Judges 14:15
And it came to pass on the seventh day, that they said unto Samson's wife, Entice thy husband, that he may declare unto us the riddle, lest we burn thee and thy father's house with fire: have ye called us to take that we have? is it not so?
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(15) On the seventh day.—When they were in despair.

Lest we burn thee and thy father’s house with fire.—As, indeed, they ultimately did (Judges 15:6). If Samson appears in no very favourable light in this chapter, the Philistines show themselves to be most mean, treacherous, and brutal.

To take that we have.—The Hebrew expression is stronger—“to spoil us,” or make us paupers.” The “is it not so?” is added to show the vehemence of the question.

Jdg 14:15. On the seventh day, they said, Entice thy husband — They had doubtless spoken to her before this time, but with some remissness, supposing that they should find it out; but now their time being nigh spent, they put her under a necessity of searching it out. To take that we have — That is, to strip us of our garments.

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.Three days ... on the seventh day - Proposed alterations, such as "six days ... on the fourth day," are unnecessary if it be remembered that the narrator passes on first to the seventh day (at Judges 14:15), and then goes back at Judges 14:16 and beginning of Judges 14:17 to what happened on the 4th, 5th, and 6th days.

To take that we have - See the margin. They affirm that they were only invited to the wedding for the sake of plundering them by means of this riddle, and if Samson's wife was a party to plundering her own countrymen, she should suffer for it.

Jud 14:12-18. His Riddle.

12-18. I will now put forth a riddle—Riddles are a favorite Oriental amusement at festive entertainments of this nature, and rewards are offered to those who give the solution. Samson's riddle related to honey in the lion's carcass. The prize he offered was thirty sindinim, or shirts, and thirty changes of garments, probably woolen. Three days were passed in vain attempts to unravel the enigma. The festive week was fast drawing to a close when they secretly enlisted the services of the newly married wife, who having got the secret, revealed it to her friends.

On the seventh day; they had doubtless spoken to her before this time, but with some remissness, supposing that they should find it out; but now their time being nigh slipped, they press her with more vehemency, and put her under a necessity of searching it out.

To take that we have, i.e. to strip us of our garments; and so your civility will end in gross unkindness and injustice.

And it came to pass on the seventh day,.... Not on the seventh day of the feast, for some time before that they applied to his wife, and she pressed him hard to disclose it; but on the sabbath day, as Kimchi, and so Jarchi says, on the seventh day of the week, not on the seventh day of the feast, for it was the seventh day of the feast; this is so clear, that the Septuagint, Syriac, and Arabic versions, instead of the seventh, read the fourth day:

that they said unto Samson's wife, entice thy husband, that he may declare unto us the riddle; that is, persuade him to tell the meaning of it to her, that she might declare it to them:

lest we burn thee and thy father's house with fire; in which she now was, not as yet being taken home to her husband, and her in it; this they said to terrify her, and make her importunate with Samson to explain the riddle to her, if he had any value for her, and her life:

have ye called us to take that we have? invited them to the wedding feast, to strip them of their clothes, and even take their very shirts off of their backs, which they must have been obliged to part with, if they could not explain the riddle, or send for other suits and shirts from their own houses: "is it not so?" verily this is the case, nor can it be understood otherwise than a contrived business between thee and thy husband, to get our raiment, woollen and linen, from us.

And it came to pass {g} on the seventh day, that they said unto Samson's wife, Entice thy husband, that he may declare unto us the riddle, lest we burn thee and thy father's house with fire: have ye called us to take that we have? is it not so?

(g) Or as the seventh day drew near, for it was the fourth day.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
15. on the seventh day] Would the young men have waited all this time before pressing the woman to extract the answer? In Jdg 14:17 she is said to have tried herself to find it out all the seven days. The two statements are inconsistent. The LXX and Peshitto read on the fourth day; but this is suspiciously like what we should expect after in three days Jdg 14:14. Most critics think that the numbers in Jdg 14:14-15 were added to the original text in order to heighten the difficulty of the riddle and the despair of the Philistines.

unto us] LXX unto thee. Samson could not be expected to tell the Philistines himself.

to impoverish us] lit. take possession of, dispossess us. The reflex. stem has the meaning come to poverty in Genesis 45:11, Proverbs 20:13 etc.

is it not so?] The Hebr. requires a slight correction: ‘was it to impoverish us that ye invited us hither?’ So five Hebr. mss., Targ.

Verse 15. - On the seventh day. There is some apparent difficulty in understanding how to reconcile this statement with what was said in ver. 14, that they could not in three days expound the riddle; and also with what is said in vers. 16 and 17, that Samson's wife wept before him the seven days of the feast. And several different readings have arisen from this difficulty: viz., in this verse, the reading of the fourth day for the seventh, and the omission of the words, And it came to pass on the seventh day; and, in the latter part of ver. 14, seven days for three days. But all difficulty will disappear if we bear in mind the peculiarity of Hebrew narrative noticed in note to section vers. 1-6 of ch. 2, when we come to consider ver. 16. Entice thy husband. Cf. Judges 16:5. That he may declare unto us. If the text is sound, they must mean to say, declare it unto you, that you may declare it unto us, i.e. declare it unto us through you. But it is simpler either to read with the Septuagint, that he may declare unto you, etc., or to read, and declare unto us, in the imperative mood. Burn with fire. See ch. 12:1, and Judges 15:6. Have ye called us, etc., i.e. Did you invite us to this feast in order to impoverish us, to plunder us of our property? We shall conclude that you did so if you do not disclose to us the riddle. Judges 14:15On the seventh day they said to Samson's wife, "Persuade thy husband to show us the riddle," sc., through thee, without his noticing it, "lest we burn thee and thy father's house with fire. Have ye invited us to make us poor; is it not so?" In this threat the barbarism and covetousness of the Philistines came openly to light. הלירשׁנוּ without Metheg in the י is the inf. Kal of ירשׁ, to make poor-a meaning derived from inheriting, not the Piel of ירשׁ equals רוּשׁ, to be poor. הלא, nonne, strengthens the interrogative clause, and has not the signification "here" equals הלם. Samson's wife, however, wept over him, i.e., urged him with tears in her eyes, and said, "Thou dost but hate me, and lovest me not; thou hast put forth a riddle unto the children of my people (my countrymen), and hast not shown it to me." חדתּה is from חוּד. Samson replied, that he had not even shown it to his father and mother, "and shall I show it to thee?"
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