Then three thousand of Judah went up to the top of the rock of
Or "went down" F7; that is, into the cave of the rock of Etam, as the Septuagint and Vulgate Latin versions; and so it is taken by David de Pomis F8 for a cave dug in the rock: this was a large number that went to take one man; the reason is, they knew his great strength:
and said to Samson, knowest thou not that the Philistines are rulers
and therefore it must be a very unwise thing to disoblige and provoke them, when it lay in their power to oppress them yet more and more, to increase their tribute, and make their burdens heavier, and even take away their lives:
what is this that thou hast done unto us?
they ask not what he had done to them, but unto us; though they mean that, but express themselves thus, because what he had done to the Philistines was the occasion of their coming up against them, and so eventually it was doing them ill:
and he said unto them, as they did unto me, so have I done to them;
they had done him ill, and therefore he did ill to them; they had burnt his wife and her father with fire, and he had slain many of them; at least this was what he thought fit to say in his own vindication; otherwise what he did was not in a way of private revenge, but on account of the injury done to the people of Israel, he taking what was done to them as done to himself, the chief magistrate and judge of Israel.
F7 (wdryw) , "et descenderunt", Pagninus, Montanus; "descenderunt ergo", V. L. Tigurine version.
F8 Tzemach David, fol. 112. 3.