And she made him sleep upon her knees
Giving him, as some think, a sleepy potion; or however encouraged him to take a nap upon her knees, and by her fondness lulled him to sleep:
and she called for a man; a barber;
in former times to shave was the work of a servant F6 and sometimes of a woman; she gave orders for one to be sent for; for Jarchi calls him a messenger of the lords of the Philistines:
and she caused him to shave off the seven locks of his head;
this shows that they were not wove into one another, and made but one lock, as some interpret what she was before directed to do:
and she began to afflict him;
as his hair was shaving off; though he was asleep, yet he discovered some uneasiness, the effects of it began to appear: though the word "began" here may be redundant, as in ( Numbers 25:1 ) ( Judges 20:40 ) and then the meaning is, that she afflicted him, or again afflicted him; for she had afflicted him, or at least attempted it, three times before, and therefore did not begin now; this Hebraism is used in ( Mark 4:1 ) and frequently in Jewish writings F7:
and his strength went from him;
sensibly and gradually; though some understand it of her shaking him in a violent manner to awake him, and shrieking and crying out terribly to frighten him, with her old cry of the Philistines being on him, and of her binding him, though not expressed; whereby she perceived his strength was gone, and he could not loose himself.
F6 Vid. Pignorium de servis, p. 89, 90, 91. & Popma de servis, p. 57, 58.
F7 See Lightfoot. Hor. Heb. in Mark iv. 1. Vid. Sterringae Animadv. Philolog. Sacr. p. 248.