1 Samuel 5:4 MEANING

1 Samuel 5:4
(4) When they arose early on the morrow.--Strange to say, on the next day a new and startling circumstance aroused and disturbed the exultant Philistines. The idol was again fallen, but this time broken. No mere accident could account for what had happened. The head and hands were severed from the image, and thrown contemptuously on the threshold of the temple, upon which the foot of every priest or worshipper as he passed into the sacred house must tread.

Only the stump of Dagon.--The Hebrew, rendered literally, would run, only Dagon was left to him: that is to say, only "the fish," the least noble part of the idol image, was left standing; the human head and hands were tossed down for men as they passed in to trample on; "only the form of a fish was left in him."--R. D. Kimchi.

5:1-5 See the ark's triumph over Dagon. Thus the kingdom of Satan will certainly fall before the kingdom of Christ, error before truth, profaneness before godliness, and corruption before grace in the hearts of the faithful. When the interests of religion seem to be ready to sink, even then we may be confident that the day of their triumph will come. When Christ, the true Ark of the covenant, really enters the heart of fallen man, which is indeed Satan's temple, all idols will fall, every endeavour to set them up again will be vain, sin will be forsaken, and unrighteous gain restored; the Lord will claim and possess the throne. But pride, self-love, and worldly lusts, though dethroned and crucified, still remain within us, like the stump of Dagon. Let us watch and pray that they may not prevail. Let us seek to have them more entirely destroyed.And when they arose early on the morrow morning,.... For the same purpose as before; unless they had any curiosity to indulge, to see whether the ark and Dagon agreed better together, if they had any suspicion that the former mischance was to be attributed to some variance and disagreement between them:

behold, Dagon was fallen upon his face to the ground before the ark of the Lord: again, and in a worse condition than before:

and the head of Dagon, and both the palms of his hands, were cut off upon the threshold; of the temple, upon which he fell with such force, that the threshold cut off his head, and both his hands; which signified he had neither wisdom to contrive for his own safety, nor strength and power to defend himself; and therefore of what advantage could he be to his votaries? This may be an emblem of the fall of idolatry in the Gentile world, before the preaching of Christ and his Gospel in it; or of the idol of man's righteousness, which is set up, though it cannot stand, against the righteousness of Christ, and of man's renouncing that, when convinced of the weakness and insufficiency of it, and submitting to the righteousness of Christ:

only the stump of Dagon was left to him: his body, as the Targum, his head and hands being cut off; or, as it is in the Hebrew text, only Dagon was left; that is, the fishy part of this idol; for "Dag" signifies a fish; and, as Kimchi relates, this idol, from the navel upwards, had the form of a man, and from thence downwards the form of a fish; and it was the lower part that was left; See Gill on Judges 16:23.

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