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doing, and knew also for what cause he did it
, | willingly. Accordingly
when he had received asthey sent their rulers to Timnath, and burnt his surance from them upon oath, that they would do former wife, and her relations; who had been the him no other harm than only to deliver him into occasion of their misfortunes.
the enemy's hands, he came down from the rock, When Sampson had slain many of the Philis- and put himself into the power of his countrymen. taes, in the plain country, he dwelt at Etam; Then did they bind him with two cords, and lead which is a strong rock of the tribe of Judah. For him on, in order to deliver him to the Philistines, the Philistines at that time made an expedition and when they came to a certain place, which is against that tribe. But the people of Judah said, now called the Jaw Bone, on account of the great they did not act justly with them, in inflicting action there performed by Sampson ; though of punishments upon them, while they paid their old it had no particular name ; the Philistines, tribute; and this only on account of Sampson's who had pitched their camp not far off, came to offences. They answered, that in case they would meet them with joy and shouting; as having done not be blamed themselves, they must deliver up a great thing, and gained what they desired. But Sampson, and put him into their power. So they, Sampson brake his bonds asunder, and catching being desirous to exculpate themselves, came to up the jaw bone of an ass, that lay at his feet, he the rock with three thousand armed men, and fell upon his enemies, and smiting them with his complained to Sampson of the bold insults he had | jaw bone slew a thousand of them ;* and put the made upon the Philistines; who were men able to rest to flight in great disorder.f bring calamity upon the whole nation of the He Upon this slaughter, Sampson was too proud of brews; and they told him, they were come to take what he had performed, and said that this did not hàm, and to deliver him up to them, and put him come to pass by the assistance of God, but that into their power. So they desired him to bear this his success was to be ascribed to his own courage, sequence of this they introduced these foxes, which had been sioned among the standing corn, the vineyards, and olives of e oployed for that purpose with fire-brands.
the Philistines. In Psalm lxxxiii. 14, there is a reference to Cur igitur missæ vinctis ardentia tædis
one of these fires, though arising from another cause. See also Terga ferant vulpes causa docenda mihi.
Homer, II. ii. 455. B. le then mentions an instance of much injury done by a fox so Judg. xv. 15. accoutred by fire.
† Setting aside the various interpretations which have been Qua fugit incendit vestitos messibus agros,
given of this expression, the Editor of Calmet's Dictionary proDamnosis vires ignibus, aura dabat.
poses to illustrate it by the following extract: “ It appears On this account the whole race, according to the poet, were con
probable from the following circumstances, that the exercise of de med, at the festival called Cerealia, to be in their turns set wrestling, as it is now performed by the Turks, is the very same on fire.
that was anciently used in the Olympic games. For, besides the Ut ne luat pænas gens hæc, Cerealibus ardel,
previous covering of the palæstra with sand, that the combatants Quoque modo segetes perdidit ipsa perit.
might fall with more safety, they have their pellowan bashee, Fast. lib. iv. 681, 707.
or master wrestler; who, like the aywoderns of old, is to observe It is alluded to proverbially more than once by Lycophron, and and superintend the jura palæstra, and to be the umpire in all seems to have been well known in Greece. He makes Cassan
disputes. The combatants, after they are anointed all over with dra represent Ulysses as a man both of cunning and mischief,
oil, to render their naked bodies the more slippery, and less and styles him very properly yoursoupis, a fox with a fire-brand easily to be taken hold of, first of all look one another sted. at his tail; for wherever he went, mischief followed, v. 344. fastly in the face, as Diomede or Ulysses does the palladium Suidas also takes notice of this custom, when he speaks of a upon antique gems. They then run up to, and retire from, each kind of beetle which the Bæotians named Tipha. They imagin other several times, using all the while a variety of antic and ed that if to this they were to fasten some inflammable matter, other postures, such as are commonly used in the course of the it would be easy to set any thing on fire. He adds, that this ensuing conflict: after this prelude they draw nearer together, was sometimes practised with foxes. Bryant's Observations, p. and challenge each other, by clapping the palms of their hands, 154.
first upon their own knees or thighs, then upon each other, and The Caliph Vathek being under the necessity, when on his afterwards upon the palms of their respective antagonists. The travels, of lighting torches, and making extraordinary fires to challenge being thus given, they immediately close in and protect himself and his attendants from the fury of the wild struggle with each other, striving with all their strength, art, beasts that were ready to make an attack on them, set fire to a and dexterity, (which are often very extraordinary,) which shall ferest of cedar that bordered on their way. Accidents of this give his antagonist a fall, and become the conqueror. During k ind in Persia are not unfrequent. Hist. of Caliph Vathek, p. these contests I have often seen their arms, legs, and thighs, so 50. « It was an ancient custom with the kings and great men twisted and linked together, that they have both fallen together, to set fire to large bunches of dry combustibles, fastened round and left the victory dubious, too difficult sometimes for the pel. wild beasts and birds; which being then let loose, the air and lowan bashee to decide.” Shaw's Trav. p. 217. earth appeared one great illumination; and as those terrified Do not these well deserve the description of leg and thigh creatures naturally fled to the woods for shelter, it is easy to men, or shoulder and thigh men? The name seems to be taken conceive that conflagrations would often happen, which must from their very attitudes, and correctly to express them. If this bave been peculiarly destructive.” Richardson's Dissert. p. idea be admitted, it cannot be difficult to understand the above 185. This circumstance reminds us of the destruction occa cited expression. B.
