Judges 14:20
But Samson's wife was given to his companion, whom he had used as his friend.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(20) To his companion, whom he had used as his friendi.e., to the chief of the paranyraphs (the bride-conductor, LXX.); “the friend of the bride-groom” (John 3:29). Hence, even if the suspicion as to the meaning of Samson’s words in Judges 14:18 be unfounded, it is clear that there was treachery and secret hostility at work. Bunsen renders the phrase, “to his companion, whose friend (amica) she was.”

Jdg 14:20. Samson’s wife was given, by her father, to his companion, &c. — That is, to the chief of the bride-men, to whom he had shown most respect and kindness. This aggravated the insult that was offered to Samson, in proportion as this person had been more familiar with him, and had been treated by him in a more friendly manner than the rest that afforded him their company. This ungenerous friend might possibly be the man distinguished by the appellation of the friend of the bridegroom. See John 3:29. 14:10-20 Samson's riddle literally meant no more than that he had got honey, for food and for pleasure, from the lion, which in its strength and fury was ready to devour him. But the victory of Christ over Satan, by means of his humiliation, agonies, and death, and the exaltation that followed to him, with the glory thence to the Father, and spiritual advantages to his people, seem directly alluded to. And even death, that devouring monster, being robbed of his sting, and stripped of his horror, forwards the soul to the realms of bliss. In these and other senses, out of the eater comes forth meat, and out of the strong, sweetness. Samson's companions obliged his wife to get the explanation from him. A worldly wife, or a worldly friend, is to a godly man as an enemy in the camp, who will watch every opportunity to betray him. No union can be comfortable or lasting, where secrets cannot be intrusted, without danger of being divulged. Satan, in his temptations, could not do us the mischief he does, if he did not plough with the heifer of our corrupt nature. His chief advantage against us arises from his correspondence with our deceitful hearts and inbred lusts. This proved an occasion of weaning Samson from his new relations. It were well for us, if the unkindness we meet with from the world, and our disappointments in it, obliged us by faith and prayer to return to our heavenly Father's house, and to rest there. See how little confidence is to be put in man. Whatever pretence of friendship may be made, a real Philistine will soon be weary of a true Israelite.His companion - Perhaps one of those mentioned in Judges 14:11. The transaction denotes loose notions of the sanctity of marriage among the Philistines. It should be noted carefully that the practical lesson against ungodly marriages comes out most strongly in this case and that the providential purpose which out of this evil brought discomfiture to the Philistines, has nothing to do with the right or wrong of Samson's conduct. 20. Samson's wife was given to his companion, whom he had used as his friend—that is, "the friend of the bridegroom," who was the medium of communicating during the festivities between him and his bride. The acceptance of her hand, therefore, was an act of base treachery, that could not fail to provoke the just resentment of Samson. Samson’s wife was given, by her father, to the chief of the bridemen, to whom he had showed most respect and kindness. But Samson's wife was given to his companion,.... By her father, and with her consent, both being affronted and provoked by Samson leaving her, who judged her not only to be injured, but hereby discharged from him, and free to marry another:

and whom he had used as his friend; though there were thirty of them that were his companions, yet there was one of them that was the principal of them, and was the most intimate with him, whom he used in the most friendly manner, and admitted to a more free conversation than the rest, the same that is called the friend of the bridegroom, John 3:29 while the others were called the children of the bridechamber, Matthew 9:15. It is not unlikely that this person had too much intimacy with Samson's wife before, and so had the secret of the riddle from her, and so very readily married her, as soon as Samson departed; and all this furnished out an occasion and opportunity, which Samson sought for, to be revenged on the Philistines, as in the following chapter.

But Samson's wife was given to his companion, whom he had used as his friend.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
20. After this violent rupture, and to make up for the disgrace inflicted upon the bride, she was given to his groomsman who had acted as his groom; cf. Jdg 15:2; Jdg 15:6, St John 3:29. LXX. cod. A renders by the technical word νυμφαγωγός, the leader of the bride.Verse 20. - His companion - no doubt his "best man," the "friend of the bridegroom." The parents of the Thimnathite, having no doubt obtained Samson's dower, and supposing him to have finally broken with his treacherous wife, proceeded to give her in marriage to the Philistine young man who had been Samson's friend - perhaps the man to whom she had told the riddle. The sad end of this unhappy alliance fully justified the opposition of Samson's parents to it in ver. 3.



At the wedding feast Samson said to the guests, "I will give you a riddle. If you show it to me during the seven days of the meal (the wedding festival), and guess it, I will give you thirty sedinim (σινδόνες, tunicae, i.e., clothes worn next to the skin) and thirty changes of garments (costly dresses, that were frequently changed: see at Genesis 45:22); but if ye cannot show it to me, ye shall give me the same number of garments." The custom or proposing riddles at banquets by way of entertainment is also to be met with among the ancient Grecians. (For proofs from Athenaeus, Pollux, Gellius, see Bochart, Hieroz. P. ii. l. ii. c. 12; and K. O. Mller, Dorier, ii. p. 392). As the guests consented to this proposal, Samson gave them the following riddle (Judges 14:14): "Out of the eater came forth meat, and out of the strong came forth sweetness." This riddle they could not show, i.e., solve, for three days. That is to say, they occupied themselves for three days in trying to find the solution; after that they let the matter rest until the appointed term was drawing near.
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