Sham'gar (Heb. Shamnar', שִׁמגִּר, possibly sword [comp. Samgar]; Sept. Σαμεγάρ, Josephus Σανάγαρος), son of Anath, and third judge of Israel. B.C. 1429. It is possible, from his patronymic, that Shamgar may have been of the tribe of Naphtali, since Bethanath is in that tribe (Jg 1:33). Ewald conjectures that he was of Dan — an opinion in which Bertheau (On Judges 3:31) does not coincide. Since the tribe of Naphtali bore a chief part in the war against Jabin and Sisera (Jg 4:6,10; Jg 5:18), we seem to have a point of contact between Shamgar and Barak. It is not known whether the only exploit recorded of him was that by which his authority was acquired. It is said that he "slew of the Philistines six hundred men with an ox goad" (Jg 3:31). It is supposed that he was laboring in the field, without any other weapon than the long staff armed with a strong point used in urging and guiding the cattle yoked in the plough, SEE GOAD, when he perceived a party of the Philistines, whom, with the aid of the husbandmen and neighbors, he repulsed with much slaughter. The date and duration of his government are not stated in Scripture (Josephus [Ant. 5, 4, 3] says it lasted less than one year), but may be probably assigned to the end of that long period of repose which followed the deliverance under Ehud. He is not expressly called a judge, nor does he appear to have effected more than a very partial and transient relaxation of the Philistine oppression under which Israel groaned; and the next period of Israel's declension is dated, not from Shamgar's, but from Ehud's ascendency (Jg 4:1); as if the agency of Shamgar were too occasional to form an epoch in the history. The heroic deed recorded of him was probably a solitary effort, prompted by a kind of inspiration at the moment, and failing of any permanent result from not being followed up either on his own part or that of his countrymen. In Shamgar's time, as the Song of Deborah informs us (5:6), the condition of the people was so deplorably insecure that the highways were forsaken, and travelers went through by ways, and, for the same reason, the villages were abandoned for the walled towns. Their arms were apparently taken from them, by the same policy as was adopted later by the same people (3:31; 5, 8; comp. with 1Sa 13:19-22). From the position of "the Philistines" in 1Sa 12:9, between "Moab" and "Hazor," the allusion seems to be to the time of Shamgar. SEE JUDGES.

Bible concordance for SHAMGAR.

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

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