Home
Search Bible
Click for Help   Click for QuickNav   Click for Advanced Search Options
Search KJV
KJVNKJVNLTNIVESVCSBNASB
Version Selector Up Arrow NETRSVASVYLTDBYWEBHNV
RVR60VULWLCLXXmGNTTR  
Version Selector Down Arrow

Search a pre-defined list


OR Select a range of biblical books

From:

To:


OR Custom Selection:

Use semicolons to separate groups:
'Gen;Jdg;Psa-Mal' or 'Rom 3-12;Mat 1:15;Mat 5:12-22'

Your Bible Version is the KJV
Version Selector Up Arrow
KJV King James Version
NKJV New King James Version
NLT New Living Translation
NIV New International Version
ESV English Standard Version
CSB Christian Standard Bible
NASB New American Standard Bible
NET New English Translation
RSV Revised Standard Version
ASV American Standard Version
YLT Young's Literal Translation
DBY Darby Translation
WEB Webster's Bible
HNV Hebrew Names Version
RVR60 Reina-Valera 1960
VUL Latin Vulgate
WLC Westminster Leningrad Codex
LXX Septuagint
Go to Top
Link to This PageCite This Page
Version Selector Up Arrow
Version Selector Up Arrow

Cite this page

MLA format Copy link to clipboard

Note: MLA no longer requires the URL as part of their citation standard. Individual instructors or editors may still require the use of URLs.

APA format Copy link to clipboard
Chicago format Copy link to clipboard
Close
Share this pageFollow the BLB
Version Selector Up Arrow

Share this page using one of these tools:

facebooktwitter

googlepluspinterest

reddittumblrlinkedin


Or email this page to a friend:

Version Selector Up Arrow

Follow the Blue Letter Bible on:

facebooktwitter

pinterestgoogle+


Or subscribe to our Newsletter:

Printable Page
 
 
Left Contextbar EdgeLeft Contextbar Edge BackgroundRight Contextbar Edge2Return to CommentariesReturn to Author BiographyRight Contextbar Edge2Right Contextbar Edge BackgroundRight Contextbar Edge1
Choose a new font size and typeface

Customize your font sizeIncrease your font sizeDecrease your font sizeReturn to default font size

Choose a Bible text color
Read the Bible in blackRead the Bible in dark blueRead the Bible in blue

Customize your text type
Arial font
Trebuchet MS font
Georgia font
Times New Roman font

Customize your Hebrew text type
SBL Hebrew font
Times New Roman font
Arial font

Customize your Greek text type
Gentium font
Times New Roman font
Arial font

Close font preferences
The Blue Letter Bible
BLB Searches
Search the Bible
Search KJV
KJVNKJVNLTNIVESVCSBNASB
Version Selector Up Arrow NETRSVASVYLTDBYWEBHNV
RVR60VULWLCLXXmGNTTR  
Version Selector Down Arrow
 [?]

Advanced Options

Search a pre-defined list


OR Select a range of biblical books

From:

To:


OR Custom Selection:

Use semicolons to separate groups: 'Gen;Jdg;Psa-Mal' or 'Rom 3-12;Mat 1:15;Mat 5:12-22'

LexiConc
 [?]
 

Advanced Options

Exact Match
Beginning of the Word
Any Part of the Word
Theological FAQs
 [?]
 
Multi-Verse Retrieval
x
Search KJV
KJVNKJVNLTNIVESVCSBNASB
Version Selector Up Arrow NETRSVASVYLTDBYWEBHNV
RVR60VULWLCLXXmGNTTR  
Version Selector Down Arrow

