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*JUDGES 16:22*
When a sinful failure occurs in our lives it is not the product of a moment.
Nearly always it is the result of sinful habits in our lives which are the accumulation of years of obedience,
§         A great truth that God restores failures.
But we are not necessarily restored to our original usefulness for the Lord.
*1.        **The Depths *
The ironies in Samson’s life come to fruition: “/he did grind in the prison house/” [16:21].
§        טֹוחֵ֖ן  - “/grind/” [16:21], qal participle,
§        הָאֲסיּ֯רִֽים  - “/prison house/” [16:21], qal passive participle, ‘to bind’; ‘to tie up’;
*a.        **Control *
A picture of how Samson was no controlled by the enemy: “/the lad that held him/…” [16:26].
§        הַנַּ֨עַר - “/lad/” [16:26], ‘youth’; ‘a child from any age through weaning into adolescence’;
§        הַמַּחֲזִ֣יק - “/held/” [16:26], hiphil participle, qal ‘to be strong’; ‘hiphil ‘to take hold of, to seize’;
§        נָתַ֨ן - “/delivered/” [16:24], qal perfect, ‘to give’; ‘to place in the possession or control’;
*b.        **ANE Custom*
In Mesopotamia defeated enemies were often blinded by gouging out their eyes and then humiliated by being forced to perform the most menial of tasks, those customarily assigned to slaves and women.
*c.        **Israel** & The Covenant Curses *
This is the fate of the nation because of repeated rebellion:
§         The nation would be: seized, blinded, exiled, imprisoned, and humiliated with forced labour [Deu.26&28].
§         Samson is paradigmatic of the nation of Israel.
*2.        **The Philistine Celebration *
*a.        **Dagon*
The Philistines give glory to Dagon: “/when the people saw him, they praised their god/…” [16:24].
§         יְהַלְל֖וּ - “/praised/” [16:24], piel imperfect, ‘to shine’; ‘to extol the greatness or excellence of a person’;
§         אֱלֹהֵ֤ינוּ - “/our god/” [16:24], “/Dagon/” [16:23],
§         נָתַ֨ן - “/delivered/” [16:24], qal perfect, ‘to give’; ‘to place in the possession or control’;
§         מַחֲרִ֣יב - “/destroyer/” [16:24], hiphil participle, ‘to be waste’; ‘to devastate’;
*b.        **Samson *
Samson is called to entertain them: “/Call for Samson, that he may make us sport/…” [16:25].
§         קִרְא֥וּ - “/call/” [16:25], qal imperative, ‘to summon’; ‘to call someone into one’s presence or give a task’;
§         ישַֽׂחֶק - “/make us sport/” [16:25], ‘to make fun of’; ‘to use for entertainment’; ‘laughingstock’;
*i.        **Samson’s Position *
Samson is strategically placed in the gathering: “/they set him between the pillars/” [16:25].
§         יַּעֲמִ֥ידוּ  - “/set/” [16:25], hiphil imperfect, ‘to stand’; ‘to be in a particular stance in which the body is straight’.
§         הָעַמּוּדִֽים - “/pillars/” [16:25], from the root word ‘to stand’; ‘a cylindrical, vertical shaft used as a support for a roof or upper structure’;
§         The roof and upper storey of this large temple were supported by two cedar pillars slightly less than three metres apart set on round stone basis.
This picture raises the question whether Samson can come back.
§         Samson is here because of his worldly associations, his rejection of the authority of God’s Word, and his life being controlled by lust: “/did that which was right in his own eyes/” [17:6].
§         God has stripped everything from Samson’s life because of his behaviour: “/he did that which was right in his own eyes/” [17:6].
§         Samson is a victim of his own failures and, seemingly, Dagon’s superiority.
*1.        **Samson’s Profession *
*a.        **Samson’s Lifestyle *
Samson had complete disregard for his divine calling and his Nazirite vow:
§         He disregarded the requirement to be clean: “/he took the honey from the carcass of the lion/…” [14:8-10].
§         He disregarded the requirement to abstain for wine: “/Samson made there a feast/…” [15:10].
*b.        **Samson’s Profession *
When Samson came to Delilah all he had left was the visible mark of his vow: “/there has not come a razor upon my head/…” [16:17].
