Judges 16:29 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Judges 16:29, NIV: Then Samson reached toward the two central pillars on which the temple stood. Bracing himself against them, his right hand on the one and his left hand on the other,

Judges 16:29, ESV: And Samson grasped the two middle pillars on which the house rested, and he leaned his weight against them, his right hand on the one and his left hand on the other.

Judges 16:29, KJV: 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.

Judges 16:29, NASB: Then Samson grasped the two middle pillars on which the house rested, and braced himself against them, the one with his right hand and the other with his left.

Judges 16:29, NLT: Then Samson put his hands on the two center pillars that held up the temple. Pushing against them with both hands,

Judges 16:29, CSB: Samson took hold of the two middle pillars supporting the temple and leaned against them, one on his right hand and the other on his left.

What does Judges 16:29 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

With his final breaths, Samson expressed faith in God, to a point, by asking that his strength be restored one last time (Judges 16:28). His clearly stated motive is revenge, against the hated enemies who have blinded him (Judges 16:21, 25). The thousands of Philistines gathered for the celebration of Samson's capture seem oblivious to the idea that he could be any danger to them now. He is sightless, broken, weak, and thoroughly humiliated. They don't suspect that his relationship with the God who empowered him is beginning to heal (Judges 16:17, 22).

Were Samson to get his strength back, the Philistines have left him in a dangerous spot. He stands between two pillars holding up the entire building. Historians suggest this was not an uncommon architectural design for some ancient temples. The weight of the roof held the solid pillars in place while they supported building. Some temples might have had a series of balconies, which would also have been part of the roof and ceiling structure. Samson senses an opportunity to strike a final blow against his enemies.

The pillars are close enough together that Samson can put one hand on each and push. In this moment, Samson doesn't know if the Lord has granted his prayer for a last burst of supernatural power. In prior incidents, he acted after sensing the overwhelming presence of God's Spirit (Judges 14:5–6; 15:14–15). This is an act of faith—until he tries to use it, he won't know if he has that power. If he strains against the columns and fails, he will experience both failure and humiliation.