Samson Of the sun, the son of Manoah, born at Zorah. The narrative of his life is given in Judg. 13 - 16. He was a "Nazarite unto God" from his birth, the first Nazarite mentioned in Scripture (Jdg 13:3; compare Num. 6:1-21). The first recorded event of his life was his marriage with a Philistine woman of Timnath (Jdg 14:1). Such a marriage was not forbidden by the law of Moses, as the Philistines did not form one of the seven doomed Canaanite nations (Exo 34:11; Deu 7:1). It was, however, an ill-assorted and unblessed marriage. His wife was soon taken from him and given "to his companion" (Jdg 14:20). For this Samson took revenge by burning the "standing corn of the Philistines" (Jdg 15:1), who, in their turn, in revenge "burnt her and her father with fire." Her death he terribly avenged (Jdg 15:7). During the twenty years following this he judged Israel; but we have no record of his life. Probably these twenty years may have been simultaneous with the last twenty years of Eli's life. After this we have an account of his exploits at Gaza (Jdg 16:1), and of his infatuation for Delilah, and her treachery (Judg. 16:4-20), and then of his melancholy death (Jdg 16:21). He perished in the last terrible destruction he brought upon his enemies. "So the dead which he slew at his death were more [in social and political importance = the elite of the people] than they which he slew in his life." "Straining all his nerves, he bowed: As with the force of winds and waters pent, When mountains tremble, those two massy pillars With horrible convulsion to and fro He tugged, he shook, till down they came, and drew The whole roof after them, with burst of thunder Upon the heads of all who sat beneath, Lords, ladies, captains, counsellors, or priests, Their choice nobility and flower." Milton's Samson Agonistes .
Samuel Heard of God. The peculiar circumstances connected with his birth are recorded in Sa1 1:20. Hannah, one of the two wives of Elkanah, who came up to Shiloh to worship before the Lord, earnestly prayed to God that she might become the mother of a son. Her prayer was graciously granted; and after the child was weaned she brought him to Shiloh and consecrated him to the Lord as a perpetual Nazarite (1 Sam. 1:23 - 2:11). Here his bodily wants and training were attended to by the women who served in the tabernacle, while Eli cared for his religious culture. Thus, probably, twelve years of his life passed away. "The child Samuel grew on, and was in favour both with the Lord, and also with men" (Sa1 2:26; compare Luk 2:52). It was a time of great and growing degeneracy in Israel (Jdg 21:19; Sa1 2:12, Sa1 2:22). The Philistines, who of late had greatly increased in number and in power, were practically masters of the country, and kept the people in subjection (Sa1 10:5; Sa1 13:3). At this time new communications from God began to be made to the pious child. A mysterious voice came to him in the night season, calling him by name, and, instructed by Eli, he answered, "Speak, Lord; for thy servant heareth." The message that came from the Lord was one of woe and ruin to Eli and his profligate sons. Samuel told it all to Eli, whose only answer to the terrible denunciations (Sa1 3:11) was, "It is the Lord; let him do what seemeth him good", the passive submission of a weak character, not, in his case, the expression of the highest trust and faith. The Lord revealed himself now in divers manners to Samuel, and his fame and his influence increased throughout the land as of one divinely called to the prophetical office. A new period in the history of the kingdom of God now commenced. The Philistine yoke was heavy, and the people, groaning under the wide-spread oppression, suddenly rose in revolt, and "went out against the Philistines to battle." A fierce and disastrous battle was fought at Aphek, near to Ebenezer (Sa1 4:1, Sa1 4:2). The Israelites were defeated, leaving 4,000 dead "in the field." The chiefs of the people thought to repair this great disaster by carrying with them the ark of the covenant as the symbol of Jehovah's presence. They accordingly, without consulting Samuel, fetched it out of Shiloh to the camp near Aphek. At the sight of the ark among them the people "shouted with a great shout, so that the earth rang again." A second battle was fought, and again the Philistines defeated the Israelites, stormed their camp, slew 30,000 men, and took the sacred ark. The tidings of this fatal battle was speedily conveyed to Shiloh; and so soon as the aged Eli heard that the ark of God was taken, he fell backward from his seat at the entrance of the sanctuary, and his neck brake, and he died. The tabernacle with its furniture was probably, by the advice of Samuel, now about twenty years of age, removed from Shiloh to some place of safety, and finally to Nob, where it remained many years (Sa1 21:1). The Philistines followed up their advantage, and marched upon Shiloh, which they plundered and destroyed (compare Jer 7:12; Psa 78:59). This was a great epoch in the history of Israel. For twenty years after this fatal battle at Aphek the whole land lay under the oppression of the Philistines. During all these dreary years Samuel was a spiritual power in the land. From Ramah, his native place, where he resided, his influence went forth on every side among the people. With unwearied zeal he went up and down from place to place, reproving, rebuking, and exhorting the people, endeavouring to awaken in them a sense of their sinfulness, and to lead them to repentance. His labours were so far successful that "all the house of Israel lamented after the Lord." Samuel summoned the people to Mizpeh, one of the loftiest hills in Central Palestine, where they fasted and prayed, and prepared themselves there, under his direction, for a great war against the Philistines, who now marched their