[b-hebrew] uncovering Boaz' 'footsies' was Samson at Gaza - Judges 16:1

K Randolph kwrandolph at gmail.com
Thu Aug 16 13:13:38 EDT 2007


Here's a place where the case can be made that merely the feet were
uncovered, nothing more. This was a sign of putting oneself under a
master's feet, so to speak. We find the same picture in 1 Samuel when
Abigail was sent for to be David's wife, she answered that she was
ready to wash the feet of her lord's slaves: do you think she meant
anything more? Isn't the reading more into the text more an indication
of the reader's mind, than the text?

On 8/16/07, George Athas <george.athas at moore.edu.au> wrote:
> One of the beauties of Hebrew narrative is its economy of expression which
> often implies everything without saying very much at all (cf. Ruth on the
> threshing floor uncovering Boaz' 'footsies').
> Furthermore, a good question to ask when interrogating a text is why does it
> use such brevity? In most cases, I think the answer is modesty.
Noted, and questioned.

> In the case of Samson, when he shows up at a whore's place and spends the
> night there, if the text does not specifically say that he did not sleep
> with her, I think it's fairly safe to assume that the text is implying he
> did. That he got up early in the morning proves nothing.
> Also, Samson needing a safe place to stay the night is quite ironic, because
> he was more than capable of taking care of any stalkers. He didn't 'need' a
> place to stay -- he 'wanted' a place to stay.
> The text doesn't pass any overt moral judgement on Samson's actions. This
> doesn't mean, however, that an ancient reader would have thought what he did
> was acceptable. The text is merely silent. So, we shouldn't try to argue
> from silence -- that's probably going to be speculation.
Also, why be preachy in a narrative, when such actions were already
condemned elsewhere?

On a related story, that of the two spies in Joshua, did they go for
Rahab's services, or to interrogate her?

Before WWII in the Far East, Japan sent spies, female spies, to work
in the brothels because a little wine and sex loosens men's tongues.
They concentrated on the military brothels, and ended up with quality
information that male spies would have difficulty getting.

Likewise Rahab would have had information, quality information, not
only from Jericho, but from visitors who came to Jericho and made use
of her services. From a people whose law forbad making prostitutes of
their daughters, what better way to get information quickly and easily
than to interrogate a local prostitute who was willing to switch

> Best Regards,
> Moore Theological College (Sydney)
> 1 King St, Newtown, NSW 2042, Australia
> Ph: (+61 2) 9577 9774

Karl W. Randolph.

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