Chapter 16- The conclusion of the Samson story. While he is sleeping with a harlot, the Gazites decide to wait for him at the gates of the city to kill him in the morning. In the middle on the night, Samson gets up and tears apart the gates. Later he falls in love with Delilah. Philistines bribe her to give them the secret of Samson’s strength so they can defeat him. Samson lies to her 3 times- so each time she ineffectually ties him up, the Philistines arrive, and Samson hulks out and defeats them. Finally he admits that his hair is the source of his strength; and Delilah and the Philistines shave his head in his sleep. The Philistines then poke his eyes out and take him captive. They have Samson perform for them for entertainment, but one day (after his hair has grown back out some), Samson regains his strength and knocks down a temple on top of himself and thousands of Philistines. He dies with them.
I’m still amazed that hair cutting is what ultimately breaks the Nazirite oath, and not murder or sleeping with multiple women.
So, three times Samson tells Delilah that being tied up a certain way will sap his powers and then allows himself to be tied up that way. She obviously didn’t over power him to tie him up, what with Samson being the strongest person ever, so I’m thinking he was into a little bondage play.
Verse 15, “Then she said to him, ‘How can you say, ‘I love you,’ when your heart is not with me? You have mocked me these three times, and have not told me where your great strength lies.'” She’s joking right? Every time he’s told her where his strength supposedly comes from, she’s had the Philistines lie in wait to ambush him…so, who doesn’t love whom here?
I’m pretty amazed he actually gave up the secret, although it does say “Then she lulled him to sleep on her knees.” (19) So maybe she had certain skills to persuade him to give up that information, if you catch my drift.
Chapter 17- I don’t even know what just happened here, but I’ll try to recap it as best as I understand it. This guy named Micah had stolen some money from his mother, but returned it to her. She took part of it and had it turned into an idol for Micah. An unnamed Levite was traveling through town, and Micah convinced him to move in and be the personal priest to Micah’s household.
Back in chapter 16, the Philistines who bribed Delilah each offered her 1,100 pieces of silver, which just so happens to be the amount of money that Micah had stolen from his mother. So, I guess he was supposed to have been one of the guys who bribed Delilah? But those people were Philistines, and Micah is from Ephraim. Maybe the amount of money was just a confusing coincidence? I have no idea.
And, he has a silver idol in his house, but expects God to bless him for having his own Levite priest? I’m predict that this won’t turn out well. Although, Micah is the name of a book of the Bible, so who knows. Same Micah? Different Micah? I honestly don’t remember this story from my childhood church days, so I guess we’ll find out together!
Chapter 18- The Danites don’t have a place to live (because, if you remember, the natives had driven them out of their promised land) and so they go off in search of a place to claim. One of their scouts find the house of Micah, where the priest blesses the Danites and says they will be successful. Then 600 armed, ready for war Danites show up at Micah’s house and steal his idols and convince the priest to come work for them. They go attack the city of Laish and overtake/claim it, and rename it “Dan.” They set up the false idols for themselves, and Jonathan and his sons act as priests for the Danites.
So, I guess the unnamed priest was Jonathan?
I’m still really confused as to what’s going on here. They rebuked Micah for having idols…but then then stole them and kept them as their own, going so far as to set them up and worship them in their new city? What’s going on?