Thursday, March 17, 2005

1 Samuel 5

In this passage, the capture of the Ark of God only brings disaster on the Philistines. Everywhere it is taken, the people are smitten with "taechor." The word "taechor" occurs only in 1 Samuel 5-6 and in Deuteronomy 28:27, and is conventionally translated as "emerods" (i.e., hemorrhoids) or "tumors."

However, there is a very strong clue in the subsequent chapter that it refers to buboes, the mark of plague, namely the association of the tumors with rats.

According to Clarke, Dagon was part human, part fish. If so, as Matthew Henry points out, the smashing of the idol's head and hands would have left the fish. In any event, it was Dagon's temple that Samson brought down in Judges 16:23-30.

The city of Gath was where Goliath originated. Therefore, this passage resonates of two victories over the Philistines, one prior and one to come.


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