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come to them from this sight of God; but of a dread of the young man's strength, gave his wife exhorted him to be of good cou- | him, during the time of the wedding-feast, rage ; for that God appeared to them for their | (for he then feasted them all, thirty of the benefit. *
most stout of their yonths in pretence to be his So the woman became pregnant, and was companions ; but in reality to be a guard upon careful to observe the injunctions that were him, that he might not attempt to give them given her. And they called the child, when any disturbance. Now as they were drinking it was born, Sampson ; which name signifies merrily and playing, Sampson said, as was one that is strong. So the child grew apace, usual at such times, “ Come; I propose you and it appeared evidently that he would be a a riddle, I and if you can expound it in these † prophet; both by the moderation of his diet, seven days' time, I will give you every one a and the permission of his hair to grow. linen shirt and a garment, s as a reward of
Now when he once came with his parents | your wisdom." So they, being very ambito Timnath, a city of the Philistines, when tious to obtain the glory of wisdom, together there was a great festival, he fell in love with with the gains, desired him to propose his a maid of that country, and desired of his pa- || riddle: he said, “ A great devourer produced rents that they would procure him the dam- | sweet food out of itself; though itself were sel for his wife. But they refused so to do, | very disagreeable.'
very disagreeable.” And when they were not because she was not of the stock of Israel. || able, in three days' time, to find out the meanYet because this marriage was of God, who | ing of the riddle, they desired the damsel to intended to convert it to the benefit of the discover it by the means of her husband, and Hebrews, he over-persuaded them to procure tell it them; and they threatened to burn her her to be espoused to him. And as he was if she did not tell it them. So when the continually coming to her parents, he met a damsel entreated Sampson to tell it her, he at lion ; and though he was naked, he received first refused; but when she lay hard at him, the animal's onset, strangling hin with his and fell into tears, and made his refusal to tell hands, and cast his body into a woody piece of || it a sign of his unkindness to her, he informed ground, on the inside of the road.
her of his slaughter of a lion, and how he Another time, when he was going to the found bees in his breast, and carried away damsel, he discovered a swarm of bees making three honey-combs, and brought them to her. their combs in the breast of the lion. And
And || Thus he, suspecting nothing of deceit, informtaking three honey-combs away, he gave ed her of all, and she revealed it to those that them, together with the rest of his presents, to desired to know it. Then on the seventh day, the damsel. Now the people of Timnath, out whereon they were to expound the riddle pro.
* Judy, xiii. 23.
changes of dress to the friends of the bridegroom at the + Here, by a prophet, Josephus seems only to mean one celebration of the marriage. Homer represents Pallas as that was born by a particular providence, who lived after appearing to Nausicaa in a dream, and commanding her the manner of a Nazarite devoted to God, and was to have to descend to the river, and wash the robes of state, prean extraordinary commission and strength from God for paratory to her nuptials. the judging and avenging his people Israel ; without any
Oh, indolent, to waste thy hours away! proper prophetic revelations.
And sleep'st thou, careless of the bridal day? This shews how ancient the custom was (which we find afterwards amongst the Greeks) of proposing ques
Thy spousal ornament neglected lies :
Arise, prepare the bridal train, arise. tions to be resolved in their compotations and feasts, that
Odyss. vi. 29. POPE. they might not be spent merely in eating and drinking, but that there might be something to exercise their wit Dacier is of opinion that the custom now alluded 10' and ingenuity. Such riddles as were contrived 10 puzzle prevailed amongst the Israelites, and that the proposiand perples were called by the name of yg pos, which the
tion made by Sampson is grounded upon it. From Scholiast upon Aristophanes defines to be a question put this sentiment Mr. Pope dissents : “I am rather of among their cups.
