Judges 14:11
And it came to pass, when they saw him, that they brought thirty companions to be with him.
Jump to: BarnesBensonBICambridgeClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctGaebeleinGSBGillGrayGuzikHaydockHastingsHomileticsJFBKDKingLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWParkerPoolePulpitSermonSCOTTBWESTSK
(11) When they saw him.—The reason why this clause is added is somewhat obscure, and this is perhaps the reason why the LXX. and Josephus, without any warrant, render it “when they were afraid of him, which would involve a change in the reading.

They brought thirty companions.—It was necessary to the splendour of the marriage feast that there should be these paranymphs (shoshbenim, or “children of the bride-chamber,” Matthew 9:15). The fact that Samson had brought none with him seems to prove that his marriage was highly unpopular among his own countrymen. Thirty, however, was a most unusual number.

Jdg 14:11. When they saw him — Or, observed him, his stature, and strength, and countenance, and carriage, which were extraordinary. They brought thirty companions — Partly in compliance with the custom of having bride-men; though they were not so numerous, but principally by way of caution, and as a guard put upon him under a pretence of respect and affection.

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.Thirty companions - These were "the children of the bride-chamber" (Matthew 9:15; see Judges 14:20). From the number of them it may be inferred that Samson's family was of some wealth and importance. Jud 14:10, 11. His Marriage Feast.

10, 11. his father went down—The father is mentioned as the head and representative of Samson's relatives.

Samson made there a feast—The wedding festivity lasted a week. The men and women were probably entertained in separate apartments—the bride, with her female relatives, at her parents' house; Samson, in some place obtained for the occasion, as he was a stranger. A large number of paranymphs, or "friends of the bridegroom," furnished, no doubt, by the bride's family, attended his party, ostensibly to honor the nuptials, but really as spies on his proceedings.

When they saw him, or, observed or considered him, his stature, and strength, and countenance, and carriage, which were extraordinary.

They brought thirty companions to be with him; partly in compliance with the custom of having bridemen; of which see Matthew 9:15 Mark 2:19 John 3:29, though they were not so numerous; and principally by way of caution, and as a guard put upon him under a pretence of respect and affection.

And it came to pass; when they saw him,.... That is, the Philistines, the citizens of Timnath, when they saw that he was come to consummate his marriage:

that they brought thirty companions to be with him; to be the bridegroom's men, or children of the bridechamber, as they are called, Matthew 9:15 or friends of the bridegroom, John 3:29 to keep him company during the nuptial feast: this they did according to custom, and in honour and respect unto him; though some think, and so Josephus (l), that they were brought to be guards upon him, observing that he was a man of great might, strength, and courage, so that they were afraid of him, lest he should have some design upon them; but it is not certain that there was anything very visible or terrible in him, more than in another man, that showed him to be of extraordinary courage and strength, since it was but at times the Spirit of the Lord came upon him, and as yet he had done nothing to their knowledge which showed him to be such; had they indeed known of his encounter with the lion, they might have had such thoughts of him, but this they knew nothing of.

(l) Ut supra. (Antiqu. l. 5. c. 8. sect. 6.)

And it came to pass, when {e} they saw him, that they brought thirty companions to be with him.

(e) That is, her parents or friends.

11. when they saw him] With a slight change LXX. cod. A etc. read because they feared him; they must be the Philistines, though not mentioned in the context. The sight of Samson, or their fear of him, induced the Philistines to procure thirty companions (cf. Jdg 14:20), nominally as friends and supporters, but really in self-defence. The text does not give an altogether satisfactory sense, and may have suffered from alterations. If we read that he brought, which would be an improvement, we must treat when they saw him as an interpolation. This is Moore’s view, and Budde proposes further re-arrangements; the original state of the verse is not easy to recover. The thirty (cf. Song of Solomon 3:7 sixty) are of course Philistines, Jdg 14:18. At village weddings in Syria the bridegroom is still attended by a body-guard of young men with their leader (Jdg 14:20), who superintend the festivities and bear the cost. This ancient institution probably goes back to days when the party really needed protection (Wetzstein, Z. f. Ethnologie, 1873, 288 f.).

Verse 11. - When they saw him, i.e. when the father and mother and friends of the bride saw him approaching, they went to meet him with the thirty companions who had been selected. We still see a strong resemblance to the wedding arrangements referred to in Matthew 9:15, and Matthew 25:1-12; only in this case they were young men instead of young women who went out to meet the bridegroom. We may observe, by the way, that the scale of the wedding feast, as regards numbers and duration, indicates that Samson s family was one of wealth and position. Judges 14:11"And when they saw him, they fetched thirty friends, and they were with him." The parents or relations of the bride are the subject of the first clause. They invited thirty of their friends in Timnath to the marriage feast, as "children of the bride-chamber" (Matthew 9:15), since Samson had not brought any with him. The reading כּראותם from ראה needs no alteration, though Bertheau would read כּראתם daer from ירא, in accordance with the rendering of the lxx (Cod. Al.) and Josephus, ἐν τῷ φοβεῖσθαι αὐτούς. Fear of Samson would neither be in harmony with the facts themselves, nor with the words אתּו ויּהיוּ, "they were with him," which it is felt to be necessary to paraphrase in the most arbitrary manner "they watched him."
Judges 14:11 Interlinear
Judges 14:11 Parallel Texts

Judges 14:11 NIV
Judges 14:11 NLT
Judges 14:11 ESV
Judges 14:11 NASB
Judges 14:11 KJV

Judges 14:11 Bible Apps
Judges 14:11 Parallel
Judges 14:11 Biblia Paralela
Judges 14:11 Chinese Bible
Judges 14:11 French Bible
Judges 14:11 German Bible

Bible Hub

Judges 14:10
Top of Page
Top of Page