Judges 16:27 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Judges 16:27, NIV: Now the temple was crowded with men and women; all the rulers of the Philistines were there, and on the roof were about three thousand men and women watching Samson perform.

Judges 16:27, ESV: Now the house was full of men and women. All the lords of the Philistines were there, and on the roof there were about 3,000 men and women, who looked on while Samson entertained.

Judges 16:27, KJV: 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.

Judges 16:27, NASB: Now the house was full of men and women, and all the governors of the Philistines were there. And about three thousand men and women were on the roof looking on while Samson was entertaining them.

Judges 16:27, NLT: Now the temple was completely filled with people. All the Philistine rulers were there, and there were about 3,000 men and women on the roof who were watching as Samson amused them.

Judges 16:27, CSB: The temple was full of men and women; all the leaders of the Philistines were there, and about three thousand men and women were on the roof watching Samson entertain them.

What does Judges 16:27 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The party in celebration of Samson's capture was packed with people. These were probably from all over Philistine-controlled territory (Judges 16:23–26). The "house" is large, likely a temple to the false god Dagon. Samson stands with his hands resting on the two large central pillars of the structure. Men and women have been watching him both from the main level of the building, where he is, and from the roof of the structure. This verse reports 3,000 people standing above and looking down on the action.

Even for modern buildings, three thousand people is an enormous number to stand on the roof of a single building. Commentators suggest this might refer to a series of balconies in the upper part of the building, attached to the ceiling in some way. It's also possible that this means the there were 3,000 people present, and at times they went up onto the roof to watch Samson's humiliation. Either way, there are a vast number of Philistine nobles presents. None of them seem to realize they're in grave danger (Judges 16:29–30).