Judges 14:20: Samson's Bride Given to Another


Verse 20:[1] But Samson’s wife (Judg. 15:2) was given to his companion, whom he had used as (John 3:29) his friend.


[His wife took, etc., וַתְּהִ֖י אֵ֣שֶׁת שִׁמְשׁ֑וֹן לְמֵ֣רֵעֵ֔הוּ אֲשֶׁ֥ר רֵעָ֖ה לֽוֹ׃] And the wife of Samson was to the companion (associate [Jonathan, Munster]) of him, who had been an associate, or companion, to him (Montanus, Pagnine), or, his friend (Jonathan). That is, The wife of Samson was married to the one that he had joined to himself as an associate and companion, that is, a man that was previously most dear to Samson (Vatablus). But the wife of Samson, whom he had loved, was contracted to his best man (Syriac, similarly the Arabic). His wife…was give to another, etc. (Tigurinus); she was made the wife of his companion, etc. (Munster). She was to his companion, that is, she was married to him. Thus in Numbers 30:6, and if in being there be for a husband;[2] and in Ruth 1:13, will ye tarry for them, that ye be not to a husband? that is, that ye be not married?[3] In the place of which it would be fully said, she was to him a wife, or, for a wife; Numbers 36:3, and they shall be to one of the sons…for a wife[4] (Drusius).


[His wife] With a divorce not anticipated, Judges 15:2 (Grotius). This was done by her, because she believed herself despised and abandoned by Samson on account of her treachery (Bonfrerius).


Samson’s wife was given, by her father, to the chief of the brides-men, to whom he had showed most respect and kindness.

[1] Hebrew: וַתְּהִ֖י אֵ֣שֶׁת שִׁמְשׁ֑וֹן לְמֵ֣רֵעֵ֔הוּ אֲשֶׁ֥ר רֵעָ֖ה לֽוֹ׃


[2] Numbers 30:6: “And if she had at all an husband (וְאִם־הָי֤וֹ תִֽהְיֶה֙ לְאִ֔ישׁ), when she vowed, or uttered ought out of her lips, wherewith she bound her soul…”


[3] Ruth 1:13a: “Would ye tarry for them till they were grown? would ye stay for them from having husbands (לְבִלְתִּ֖י הֱי֣וֹת לְאִ֑ישׁ)?…”


[4] Numbers 36:3a: “And if they be married to any of the sons of the other tribes of the children of Israel (וְ֠הָיוּ לְאֶחָ֞ד מִבְּנֵ֙י שִׁבְטֵ֥י בְנֵֽי־יִשְׂרָאֵל֮ לְנָשִׁים֒), then shall their inheritance be taken from the inheritance of our fathers, and shall be put to the inheritance of the tribe whereunto they are received…”

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Dr. Steven Dilday holds a BA in Religion and Philosophy from Campbell University, a Master of Arts in Religion from Westminster Theological Seminary (Philadelphia), and both a Master of Divinity and a  Ph.D. in Puritan History and Literature from Whitefield Theological Seminary.  He is also the translator of Matthew Poole's Synopsis of Biblical Interpreters and Bernardinus De Moor’s Didactico-Elenctic Theology.

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