So Samson’s wife wept before him and said, “You surely hate me, and do not love me. You have told a riddle to the children of my people and have not told it to me.”

And he said to her, “Behold, I have not told it to my father or my mother, and should I tell you?” Bible see other translations

“hate.” The word “hate” in the Bible does not always have the meaning it has in English, an intense feeling of animosity, anger, and hostility toward a person, group, or object. In Hebrew and Greek, the word “hate” has a large range of meanings, from actual “hate” to simply loving something less than something else, neglecting or ignoring something, or being disgusted by something. “Hate” can also mean “to ignore, to have nothing to do with; or to have a lack of love and kindly sentiment toward someone or something.” Especially in the context of “love” and “hate,” “hate” means you like something else better than the thing you “hate” (you ignore, you neglect). Samson’s wife was saying that Samson loved other things more than she, and was neglecting her.

[For more on the large semantic range of “hate” and its use in the Bible, see commentary on Prov. 1:22, “hate.”]

Commentary for: Judges 14:16