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Judges 14:4

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

His father and mother very properly opposed Samson‘s marriage with a Pagan woman, the daughter of the oppressors of his race. But they could not prevail, because it was the secret purpose of God by these means to “seek occasion” against the Philistines; i. e. to make the misconduct of the father of Samson‘s wife, which He foresaw, the occasion of destruction to the Philistines. Compare the marginal references for similar statements.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
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.
Ellen G. White
SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 2 (EGW), 1006

2-23. Manoah Meets Christ—Manoah and his wife knew not that the One thus addressing them was Jesus Christ. They looked upon Him as the Lord's messenger, but whether a prophet or an angel, they were at a loss to determine. Wishing to manifest hospitality toward their guest, they entreated Him to remain while they should prepare for Him a kid. But in their ignorance of His character, they knew not whether to offer it for a burnt-offering or to place it before Him as food. 2BC 1006.1

The angel answered, “Although thou detain me, I will not eat of thy bread; and if thou wilt offer a burnt-offering, thou must offer it unto the Lord.” Feeling assured, now, that his visitor was a prophet, Manoah said, “What is thy name, that when thy sayings come to pass we may do thee honor?” 2BC 1006.2

The answer was, “Why askest thou after my name, seeing it is secret?” Perceiving the divine character of his guest, Manoah “took a kid, with a meat-offering, and offered it upon a rock unto the Lord; and the angel did wondrously; and Manoah and his wife looked on.” Fire came from the rock, and consumed the sacrifice, and as the flame went up toward heaven, “the angel of the Lord ascended in the flame of the altar. And Manoah and his wife looked on it, and fell on their faces to the ground.” There could be no further question as to the character of their visitor. They knew that they had looked upon the Holy One, who, veiling His glory in the cloudy pillar, had been the Guide and Helper of Israel in the desert. 2BC 1006.3

Amazement, awe, and terror filled Manoah's heart; and he could only exclaim, “We shall surely die, because we have seen God!” But his companion in that solemn hour possessed more faith than he. She reminded him that the Lord had been pleased to accept their sacrifice, and had promised them a son who should begin to deliver Israel. This was an evidence of favor instead of wrath. Had the Lord purposed to destroy them, He would not have wrought this miracle, nor given them a promise which, were they to perish, must fail of fulfillment (The Signs of the Times, September 15, 1881). 2BC 1006.4

5. Simplicity Leads to Readiness in Service—He who will observe simplicity in all his habits, restricting the appetite and controlling the passions, may preserve his mental powers strong, active, and vigorous, quick to perceive everything which demands thought or action, keen to discriminate between the holy and the unholy, and ready to engage in every enterprise for the glory of God and the benefit of humanity (The Signs of the Times, September 29, 1881). 2BC 1006.5

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Ellen G. White
Patriarchs and Prophets, 562-3

The angel's prohibition included “every unclean thing.” The distinction between articles of food as clean and unclean was not a merely ceremonial and arbitrary regulation, but was based upon sanitary principles. To the observance of this distinction may be traced, in a great degree, the marvelous vitality which for thousands of years has distinguished the Jewish people. The principles of temperance must be carried further than the mere use of spirituous liquors. The use of stimulating and indigestible food is often equally injurious to health, and in many cases sows the seeds of drunkenness. True temperance teaches us to dispense entirely with everything hurtful and to use judiciously that which is healthful. There are few who realize as they should how much their habits of diet have to do with their health, their character, their usefulness in this world, and their eternal destiny. The appetite should ever be in subjection to the moral and intellectual powers. The body should be servant to the mind, and not the mind to the body. PP 562.1

The divine promise to Manoah was in due time fulfilled in the birth of a son, to whom the name of Samson was given. As the boy grew up it became evident that he possessed extraordinary physical strength. This was not, however, as Samson and his parents well knew, dependent upon his well-knit sinews, but upon his condition as a Nazarite, of which his unshorn hair was a symbol. Had Samson obeyed the divine commands as faithfully as his parents had done, his would have been a nobler and happier destiny. But association with idolaters corrupted him. The town of Zorah being near the country of the Philistines, Samson came to mingle with them on friendly terms. Thus in his youth intimacies sprang up, the influence of which darkened his whole life. A young woman dwelling in the Philistine town of Timnath engaged Samson's affections, and he determined to make her his wife. To his God-fearing parents, who endeavored to dissuade him from his purpose, his only answer was, “She pleaseth me well.” The parents at last yielded to his wishes, and the marriage took place. PP 562.2

Read in context »
The Judges of Israel
The Period of the Judges
Samson the the Philistines