The passuk states “דן ידין עמו כאחד שבטי ישראל.” Onkelos translates as “From the house of Dan will be chosen, and a man will arise, in his days his nation will be redeemed, and in his years the tribes of Yisrael will rest as one.” The Nefesh HaGer explains b’shem the Ramban, the man who will rise refers to Shimshon. Although he was not a king, he will judge the Plishtim and take revenge for Yisrael, and save them. Yaakov hints to one specific person from the tribe of Dan, not the entire tribe.
The following passuk states “יהי דן נחש עלי דרך שפיפון עלי ארח.” Onkelos translates as “It will be the man that will be chosen and will stand up from the house of Dan, his fear will be lifted up on the nations, and his smite will be strong against the Plishtim, like chermon snakes he will rest on the road, and as a python he will wait in hiding on the path.” The Nefesh HaGer explains, Onkelos translates with an introduction, “It will be the man that will be chosen and will stand up from the house of Dan,” referring to Shimshon. “His fear will be lifted up on the nations and his smite will be strong against the Plishtim,” as it states in Shoftim (טו, ח) “ויך אותם שוק על ירך מכה רבה and he smote them the thigh together with the hip, a big smite.”
The Nesina LaGer explains, Onkelos translates “נחש עלי דרך שפיפון עלי ארח” with both the literal meaning, which is the mashal, and the nimshal. “His fear will be lifted up on the nations and his smite will be strong against the Plishtim” is the nimshal. “Like chermon snakes he will rest on the road, and as a python he will wait in hiding on the path” is the mashal.
Rashi explains the נחש, snake, refers to the chermon snake which is also called tzifoni, which has no cure for its bite. It is called chermon since it makes everything banned, from the lashon cherem, and makes things not functional. The shfifon is another type of snake which shrieks and hisses, from the lashon נושף. The Nesinah LaGer explains the nimshal: just as a snake places fear, so too Dan will cause fear to the nations, and as a shfifon frightens, so too he will frighten the Plishtim.
The Nefesh HaGer explains, Onkelos translates the comparison of the two snakes, how they attack, how they injure, and their corresponding nimshal. The chermon is a snake whose back is the color of copper and it shines at a distance, called the copper-hitter. It shines into the eyes of a person who sees it and he runs away from the snake to be saved. This snake has brazenness and is not afraid of anyone. It lays on the road in public, where people walk, and it openly chases after people. So too was with Shimshon at the beginning, he single handedly and publicly fought against the Plishtim and was victorious. The Plishtim were frightened of him and they fled as fleeing from before this snake. Later on Shimshon was similar to another type of snake, the python. Tosfos brings b’shem the Yerushalmi, there is a python which is the size of a hair called shfifon. It hides amongst the paths since it is afraid to go where people walk, and there it waits in ambush. When a person comes riding a horse it will come and bite the heel of the horse or rider, and its poison will pierce through and burn its foot. Because of the extreme bitterness it will quickly cause the horse to fall and crush its rider. So too was with Shimshon at the end. The Plishtim pecked out his eyes, disgraced and belittled him. Suddenly he pulled down the pillars of the house, and the house collapsed on them and killed more than he killed when he was alive. It did not even enter their minds to need protection from him, just as the rider doesn’t realize he needs to be protected from the shfifon which is so small that he doesn’t see.
May Hashem guard us from the enemies and bring the geulah shelaima bimheira v’yameinu amen.