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Her father said, “I said to myself, I said, indeed, I thought that you hated, yes, hated her, so I gave her to your companion. Is not her younger sister more beautiful than she? Please take her instead.” Bible

“I said to myself, I said.” The Hebrew almost seems awkward, but it is an awkward moment. Sampson’s betrothed had been given away without his knowledge, and the father does not know what to say except to stumble through and try to explain that he did his best to think through the situation.

“hated, yes, hated.” The father tries to convey the intensity of the hatred Samson felt for his bride by using the figure of speech polyptoton, repeating the verb using different inflections (for more on polyptoton and the REV translation, see commentary on Gen. 2:16). The woman’s father reasonably thought that if Samson hated her so intensely he would not come back for her, and he tries what ordinarily could have been a workable solution; give Samson the woman’s younger sister. That failed, likely not so much because it was not reasonable, but because Samson did not want to marry a Philistine woman because he loved her but because he was seeking an occasion against the Philistines.


Commentary for: Judges 15:2