Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible
back to: Judges
Book: Judges
Chapter: 14

Samson desires a Wife of the Philistines. (1-4) Samson kills a
lion. (5-9) Samson's Riddle. (10-20)

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.

5-9 By enabling him to kill a lion, God let Samson know what he
could do in the strength of the Spirit of the Lord, that he
might never be afraid to look the greatest difficulties in the
Face. He was alone in the vineyards, whither he had rambled.
Young people consider not how they exposed themselves to the
roaring lion that seeks to devour, when they wander from their
prudent, pious parents. Nor do men consider what Lions lurk in
the vineyards, the vineyards of red wines. Our Lord Jesus having
conquered Satan, that roaring lion, believers, like Samson, find
Honey in the carcass, abundant strength and satisfaction, enough
for themselves, and for all their friends.

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.