Line-By-Line Order:
Line-By-Line Verse-Reference  Verse-Reference
Line-By-Line Reference-Verse  Reference-Verse
Line-By-Line Separate Line  Separate Line
Line-By-Line Verse Only  Verse Only
Line-By-Line Reference Only  Reference Only
Reference Delimiters:
No Reference Delimiters  None — Jhn 1:1 KJV
Square Reference Delimiters  Square — [Jhn 1:1 KJV]
Curly Reference Delimiters  Curly — {Jhn 1:1 KJV}
Parenthesis Reference Delimiters  Parens — (Jhn 1:1 KJV)
Paragraph Order:
Paragraph Verse-Reference  Verse-Reference
Paragraph Reference-Verse  Reference-Verse
Paragraph Reference-Only  Reference-Only
Number Delimiters:*
No Verse Numbers  No Number
No Verse Delimeters  No Delimiter — 15
Square Verse Delimiters  Square — [15]
Curly Verse Delimiters  Curly — {15}
Parenthesis Verse Delimiters  Parens — (15)
Other Options:
Abbreviate Books  Abbreviate Books
Quotes Around Verses  Quotes around Verses
Remove Square Brackets  Remove Square Brackets
 
Sort Canonically  Sort Canonically

* 'Number Delimiters' only apply to 'Paragraph Order'

Let's Connect
x

Connect on Facebook Connect on Twitter Connect on Instagram Connect on Pinterest Connect on YouTube

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Daily Devotionals
x

Blue Letter Bible offers several daily devotional readings in order to help you refocus on Christ and the Gospel of His peace and righteousness.

Daily Bible Reading Plans
x

Recognizing the value of consistent reflection upon the Word of God in order to refocus one’s mind and heart upon Christ and His Gospel of peace, we provide several reading plans designed to cover the entire Bible in a year.

One-Year Plans

Two-Year Plan

David Guzik :: Study Guide for Judges 14

toggle collapse

Samson's First Failed Marriage

A. Samson seeks a Philistine wife.

1. (Jdg 14:1-3) Samson demands a Philistine wife.

Now Samson went down to Timnah, and saw a woman in Timnah of the daughters of the Philistines. So he went up and told his father and mother, saying, "I have seen a woman in Timnah of the daughters of the Philistines; now therefore, get her for me as a wife." Then his father and mother said to him, "Is there no woman among the daughters of your brethren, or among all my people, that you must go and get a wife from the uncircumcised Philistines?" And Samson said to his father, "Get her for me, for she pleases me well."

a. Saw a woman in Timnah of the daughters of the Philistines: This seems to be a case of "love at first sight" for Samson. He saw this woman and he instantly wanted to marry her.

i. She pleases me well is literally, "she is right in my eyes." What Samson really cared about was how things looked to himself, not how they looked to the LORD.

ii. "Love at first sight" is a powerful, but dangerous thing. It is entirely possible for us to fall in love with someone that we have no business falling in love with - which was exactly the case with Samson here. As well, "love at first sight" feels wonderful, but doesn't last in its initial form forever. We can be attracted more to the feeling of love itself than the person we focus upon - whom we don't really know at first sight.

b. Samson said to his father, "Ger her for me, for she pleases me well": In demanding a Philistine wife, Samson showed a sinful disregard for his parents and for God's will (Deuteronomy 7:3-4). Bound by romantic feelings, there are many people who still "demand" of God a mate out of God's will.

i. The command to the Israelis to not intermarry with the pagan nations around them applies to the Christian today in that a Christian must not marry someone who is not a Christian, joining themselves together with an unbeliever (2 Corinthians 6:14).

ii. It isn't because those who are not Christians are not lovable - they are sometimes more lovable than believers. It is not because they aren't good enough, or worthy of our love. It is simply because to be a Christian means Jesus Christ is the most important thing in your life; and when a Christian and a non-Christian get together, you have two people who disagree on the most important things in life.

iii. By extension, a Christian really has no business dating a non-Christian. Those who do run a serious risk of falling in love with someone they have no business falling in love with. In fact, the whole philosophy of dating needs to be re-examined by Christians. It often teaches people more about how to break up and how to endure the pain of a broken heart than it teaches about building a lasting, enduring relationship.

iv. Additionally, a Christian is advised to carefully discern the Christian commitment of the one they are interested in. There have been many pretended conversions, calculated to merely entice a Christian to marriage.

v. If someone goes against God's plan and marries an unbeliever or if someone becomes a Christian before their spouse, there are specific commands applying to their situation. The Apostle Paul clearly wrote that this one must do all that is possible to stay in the marriage, and be the best spouse they can be (1 Corinthians 7:10-16).

vi. God did use Samson mightily; but God used Samson despite his sin, not because of it. It is fair to suppose that God may have used Samson in a far greater way if he made himself a clean vessel according to the principle of 2 Timothy 2:20-21.

