Then the lords of the Philistines gathered them together for to offer a great sacrifice unto Dagon their god, and to rejoice: for they said, Our god hath delivered Samson our enemy into our hand. And when the people saw him, they praised their god: for they said, Our god hath delivered into our hands our enemy, and the destroyer of our country, which slew many of us. And it came to pass, when their hearts were merry, that they said, Call for Samson, that he may make us sport. And they called for Samson out of the prison house; and he made them sport: and they set him between the pillars. And Samson said unto the lad that held him by the hand, Suffer me that I may feel the pillars whereupon the house standeth, that I may lean upon them. ( Judges 16:23-26)
Samson, the anointed Judge of Israel, the one appointed and consecrated to “begin to deliver Israel from the Philistines” has been subdued, and blinded through his careless compromise with sin. He now grinds grain in the service of Dagon, and to the amusement and mockery of his enemies.
The Philistines held a festival to give the glory unto Dagon, for his deliverance, and for giving them vengeance on the one who had killed so many of them.
They sent for Samson, to make sport of him and to humiliate him further. While they drank and laughed and feasted, little did they notice, that Samson’s hair was growing back.
Of course , as I pointed out before, it was never merely the hair. Samson was not empowered by his long hair, as the Pagans who believed in magic would have thought. The power attributed to Samson was a gift of the God of Israel to his people, given through Samson, on the condition that He keep the Nazarite vow of complete consecration and devotion to God.
Samson was a picture of what could have been for the whole nation, should they have turned back in true worship and devotion to God. There could as easily have been 100,000 Samson’s running around and the Philistines wouldn’t have stood a chance over the Holy people, if they would have just taken the covenant of God seriously and devoted themselves to God.
The cutting of the hair only represented the final defection of Samson from his vows.
But we can imagine what went through Samson’s tormented mind as He turned the lever which ground the grain, in blindness and humiliation. Moses predicted that in the last days, when Israel would be in a similar situation; blinded, alienated, humiliated and as far from God as you can get,
But from there you will seek the LORD your God, and you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul. ( Deuteronomy 4:29)
God will turn back to those who have turned away from them, if they will but seek Him.
Like so many other pagan temples, The Temple of Dagon would have been a miniature model of the World. That World of Dagon would have been upheld by His power, symbolized by the pillars of the Temple. Upon those pillars was a place for the worshippers to feast and sacrifice to Dagon and to boast in their victory over Jahweh.Those congregated upon it, were in effect upheld by the power of the seemingly victorious Dagon, over the God of Israel.
This is the meaning of Samson being placed below, and between the Pillars. He was beneath, in the underworld of Dagon,and damned by Him, in their cosmology.
Now the house was full of men and women; and all the lords of the Philistines were there; and there were upon the roof about three thousand men and women, that beheld while Samson made sport. And Samson called unto the Lord, and said, O Lord God, remember me, I pray thee, and strengthen me, I pray thee, only this once, O God, that I may be at once avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes. And Samson took hold of the two middle pillars upon which the house stood, and on which it was borne up, of the one with his right hand, and of the other with his left. And Samson said, Let me die with the Philistines. And he bowed himself with all his might; and the house fell upon the lords, and upon all the people that were therein. So the dead which he slew at his death were more than they which he slew in his life( Judges 16:27-30).
Samson then prayed a prayer of rededication and for one more vindication against His (And God’s and Israel’s) enemies. Like Jesus, Samson asked to die Himself, in order to bring down God’s enemies. He then brought down the “world’ of Dagon, and 3000 of his worshippers, and in His death He slew more than He had in his life.
Thus, like Christ, His death was victorious, striking a mortal blow to Satan’s Kingdom.