Judges Chapter 14  PDF  MSWord

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Go to Commentary on Judg 14
Samson’s Riddle and Marriage

1And Samson went down to Timnah and saw a woman in Timnah of the daughters of the Philistines.
  2He came up and told his father and his mother and said, “I have seen a woman in Timnah of the daughters of the Philistines; now therefore, get her for me as a wife.”

3Then his father and his mother said to him, “Is there not a woman among the daughters of your brothers or among all my people, that you must go to take a wife of the uncircumcised Philistines?” But Samson said to his father, “Get her for me, for she is right in my eyes.”
  4But his father and his mother did not know that this was from Yahweh, for he was seeking an opportunity against the Philistines. Now at that time the Philistines were ruling over Israel.

5Then Samson went down, and his father and his mother, to Timnah, and came to the vineyards of Timnah. And behold, a young lion came roaring toward him.
  6But the spirit of Yahweh rushed upon him, and although he had nothing in his hand, he tore it apart as one would tear apart a young goat. But he did not tell his father or his mother what he had done.
  7Then he went down and spoke to the woman, and she was right in Samson’s eyes.

8After a while he returned to take her, and he turned aside to see the remains of the lion, and behold, there was a swarm of bees in the carcass of the lion, and honey.
  9And he scooped it out into his hands and went on, eating as he went. And he came to his father and mother and gave some to them, and they ate, but he did not tell them that he had taken the honey out of the carcass of the lion.

10And his father went down to the woman and Samson made a feast there, as the young men were accustomed to do.
  11And when they saw him, they brought 30 companions who remained with him.

12And Samson said to them, “Now let me tell you a riddle. If you can tell, yes, tell it to me within the seven days of the feast and find it out, then I will give you 30 linen garments and 30 changes of clothing,
  13but if you cannot tell it to me, then you must give me 30 linen garments and 30 changes of clothing.” And they said to him, “Tell us your riddle, that we may hear it.”

14So he said to them, “Out of the eater came food to eat; out of the strong came something sweet.” And in three days they could not tell him the riddle.

15It came to pass on the fourth daya that they said to Samson’s wife, “Entice your husband to tell the riddle to us, or else we will burn you and your father’s house with fire. Have you all called us to take our property?”

16So 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?”

17And she wept before him the seven days while their feast lasted, and it came to pass on the seventh day that he told her because she pressed him hard, and she told the riddle to the children of her people.
  18So the men of the city said to him on the seventh day before the sun went down, “What is sweeter than honey? What is stronger than a lion?” And he said to them, “If you had not plowed with my heifer, you would not have found out my riddle.”

19And the spirit of Yahweh rushed upon him, and he went down to Ashkelon and struck down 30 men of them, and took their spoil and gave the changes of clothing to those who had told him the riddle. And his anger was kindled, and he went up to his father’s house.
  20But Samson’s wife was given to his companion who had accompanied him.

The Masoretic Hebrew text reads “seventh.”

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