Judges 14:1-20

14 * And Samson went down to Timnath; and at Timnath he saw a woman of a Philistine family, 2  and he came up and told his father and mother “At Timnath I saw a woman of a Philistine family; now get her for my wife.” 3 * And his father and mother said to him “Is there no such thing as a woman in your own family and in all your people, that you are going and getting a wife from the uncircumcised Philistines?” But Samson said to his father “Get me her, because she suits me”; 4  and his father and mother did not know that it was from Jehovah, because he was aiming to start a quarrel against the Philistines. (At that time the Philistines had the rule over Israel.) 5  And Samson and his father and mother went down to Timnath, and came to the Timnath vineyards, and he found a two-year-old lion that met him with a roar; 6  and the spirit of Jehovah seized upon Samson, and he twisted its legs out of joint as one would with a kid, not having anything in his hand; but he did not tell his father and mother what he had done. 7  And Samson came down and had a talk with the woman, and she suited him. 8  And after some days he came back to take her; and he turned off to see the remains of the lion, and found a swarm of bees in the lion’s body, and honey. 9  And he poked it out into his hands and ate it as he went along, and went to his father and mother and gave them some which they ate, but he did not tell them that it was out of the lion’s body he had gathered the honey. 10  And his father went down to the woman, and Samson made a wassail (for that was the way the young men used to do); 11 * and when they saw him they took thirty as comrades, and these were with him. 12  And Samson said to them “Let me put a riddle to you: if you tell, me the answer in the seven days of the wassail I will give you thirty linen undercloths and thirty dress cloaks, 13  but if you cannot tell me you shall give me thirty linen undercloths and thirty dress cloaks.” And they said to him “Put your riddle and let us hear it”; 14 * and he said to them “Out of the eater came food, and out of mighty came sweet.” And they could not answer the riddle in three days; 15 * and on the seventh day they said to Samson’s wife “Inveigle your husband into telling us the answer, if you do not want us to burn you and your family; did you invite us here to beggar us?” 16 * And Samson’s wife sobbed at him and said “You just hate me, you do not love me: you have put the riddle to my fellow-countrymen and not told me the answer.” And he said to her “I have not told my father and mother, and am I to tell you?” 17  but she sobbed at him for the seven days that they held the wassail, and on the seventh day he told her because she nagged him so, and she told her fellow-countrymen; 18 * and the men of the city said to him on the seventh day before he had gone into the chamber “What is sweeter than honey? and what is mightier than a lion?” And he said to them “If you had not plowed with my heifer you would not have found out my riddle.” 19  (And the spirit of Jehovah seized upon him, and he went down to Ashkelon and killed thirty of the men there and took their spoils and gave the cloaks to those who had told the answer of the riddle.) And he was angry and went up to his father’s home. 20  And Samson’s wife became the wife of his comrade who had been best man to him.


14:1 It is probable that the story of Samson’s wedding has been changed in copying to agree with the customs of Hebrew weddings at later times, and especially that his father and mother are brought into the story more than they originally were
14:3 Var. in the families of your brothers (that is, kinsfolk) and in all my people
14:11 Var. and because they were afraid of him they took
14:14 Var. seven days
14:15 Var. fourth day
14:16 Or do you put a riddle to my fellow-countrymen and not tell me the answer?
14:18 Codd. before the sun went down, but in a strange and ungrammatical form