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Judges 14:15-16

Context

14:15 On the fourth 1  day they said to Samson’s bride, “Trick your husband into giving the solution to the riddle. 2  If you refuse, 3  we will burn up 4  you and your father’s family. 5  Did you invite us here 6  to make us poor?” 7  14:16 So Samson’s bride cried on his shoulder 8  and said, “You must 9  hate me; you do not love me! You told the young men 10  a riddle, but you have not told me the solution.” He said to her, “Look, I have not even told my father or mother. Do you really expect me to tell you?” 11 

1 tc The MT reads “seventh.” In Hebrew there is a difference of only one letter between the words רְבִיעִי (rÿvii, “fourth”) and שְׁבִיעִי (shÿvii, “seventh”). Some ancient textual witnesses (e.g., LXX and the Syriac Peshitta) read “fourth,” here, which certainly harmonizes better with the preceding verse (cf. “for three days”) and with v. 17. Another option is to change שְׁלֹשֶׁת (shÿloshet, “three”) at the end of v. 14 to שֵׁשֶׁת (sheshet, “six”), but the resulting scenario does not account as well for v. 17, which implies the bride had been hounding Samson for more than one day.

2 tn Heb “Entice your husband so that he might tell us the riddle.”

3 tn Heb “lest.”

4 tn The Hebrew text expands the statement: “burn up with fire.” The words “with fire” are redundant in English and have been omitted from the translation for stylistic reasons.

5 tn Heb “house.”

6 tc The translation assumes the Hebrew form הֲלֹם (halom, “here,” attested in five Hebrew mss and supported by the Targum), instead of the inexplicable הֲלֹא (halo’), a negative particle with interrogative particle prefixed to it.

7 tn For discussion of this difficult form, see C. F. Burney, Judges, 364.

8 tn Heb “on him.”

9 tn Heb “only”; or “simply.”

10 tn Heb “the sons of my people.”

11 tn Heb “Should I tell you?”



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