Judges 14:5 MEANING

Judges 14:5
(5)The vineyards of Timnath.--All this part of Palestine, and especially the neighbouring valley of Sorek (Judges 16:4), was famous for its vines (Isaiah 5:2; Jeremiah 2:21). The hills of Judah, which at that time were laboriously terraced up to the summit, like the hill-sides of the Italian valleys, were peculiarly favourable for vineyards (Genesis 49:11). Now they are bleak and bare by the denudation of centuries, but might by labour be once more rendered beautiful and fruitful.

A young lion.--Literally, a lion of lions, like "a kid of goats" (Judges xiii, 15). That lions and other wild beasts were still common in Palestine, we see, both from the direct statement of the fact (1 Kings 10:19; 2 Kings 17:25, &c.), from the incidents which show it to have been so (1 Samuel 17:34; 2 Samuel 23:20; 1 Kings 13:25; 1 Kings 20:36), and from the names Arieh (2 Kings 15:6), Lebaoth ("lionesses," Joshua 15:32), Beth Lebaoth (Joshua 19:6), Shaalbim ("jackals"), Zeboim ("hyenas"), &c.

Verse 5. - Went down, showing that Timnath was on lower ground than Zorah; it was in fact in the Shephelah. The vineyards of Timnath. The valley of Sorek (Judges 16:4), so famous for its vines (Isaiah 5:2; Jeremiah 2:21), from which it derived its name (Sorek, translated in the above passages the choicest vine, and a noble vine), is thought to have been in the immediate neighbourhood. Probably the whole district under the hills was a succession of vineyards, like the country round Bordeaux. Samson had left the road along which his father and mother were walking, at a pace, perhaps, too slow for his youthful energy, and had plunged into the vineyards. Of a sudden a young lion, - a term designating a lion between the age of a cub and a full-grown lion, - brought there, perhaps, in pursuit of the foxes or jackals, which often had their holes in vineyards (Song of Solomon 2:15), roared against him.

14:5-9 By enabling him to kill a lion, God let Samson know what he could do in the strength of the Spirit of the Lord, that he might never be afraid to look the greatest difficulties in the face. He was alone in the vineyards, whither he had rambled. Young people consider not how they exposed themselves to the roaring lion that seeks to devour, when they wander from their prudent, pious parents. Nor do men consider what lions lurk in the vineyards, the vineyards of red wines. Our Lord Jesus having conquered Satan, that roaring lion, believers, like Samson, find honey in the carcass abundant strength and satisfaction, enough for themselves, and for all their friends.Then went Samson down, and his father and his mother, to Timnath,.... They were prevailed upon to go with him, either because they perceived his affections were so strongly set upon a wife, that they thought it advisable to agree to it, lest it should be of bad consequence to him, or because he let them know that the thing was of God, and what was his design in it:

and came to the vineyards of Timnath; the land of Canaan was a land of vineyards, and particularly that part of it which was inhabited by the Philistines and Phoenicians; and though we nowhere read of the wine of Timnath, yet frequent mention is made in authors of the wine of Ashkelon, Gaza, and Sarepta, inhabited by the above people; these vineyards seem to have lain somewhat out of Samson's way; but hither he turned on some account or another from his parents, perhaps to eat some grapes:

and, behold, a young lion roared against him; not a whelp, that is expressed by another word, but one more grown, and is afterwards called a lion simply; and, by the Targum, a lion, the son of lions or lionesses; which seeing him in the vineyards, where he was lurking, came out to meet him, and roared at him in a hideous manner, and came up to him to destroy him: these creatures, though now more rare in those parts, were at this time frequent, and in later times: see 1 Samuel 17:34 and several writers (y) make mention of lions in Mesopotamia and Syria; and Strabo (z), and Pliny (a) speak of a city in Phoenicia near Sidon, called the city of lions, because perhaps it had been much infested with them; and for a like reason it may be some cities in the tribes of Judah and Simeon were called Lebaoth and Bethlebaoth, Joshua 15:32.

(y) Strabo. Geograph. l. 16. p. 514. Curtius, l. 8. sect. 1. Plin. Nat. Hist. l. 8. c. 16. (z) Geograph, l. 16. p. 520. (a) Nat. Hist. l. 5. c. 20.

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