Samson’s Philistine Wife
1Now Samson went down #Gen. 38:13; Josh. 15:10, 57to Timnah, and #Gen. 34:2saw a woman in Timnah of the daughters of the Philistines. 2So he went up and told his father and mother, saying, “I have seen a woman in Timnah of the daughters of the Philistines; now therefore, #Gen. 21:21get her for me as a wife.”
3Then his father and mother said to him, “Is there no woman among the daughters of #Gen. 24:3, 4your brethren, or among all my people, that you must go and get a wife from the #Gen. 34:14; Ex. 34:16; Deut. 7:3uncircumcised Philistines?”
And Samson said to his father, “Get her for me, for she pleases me well.”
4But his father and mother did not know that it was #Josh. 11:20; 1 Kin. 12:15; 2 Kin. 6:33; 2 Chr. 10:15of the Lord—that He was seeking an occasion to move against the Philistines. For at that time #Deut. 28:48; Judg. 13:1the Philistines had dominion over Israel.
5So Samson went down to Timnah with his father and mother, and came to the vineyards of Timnah.
Now to his surprise, a young lion came roaring against him. 6And #Judg. 3:10the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon him, and he tore the lion apart as one would have torn apart a young goat, though he had nothing in his hand. But he did not tell his father or his mother what he had done.
7Then he went down and talked with the woman; and she pleased Samson well. 8After some time, when he returned to get her, he turned aside to see the carcass of the lion. And behold, a swarm of bees and honey were in the carcass of the lion. 9He took some of it in his hands and went along, eating. When he came to his father and mother, he gave some to them, and they also ate. But he did not tell them that he had taken the honey out of the #Lev. 11:27carcass of the lion.
10So his father went down to the woman. And Samson gave a feast there, for young men used to do so. 11And it happened, when they saw him, that they brought thirty companions to be with him.
12Then Samson said to them, “Let me #1 Kin. 10:1; Ezek. 17:2pose a riddle to you. If you can correctly solve and explain it to me #Gen. 29:27within the seven days of the feast, then I will give you thirty linen garments and thirty #Gen. 45:22; 2 Kin. 5:22changes of clothing. 13But if you cannot explain it to me, then you shall give me thirty linen garments and thirty changes of clothing.”
And they said to him, #Ezek. 17:2“Pose your riddle, that we may hear it.”
14So he said to them:
“Out of the eater came something to eat,
And out of the strong came something sweet.”
Now for three days they could not explain the riddle.
15But it came to pass on the seventh day that they said to Samson’s wife, #Judg. 16:5“Entice your husband, that he may explain the riddle to us, #Judg. 15:6or else we will burn you and your father’s house with fire. Have you invited us in order to take what is ours? Is that not so?”
16Then Samson’s wife wept on him, and said, #Judg. 16:15“You only hate me! You do not love me! You have posed a riddle to the sons of my people, but you have not explained it to me.”
And he said to her, “Look, I have not explained it to my father or my mother; so should I explain it to you?” 17Now she had wept on him the seven days while their feast lasted. And it happened on the seventh day that he told her, because she pressed him so much. Then she explained the riddle to the sons 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?
And what is stronger than a lion?”
And he said to them:
“If you had not plowed with my heifer,
You would not have solved my riddle!”
19Then #Judg. 3:10; 13:25the Spirit of the Lord came upon him mightily, and he went down to Ashkelon and killed thirty of their men, took their apparel, and gave the changes of clothing to those who had explained the riddle. So his anger was aroused, and he went back up to his father’s house. 20And Samson’s wife #Judg. 15:2was given to his companion, who had been #John 3:29his best man.