FOXES: A place called Shaalabbin (= the foxes of the
cunning one) was located close by (Josh 19:42). Did it take its name from this
incident, or did it supply the idea for Samson's weird prank?
"After this he was no longer welcome amongst his own tribe.
Philistine retribution which was powerless to harm Samson was doubtless savage
against his brethren of the tribe of Dan. So, for some time he lived an outlaw
life in a cave near Bethlehem. But the Philistines were not content to let the
matter lie. Sooner or later this wild Israelite would burst forth again and do
them further serious damage. Prudence indicated the need for prompt and drastic
action against him. So they invaded the territory of Judah in force.
"The weakness of the men of Judah in face of this trouble is a
sorry commentary on the miserable decline of morale in the Israelites at this
period. Instead of rallying round Samson, and gladly following his confident
lead, they immediately were willing to barter his life for some easement from
Philistine oppression. Reflection on this shameful fact will make more apparent
the magnitude of the task confronting Samson. The people had no will for
freedom. Yet without Samson could there have been a Samuel, and without Samuel a
Saul, or a David?" (WJR).
"We have no king but Caesar."
The deliverer of Israel now worked alone, and was bound with
cords, and led away.
THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD CAME UPON HIM: Here, of course,
and not in his long hair, was the true source of his amazing strength. True all
Psa 3:6,7 seems to allude to this. David in a feeble strait,
and with his own people turning against him, gains comfort and strength from
Samson's success in a bad situation.
THOUSAND: "Aleph" = company, or squad.
Samson is no "mindless lout". Step by step, he is made more
aware of Yahweh's deliverance.
BECAUSE HE WAS VERY THIRSTY, HE CRIED OUT TO THE LORD, "YOU
HAVE GIVEN YOUR SERVANT THIS GREAT VICTORY. MUST I NOW DIE OF THIRST AND FALL
INTO THE HANDS OF THE UNCIRCUMCISED?": "Samson was thirsty and ready to die.
The difficulty was totally different from any which the hero had met before.
Merely to get thirst assuaged is nothing like so great a matter as to be
delivered from a thousand Philistines! but when the thirst was upon him, Samson
felt that little present difficulty more weighty than the great past difficulty
out of which he had so specially been delivered. It is very usual for God's
people, when they have enjoyed a great deliverance, to find a little trouble too
much for them. Samson slays a thousand Philistines, and piles them up in heaps,
and then faints for a little water!
"Jacob wrestles with God at Peniel, and overcomes Omnipotence
itself, and then goes 'halting on his thigh!
"Strange that there must be a shrinking of the sinew whenever
we win the day. As if the Lord must teach us our littleness, our nothingness, in
order to keep us within bounds.
"Samson boasted right loudly when he said, 'I have slain a
thousand men.' His boastful throat soon grew hoarse with thirst, and he betook
himself to prayer. God has many ways of humbling His people.
"Dear child of God, if after great mercy you are laid very
low, your case is not an unusual one. When David had mounted the throne of
Israel, he said, 'I am this day weak, though anointed king.' You must expect to
feel weakest when you are enjoying your greatest triumph. If God has wrought for
you great deliverances in the past, your present difficulty is only like
Samson's thirst, and the Lord will not let you faint, nor suffer the daughter of
the uncircumcised to triumph over you. The road of sorrow is the road to [the
kingdom], but there are wells of refreshing water all along the route. So, tried
brother, cheer your heart with Samson's words, and rest assured that God will
deliver you ere long" (CHS).