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Samson Versus the Philistines

15 Sometime later, during the wheat harvest,[a] Samson took a young goat as a gift and went to visit his bride.[b] He said to her father,[c] “I want to sleep with[d] my bride in her bedroom!”[e] But her father would not let him enter. Her father said, “I really thought[f] you absolutely despised[g] her, so I gave her to your best man. Her younger sister is more attractive than she is. Take her instead!”[h] Samson said to them,[i] “This time I am justified in doing the Philistines harm!”[j]

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  1. Judges 15:1 sn The wheat harvest took place during the month of May. See O. Borowski, Agriculture in Iron Age Israel, 37, 88.
  2. Judges 15:1 tn Heb “Samson visited his wife with a young goat.”
  3. Judges 15:1 tn The words “to her father” are supplied in the translation (see the end of the verse).
  4. Judges 15:1 tn Heb “I want to approach.” The verb בּוֹא (boʾ) with the preposition אֶל (ʾel) means “come to” or “approach,” but is also used as a euphemism for sexual relations.
  5. Judges 15:1 tn Heb “I will go to my wife in the bedroom.” The Hebrew idiom בּוֹא אֶל (boʾ ʾel, “to go to”) often has sexual connotations. The cohortative form used by Samson can be translated as indicating resolve (“I want to go”) or request (“let me go”).
  6. Judges 15:2 tn Heb “saying, I said.” The first person form of אָמַר (ʾamar, “to say”) sometimes indicates self-reflection. The girl’s father uses the infinitive absolute for emphasis.
  7. Judges 15:2 tn Heb “hating, you hated.” Once again the girl’s father uses the infinitive absolute for emphasis.
  8. Judges 15:2 tn Heb “Is her younger sister not better than her? Let her [i.e., the younger sister] be yours instead of her [i.e., Samson’s ‘bride’]).”
  9. Judges 15:3 tc Codex Alexandrinus (A) of the (original) LXX has the singular “to him.”
  10. Judges 15:3 tn Heb “I am innocent this time from the Philistines when I do with them harm.”

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