Judges Chapter 14 |
1Once Samson went down to Timnah; and while in Timnah, he noticed a girl among the Philistine women.
2On his return, he told his father and mother, “I noticed one of the Philistine women in Timnah; please get her for me as a wife.”
3His father and mother said to him, “Is there no one among the daughters of your own kinsmen and among all our people, that you must go and take a wife from the uncircumcised Philistines?” But Samson answered his father, “Get me that one, for she is the one that pleases me.”
4His father and mother did not realize that this was the Lord’s doing: He was seeking a pretext against the Philistines, for the Philistines were ruling over Israel at that time.
5So Samson and his father and mother went down to Timnah.
When he came to the vineyards of Timnah [for the first time], a full-grown lion came roaring at him. 6The spirit of the Lord gripped him, and he tore him asunder with his bare hands as one might tear a kid asunder; but he did not tell his father and mother what he had done. 7Then he went down and spoke to the woman, and she pleased Samson.
8Returning the following year to marry her, he turned aside to look at the remains of the lion; and in the lion’s skeleton he found a swarm of bees, and honey. 9He scooped it into his palms and ate it as he went along. When he rejoined his father and mother, he gave them some and they ate it; but he did not tell them that he had scooped the honey out of a lion’s skeleton.
10So his father came down to the woman, and Samson made a feast there, as young men used to do.
11When they saw him, they designated thirty companions to be with him.
12Then Samson said to them, “Let me propound a riddle to you. If you can give me the right answer during the seven days of the feast, I shall give you thirty linen tunics and thirty sets of clothing;
13but if you are not able to tell it to me, you must give me thirty linen tunics and thirty sets of clothing.” And they said to him, “Ask your riddle and we will listen.”
14So he said to them:
“Out of the eater came something to eat,
Out of the strong came something sweet.”
For three days they could not answer the riddle.
15On the seventh day, they said to Samson’s wife, “Coax your husband to provide us with the answer to the riddle; else we shall put you and your father’s household to the fire; have you invited us here in order to impoverish us?”
16Then Samson’s wife harassed him with tears, and she said, “You really hate me, you don’t love me. You asked my countrymen a riddle, and you didn’t tell me the answer.” He replied, “I haven’t even told my father and mother; shall I tell you?”
17During the rest of the seven days of the feast she continued to harass him with her tears, and on the seventh day he told her, because she nagged him so. And she explained the riddle to her countrymen.
18On the seventh day, before the sunset, the townsmen said to him:
“What is sweeter than honey,
And what is stronger than a lion?”
“Had you not plowed with my heifer,
You would not have guessed my riddle!”
19The spirit of the Lord gripped him. He went down to Ashkelon and killed thirty of its men. He stripped them and gave the sets of clothing to those who had answered the riddle. And he left in a rage for his father’s house.
20Samson’s wife then married one of those who had been his wedding companions.