See Bochart Hieroz, lib, iv. cap. 12. opinion," he says, “ that what is said of Sampson has It should also be observed, that they incurred a forfeiture relation to another custom amongst the ancients, of equal to the reward, if they failed altogether in their proposing an enigma at festivals, and adjudging a re
ward to him that solved it. These the Greeks called $ Among the Greeks it was usual for the bride to give yees OVUMOTIXOS," B.
posed to them, they met together before the bis former wife, and her relations who had sun setting, and said, “ Nothing is more dis- | been the occasion of their misfortunes. agreeable than a lion to those that light on When Sampson had slain many of the Phiit; and nothing is sweeter than honey to those || listines in the plain country, he dwelt ad that make use of it. To which Sampson made | Etam ; which is a strong rock of the tribe of this reply, “ Nothing is more deceitful than a Judah. For the Philistines at that time made woman; for such was the person that disco an expedition against that tribe.
But the vered my interpretation to you.” Accordingly people of Judah said, they did not act justly he gave them the presents he had promised with them, in inflicting punishments upon them; making such Askelonites as met him them while they paid their tribute ; and this upon the road his prey; who were themselves only on account of Sampson's offences. They Philistines also. But he divorced his wife, and answered, that in case they would not be the girl despised his anger, and was married to blamed themselves, they must deliver up his companion, who made the former match Sampson, and put him into their power. So between them,
they, being desirous to exculpate themselves, . At this injurious treatment Sampson was so came to the rock with three thousand armed provoked, that he resolved to punish all the men, and complained to Sampson of the bold Philistines, as well as her. So it being then insults he had made upon the Philistinės; who summer time, and the fruits of the land being were men able to bring calamity upon the almost ripe enough for reaping, he caught | whole nation of the Hebrews; and they told three hundred foxes, and, joining lighted bim they were come to take him, and to de torches to their tails, he sent them into the liver him up to them, and put him into their fields of the Philistines; by which means the power. So they desired him to bear this willfruits of the land perislied.* Now when the ingly. Accordingly, when he had received Philistines knew that this was Sampson's assurance from them upon oath, that they doing, and knew also for what cause he did it, would do bim no other harm than only to dek they sent their rulers to Timnath, and burnt liver him into his enemies' hands, he came
mannanafnanna * « There is reason to think that there was nothing cunning and mischief, and styles him very properly new or uncommon in this operation, as it was most ob aqurrougis, a fox with a firebrand at his tail; for, wherever. vious for the end proposed that the wit of man could de he went, mischief followed, v. 344. Suidas also takes vise. We accordingly find that Ovid alludes to the prac notice of this custom when he speaks of a kind of beetle tice, and mentions that foxes and firebrands were every which the Baotians named Tipha. They imagined that year exhibited at Rome, and killed in the Circus. For if to this they were to fasten some inflammable matter, it was the custom in many places to sacrifice by way it would be easy to set any thing on fire. He adds, that of retaliation every animal, whether goat or swine, this was sometimes practised with foxes. Bryant's 06 which did particular injury to the fruits of the earth. servations, p. 154. In consequence of this they introduced these foxes, The caliph Vathek being under the necessity', wlien which had been employed for that purpose, with fire on his travels, of lighting torches, and making estraorbrands.
dinary fires to protect himself and his attendants from Cur igitur missæ vinctis ardentia tædis
the fury of the wild beasts that were ready to make an Terga ferant vulpes causa docenda mihi.
attack on them, set fire to a forest of cedar that bordered on their way.
Accidents of this kind in Persia are He then mentions an instance of much injury done by a
not unfrequent. Hist. of Caliph Vathek, p. 250. “ It fox so accoutred by fire.'
was an ancient custom with the kings and great men Qua fugit incendit vestitos messibus agros,
to set fire to large bunches of dry combustibles, fastDamnosis vires ignibus aura dabat.
ened round wild beasts and birds; which being then On this account the whole race, according to the poet,
let loose, the air and earth appeared one great illumiwere condemned, at the festival called Cerealia, to be in
nation; and as those terrified creatures naturally fled to their turns set on fire.
the woods for shelter, it is easy to conceive that confla
grations would often happen, which must have been Utque luat pænas gens hæc, Cerealibus ardet,
peculiarly destructive.” Richardson's Dissert. p. 185. Quoque modo segetes perdidit ipsa perit.
