And he smote them hip and thigh with a great slaughter: and he went down and dwelled in the top of the rock Etam.…
It was truly unhandsome conduct on the part of the men of Judah. They had received aid and service from Samson, and their enemies had been put to shame; and now, when they are threatened with consequences for harbouring him from their foes, they are ready to betray him.
I. THOSE WHO HAVE RECEIVED THE GREATEST BENEFITS OFTEN BETRAY THEIR BENEFACTORS. Wallace was betrayed by a Scotchman; Christ by Judas, and rejected by the Jews. This arises partly from failure to comprehend the work done by great men; partly from ignoble nature, that fails to attain the level of heroic action.
II. A MAGNANIMOUS MIND WILL RATHER SURFER EVIL THAN BE THE OCCASION OF IT TO OTHERS.
III. MEN INJURE THEMSELVES WHEN THEY EVADE DUTY IN COMPROMISE. These 3000 men of Judah might have driven the Philistines before them, and delivered their land, had they been inspired by a heroic spirit. They afterwards discover that the work is done in spite of them which might have been done by them, and thus lose the credit and blessing that might have been theirs. Samson is thus completely detached from the nation he was raised up to deliver. So Christ stalls alone as the Saviour of the world.
IV. GOD MAY OVERRULE MEN'S MISDOINGS TO THEIR ULTIMATE ADVANTAGE. Grace can extract a blessing even from sin. But atonement has been made, and the spirit purged from its mean and unholy disposition. The crucifixion of Christ, the work of men, is the means of the salvation of men.
V. EXTERNAL BONDS CANNOT EFFECTUALLY BIND THE SERVANT OF GOD.
"Stone walls do not a prison make,
Nor iron bars a cage." Persecutions tend to further the influence of truth. God breaks the bands with which men confine his servants and his word. - M.
Parallel VersesKJV: And he smote them hip and thigh with a great slaughter: and he went down and dwelt in the top of the rock Etam.