Judges 14:1-20

  • Judge Samson seeks a Philistine wife (1-4)

  • Samson kills a lion by Jehovah’s spirit (5-9)

  • Samson’s riddle at the wedding (10-19)

  • Samson’s wife given to another man (20)

14  Then Samson went down to Timʹnah, and in Timʹnah he saw a Phi·lisʹtine woman.*  So he went up and told his father and mother: “In Timʹnah a Phi·lisʹtine woman caught my eye, and I want you to get her for me as a wife.”  But his father and mother said to him: “Can you not find a woman among your relatives and among all our people?+ Must you go and take a wife from among the uncircumcised Phi·lisʹtines?” But Samson said to his father: “Get her for me, because she is the right one for me.”*  His father and mother did not realize that this was from Jehovah, for He was looking for an opportunity against the Phi·lisʹtines, as the Phi·lisʹtines were ruling over Israel at that time.+  So Samson went down with his father and mother to Timʹnah. When he reached the vineyards of Timʹnah, why look! a lion* came roaring at him.  Then Jehovah’s spirit empowered him,+ and he tore it in two, just as someone tears a young goat in two with his bare hands. But he did not tell his father or mother what he had done.  Then he went down and spoke to the woman, and she was still the right one in Samson’s eyes.+  Later when he was going back to take her home,+ he turned aside to look at the dead body of the lion, and there in the lion’s carcass was a swarm of bees and honey.  So he scraped the honey out into his hands and ate it as he walked along. When he rejoined his father and mother, he gave them some to eat. But he did not tell them that he had scraped the honey out of the carcass of a lion. 10  His father went down to the woman, and Samson held a banquet there, for that was what the young men used to do. 11  When they saw him, they brought 30 groomsmen to accompany him. 12  Then Samson said to them: “Please let me tell you a riddle. If during the seven days of the banquet you solve it and tell me the answer, I will have to give you 30 linen garments and 30 outfits of clothing. 13  But if you are unable to tell me the answer, you must give me 30 linen garments and 30 outfits of clothing.” They said: “Tell us your riddle; we want to hear it.” 14  So he said to them: “Out of the eater came something to eat,And out of the strong came something sweet.”+ They were unable to solve the riddle for three days. 15  On the fourth day, they said to Samson’s wife: “Trick your husband+ so that he will tell us the answer to the riddle. Otherwise, we will burn you and your father’s house with fire. Did you invite us here to take our possessions?” 16  So Samson’s wife wept over him and said: “You must hate me; you do not love me.+ You told a riddle to my people, but you have not told the answer to me.” At this he said to her: “Why, I have not told it even to my own father and mother! Should I tell it to you?” 17  But she kept weeping over him the rest of the seven-day banquet. He finally told her on the seventh day, because she had pressured him. Then she told her people the answer to the riddle.+ 18  So on the seventh day before the sun set,* the men of the city said to him: “What is sweeter than honey,And what is stronger than a lion?”+ He replied to them: “If you had not plowed with my young cow,+You would not have solved my riddle.” 19  Then Jehovah’s spirit empowered him,+ and he went down to Ashʹke·lon+ and struck down 30 of their men and took their clothing and gave the outfits to those who had answered the riddle.+ He was furious as he went back up to his father’s house. 20  Samson’s wife+ was then given to one of his groomsmen who had accompanied him.+


Lit., “a woman of the daughters of the Philistines.”
Lit., “she is right in my eyes.”
Or “a maned young lion.”
Or possibly, “before he went into the interior room.”