This circumstance reminds us of the destruction occaFast, lib. iv. 681, 707.
sioned among the standing corn, the vineyards, and olives It is alluded to proverbially more than once by Lyco of the Philistines. In Psalm 1xxxiii. 14, there is a rephron, and seems lo have been well known in Greece. ference to one of these fires, though arising from another He makes Cassandra represent Ulysses as a man both of cause, See also Homer, II. ii. 455. B.
down from the rock, and put himself into the of his enemies; but afford him help under his power of 'bis countrymen. Then did they affliction, and deliver him from the misforbind bim with two cords, and lead him on, in tunes he was under. Accordingly God was order to deliver him to the Philistinės : and moved with his entreaties, and raised him up when they came to a certain place, which is a plentiful fountain of sweet water, at a cernow called the Jaw Bone, on account of the tain rock. Whence it was that Sampson callgreat action there , performed by Sampson; éd the place & the Jaw Bone, and so it is called though of old it had no particular pame; the to this day. Philistines, who had pitched their camp not After this fight Sampson held the Philisfar off, came to meet them with joy and shout= || tines in contempt, and came to Gaza, and took ing; as having done a great thing, and gained up his lodging in a certain inn. When the what they desired. But Sampson brake his rulers of Gaza weré informed of his coming bonds asunder, and catching up the jaw bone thither, they seized upon the gates, and placed of an ass, that lay at his feet, he fell upon his men in ambush about them, that he might not enemies, and smiting them with his jaw bone escape without being perceived: but Sampslew a thousand of them ;* and put the rest to son, who was acquainted with their contriflight in great disorder.†
vances, arose about midnight, and ran by force Upon this slaughter, Sampson was too proud upon the gates, with their posts, and beams, of what he had performed, and said that this and the rest of their wooden furniture; and did not come to pass by the assistance of God: carried them on his shoulders, to the mountain but that bis success was to be ascribed to his that is over Hebron ; § and there laid them own courage, and vaunted himself that it down. was out of dread of him that some of his However, he at length || transgressed the enemies fell, and the rest ran away, upon his law of his country; and altered his own reuse of the jaw bone. But when a great thirst gular way of living, and imitated the strange came upon him, he considered that human customs of foreigners : which thing was the courage is nothing, and bare bis testimony beginning of his miseries. For he fell in love that all is to be ascribed to God; and besought with a woman that was a harlot among the him, that he would not be angry at any thing Philistines : her name was Delilah, and he he had said, nor give him up into the bands lived with her. So those that administered
Judg. xv. 15.
ing thus given, they immediately close in and struggle + Setting aside the various interpretations which have with each other, striving with all their strengib, art, and been given of this expression, the Editor of Calmet's dexterity (which are often very extraordinary), which shall Dictionary proposes to illustrate it by the following ex- | give his antagonist a fall, and become the conqueror. tract: “It appears probable, from the following circum- During these contests I have often seen their arms, legs, stances, that the exercise of wrestling, as it is now per- and thighs, so twisted and linked together, that they have formed by the Turks, is the very same that was anciently both fallen together, and left the victory dubious, too difused in the Olympic games. For, besides the previous ficult sometimes for the pellowan bashee to decide.”. covering of the palæstra with sand, that the combatants Shaw's Trav. p. 217. might fall with more safety, they have their pellowan Do not these well deserve the description of leg and bashee, or master wrestler; who, like the aywvoletns of thigh men, or shoulder and thigh men? The name old, is to observe and superintend the jura palæstræ, and seems to be taken from their very attitudes, and corto be the umpire in all disputes. The combatants, after rectly to express them. If this idea be admitted, it they are anointed all over with oil, to render their naked | cannot be difficult to understand the above cited exbodies the more slippery and less easily to be taken hold pression. B. of, first of all look one another steadfastly in the face, as This fountain called Leti, or the Jaw Bone, is still in Diomede or Ulysses does the palladium upon antique being, as travellers assure us; and was known by this very gems. Then they run up to and retire from each other name in the days of Josephus; and hath been known by several times, using all the while a variety of antic and the same name in all past ages. See Antiq. VII. 12, the other postures, such as are commonly used in the course Annals of Glycas, and the Itinerary of Antoninus; ap. of the ensuing conflict: after this prelude they draw Reland. Palæstin. Tom. II. pag.
