Judges 15:6 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Judges 15:6, NIV: When the Philistines asked, 'Who did this?' they were told, 'Samson, the Timnite's son-in-law, because his wife was given to his companion.' So the Philistines went up and burned her and her father to death.

Judges 15:6, ESV: Then the Philistines said, “Who has done this?” And they said, “Samson, the son-in-law of the Timnite, because he has taken his wife and given her to his companion.” And the Philistines came up and burned her and her father with fire.

Judges 15:6, KJV: Then the Philistines said, Who hath done this? And they answered, Samson, the son in law of the Timnite, because he had taken his wife, and given her to his companion. And the Philistines came up, and burnt her and her father with fire.

Judges 15:6, NASB: Then the Philistines said, 'Who did this?' And some said, 'Samson, the son-in-law of the Timnite, because he took his wife and gave her to his companion.' So the Philistines came up and burned her and her father to death with fire.

Judges 15:6, NLT: 'Who did this?' the Philistines demanded. 'Samson,' was the reply, 'because his father-in-law from Timnah gave Samson's wife to be married to his best man.' So the Philistines went and got the woman and her father and burned them to death.

Judges 15:6, CSB: Then the Philistines asked, "Who did this? "They were told, "It was Samson, the Timnite's son-in-law, because he took Samson's wife and gave her to his companion." So the Philistines went to her and her father and burned them to death.

What does Judges 15:6 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Scripture often warns against seeking revenge (Romans 12:19–21; Deuteronomy 32:35; Hebrews 10:30), leaving it instead to God. Among the practical reasons for this is escalation: retaliation inspires retaliation, each side claiming to "get even" while only continuing to add to the mayhem. Samson's former wife was given to someone else when he seemingly abandoned her after the wedding feast (Judges 14:20; 15:1–2). In a rage, Samson set fire to the crops and harvests of Timnah (Judges 15:3–5).

Instead of attacking Samson, the Philistines seem to hold Samson's father-in-law responsible. Whether he was right or wrong for giving Samson's wife to someone else, the Philistine father wasn't the one who destroyed crops. That makes no difference to the enraged men of the region: they burn Samson's former wife and her father to death, probably along with everyone else in their household. It's exactly what they threatened to do if she failed to uncover the secret Samson used in a wager (Judges 14:15–17). She complied then, betraying her new husband in the process. Now the fate she tried to avoid has happened, anyway, bringing a tragic end to her short life.

This verse identifies Samson's father-in-law as "the Timnite," suggesting that Samson's conflict with the Philistines has moved beyond just Timnah to include the wider region, likely because several nearby communities felt the loss of so many crops.

Further proving the danger of feuds and revenge, Samson will respond in kind. He intends to seek further retribution on the Philistines (Judges 15:7). Whether he realizes it, or not, his actions will work exactly as God intends, shattering the Philistines' relaxed control over Israel (Judges 13:5; 14:4).