Sacred Texts  Bible  Bible Commentary  Index 
Judges Index
  Previous  Next 

Notes on the Bible, by Albert Barnes, [1834], at

Judges Chapter 14

Judges 14:1

jdg 14:1

Timnath - See Jos 15:10 and note. It was below Zorah Jdg 13:2, about three miles S. W. of it.

Judges 14:2

jdg 14:2

Get her for me - namely, by Paying the requisite dowry (see marginal references) and gifts to relations. Hence, the frequent mention of parents taking wives for their sons Exo 34:16; Neh 10:30, because the parents of the bridegroom conducted the negotiation, and paid the dower to the parents of the bride.

Judges 14:3

jdg 14:3

The uncircumcised Philistines - Compare Sa1 14:6; Sa1 17:26; Sa1 31:4, for a similar use of the term as one of reproach. Also Act 11:3.

Judges 14:4

jdg 14:4

His father and mother very properly opposed Samson's marriage with a Pagan woman, the daughter of the oppressors of his race. But they could not prevail, because it was the secret purpose of God by these means to "seek occasion" against the Philistines; i. e. to make the misconduct of the father of Samson's wife, which He foresaw, the occasion of destruction to the Philistines. Compare the marginal references for similar statements.

Judges 14:8

jdg 14:8

The formal dowry and gifts having been given by Samson's father, an interval, varying according to the Oriental custom, from a few days to a full year, elapsed between the betrothal and the wedding, during which the bride lived with her friends. Then came the essential part of the marriage ceremony, namely, the removal of the bride from her father's house to that of the bridegroom or his father.

The carcase of the lion - The lion, slain by him a year or some months before, had now become a mere skeleton, fit for bees to swarm into. It was a universal notion among the ancients that bees were generated from the carcass of an ox.

Judges 14:10

jdg 14:10

Made a feast ... - This was the wedding-feast, protracted in this instance seven days, in that of Tobias (Tobit 8:19) fourteen days. It was an essential part of the marriage ceremony Gen 29:22; Est 2:18; Mat 22:2-4; Rev 19:7, Rev 19:9.

Judges 14:11

jdg 14:11

Thirty companions - These were "the children of the bride-chamber" (Mat 9:15; see Jdg 14:20). From the number of them it may be inferred that Samson's family was of some wealth and importance.

Judges 14:12

jdg 14:12

See the marginal references. Riddles formed one of the amusements of these protracted feasts.

Sheets - Rather "linen shirts;" the "garments" which follow are the outward garments worn by the Orientals.

Judges 14:14

jdg 14:14

Three days ... on the seventh day - Proposed alterations, such as "six days ... on the fourth day," are unnecessary if it be remembered that the narrator passes on first to the seventh day (at Jdg 14:15), and then goes back at Jdg 14:16 and beginning of Jdg 14:17 to what happened on the 4th, 5th, and 6th days.

To take that we have - See the margin. They affirm that they were only invited to the wedding for the sake of plundering them by means of this riddle, and if Samson's wife was a party to plundering her own countrymen, she should suffer for it.

Judges 14:18

jdg 14:18

They try to give the answer in a way to make it appear that they had guessed it. Samson saw at once that she had betrayed him. He lets them know in a speech, which was of the nature of a riddle, that he had discovered the treachery.

Judges 14:20

jdg 14:20

His companion - Perhaps one of those mentioned in Jdg 14:11. The transaction denotes loose notions of the sanctity of marriage among the Philistines. It should be noted carefully that the practical lesson against ungodly marriages comes out most strongly in this case and that the providential purpose which out of this evil brought discomfiture to the Philistines, has nothing to do with the right or wrong of Samson's conduct.

Next: Judges Chapter 15