NOW Samson went down to Timnath ( Judges 14:1 ),
Which was a Philistine city and there he fell in love with one of the daughters of the Philistines. And he came home and he said to his parents, "I want you to go down and make arrangements for me to marry that girl."
And they said, "Awe come on, Samson. All these beautiful Israeli girls around here, why do you have to go down and fall in love with a Philistine?" Now they didn"t know that God was seeking an occasion against the Philistines.
Samson is a self-willed young kid, he said, "Hey, don"t give me a bad time. Just go down and make the arrangements."
So his parents went down to make the arrangements and Samson was tagging along behind them and a lion jumped him. And the spirit of the Lord came on him and he took that lion and ripped the thing in two just like it had been a little goat or something. Tossed the carcass over the bushes, dusted off his hands, didn"t tell anybody. The parents went on down to Timnath and he got to see his girlfriend. They made all the arrangements for the dowry and so forth so that he could marry her.
And so the time for the wedding came and so they were on their way back to Timnath. Again his parents went ahead of him and curious, he got to the place where he tossed the carcass in the bushes and he wondered what that old carcass looked like by now. And so he went over to see what the carcass looked like, the degree of deterioration and all at this point, and he saw that bees had made a hive in the carcass. There was a honey cone there. So he grabbed it, began to eat the honey, caught up with his parents and gave them some of the honey to eat. Still didn"t tell them what happened, went on down to Timnath, started the whole wedding festival.
Now, in those days they really did a big number for weddings. It was a seven-day kind of a feast prior to the wedding, really celebrated, the last of your single days. So they appointed thirty of the Philistines to be his companions during this period of revelry, the partying and all prior to the wedding.
And so Samson said to these thirty Philistines, I"m gonna give you a riddle: and if you can tell me the riddle by the time of the wedding day, then I will give you thirty shirts and thirty changes of garments: But if you can"t tell me the riddle at the end of the seven days, then you gotta give me thirty shirts and thirty changes of garments ( Judges 14:12-13 ).
The guy says, "What"s your riddle?" And so he gave to them the riddle.
And he said, Out of the eater came forth meat, and out of the strong came forth sweetness. And these guys for three days hassled with this thing ( Judges 14:14 ).
Out of the eater came forth meat. Out of the strong came forth sweetness. And after three days and they hadn"t gotten anywhere with it they came to his bride-to-be and they said, "What a rat you are. You"re just trying to rip us off. That"s why you chose us to be his companions. Trying to get thirty shirts and thirty changes of garments out of us for your trousseau or whatever, no way." They said, "You better find out what that riddle is or we"re gonna burn you and your dad"s house."
And so, she came to Samson and said, "You really don"t love me."
He said, "What do you mean I don"t love you?"
"Oh, if you love me you would"ve told me what the riddle is."
He said, "No, what are you talking about? I haven"t even told my parents what the riddle is."
"See I told you, you didn"t love me." And she started this always with tears and day after day you know, here"s this bride to be always in tears. "You don"t love me."
And finally Samson had it. Couldn"t stand the tears no more and said, "Awe, it means nothing." He said, "I killed this lion and out of his carcass there was a honeycomb so out of the eater there came forth sweets. So, she told these guys. The day of the wedding came so Samson said, "Okay, what"s the riddle fellas?"
And they said,
What"s stronger than a lion and what"s sweeter than honey? And he really got angry and he said, You haven"t been plowing with my heifer, you"d never found out ( Judges 14:18 ).
That"s an interesting, I imagine, colloquial kind of a phrase in those days calling your wife a heifer. "You"d haven"t been plowing my heifer, you"d never known." And he got upset. And he went down to Ashkelon, one of the Philistine cities along the coast of the Mediterranean. Got a hold of thirty Philistines, cracked their skulls, took their shirts and their clothes, came back and paid off his debt and went home. After he cooled down he came back to see his wife and that"s where the next problem began.
We"ll get into that in our next week study as we move along with Samson. Interesting character. I have a lot I want to share with you about Samson but we"ll wait until we get the full story next week and then we"ll draw some interesting observations and analogies from Samson. "
Copyright © 2014, Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, Ca.
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Judges 14". "Chuck Smith Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Second Week after Epiphany