Bible Commentaries

Gary Hampton Commentary on Selected Books

Judges 14

Verses 1-4

Samson found a daughter of the Philistines in Timnath that he wanted to marry and asked his parents to make the proper arrangements. They did not approve of marriage to one not of God"s people and asked if he could not find an Israelite girl for a wife (compare Exodus 34:11-16; Deuteronomy 7:1-6). Of course, his parents did not know that God was going to use this marriage to produce an opportunity to deal a blow to the Philistines (Judges 14:1-4).

Verses 5-20

While going to Timnath, Samson was attacked by a young lion which he killed with his bare hands, because of the strength he received from God. Later, when he returned to take her home to marry her, Samson went aside and found honey in the carcass. He took some, ate it and gave some to his parents to eat without telling them where he got it. Samson prepared a feast according to the usual custom and the bride"s parents invited thirty friends to join them. Samson told a riddle which they could not solve without the aid of Samson"s bride. When she persuaded him to tell her the meaning of the riddle and then the guests revealed its answer to Samson, he said they would not have known if they had not plowed with his heifer. To fulfill his obligation of a suit of clothing for each of the thirty, the Spirit of the Lord caused him to go to Ashkelon and slay thirty men.

With his anger aroused against his wife, Samson left her there and returned to the home of his parents. He did not intend to break off the marriage, as will be seen in the next chapter, but his father-in-law gave his daughter to the friend Samson had chosen at the feast (Judges 14:5-20).

Judges 15:1-5

When Samson went down to Timnath at the time of the wheat harvest to visit his wife in her chamber, his father-in-law told him he had given her to his best man. He offered Samson a younger daughter, but he was enraged because the covenant made by his parents when they paid the dowry had been broken. He caught 300 jackals, which are much like foxes, and tied pairs of them together with torches between their tails. Their release into the standing grain caused the harvest to be burned shock and all. Even the nearby olive groves were destroyed (Judges 15:1-5).

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Bibliographical Information
Hampton, Gary. "Commentary on Judges 14". "Gary Hampton Commentary on Selected Books". 2014.