Judges 14:1
And Samson went down to Timnath, and saw a woman in Timnath of the daughters of the Philistines.
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(1) To Timnath.—This town, of which the site still retains the name Tibneh, is perhaps the same as that in Genesis 38:12, unless that be a town in the mountains of Judah, as Judah is there said to have “gone up” not as here, “down” to it. In Joshua 15:10 it is assigned to Judah, but appears to have been afterwards ceded to Dan (Joshua 19:45). The name means “a portion,” and is found also in Timnath-serah, where Joshua was buried (Joshua 24:30).

Of the daughters of the Philistines.—This was against the spirit of the law, which forbad intermarriages with Canaanites (Exodus 34:16; Deuteronomy 7:3-4). The sequel showed the wisdom of the law (2Corinthians 6:14).

Jdg 14:1-2. Samson went — After he was come to mature age; to Timnath — A place not far from the sea. Get her for me to wife — Herein he is an example to all children, conformable to the fifth commandment. Children ought not to marry, nor to move toward it, without the advice and consent of their parents. They that do, as Bishop Hall speaks, unchild themselves. Parents have a property in their children, as parts of themselves. In marriage this property is transferred. It is, therefore, not only unkind and ungrateful, but palpably unjust, to alienate this property, without their concurrence. Whoso thus robbeth his father or mother, stealing from them himself, who is nearer and dearer to them than their goods, and yet saith, It is no transgression, the same is the companion of a destroyer, Proverbs 28:24.14:1-4 As far as Samson's marriage was a common case, it was weak and foolish of him to set his affections upon a daughter of the Philistines. Shall one, not only an Israelite, but a Nazarite, devoted to the Lord, covet to become one with a worshipper of Dagon? It does not appear that he had any reason to think her wise or virtuous, or any way likely to be a help meet for him; but he saw something in her agreeable to his fancy. He that, in the choice of a wife, is only guided by his eye, and governed by his fancy, must afterwards thank himself if he find a Philistine in his arms. Yet it was well done not to proceed till Samson had made his parents acquainted with the matter. Children ought not to marry, nor to move towards it, without the advice and consent of their parents. Samson's parents did well to dissuade him from yoking himself unequally with unbelievers. It seems that it pleased God to leave Samson to follow his own inclinations, intending to bring out good from his conduct; and his parents consented, because he was bent upon it. However, his example is not recorded for us to do likewise.Timnath - See Joshua 15:10 and note. It was below Zorah Judges 13:2, about three miles S. W. of it. CHAPTER 14

Jud 14:1-5. Samson Desires a Wife of the Philistines.

1, 2. Timnath—now Tibna, about three miles from Zorah, his birthplace.

saw a woman … of the Philistines; and told his father and his mother, and said, … get her for me to wife—In the East parents did, and do in many cases still, negotiate the marriage alliances for their sons. During their period of ascendency, the Philistine invaders had settled in the towns; and the intercourse between them and the Israelites was often of such a friendly and familiar character as to issue in matrimonial relations. Moreover, the Philistines were not in the number of the seven devoted nations of Canaan [De 7:1-3]—with whom the law forbade them to marry.Samson desires to wife a daughter of the Philistines of Timnath; and this of the Lord, for an occasion against them, Judges 14:1-4. His parents go down with him to Timnath: a young lion meets him; he kills it, Judges 14:5-7; in his return he findeth honey in the carcass, Judges 14:8,9. Keepeth a marriage feast: hath thirty companions adjoined to him; to whom he propoundeth a riddle; with promise of a present, Judges 14:10-15. His wife extorts from him the explication, and discovereth it, Judges 14:16-18. He slayeth thirty Philistines of Ashkelon, and therewith payeth his present, Judges 14:19. His wife is given to another, Judges 14:20.

After he was come to mature age.

Timnath; a place not far from the sea; of which see Genesis 38:12 Joshua 15:57 19:43.

And Samson went down to Timnath,.... A city which by lot fell to the tribe of Judah, but was afterwards given to the tribe of Dan, and now in the hands of the Philistines, Joshua 15:57. Judah is said to go up to it, because the place where he lived lay below it, Genesis 38:13, but Samson is said to go down to it, because he lived above it. The Jews (t) differ about the reconciliation of these two places; some say there were two of this name, the one is a descent, and the other is an ascent; others say there was but one, so situated, that they that came to it on one side ascended, and they that came to it on the other side descended. Bochart (u) approves of the former. According to Bunting (w), this was twelve miles from Eshtaol, where Samson lived:

and saw a woman in Timnath, of the daughters of the Philistines; who at this time dwelt there; he saw no doubt many other women besides her, but he took special notice of her, and entertained a particular affection for her; or, in other words, on sight of her fell in love with her.

(t) T. Bab. Sotah, fol. 10. 1.((u) IIierozoic. par. 1. l. 3. c. 4. col. 763, 764. (w) Travels, &c. p. 115.

And Samson went down to Timnath, and saw a woman in Timnath of the daughters of the Philistines.
1. Timnah] now Tibneh, about 4 m. S.W. of Zorah, on the low hills of the Shephçlah: hence went down is the word for reaching it from Samson’s house (Jdg 14:1; Jdg 14:5; Jdg 14:7; Jdg 14:10), and go up, for the journey in the opposite direction, Jdg 14:2 and 1 Samuel 29:9. According to Joshua 15:10 Timnah lay on the N. border of Judah (cf. 2 Chronicles 28:18), and is assigned to Dan, ib. Joshua 19:43 (P). It is mentioned in the Prism Inscr. of Sennacherib as one of the places which he captured after Altaḳu (Eltekeh), just before he ravaged Judah in 701 b.c., Keil. Bibl. ii. 92 f.Verse 1. - Timnath, or, more correctly, Thimnathah, as in Joshua 19:43, a town in the tribe of Dan, the name of which survives in the modern Tibneh, about three miles south-west of Zorah (Judges 13:2, note). It may or may not be identical with Timnath in Genesis 38:12-14, and with Timnah in Joshua 15:10. It appears to have been in the possession of the Philistines at this time. Manoah then took the kid and the minchah, i.e., according to Numbers 15:4., the meat-offering belonging to the burnt-offering, and offered it upon the rock, which is called an altar in Judges 13:20, because the angel of the Lord, who is of one nature with God, had sanctified it as an altar through the miraculous acceptance of the sacrifice. לעשׁות מפלא, "and wonderfully (miraculously) did he act" (הפליא followed by the infinitive with ל as in 2 Chronicles 26:15). These words form a circumstantial clause, which is not to be attached, however, to the subject of the principal clause, but to ליהוה: "Manoah offered the sacrifice to the Lord, whereupon He acted to do wonderfully, i.e., He performed a wonder or miracle, and Manoah and his wife saw it" (see Ewald, Lehrb. 341, b., p. 724, note). In what the miracle consisted is explained in Judges 13:20, in the words, "when the flame went up toward heaven from off the altar;" that is to say, in the fact that a flame issued from the rock, as in the case of Gideon's sacrifice (Judges 6:21), and consumed the sacrifice. And the angel of the Lord ascended in this flame. When Manoah and his wife saw this, they fell upon their faces to the earth (sc., in worship), because they discovered from the miracle that it was the angel of the Lord who had appeared to them.
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