OceanSide church of Christ

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Lesson #8


The First Conflict with the Philistines

Judges 14:1-20

Victor M. Eskew


I.             THE REQUEST FOR A WIFE (Judg. 14:1-4)


A.   Samson Sees A Woman (Judg. 14:1)

1.    The Site:  Timnath

2.    The Sight:  …saw a woman in Timnath 

3.    The Society:  of the daughters of the Philistines

a.    Remember, the Philistines are the enemies and oppressors of God’s people.

b.    Samson should have been aware of Genesis 6:2.


That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.


c.    The text does not tell us exactly “why” Samson went down to Timnath.  Was he there to find a wife?  Was it that he just happened to see this woman while on other business.  Either way Deuteronomy 7:3-4 applies.


Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; they daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son.  For they will turn away thy son from following me, that they may serve other gods:  so will the anger of the Lord be kindled against you, and destroy thee suddenly.


d.    Lesson: 

1)    Here we see the battle that the child of God faces every day:  my will versus the will of God (Gal. 5:16-17).


This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.  For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh:  and these are contrary the one to the other:  so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.


2)    Here we see another battle that we fight every day:  the enticements involved in Satan’s temptations (I John 2:16).


For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.


B.   Samson Solicits His Parents (Judg. 14:2-3)

1.    The Demand (Judg. 14:2)


And he came up, and told his father and his mother, and said, I have seen a woman in Timnath of the daughters of the Philistines:  now therefore get her for me to wife.


a.    The Communication:  “…told his father and his mother”

1)    Communication between parents and children is needed, but it is often very difficult.

2)    Sometimes children only communicate when they have a specific information to share, or, when they have a request.

b.    The Choice:  “…I have seen a woman in Timnath of the daughters of the Philistines…”

1)    What could have been good news (a marriage) was not.  Samson wanted to marry a woman from the enemies of God’s people.

2)    Children will come to their parents with disturbing news at times.

a)    Quitting school

b)    Pregnant

c)    Fired from a job

d)    In trouble with the law

e)    An addiction

f)     Getting a divorce

c.    The Command:  “…now therefore get her for me.”

1)    Here, we come across a custom of Samson’s day.  A man could not ask for the hand of a woman in marriage.  The request was made by the man’s parents to the woman’s parents.  Too, a dowry was usually required.

2)    Samson’s coming to his parents was not out of respect.  It was out of necessity.  He was not seeking advice.  He was making a demand.

3)    Samson was manifesting disrespect, rudeness, and a lack of concern for his parents’ feelings and for the law of God (Exo. 20:12).


Honor thy father and thy mother:  that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.


2.    The Dissent (Judg. 14:3a)


Then his father and his mother said unto him, Is there never a women among the daughters of thy brethren, or among all my people that thou goes to take a wife of the uncircumcised Philistines?


a.    This dissent was a courageous protest.

1)    Samson did not respectfully ask his parents about his.  He demanded it of them.

2)    To go against him in any way took courage.

3)    NOTE:  Children can be mean and cruel to their parents, especially if their parents oppose them or say no to them.

b.    This dissent was a wise protest (See Butler, 50-51).

1)    It was wise in position.  They took the position of God’s will in this matter.

2)    It was wise in reasoning.  Samson should have married within his tribe or within the Israelite nation.

3)    It was wise in language.

a)    They referred to the woman as being part of the “uncircumcised” Philistines.

b)    This woman and her people were outside the covenants of promise given to God’s people.

c)    Why would a Jew, especially a Nazarite, desire such a woman?

3.    The Determination (Judg. 14:3b)


And Samson said unto his father, Get her for me; for she pleaseth me well.


a.    Samson is determined to have his woman.

1)    The demand continues:  “Get her for me.”

2)    His reason:  “…She pleaseth me well.” 

a)    Samson thinks he knows what is best for himself.  Children, however, do not always know what is best. This is why God has given parents to help them make good decisions.

b)    Samson is more concerned about satisfying his desires than he is in satisfying God’s will.   The woman pleased Samson, but Samson was not pleasing God.

b.    Question:  Was there a reason why Samson now speaks only to his father?

1)    Did he understand that his father had the final say in the matter?

2)    Did he think he could influence his father easier?

3)    Did he know that his father could influence his mother?

4)    Did he know that his father had a soft spot for him because he was a special child?

c.    It is interesting that Manoah does not respond to Samson.  The next action taken by his mother and father is found in Judges 14:5.  “Then went Samson down, and his father and his mother, to Timnath…”

1)    Manoah should have said:  “No,” to his son.

2)    He should have instructed his son in the ways of God.

3)    He should have suffered any negative response that Samson might have given him.

4)    Lessons:

a)    Parents have to be strong.  They have to set boundaries.  They have to tell even their grown children:  “No!”

b)    Samson was not a man who could take advice very well.

-      He completely ignored the advice of his parents. Why?

+   Pride

+   Stubbornness

-      “When he ignored his parents, it’s as if his doom was sealed.  From that point on, we see him becoming more and more reckless.  We see him drifting farther away from his calling and sinking deeper into sin.  Yes, it took years for him to finally hit rock bottom, but it’s clear that the downward course of his life was set the moment he closed his ears to a piece of good advice” (The Samson Syndrome, Mark Atteberry, p. 41).

-      Proverbs 4:1-2


Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding.  For I give you good doctrine, forsake ye not my law.


C.   Sovereignty Seeks Its Purpose (Judg. 14:4)


But his father and his mother knew not that it was of the Lord, that he sought an occasion against the Philistines:  for at that time the Philistines had dominion over Israel.