2. (Jdg 14:4) God's will behind the scenes of Samson's desire to marry a Philistine woman.

But his father and mother did not know that it was of the LORD; that He was seeking an occasion to move against the Philistines. For at that time the Philistines had dominion over Israel.

a. His father and mother did not know that it was of the LORD: As the rest of the chapter shows, some good ultimately came out of this ungodly marriage. Many Philistines were killed and they were kept off balance in their attempts to dominate the Israelites.

i. However, none of that justified Samson's actions. Though God can make even the evil of man to serve His purposes, it never justifies the evil that man does.

b. He was seeking an occasion to move against the Philistines: In accomplishing this purpose, God did not make a reluctant Samson pursue the Philistine woman for marriage. God allowed Samson to do what he wanted to do, though the act itself was sinful. God allowed it for reasons in both Samson's life and for reasons on a larger scale.

i. Someone today might justify their desire to marry a non-Christian because they trust some good will come out of it - such as their non-Christian partner eventually coming to Jesus. Things may work out that way, but even though God used Samson's marriage to a Philistine woman, it all came at a great personal cost to Samson.

ii. No matter how much good God can bring out of even the bad things we do, He can always bring far more good out of our obedience - and we ourselves experience much less pain.

3. (Jdg 14:5-9) Samson slays a lion and eats some wild honey.

So Samson went down to Timnah with his father and mother, and came to the vineyards of Timnah. Now to his surprise, a young lion came roaring against him. And the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon him, and he tore the lion apart as one would have torn apart a young goat, though he had nothing in his hand. But he did not tell his father or his mother what he had done. Then he went down and talked with the woman; and she pleased Samson well. After some time, when he returned to get her, he turned aside to see the carcass of the lion. And behold, a swarm of bees and honey were in the carcass of the lion. He took some of it in his hands and went along, eating. When he came to his father and mother, he gave some to them, and they also ate. But he did not tell them that he had taken the honey out of the carcass of the lion.

a. He came to the vineyards of Timnah: Samson was dedicated to God with a lifelong vow of a Nazirite (Judges 13:4-5). Nazirites were to have nothing to do with grape products in any form (Numbers 6:3-4). Samson walked on dangerous ground here.

b. He tore the lion apart as one would have torn apart a young goat: Though Samson flirted with compromise - both with his impending marriage and the vineyards of Timnah - he still had miraculous strength because the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon him.

i. The Holy Spirit of God wants to come upon us and give us power but power for something far more important than ripping apart lions. The Holy Spirit comes upon us for the empowering to live for God as we should and for the power to tell others about Jesus effectively.

c. She pleased Samson well: This does not mean that she was a good woman for Samson to be attracted to or to marry. It is possible to fall in love with someone who is actually very wrong for us. This is why Proverbs 4:23 says: Keep (literally, guard or protect) your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life. If we don't guard our hearts, we can end up in trouble.

i. If we find that we are already in love with a wrong person, the only thing to do is to give them up, because it is right before God. Jesus told us that following Him would require that we give up the things we love most (Mark 10:29-30).

d. He took some of it in his hands and went along: When Samson gathered honey from the dead carcass of a lion, he expressly violated his Nazirite vow, which stipulated that a Nazirite should never touch a dead body (Numbers 6:6-7).

i. Significantly, Samson did this after he was remarkably filled with the Holy Spirit. This shows that an outpouring of the Holy Spirit does not automatically make you godlier. It gives you the resources to be godlier, but it doesn't "do it to you." A person can be wonderfully gifted by the Holy Spirit and yet very spiritually immature.

e. He did not tell them that he had taken the honey out of the carcass of the lion: Samson did not tell his parents where he got the honey because he knew it was a compromise of his Nazirite vow.

i. Samson had consecration (at least the appearance of it) without communion. This was only good for the sake of image. The empty nature of his consecration will eventually be evident.

B. The feast and the riddle.

1. (Jdg 14:10-11) Samson hosts a "bachelor party" for Philistine friends.