whole force toward Mizpeh, in order to crush the Israelites once for all. At the intercession of Samuel God interposed in behalf of Israel. Samuel himself was their leader, the only occasion in which he acted as a leader in war. The Philistines were utterly routed. They fled in terror before the army of Israel, and a great slaughter ensued. This battle, fought probably about 1095 B.C., put an end to the forty years of Philistine oppression. In memory of this great deliverance, and in token of gratitude for the help vouchsafed, Samuel set up a great stone in the battlefield, and called it "Ebenezer," saying, "Hitherto hath the Lord helped us" (Sa1 7:1). This was the spot where, twenty years before, the Israelites had suffered a great defeat, when the ark of God was taken. This victory over the Philistines was followed by a long period of peace for Israel (Sa1 7:13, Sa1 7:14), during which Samuel exercised the functions of judge, going "from year to year in circuit" from his home in Ramah to Bethel, thence to Gilgal (not that in the Jordan valley, but that which lay to the west of Ebal and Gerizim), and returning by Mizpeh to Ramah. He established regular services at Shiloh, where he built an altar; and at Ramah he gathered a company of young men around him and established a school of the prophets. The schools of the prophets, thus originated, and afterwards established also at Gibeah, Bethel, Gilgal, and Jericho, exercised an important influence on the national character and history of the people in maintaining pure religion in the midst of growing corruption. They continued to the end of the Jewish commonwealth. Many years now passed, during which Samuel exercised the functions of his judicial office, being the friend and counsellor of the people in all matters of private and public interest. He was a great statesman as well as a reformer, and all regarded him with veneration as the "seer," the prophet of the Lord. At the close of this period, when he was now an old man, the elders of Israel came to him at Ramah (Sa1 8:4, Sa1 8:5, Sa1 8:19); and feeling how great was the danger to which the nation was exposed from the misconduct of Samuel's sons, whom he had invested with judicial functions as his assistants, and had placed at Beersheba on the Philistine border, and also from a threatened invasion of the Ammonites, they demanded that a king should be set over them. This request was very displeasing to Samuel. He remonstrated with them, and warned them of the consequences of such a step. At length, however, referring the matter to God, he acceded to their desires, and anointed Saul (q.v.) to be their king (Sa1 11:15). Before retiring from public life he convened an assembly of the people at Gilgal (1 Sam. 12), and there solemnly addressed them with reference to his own relation to them as judge and prophet. The remainder of his life he spent in retirement at Ramah, only occasionally and in special circumstances appearing again in public (1 Sam. 13, 15) with communications from God to king Saul. While mourning over the many evils which now fell upon the nation, he is suddenly summoned (1 Sam. 16) to go to Bethlehem and anoint David, the son of Jesse, as king over Israel instead of Saul. After this little is known of him till the time of his death, which took place at Ramah when he was probably about eighty years of age. "And all Israel gathered themselves together, and lamented him, and buried him in his house at Ramah" (Sa1 25:1), not in the house itself, but in the court or garden of his house. (Compare Kg2 21:18; Ch2 33:20; Kg1 2:34; Joh 19:41.) Samuel's devotion to God, and the special favour with which God regarded him, are referred to in Jer 15:1 and Psa 99:6.
Samuel, Books of The LXX. translators regarded the books of Samuel and of Kings as forming one continuous history, which they divided into four books, which they called "Books of the Kingdom." The Vulgate version followed this division, but styled them "Books of the Kings." These books of Samuel they accordingly called the "First" and "Second" Books of Kings, and not, as in the modern Protestant versions, the "First" and "Second" Books of Samuel. The authors of the books of Samuel were probably Samuel, Gad, and Nathan. Samuel penned the first twenty-four chapters of the first book. Gad, the companion of David (Sa1 22:5), continued the history thus commenced; and Nathan completed it, probably arranging the whole in the form in which we now have it (Ch1 29:29). The contents of the books. The first book comprises a period of about a hundred years, and nearly coincides with the life of Samuel. It contains (1.) the history of Eli (1 Sam. 1 - 4); (2.) the history of Samuel (1 Sam. 5 - 12); (3.) the history of Saul, and of David in exile (1 Sam. 13 - 31). The second book, comprising a period of perhaps fifty years, contains a history of the reign of David (1.) over Judah (2 Sam. 1 - 4), and (2.) over all Israel (2 Sam. 5 - 24), mainly in its political aspects. The last four chapters of Second Samuel may be regarded as a sort of appendix recording various events, but not chronologically. These books do not contain complete histories. Frequent gaps are met with in the record, because their object is to present a history of the kingdom of God in its gradual development, and not of the events of the reigns of the successive rulers. It is noticeable that the section (2 Sam. 11:2 - 12:29) containing an account of David's sin in the matter of Bathsheba is omitted in the corresponding passage in Ch1 20:1.
Sanballat Held some place of authority in Samaria when Nehemiah went up to Jerusalem to rebuild its ruined walls. He vainly attempted to hinder this work (Neh 2:10, Neh 2:19; Neh 4:1; 6). His daughter became the wife of one of the sons of Joiada, a son of the high priest, much to the grief of Nehemiah (Neh 13:28).