752. nearer together, and challenge each other, by clapping § Judg. xvi. 3. the palms of their hands first upon their own knees, or i See this justly observed in the Apostolical Constiluthighs, then upon each other, and afterwards upon the tions, VIII. 37. that Sampson's prayer was heard ; but that palms of their respective antagonist's. The challenge be- it was before this his transgression. VOL. 1.-(15.)
the public affairs of the Philistines came to || desired; as if she would not conceal what she her, and persuaded her to attempt a discovery knew it was for his interest to have conof that strength, by which Sampson became cealed. However, he deluded her again, and unconquerable to his enemies. Accordingly told her, that if they bound him with seven when they were drinking, and had the like cords, he should lose his strength. And conversation together, she pretended to ad- when, upon doing this, she gained nothing, mire the actions he had done ; and contrived he told her the third time, that his hair should to get out of him, by subtilty, by what means be woven into a web; but the truth was not he so much excelled others in strength. Samp- yet discovered. At length, however, Sampson, in order to delude Delilah, (for he had son, upon Delilah’s entreaty, (for he was doomnot yet lost his senses,) replied, that if beed to fall into some affliction) was desirous to were bound with seven such green withs of a please her, and told her, that God took care vine as might still be wreathed, he should be of him; and that he was born by his proviweaker than any other man. The woman dence, and therefore he suffered his hair to said no more then ; but told this to the rulers grow: God having charged him never to cut of the Philistines; and hid certain of their it,* and thence his strength was according to soldiers in ambush within the house; and the increase and continuance of his bair. When when he was disordered in drink, and asleep, she had learned thus much, and had deprived she bound him, as fast as possible, with the him of his hair, sbe delivered him up to his withs; and then upon her awakening him, enemies, when he was not strong enough to she told him some of the people were upon defend himself. So they put out his eyes, and him; but he brake the withs, and endeavored bound him, + and had him led about among to defend himself; as though some of his ene-them, mies were really upon him. Now this wo But in process of time Sampson's hair grew, man, in the constant conversation Sampson again. And there was a public festival among had with her, pretended that she took it very the Philistines, when the rulers, and those of ill, that he had such little confidence in her the most eminent characters, were feasting toaffection, that he would not tell her what she gether. I Now the room wherein they were,
Pliny (Nat. Hist. lib. xii. cap. 20.) has preserved the pulling down the two principal pillars. We read (v. 27,) memory of several men remarkable for their great that about three thousand persons were upon the roof to strength. The heathens were so well acquainted with the behold while Sampson made sport. Sampson must therecircumstances of Sampson's history, that from it they fore have been in a court or area below them, and conformed the fable of Nisus the king of Megara, upon whose sequently the temple will be of the same kind with the hair the fortune of his kingdom depended. Patrick, in ancient time, or 'sacred enclosures, surrounded only in Joc. B.
part or altogether with some plain or cloistered buildings. + Judg. xvi. 21.
Several palaces and dau-wânas, as they call the courts of | Some persons have asserted that no building suf justice in these countries, are built in this fashion; where ficiently capacious to receive so great a number of people upon their festivals and rejoicings a great quantity of sand could be constructed, so as to rest chiefly upon iwo pil- is strewed upon the area for the wrestlers to fall upon, lars. But this is a mistake; for Pliny (Nat. Hist. lib. whilst the roof of the cloisters round about is crowded xxxv. cap. 15.) mentions two theatres built by C. Curio, with spectators of their strength and agility. I have (who was killed in the civil wars on Cæsar's side) which often seen several hundreds of people diverted in this were made of wood, and so extensive as (according to his manner upon the roof of the dey's palace at Algiers; mode of writing) to hold all the Roman people. They which, like many more of the same quality and denomiwere contrived with such art, that each of them depend- || nation, hath an advanced cloister over against the gate of ed upon one hinge. This caused Pliny to censure the mad the palace, Esther v. 1, made in the fashion of a large ness of the people, who would venture into a place for pent house, supported only by one or two contiguous pil-their pleasure, where they sat tam infidâ instabilique sede, lars in the front, or else in the centre. In such open on such an uncertain and unstable seat: for if that hinge