So his father went down to the woman. And Samson gave a feast there, for young men used to do so. And it happened, when they saw him, that they brought thirty companions to be with him.

a. Samson gave a feast there: Literally, this was a drinking feast. If Samson didn't break his Nazirite vow by partaking in the wine, he certainly put himself in a situation where it would be easy to do so.

2. (Jdg 14:12-14) Samson poses a riddle concerning the lion and the honey.

Then Samson said to them, "Let me pose a riddle to you. If you can correctly solve and explain it to me within the seven days of the feast, then I will give you thirty linen garments and thirty changes of clothing. But if you cannot explain it to me, then you shall give me thirty linen garments and thirty changes of clothing." And they said to him, "Pose your riddle, that we may hear it." So he said to them: "Out of the eater came something to eat, and out of the strong came something sweet." Now for three days they could not explain the riddle.

a. Changes of clothing: This literally describes a fine suit of clothes you would wear to an important occasion. Therefore 30 fine suits were wagered. Like most betting, this "friendly wager" would turn into something not quite friendly.

b. Out of the eater came something to eat: This was a clever riddle, and Samson shows that even if was weak morally he was not weak intellectually.

3. (Jdg 14:15-18) Samson's Philistine wife extracts the answer to the riddle from Samson and tells it to the Philistines.

But it came to pass on the seventh day that they said to Samson's wife, "Entice your husband, that he may explain the riddle to us, or else we will burn you and your father's house with fire. Have you invited us in order to take what is ours? Is that not so?" Then Samson's wife wept on him, and said, "You only hate me! You do not love me! You have posed a riddle to the sons of my people, but you have not explained it to me." And he said to her, "Look, I have not explained it to my father or my mother; so should I explain it to you?" Now she had wept on him the seven days while their feast lasted. And it happened on the seventh day that he told her, because she pressed him so much. Then she explained the riddle to the sons of her people. So the men of the city said to him on the seventh day before the sun went down: "What is sweeter than honey? And what is stronger than a lion?" And he said to them: "If you had not plowed with my heifer, You would not have solved my riddle!"

a. Then Samson's wife wept on him, and said, "You only hate me! You do not love me! Samson's Philistine wife knew how to manipulate the situation and how to make herself a burden to her husband until she got what she wanted from him.

i. Some wives will make themselves a burden to their husbands until they get what they want. This tactic is used because it often works in the short term. But it can poison the relationship and ends up costing more than it gains.

b. He told her, because she pressed him so much: A woman easily manipulated the world's strongest man. This weakness of Samson will later be the cause of his downfall.

i. The willingness of Samson's Philistine wife to side with her people against Samson shows a fundamental weakness in their marriage. She did not fulfill the idea essential to marriage of leaving one's father and mother to be joined in a one flesh relationship to their spouse (Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:5). Yet this also shows why it was wrong for Samson to marry a Philistine. We cannot expect someone who does not love the God of Israel to build a marriage on God's principles.

ii. However, we see that the reason Samson's wife cooperated against her husband was also somewhat complicated. She acted out of fear because of their threat (else we will burn you and your father's house with fire). If she told Samson about the threats, he could have more than handled the situation. She apparently did not feel safe with Samson, but he was her best safety.

c. If you had not plowed with my heifer, You would not have solved my riddle: Samson's use of this proverb shows the anger and bitterness he felt at being manipulated. Samson's wife "won" what she wanted through manipulation, but she lost her husband's heart.

i. When a man gives in to his wife's manipulations so as to keep peace, it almost always builds anger and resentment in the man - and guilt in the woman for what she did. The way of manipulation is tempting (because it works), but always brings real destruction.

4. (Jdg 14:19-20) Samson's anger and revenge.

