(Judges 15:9-17)

Judah Sells Her Deliverer

Introduction:  The latter part of the last chapter and the first part of this chapter relate two of Samson’s skirmishes with the uncircumcised.  Certainly in those days there were no pitched battles possible and therefore Samson availed himself of every opportunity to strike at the enemies of the Lord.

Note:  Both of these contacts with and victories over the enemies are occasioned by his having relationships with Philistine women.

In our Outline for today the scene shifts.  So far we have heard nothing from the people whom Samson had come to deliver.  Now Judah shows itself, and the glimpse we get tends to make this whole history still more of a riddle.  Instead of welcoming the one who had now appeared as the avenger of the Lord’s people, they actually seek to sell him to the Philistines as a sort of ransom.  Indeed, there is not much left of the people of God, we would say.  And what is left is dreadfully humbled.

1.  Judah with a Defeatist Attitude, (vss. 9-13). Because of Samson’s activities in Judah, they surmised that Judah was responsible, at least co-responsible, for the humiliation which had come upon them.  Therefore, the Philistines gather an army to rid themselves of this nuisance.  Greatly afraid, the men of Judah say: why are ye come against us?  The uncircumcised answer: to bind Samson.

Question:  Why bind him, why not kill him?

The men of Judah soon enough discover a way out of this difficulty.  If they hand over Samson their danger is past.  They therefore promptly determine upon this course.  Then three thousand men of Judah go to Samson and after rebuking him for troubling them, simply tell Samson that they are come to bind him and hand him over to the enemies.

Note:  Judah evidently could muster an army, at least when it came to disposing of their judge.  Judah’s trouble was not the Philistines, but Samson.  And Judah is supposed to be the royal tribe.

After securing from them a pledge that they themselves will not kill him Samson consents to being bound and Judah proudly leads her saviour into the jaws of death.

Questions: 1-Why didn’t or couldn’t this humbled and defeated Judah see in Samson her deliverer?  2-In connection with this we ought to discuss: what did the Jews seek to gain when they crucified Christ?  3-Did not Judah know that Samson was a strong man, why then make such a silly request as to bind him?  Or was Samson strong only at certain intervals?  4-Why did Samson consent to be bound only after having secured their oath that the men of Judah themselves would not kill him?

Conclusion:  Surely Judah has been terribly humbled by her own sin.  But they seem content to have it so.  If God deliver this people it shall have to be that they asked not for it, neither did they seek deliverance.  Then what is left of Arminianism and Freewill?

2.  Samson Wars God’s Warfare Alone, (14-17). With an ungrateful, yea an opponent Israel behind him Samson steps forth alone to slay the uncircumcised.  Shall these uncircumcised rule over Judah?  And shall they rule over Christ who is to be born from Judah?  There is evidently none concerned about the Cause of God, nor about Him who must eventually come from Judah.  None, save Samson—because God is concerned.

With so simple a tool as a jawbone, Samson slays a thousand men.  Shame on Judah.  Only a jawbone is enough to slay these heathen, if they have the Spirit of God.  Notice that only a thousand are slain.  Not the number, but the fact that there is someone to slay them is important.  From Judah comes the Saviour, it could not be that that Judah would say: the Philistines rule over us.  The Spirit of the coming Christ cries out: if there be no other instrument than a jawbone, it will suffice.  In due time the Cross takes the place of the jawbone.

Questions: 1-How many men today betray the Church and Cause of God into the hands of the enemies?  2-How does the Church today evince that she is unconquerable….Samson had the jawbone, what have we?



(Judges 16:4-17)

Samson and Delilah

Introduction:  Samson visits a harlot in Gaza (vs. 1-3).  Even if by such conduct he might have intended to arouse the Philistines, it is nevertheless utterly wrong.  One cannot fight the Lord’s battles with carnal weapons.  I have no doubt but that Samson is allowing carnal lusts to become master of him.  Yet, notice in vs. 3 that the Spirit of the Lord has not left him.  How do you account for this?

The consequence of his lust comes in our lesson today when he falls under the spell of still another woman, this time one from Sorek, Delilah by name.  And now his Nazarite distinction is to be put to the test.

1.  Samson Under Delilah’s Spell (4-14).

To get the entire scene before us we shall have to ask ourselves and answer such questions as these: 1-Samson could know that Delilah was a tool in the hands of the Philistines, she tells him that herself.  Why then yield to her?  2-Delilah herself tells Samson that her goal in “loving” him is to hand him over for affliction by the enemies.  Was Samson then so blind that he could not see this?  3-Samson was in agony, for “his soul was vexed unto death” we read, and in this great vexation he betrayed his Nazarite secret.  What was this vexation and if he was so vexed, why did he continue with Delilah?

a.  Samson loved Delilah, (vss. 4 and 15). It was a love prompted by lust and born of carnal infatuation.  Delilah in the meantime is not merely a woman, she is the consort of Satan and Samson is in the clutches of the devil who hates Nararites.

Note: The beauty Samson saw in Delilah, the “it” which attracted him James would identify as “every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust and enticed, then when lust hath conceived it bringeth forth sin and sin when it is finished bringeth forth death,” James 1:14, 15.

b.  In this tempted condition he thought perhaps that he could enjoy the pleasures of sin without paying the price, i.e. he trusted that he could continue his tryst with this cleopatrian Delilah, but ward off the inevitable attack of the Philistines. Three times he apparently succeeded.

