And it came to pass when their hearts were merry
With wine, for which Gaza is famous in many writers F23; with eating and drinking, dancing, and music; for it was usual for the Heathens to feast in their temples, and especially no doubt they would on such an occasion as this:
and they said, call for Samson, that he may make us sport;
by which it seems that what is before said, "when the people saw him", ( Judges 16:24 ) is said by anticipation; for as yet he was not in the temple, but in the prison; and therefore a motion was made by some of the great personages, that he might be fetched from thence, and they might have some diversion with him:
and they called for Samson out of the prison house;
sent some messengers to fetch him from thence:
and he made them sport;
not actively, but passively; it cannot well be thought, that a man of so great a spirit as Samson was, and in such circumstances as he now was, would ever, either by words or gestures, do anything on purpose to divert his enemies, and make them laugh; but he was the object of their sport and scorn, and he bore it patiently, their cruel mockings, buffetings, and spittings; in which he was a type of Christ. It was a diversion to them to see him in his rattling chains, groping, and blundering along from post to pillar, one perhaps giving him a box of the ear, or a slap of the face, another plucking him by his nose or beard, and another spitting in his face, and others taunting at him, and reproaching him:
and they set him between the pillars;
that he might be the better seen, and in which there was the direction of Providence to bring about what follows.
F23 Vid. Rivinum de Majumis c. 6. sect. 13.