The Agora
Bible Commentary

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Judges 14

Jdg 14:2

Ct Deu 7:2-4; Jos 23:12.

Jdg 14:4

THIS WAS FROM THE LORD: Samson went "in his simplicity", but Yahweh was overriding (or overruling) all this for His own purposes.

Jdg 14:8

Touching an unclean animal: Lev 5:2.

Jdg 14:10

FEAST: "Mishteh", a drinking feast: an affront to his vow to Yahweh.

Jdg 14:11

HE WAS GIVEN THIRTY COMPANIONS: "Since Samson brought no guests of his own, thirty young Philistines were hastily added to the party. It was the kind of situation that this boisterous self-confident Israelite revelled in. He twitted these last-minute guests with having brought no wedding gifts (a deliberate snub, doubtless), and with mock joviality scarcely masking his dislike, he jokingly propounded a solution to their embarrassment" (WJR).

Jdg 14:14

"The riddle of lion and honey takes on special point when it is realised that 'the mouth of the lion' is a neat play on the name Philistine. And the word used for a "swarm" of bees in precisely that which is used scores of times for the congregation of Israel" (WJR).

Death and Sheol -- the grave -- this is the "strong lion" which "devours" all men. As with Samson's riddle, so with the reality of Jesus' death and burial: for three full days its meaning was not understood. But after those three days, with the resurrection of God's Son, there came from the tomb "food" for all men, and the "sweetness" of a renewed life. "Out of weakness... made strong" (Heb 11:34) is one of the identification marks of the men and women of faith.

Compare also Jdg 16:30: Christ, being typical of Samson, destroyed more in his death than in his life -- for he destroyed "him that had the power of death" (Heb 2:14), and thereby brought life out of death.

Jdg 14:15

OR WE WILL BURN YOU: She relented, and she and her father were burnt anyway (Jdg 15:6).

Jdg 14:18

Eternal life is sweeter than honey. And the resurrected Christ is stronger than a lion, for he is the Lion of the tribe of Judah.

IF YOU HAD NOT PLOWED WITH MY HEIFER, YOU WOULD NOT HAVE SOLVED MY RIDDLE: "This statement emphasizes that the Philistines had utilized a source of information which should have been off-limits to them. Heifers were used in plowing (Hos 10:11), but one typically used one's own farm animals, not another man's" (NET notes).

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