Questions for discussion: 1-Our capacity to love has become depraved by sin, what precaution must covenant youth therefore take when they begin to love (boyfriends or girlfriends).  2-In vss. 7, 11, 13 Samson tells his secret by degrees…why does he do this, and why does he lie?  3-Does Samson imagine he will escape the inevitable consequences or does he say within himself: I will enjoy this lust no matter what the consequences be?  If we tread an evil way do we say: there will be no evil consequences or do we say: we will escape them?

2.  Samson sells his Nazarite distinction, (vss. 15-17). After being daily vexed (oh, how terrible it is to play with the devil) Samson explains the intimate secrets of the covenant to this godless woman. Esau sold his birthright, Samson sells his covenant distinction as a Nazarite.  The servant of God sells God’s Cause for a few hours of lust.  Don’t we do that sometimes?  And do not forget that behind this all stands the Sovereign God, employing the sin which Samson himself has chosen, to declare to us that the Covenant is never safe in the hands, even of Samson.  Thank God, the Covenant is before confirmed in Christ.



(Judges 16:18-21)

Samson Is Fallen.

Introduction:  Oh, what a pitiful picture we have here now.  The sole servant of God, defending and representing the cause of God against the uncircumcised, this servant is becoming unfaithful.  And there he is, his eyes gouged out, bent over the grinder pole and laboring to push it before him.  A spectacle indeed.  The very angels in heaven must have stood in suspense at this awful sight, but the uncircumcised rejoiced.  Fallen Samson is another commentary on the inability of man to produce a Nazarite, but at the same time a prophecy that God Himself will bring the Nazarite in the fullness of time, and this is Christ.

1.  Delilah Overcomes Samson (18, 19).

Samson, who could stand before hordes of armed men, falls before a woman.  Somehow Delilah perceived that Samson had this time told her the whole truth about this Nazarite secret.  She immediately dispatches a messenger to call in the Philistines.  They come with haste, their money with them.  Quickly Delilah has the seven locks of his head shorn off…and the Nazarite is gone, he is no more.  His strength is gone, too.

Discussion:  Now it would be well at this juncture to discuss just exactly what is the relation between his long hair and his great strength.  Samson had sinned several times before, but he always retained his strength.  Now his hair is gone, at once his strength is gone also.  Was the cutting of his hair therefore a greater sin than his association with the Philistine women?  If so, what grievous sin does Samson commit when he has his hair removed?  Could we commit the like sin today?  How?

2.  Samson Is Powerless (19-20). Delilah samples her victim and finds that the once mighty Samson is weak, just like any man.  In hilarious excitement, she bids the Philistines to take her prey.

Note:  Even this last time Samson thought his power was still with him, and he trusted that even now, when he had profaned the Nazarite vow, he would still be strong.  But he discovered that his power was gone.  And the reason for it was: The Lord was departed from him.  Isaiah says: Your iniquities have separated between you and your God.

3.  Samson Becomes a Spectacle (vs. 21).

What a pitiful spectacle.  Samson’s eyes are removed, his hair is cut and he pushes the grinder pole in the prison house.  Whatever strength there might be left in him the Philistines will use to grind their prisoners’ corn.

Questions: 1-Hebrews 11 speaks of Samson along with the heroes of faith, where is that hero?  2-How do you think the men of Judah felt about this spectacle? (Judges 15:9-13).  3-Why should God want us to look at such a pitiful sight?



(Judges 16:22-31)

God or Dagon?

Introduction:  To see the spectacle in its proper setting remember: (1) that Samson, the only Nazarite servant of God upon earth is a present overcome, and there is now no one to represent God’s Cause over against the uncircumcised.  (2) And the uncircumcised ascribe their victory over Samson to their god Dagon.  Hence the issue is: God or Dagon?

1. The Dagon Feast, (22-27). The heathen attribute their victory to their god Dagon (vss. 23, 24), and they rejoice because their god has delivered the destroyer of their country into their hands.  A travesty on what Jehovah used to do for the Israelites.

Note:  Behind Delilah stands Satan.  His purpose is not merely to vanquish Samson, but, through Samson to triumph over God if possible and triumph over His Anointed.  Samson’s sin has brought this crisis.  God’s sovereignty has ordained it to the end that idolatrous Judah may know that God is God and Dagon is nothing.

At this feast Samson is brought out of the prison house to play or make sport for the assembled multitudes in the well-filled stadium.  Samson evidently had to do tricks for the audience, from which we might conclude that he was regaining some of his strength (?).  That they bring him into the stadium only emphasizes the horror of this spectacle.

Question:  Is there such feasting in the present world?  How?

2.  God Glorifies Himself Before the Enemies, (28-31). God Himself will not allow His Name to be thus desecrated.  Not for Samson’s sake first, but for His Name’s sake God will hear Samson’s petition and for His Name’s sake will give his unworthy servant strength.  Samson removes the pillars of the stadium, plunges the Dagon feasters to death, overthrows the Dagon boast and he departs this life as the servant of God; in his death he overcame more yet than in his life.

Observe:  This looks forward to the Cross, but especially to Christ’s return.  Then God will exalt the horn of His Anointed, and sanctify His Name and His Cause before all the uncircumcised who at that time also will be feasting in the house of their gods (Rev. 11:10).

Questions:  1-Some say that Samson simply committed suicide, what would you say?  2-Samson calls for revenge for his two eyes, is that a very sanctified motive do you think?  3-Many people contend that Samson’s victory through death is a type of Christ’s cross death, what do you think?