s honorable burial by his brethren, a figure of the Lord’s entombment by those who loved Him.

Zorah means she was smitten with leprosy; and Eshtaol, I will be entreated.  Samson’s being buried between them therefore, points to the spiritual significance of the Lord’s death.  He also rests between a world smitten with “leprosy” (sin), and a God Who “will be entreated” - Christ being Himself the “One Mediator between God and men” (1 Tim 2:5), available to every sinner willing to trust Him as Savior.  Nor should we miss the message being conveyed in the fact that his buryingplace was that of Manoah his father, for Manoah means rest.  Christ now also “rests” with His Father.

Its being repeated here that he judged Israel twenty years is to remind us that He of Whom Samson is a type, will yet come forth as the mighty Lion of Judah to rule the world for God’s glory, not just for twenty years, but for ever.  Through faith in His finished work, all who trust Him as Savior will also reign with Him (2 Tim 2:12).

[Judges 17]



     Scripture portions taken from the Holy Bible, King James Version
© 2000-2005 James Melough