And Samson took hold of the two middle pillars, upon which the
house stood, and on which it was borne up
Some have objected, that a building so large and so capacious as this was could not be supported by two pillars, and those placed in the middle, and so near to each other that Samson could lay hold on them; on which it has been observed, that the architecture of the ancients is little known to us, and they might have curious and ingenious arts of building, now lost; and several authors have taken notice of two Roman theatres built by Curio, that held abundantly more people than this house did, which were supported only by a single pin or hinge, as Pliny F25 relates; and our Westminster hall, which was built by William Rufus, and is two hundred and seventy feet long, and seventy four broad F26, and has a roof the largest in all Europe, is supported without any pillars at all; add to all which, that mention being made of the two middle pillars of this house, supposes that there were others in other parts of it, though these were the main and principal ones, on which the weight of the building chiefly lay. Kimchi observes, that the word signifies to incline or bend, as if Samson made the pillars to bend or bow; but it is a better sense that he laid hold of them:
of the one with his right hand, and the other with his left;
and thus he stood with his arms stretched out, as Jesus on the cross, of whom he was a type, as often observed.
F25 Nat. Hist. l. 36. c. 15.
F26 Rapin's History of England, vol. 1. p. 188.