New Defender's Study Bible Notes
16:1 went in unto her. This backsliding apparently followed the twenty years of peace and freedom under Samson as judge. It gave the Philistines another opportunity to defeat their enemy. However, Samson’s faith in God had not faltered and his strength would prevail as long as his Nazarite vows had not failed.
16:17 if I be shaven. It was a key responsibility of the Nazarite vow that “no razor come upon his head” (Numbers 6:5) as long as his vow of separation had specified.
16:21 did grind. Philistine prisons were, indeed, used as “grinding houses,” where prisoners were required to “grind” grain for the Philistine aristocracy, using hard grinding stones in mortars held on their laps.
16:23 Dagon their god. Dagon has been called the “fish-god” ever since the days of Jerome, who so identified him (evidently because the Hebrew word for “fish” is dag). However, archaeologists have found references to Dagon, who was seemingly a very important deity in all the ancient nations of the Middle East. He is now believed to have been the “god of grain” (the Hebrew word for “grain” is dagan).
16:25 between the pillars. Philistine temples excavated by archaeologists have shown that their roofs were supported by two central pillars about six feet apart. It would easily be possible for a man to lean against both of them simultaneously.
16:30 the house fell. The two middle pillars were each made of wood columns resting on stone support bases. Thus a very strong man would be able to dislodge them from their bases by pushing against both at the same time.