Judges chapter 14

Samson almost marries a Philistine woman.

 


 

SAMPSON ALMOST MARRIES A PHILISTINE WOMAN

 

VERSE 1. Samson went down to Timnah, and saw a woman in Timnah of the daughters of the Philistines.

saw a woman in Timnah. Samson is motivated by externals. He is attracted to her based on what he sees.

He does not investigate the far more important factors such as her godliness or personality or character.

of the daughters of the Philistines. Marrying a non-Jewish person was forbidden:

Deuteronomy 7:3. You shall not make marriages with them. You shall not give your daughter to his son, nor shall you take his daughter for your son.

In this chapter, this is Samson’s first violation of his Nazirite vow.

 

VERSE 2. He came up, and told his father and his mother, saying, “I have seen a woman in Timnah of the daughters of the Philistines. Now therefore get her for me as my wife.”

get her for me as my wife. In those days, marriages were arranged by the parents. So Samson asks his parents to arrange a marriage with this Philistine woman.

 

VERSE 3. Then his father and his mother said to him, “Isn’t there a woman among your brothers’ daughters, or among all my people, that you go to take a wife of the uncircumcised Philistines?” Samson said to his father, “Get her for me, for she pleases me well.”

go to take a wife. Samson’s parents object.

the uncircumcised Philistines. Samson’s parents are deriding the Philistines.

Even in the era of David and Jonathan, this will still to be a way to deride outsiders:

1 Samuel 14:6. Jonathan said to his young armor-bearer, “Come, let’s go over to the outpost of those uncircumcised men. Perhaps the LORD will act in our behalf. Nothing can hinder the LORD from saving, whether by many or by few.” (NIV Translation)

 

VERSE 4. But his father and his mother didn’t know that it was of the LORD; for he sought an occasion against the Philistines. Now at that time the Philistines ruled over Israel.

it was of the LORD. This does not mean the LORD God wants Samson to disobeying the Law.

Rather, it seems the LORD God will work with this unfortunate situation, redeeming good out of it:

Romans 8:28. We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, and are called according to his purpose. (NIV translation)

 

VERSE 5. Then Samson went down to Timnah with his father and his mother, and came to the vineyards of Timnah; and behold, a young lion roared at him.

 

VERSE 6. The LORD’s Spirit came mightily on him, and he tore him as he would have torn a young goat with his bare hands, but he didn’t tell his father or his mother what he had done.

The LORD’s Spirit came mightily on him. In the life of Samson, the Holy Spirit made him strong in battle:

Hebrews 11:34. quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, from weakness were made strong, grew mighty in war, and caused foreign armies to flee.

 

VERSE 7. He went down and talked with the woman, and she pleased Samson well.

talked with the woman. Previously he had only seen her. Now they talk face-to-face.

 

VERSE 8. After a while he returned to take her, and he went over to see the carcass of the lion; and behold, there was a swarm of bees in the body of the lion, and honey.

 

VERSE 9. He took it into his hands, and went on, eating as he went. He came to his father and mother and gave to them, and they ate, but he didn’t tell them that he had taken the honey out of the lion’s body.

He took it into his hands. Samson touches a dead body. That was forbidden by Nazirite law:

Numbers 6:6. “ ‘All the days that he separates himself to the LORD he shall not go near a dead body.

And it was forbidden by the Law of Moses:

Leviticus 11:39. “ ‘If any animal of which you may eat dies, he who touches its carcass shall be unclean until the evening.

In this chapter, this is Samson’s second violation of his Nazirite vow.

 

VERSE 10. His father went down to the woman; and Samson made a feast there, for the young men used to do so.

Samson made a feast. This was probably a seven-day wedding feast. If so, Samson would have violated his Nazirite vow to abstain from fermented drink.

In this chapter, this is Samson’s third violation of his Nazirite vow.

 

VERSE 11. When they saw him, they brought thirty companions to be with him.

 

VERSE 12. Samson said to them, “Let me tell you a riddle now. If you can tell me the answer within the seven days of the feast, and find it out, then I will give you thirty linen garments and thirty changes of clothing;

thirty linen garments and thirty changes of clothing. This represents a great deal of wealth.

 

VERSE 13. but if you can’t tell me the answer, then you shall give me thirty linen garments and thirty changes of clothing.” They said to him, “Tell us your riddle, that we may hear it.”

 

VERSE 14. He said to them, “Out of the eater came out food. Out of the strong came out sweetness.” They couldn’t in three days declare the riddle.

 

VERSE 15. On the seventh day, they said to Samson’s wife, “Entice your husband, that he may declare to us the riddle, lest we burn you and your father’s house with fire. Have you called us to impoverish us? Isn’t that so?”

your husband. At this point in the narrative, they are already married.

The text says “your husband,” not “your fiancé.”

lest we burn you and your father’s house with fire. They threaten Samson’s wife and her family with death. Understandably, she complies.

 

VERSE 16. Samson’s wife wept before him, and said, “You just hate me, and don’t love me. You’ve told a riddle to the children of my people, and haven’t told it to me.” He said to her, “Behold, I haven’t told my father or my mother, so why should I tell you?”

 

VERSE 17. She wept before him the seven days, while their feast lasted; and on the seventh day, he told her, because she pressed him severely; and she told the riddle to the children of her people.

the seven days. This party lasts seven days.

 

VERSE 18. The men of the city said to him on the seventh day before the sun went down, “What is sweeter than honey? What is stronger than a lion?” He said to them, “If you hadn’t plowed with my heifer, you wouldn’t have found out my riddle.”

plowed with my heifer. Samson refers to his wife as a heifer. He is ridiculing her.

To refer to somebody as a heifer is not complimentary:

Judges 14:18. The men of the city said to him on the seventh day before the sun went down, “What is sweeter than honey? What is stronger than a lion?” He said to them, “If you hadn’t plowed with my heifer, you wouldn’t have found out my riddle.”

Jeremiah 50:11. Because you are glad, because you rejoice, O you who plunder my heritage, because you are wanton as a heifer that treads out the grain, and neigh as strong horses;

Hosea 4:16. For Israel has behaved extremely stubbornly, like a stubborn heifer. Then how will the LORD feed them like a lamb in a meadow.

 

VERSE 19. The LORD’s Spirit came mightily on him, and he went down to Ashkelon and struck thirty men of them. He took their plunder, then gave the changes of clothing to those who declared the riddle. His anger burned, and he went up to his father’s house.

The LORD’s Spirit came mightily on him. In the life of Samson, the Holy Spirit made him strong in battle:

Hebrews 11:34. quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, from weakness were made strong, grew mighty in war, and caused foreign armies to flee.

His anger burned. Samson is still burning with rage.

he went up to his father’s house. Samson goes to his father’s house in Zorah without returning to his wife on the seventh night of the wedding to consummate the marriage.

 

VERSE 20. But Samson’s wife was given to his companion, who had been his friend.

given to his companion. The bride’s father, to avoid the disgrace of what he perceived as an annulment, gives her to the best man.

The woman is treated as property. She is not allowed to make decisions about her own life.

 


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JUDGES

CHAPTERS: 01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 06, 07, 08, 09, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21

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