*i.        **Samson’s Hair*
Samson’s hair was the visible mark that he was a Nazirite: “/no razor shall come…for the child shall be a Nazirite unto God from the womb/” [13:5].
§         The law of the Nazirite: “/all the days of the vow of his separation there shall no razor…He shall be holy, and shall let the locks of the hair of his head grow/” [Num.6:5].
**Samson’s Weakness *
Samson links his strength to his long hair: “/if I be shaven then my strength will go from me/…” [16:17].
§         When Samson’s hair was shaved: “/his strength went from him/” [16:19].
§         Samson gave his heart to Delilah: “/he told her all his heart/” [15:18], and then his heart was not with his Lord.
§         Samson’s strength was not in his hair: “/Samson did not know that the Lord has departed from him/” [16:20].
§         The loss of the hair did not in itself deprive him of strength; but the loss of his hair /involved/ the loss of his strength, because it took from him the /condition/ of a Nazirite, with which his extraordinary physical power were inseparably connected: “/Spirit of the Lord came upon Samson/…” [15:14].
*2.        **New Possibilities *
The entrance of hope: “/howbeit the hair of Samson’s head began to grow/…” [16:22].
§         יָּ֧חֶל  - “/began/” [16:22], hiphil imperfect, ‘to bore, to pierce’; in the hiphil ‘to initiate a process’;
§         A new process has been initiated in the prison house at Gaza.
*a.        **Samson’s Life Story *
The word “/began/” has been used by the narrator at key points in the Samson story:
§         Announcement of Samson as deliver: “/he shall begin to deliver/…” [13:5].
§         The stirring of the Holy Spirit: “/Spirit of the Lord began to move him/…” [13:25].
§         Delilah’s tormenting: “/she began to afflict him, and his strength went from him/” [16:19].
§         Now in the darkest pit of despair the word reappears to lift our hopes, raise our spirits, and create excitement at /renewed/ possibilities.
*b.        **Samson’s Restoration *
Visible evidence of a reversal in Samson’s experience: “/howbeit the hair of his head began to grow again/…” [16:22].
§         לְצַמֵּ֖חַ - “/grow/” [16:22], piel infinitive construct, ‘to have a living thing grow out of a source and so increase in size and length’;
§         כַּאֲשֶׁ֥ר  - “/after/” [16:22], literally ‘like as before’;
§         גֻּלָּֽח  - “/shaven/” [16:22], pual perfect, ‘to cut off an object from a base’;
*i.        **Fellowship with God *
His growing hair was a visible indicator that his fellowship with God was restored and growing.
§         Samson with Delilah: “/shaved off the seven locks of his head…his strength went from him/” [16:19].
An indicator that God had left Samson: “/the Lord was departed from him/” [16:20].
§         Now in the prison house: “/the hair of his head began to grow again/…” [16:22]; surely an indicator that “/the Lord had returned to (departed from) him/” [16:20].
*1.        **Samson’s First Prayer *
From the story so far Samson has stopped to pray once: “/called on the Lord/…” [15:18].
Dependence upon God: “/he…called upon the Lord/” [15:18].
§        ar'q.Y - “/called/” [15:18], qal imperfect, ‘cry out’; ‘call attention to oneself’;
*a.        **Recognition of Role *
Samson recognised his God-given role: “/thou hast given this great deliverance…servant/” [15:18].
§        ^D>b.[
- “/your servant/” [15:18], ‘to work’; ‘to be a slave~/servant to’;
*b.        **God’s Deliverance  *
His acknowledgement of Yahweh’s deliverance: “/you have given this great deliverance/…” [15:18].
*c.        **Personal Prayer ~/ Dependence upon God *
Samson’s dependence upon God:
§        Avert his own death: “/now shall I die of thirst/…” [15:18].
§        Avoid capture by the Philistines: “/fall into the hand/…” [15:18].
*2.        **Samson’s New-found Sensitivity *
Samson is sensitive to the purpose of his divine calling: “/He shall begin to deliver Israel/…” [13:5].
“/suffer me that I may feel the pillars/…” [16:26].
*a.        **Positioning *
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