Then the Spirit of the LORD came upon him mightily, and he went down to Ashkelon and killed thirty of their men, took their apparel, and gave the changes of clothing to those who had explained the riddle. So his anger was aroused, and he went back up to his father's house. And Samson's wife was given to his companion, who had been his best man.

a. Then the Spirit of the LORD came upon him mightily: The Spirit of the LORD did not come upon Samson to avenge the hurt feelings of a husband. God's strategy was larger: He was seeking an occasion to move against the Philistines (Judges 14:4). Therefore He used this occasion to pour out His Spirit on Samson to fight against the Philistines.

b. Killed thirty of their men, took their apparel, and gave the changes of clothing to those who had explained the riddle: Samson paid off the bet, but he did it at the expense of the Philistines. He killed thirty of these enemies of Israel, and gave their garments to satisfy the debt.

c. Samson's wife was given to his companion, who had been his best man: Samson won the battle, but lost the war. His wife left him and went to his best man. It is interesting to think what Samson and his wife might say if they went in for marriage counseling.

i. What Samson might say to a marriage counselor: I love my wife, but it seems that we are not moving in the same direction. All I hear is nag, nag, nag; I finally do what she nags me to do, but by then I'm angry and the situation is worse than ever. I need to feel that she supports me, and that she's on my side. I think she wants to give up on the marriage, if she hasn't already.

ii. What Samson's wife might say to a marriage counselor: My husband is a good guy, but he does not meeting my needs. It was love at first sight for us, but now things have gone downhill. There are things I need him to do and to be that he just can't, or won't. He doesn't respond to my needs and then we just get into a big fight, and no one is happy. I wonder if he loves me anymore.

iii. Samson was at fault for not guarding his heart against falling in love with a woman he had no business falling in love with. He was at fault for not founding the marriage on God's principles. He was also at fault for not responding to his wife's manipulations with love, free from anger.

iv. At the same time, Samson's wife was at fault for siding with others against her husband. She was at fault for not telling her husband what the real problem was. And she was at fault for manipulating her husband by being such a bother until she got her way. Most of all, she was at fault for giving up on the marriage. Samson didn't leave her; she left him. No matter what the problems in a relationship, what God commands us most of all is to not give up on the marriage.

© 2003 David Guzik - No distribution beyond personal use without permission

CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.

Search

Bible Search

Multiverse Retrieval

LexiConc Search

FAQ Search

Browse Dictionary Topics

Bible Reference

Encyclopedias / Dictionaries

Introductions to the Bible

Topical Indexes

Charts and Outlines

Timelines

Maps / Images

Bible Commentaries

Text Commentaries

Audio & Video Commentaries

Theological Resources

Articles / Books

Women's Resources

Don Stewart

BLB Theological

Creeds, Catechisms, and Confessions

Multimedia

Video

Music

Products

Digital Books

Mobile Apps for iPhone / iPad

Mobile blb.org

BLB Offline CDs

Free Web Tools

Devotionals

Email Devotional Sign-Up

BLB Daily Promises

Day by Day by Grace

Morning and Evening

Daily Bible Reading Plan

Help

Video Tutorials

Support

Theological Questions

Website Support

iApp Support

General Questions

Ministries

Sowing Circle

Co-Laboring Ministries

About

About the BLB

Statement of Faith

History

Newsletter

Partnerships

Ministry FAQs

Donate

Donation Information

Contact the BLB

Hotjar - Unlimited insights from your web and mobile sites


BLB Institute

BLB Blog

Email Newsletters

Facebook

Twitter


Blue Letter Bible study tools make reading, searching and studying the Bible easy and rewarding.

Blue Letter Bible is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization

©2017 Blue Letter Bible

Loading...

Interlinear
Bibles
Cross-Refs
Commentaries
Dictionaries
Miscellaneous
Verse Tools Arrow
Login

Email / username or password was incorrect!

Check your email for password retrieval

Enter Your
Email or Username

Password

 [?]

 

Did you forget your password?


Register a new BLB account

Why won't my login from the old site work?

Complete the form below to register  [?]

Error: That Email is already registered

Error: Please provide a valid Email

Error: Passwords should have at least 6 characters

Error: Passwords do not match

Error: Please provide a valid first name

Error: That username is already taken

Error: Usernames should only contain letters, numbers, dots, dashes, or underscores

Enter Your EmailUsername

First Name

PasswordRe-enter

[ Cancel ]

 

Passwords should have at least 6 characters.
Usernames should only contain letters, numbers, dots, dashes, or underscores.

Thank you for registering. A verification email has been sent to the address you provided.

Error: That Email / Username is not registered

Enter Your Email or Username

 

Return to Login

Close Login