Sanctification Involves more than a mere moral reformation of character, brought about by the power of the truth: it is the work of the Holy Spirit bringing the whole nature more and more under the influences of the new gracious principles implanted in the soul in regeneration. In other words, sanctification is the carrying on to perfection the work begun in regeneration, and it extends to the whole man (Rom 6:13; Co2 4:6; Col 3:10; Jo1 4:7; Co1 6:19). It is the special office of the Holy Spirit in the plan of redemption to carry on this work (Co1 6:11; Th2 2:13). Faith is instrumental in securing sanctification, inasmuch as it (1.) secures union to Christ (Gal 2:20), and (2.) brings the believer into living contact with the truth, whereby he is led to yield obedience "to the commands, trembling at the threatenings, and embracing the promises of God for this life and that which is to come." Perfect sanctification is not attainable in this life (Kg1 8:46; Pro 20:9; Ecc 7:20; Jam 3:2; Jo1 1:8). See Paul's account of himself in Rom 7:14; Phi 3:12; and Ti1 1:15; also the confessions of David (Psa 19:12, Psa 19:13; 51), of Moses (Psa 90:8), of Job (Job 42:5, Job 42:6), and of Daniel (Dan. 9:3-20). "The more holy a man is, the more humble, self-renouncing, self-abhorring, and the more sensitive to every sin he becomes, and the more closely he clings to Christ. The moral imperfections which cling to him he feels to be sins, which he laments and strives to overcome. Believers find that their life is a constant warfare, and they need to take the kingdom of heaven by storm, and watch while they pray. They are always subject to the constant chastisement of their Father's loving hand, which can only be designed to correct their imperfections and to confirm their graces. And it has been notoriously the fact that the best Christians have been those who have been the least prone to claim the attainment of perfection for themselves.", Hodge's Outlines.
Sanctuary Denotes, (1.) the Holy Land (Exo 15:17; compare Psa 114:2); (2.) the temple (Ch1 22:19; Ch2 29:21); (3.) the tabernacle (Exo 25:8; Lev 12:4; Lev 21:12); (4.) the holy place, the place of the Presence (Gr. hieron , the temple-house; not the naos, which is the temple area, with its courts and porches), Lev 4:6; Eph 2:21, R.V., marg.; (5.) God's holy habitation in heaven (Psa 102:19). In the final state there is properly "no sanctuary" (Rev 21:22), for God and the Lamb "are the sanctuary" (R.V., "temple"). All is there hallowed by the Divine Presence; all is sanctuary.
Sandals Mentioned only in Mar 6:9 and Act 12:8. The sandal was simply a sole, made of wood or palm-bark, fastened to the foot by leather straps. Sandals were also made of seal-skin (Eze 16:10; lit. tahash, "leather;" A.V., "badger's skin;" R.V., "sealskin," or marg., "porpoise-skin"). (See SHOE.)
Sanhedrim More correctly Sanhedrin (Gr. synedrion ), meaning "a sitting together," or a "council." This word (rendered "council," A.V.) is frequently used in the New Testament (Mat 5:22; Mat 26:59; Mar 15:1, etc.) to denote the supreme judicial and administrative council of the Jews, which, it is said, was first instituted by Moses, and was composed of seventy men (Num 11:16, Num 11:17). But that seems to have been only a temporary arrangement which Moses made. This council is with greater probability supposed to have originated among the Jews when they were under the domination of the Syrian kings in the time of the Maccabees. The name is first employed by the Jewish historian Josephus. This "council" is referred to simply as the "chief priests and elders of the people" (Mat 26:3, Mat 26:47, Mat 26:57, Mat 26:59; Mat 27:1, Mat 27:3, Mat 27:12, Mat 27:20, etc.), before whom Christ was tried on the charge of claiming to be the Messiah. Peter and John were also brought before it for promulgating heresy (Acts. 4:1-23; 5:17-41); as was also Stephen on a charge of blasphemy (Act 6:12), and Paul for violating a temple by-law (Act 22:30; Act 23:1). The Sanhedrin is said to have consisted of seventy-one members, the high priest being president. They were of three classes (1.) the chief priests, or heads of the twenty-four priestly courses (1 Chr. 24), (2.) the scribes, and (3.) the elders. As the highest court of judicature, "in all causes and over all persons, ecclesiastical and civil, supreme," its decrees were binding, not only on the Jews in Palestine, but on all Jews wherever scattered abroad. Its jurisdiction was greatly curtailed by Herod, and afterwards by the Romans. Its usual place of meeting was within the precincts of the temple, in the hall "Gazith," but it sometimes met also in the house of the high priest (Mat 26:3), who was assisted by two vice-presidents.
Sansannah A palm branch, or a thorn bush, a town in the south (the negeb) of Judah (Jos 15:31); called also Hazar-susah (Jos 19:5), or Hazar-susim (Ch1 4:31).
Saph Extension, the son of the giant whom Sibbechai slew (Sa2 21:18); called also Sippai (Ch1 20:4).