What does Judges 14:2 mean?
ESV: Then he came up and told his father and mother, “I saw one of the daughters of the Philistines at Timnah. Now get her for me as my wife.”
NIV: When he returned, he said to his father and mother, 'I have seen a Philistine woman in Timnah; now get her for me as my wife.'
NASB: So he came back and told his father and mother, 'I saw a woman in Timnah, one of the daughters of the Philistines; so now, get her for me as a wife.'
CSB: He went back and told his father and his mother, "I have seen a young Philistine woman in Timnah. Now get her for me as a wife."
NLT: When he returned home, he told his father and mother, 'A young Philistine woman in Timnah caught my eye. I want to marry her. Get her for me.'
KJV: And he came up, and told his father and his mother, and said, I have seen a woman in Timnath of the daughters of the Philistines: now therefore get her for me to wife.
Common practice throughout much of ancient history has been for parents to arrange the marriages of their children. Often, marriages were composed to build alliances or financial advantage. Samson's story illustrates how marriages could also be arranged at the request of the children. If the heads of the households agreed, they would still handle the details.
Samson has gone to the Philistine-occupied town of Timnah, not far from his home in Zorah. There he saw a young Philistine woman who captivated him. He returns home, up out of the valley, and immediately demands that his parents get this woman for him as a wife. Throughout Samson's life, he will show a marked lack of self-control when it comes to women (Judges 16:1, 4).
This marriage would be a violation of Israel's God-given laws (Exodus 34:15–16). Though the Philistines were not as explicitly forbidden as other groups, intermarrying with idol-worshippers was a sin. It was also a major source of the nation's misery in the book of Judges (Deuteronomy 7:3–4; Judges 2:16–19). Samson's parents will object to his request, though not strongly enough to deny it (Judges 14:3).
Judges 14:1–4 finds Samson deeply infatuated with a Philistine woman. Despite being set apart before he was even born and blessed by God at a young age (Judges 13:24–25), his life seems to have drifted away from careful devotion to God. Marrying those who worship other gods violates the Law of Moses (Exodus 34:15–16). His parents object, but Samson insists. None of them realize that God is beginning to use Samson to disrupt Philistine control over Israel.
Samson (Judges 13:24–25) is now old enough to marry. He demands his parents arrange marriage to a Philistine woman with whom he is infatuated. When attacked by a lion, Samson rips the animal apart with his bare hands, empowered by the Holy Spirit. Later, he finds a beehive and honey in the lion's carcass. At the wedding feast, Samson proposes a wager based on this secret. His thirty Philistine companions become frustrated when they can't solve it. They threaten Samson's bride, and she manipulates him to get the secret. Samson attacks thirty Philistines in another town to pay the wager.
This chapter leaps forward from Samson's birth (Judges 13:5, 24–25) to somewhere in his adulthood. He demands a Philistine woman for a wife. At the wedding feast, he proposes a bet with thirty Philistine men. They learn the answer to his trick question by threatening to kill the bride. Samson attacks thirty Philistines in another town to secure the payment for the wager. His bride is given to one of the men who threatened her. Samson will return, expecting marital rights, only to be told she has been given to someone else (Judges 15:1–2).
The Book of Judges describes Israel's history from the death of Joshua to shortly before Israel's first king, Saul. Israel fails to complete God's command to purge the wicked Canaanites from the land (Deuteronomy 7:1–5; 9:4). This results in a centuries-long cycle where Israel falls into sin and is oppressed by local enemies. After each oppression, God sends a civil-military leader, labeled using a Hebrew word loosely translated into English as "judge." These appointed rescuers would free Israel from enemy control and govern for a certain time. After each judge's death, the cycle of sin and oppression begins again. This continues until the people of Israel choose a king, during the ministry of the prophet-and-judge Samuel (1 Samuel 1—7).
Accessed 11/30/2023 6:49:36 AM
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