structures as these, in the midst of their guards and had given way, there had been a greater slaughter than counsellors, are the bashas, kadees, and other great ofat the baitle of Cannæ. This entirely removes any ima- ficers, assembled to distribute justice and transact the ginary difficulty, of this nature at least, from the history public affairs of their provinces. Here likewise they have of Sampson. “The Eastern method of building way as their public entertainments, as the lords and others of the sist us in accounting for the particular structure of the Philistines had in the house of Dagon. Upon a suppotemple or house of Dagon (Judges xvi.) and the greatsition therefore that in the house of Dagon there was a number of people that were buried in the ruins of it, by cloistered structure of this kind, the pulling down of the
had its roof supported by two pillars. So || little while after him the sons, died : and they sent for Sampson, and he was brought to Naomi being very uneasy at these accidents, their feast, that they might insult him in their and not able to bear her lonesome condition, cups. Hereupon be, thinking it one of the now those that were dearest to her were dead, greatest misfortunes if he should not be able on whose account it was that she had gone to revenge himself, when he was thus insult- away from her own country, she returned to ed, persuaded the boy that led him by the it again ; for she had been informed that it hand, that he was weary, and wanted to rest | was now in a flourishing condition. Howhimself; and desired he would bring him near ever, her daughters-in-law were not able to the pillars. And as soon as he came to them, think of parting with her; and when they had he rushed with force against them; and over a mind to go out of the country with her, she threw the house, by overturning its pillars, could not dissuade them from it. But when with three thousand men in it,* who were all they insisted upon it, she wished them a more slain, and himself with them. And such was happy wedlock than they had with her sons, the end of Sampson, when he had ruled over and that they might have prosperity in other the Israelites † twenty years. And indeed respects also ; and seeing her own affairs were this man deserves to be admired for his cou so low, she exhorted them to stay where they rage and strength, and his magnanimity at were, and not to think of leaving their own his death; and that his wrath against his ene- country, and partaking with her of that ancermies went so far as to die himself with them. tainty under which she must return. AccordBut as for his being ensnared by a woman, that ingly Orpah stayed behind; but she took Ruth is to be ascribed to human nature, which is too | along with her, as she could not be persuaded weak to resist the temptations to that sin. to stay behind, but would share her fortune, Bat we ought to bear him witness, that in all whatsoever it should prove. other respects he was one of extraordinary When Ruth was come with her mother-invirtue. His kindred took away his body, and law to Bethlehem, Booz, who was near of kin buried it in Sarasat, his own country, with the to Elimelech, entertained her. And when rest of his family.
Naomi was so called by her fellow-citizens,
according to her true name, she 'said, " You CHAP. IX.
might more truly call me Mara.” Now Na
omi signifies in the Hebrew tongue, HappiOF THE MARRIAGE OF BOOZ AND RUTH; FROM WHOM CAME
ness; and Mara, Sorrow. It was now reap
ing-time; and Ruth, by the leave of her COW after the death of , :
high-priest was governor of the Israel- might get a stock of corn for their_food. ites. Under him, I when the country was Now it happened that she came into Booz's afflicted with a famine, Elimelech of Bethle-field : and after some time Booz came thither. hem, which is a city of the tribe of Judah, and when he saw the damsel, he inquired of being not able to support bis family under so his servant that was set over the reapers consore a distress, took with him Naomni his wife, | cerning the girl. The servant had a little beand the children that were born to bim by her, fore inquired about all her circumstances, and Chilion and Mahlon; and removed his habi- told them to his master. Booz then kindly tation into the land of Moab; and upon the embraced her; both on account of her affechappy prosperity of his affairs there, he took tion to her mother-in-law, and her rememfor his sons wives of the Moabites, Orpah for brance of that son of hers, to whom she had Chilion, and Ruth for Mahlon. But in the been married, and wished that she might excompass of ten years both Elimelech, and a perience a prosperous condition. So he de
OBED, THE GRANDFATHER OF DAVID.
front or centre pillars only, which supported it, would be attended with the like catastrophe that happened to the Philistines.” Shaw's Travels, p. 283. B.
* Judg. xvi. 27. 30.
+ From about 1158 to 1138. B, C.
According to the date (1350), it must have been long before the government of Fli. § Ruth i. 19.