and vaunted himself, that it was out of dread of celled others in strength. Sampson, in order to him that some of his enemies fell, and the rest ran delude Delilah, (for he had not yet lost his senses,) away, upon his use of the jaw bone. But when a replied, that if he were bound with seven such great thirst came upon him, he considered that green withes of a vine, as might still be wreathed, human courage is nothing, and bare his testimony he should be weaker than any other man. The that all is to be ascribed to God; and besought woman said no more then ; but told this to the him, that he would not be angry at any thing he rulers of the Philistines, and hid certain of their had said, nor give him up into the hands of his soldiers in ambush within the house; and when enemies; but afford him help under his affliction, he was disordered in drink, and asleep, she bound and deliver him from the misfortunes he was him, as fast as possible, with the withes; and then, under. Accordingly God was moved with his en- upon her awakening him, she told him, some of treaties, and raised him up a plentiful fountain of the people were upon him; but he brake the withes, sweet water, at a certain rock. Whence it was and endeavoured to defend himself, as though that Sampson called the place* the Jaw Bone, some of his enemies were really upon him. Now and so it is called to this day.
this woman, in the constant conversation Sampson After this fight Sampson held the Philistines in had with her, pretended, that she took it very ill contempt, and came to Gaza, and took up his that he had such little confidence in her affection, lodging in a certain inn. When the rulers of Gaza that he would not tell her what she desired; as were informed of his coming thither, they seized if she would not conceal what she knew it was upon the gates, and placed men in ambush about for his interest to have concealed. However, he them, that he might not escape without being per- deluded her again, and told her, that if they bound ceived: but Sampson, who was acquainted with him with seven cords, he should lose his strength. their contrivances, arose about midnight, and ran And when, upon doing this, she gained nothing, by force upon the gates, with their posts, and he told her the third time, that his hair should be beams, and the rest of their wooden furniture; woven into a web; but the truth was not yet disand carried them on his shoulders, to the moun- covered. At length, however, Sampson, upon Detain that is over Hebron ;t and there laid them lilah's entreaty (for he was doomed to fall into down.
some affliction,) was desirous to please her, and However, he at lengthf transgressed the law told her, that God took care of him; and that of his country; and altered his own regular way he was born by his providence, and therefore he of living, and imitated the strange customs of suffered his hair to grow; God having charged foreigners; which thing was the beginning of his him never to cut it, and thence his strength was miseries. For he fell in love with a woman that according to the increase and continuance of his was a harlot among the Philistines: her name was hair. When she had learned thus much, and had Delilah, and he lived with her. So those that ad deprived him of his hair, she delivered him up to ministered the public affairs of the Philistines his enemies, when he was not strong enough to came to her, and persuaded her to attempt a dis- defend himself. So they put out his eyes, and covery of that strength, by which Sampson be bound him, and had|| him led about among them. came unconquerable to his enemies. Accordingly But in process of time Sampson's hair grew when they were drinking, and had the like con- again. And there was a public festival among the versation together, she pretended to admire the Philistines, when the rulers, and those of the most actions he had done; and contrived to get out of eminent characters, were feasting together. I Now him by subtilty by what means he so much ex- the room wherein they were had its roof supported
* This fountain, called Leti, or the Jaw Bone, is still in be the king of Megara, upon whose hair the fortune of his kingdom ing, as travellers assure us; and was known by this very name depended. Patrick, in locum. B. in the days of Josephus; and hath been known by the same ll Judg. xvi. 21. name in all past ages. See Antiq. VII. 12. the Annals of Glycas, 1 Some persons have asserted, that no building sufficiently and the itinerary of Antoninus ; ap. Reland, Palestin. tom. II. p. capacious to receive so great a number of people could be con
structed so as to rest chiefly upon two pillars. But this is a mis† Judg. xvi. 3.
take; for Pliny (Nat. Hist. lib. xxxv. cap. 15,) mentions two * See this justly observed in the Apostolical Constitutions, theatres built by C. Curio, (who was killed in the civil wars, on VIII. 37, that Sampson's prayer was heard, but that it was be Cæsar's side,) which were made of wood, and so extensive as fore this his transgression.
(according to his mode of writing) to hold all the Roman people. § Pliny (Nat. Hist. lib. xii. cap. 20,) has preserved the memory of several men remarkable for their great strength. The
They were contrived with such art, that each of them depended heathens were so well acquainted with the circumstances of
upon one hinge. This caused Pliny to censure the madness of
the people, who would venture into a place for their pleasure, Sampson's history, that from it they formed the fable of Nisus, where they sat tam infida instabilique sede, on such an uncer