Judges 14:10 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Judges 14:10, NIV: Now his father went down to see the woman. And there Samson held a feast, as was customary for young men.

Judges 14:10, ESV: His father went down to the woman, and Samson prepared a feast there, for so the young men used to do.

Judges 14:10, KJV: So his father went down unto the woman: and Samson made there a feast; for so used the young men to do.

Judges 14:10, NASB: Then his father went down to the woman; and Samson held a feast there, for the young men customarily did this.

Judges 14:10, NLT: As his father was making final arrangements for the marriage, Samson threw a party at Timnah, as was the custom for elite young men.

Judges 14:10, CSB: His father went to visit the woman, and Samson prepared a feast there, as young men were accustomed to do.

What does Judges 14:10 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Samson and his father have returned to the Philistine city of Timnah. They are there to finalize the marriage between Samson and his Philistine bride (Judges 14:1–3). With his father's help, Samson has prepared the week-long wedding feast, customarily hosted by the groom. Such wedding feasts often became an extended drinking party involving large amounts of wine and alcohol.

If Samson participated in drinking wine, this would have been another violation of the Nazirite vow (Numbers 6:1–21). Before Samson's birth, he was designated as a Nazirite by "the angel of the LORD" (Judges 13:5), though the only restriction explicitly named was for him to never cut his hair. Whether he was violating an aspect of his God-given vows, here, is a relatively minor point. Samson seems to have paid little attention to any requirements of a Nazirite vow, other than leaving his hair long. Nor did he seem especially worried about the laws given to citizens of Israel. He has already violated God's law by seeking to marrying a woman from an idol-worshipping culture (Exodus 34:15–16). He's broken it by scraping honey from the carcass of an animal (Leviticus 5:2).

Rather than embracing his mission of opposing the oppressive Philistines, it seems, Samsons would rather make an alliance with them. Of course, God doesn't need Samson's obedience to accomplish His plans. In fact, Samson's obstinate and reckless nature will be the means God uses to disrupt Philistine control (Judges 14:4).