Judges 14:20 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Judges 14:20, NIV: And Samson's wife was given to one of his companions who had attended him at the feast.

Judges 14:20, ESV: And Samson’s wife was given to his companion, who had been his best man.

Judges 14:20, KJV: But Samson's wife was given to his companion, whom he had used as his friend.

Judges 14:20, NASB: But Samson’s wife was given to his companion who had been his friend.

Judges 14:20, NLT: So his wife was given in marriage to the man who had been Samson's best man at the wedding.

Judges 14:20, CSB: and his wife was given to one of the men who had accompanied him.

What does Judges 14:20 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Scholars differ about whether Samson ever consummated the wedding to his Philistine wife (Judges 14:1–3). Some suggest the consummation would have happened after the first night of the feast, while others say it would be reserved for the final night. Most likely, Samson left Timnah in a rage (Judges 14:16–19) without completing his marriage to the woman.

What is clear is that the woman's father interprets Samson's angry departure as a divorce (Deuteronomy 24:3). What appears to be abandonment leaves the woman in a state of dishonor. If Samson did, in fact, consummate the marriage before leaving, this would have made her even more socially shamed. Seemingly to protect her interests, the father instead gave her as a wife to one of the thirty men who made a wager with Samson (Judges 14:10–15). Scripture does not say how soon this decision was made. However, the next verse (Judges 15:1) indicates that Samson will come back "after some days," so the father might have only acted after taking time to be convinced Samson was not coming back.