L N A 14:1-20. Marriage. B 15:1-19. Slaughter, in life. O 15:20. Government (20 years). N A 16:1-20. Harlots. B 16:21-31-. Slaughter, in death.
N P¹ 1-9. Proposals. P² 10-20. Feast.
P¹ v 1-4. Wife. w 5,6-. Lon. Torn. x -6. Concealment. v 7. Wife. w 8,9-. Lion. Honey in it. x -9. Concealment.
1: And Samson went down to Timnath, and saw a woman in Timnath of the daughters of the Philistines.
2: And he came up, and told his father and his mother, and said, “I have seen a woman in Timnath of the daughters of the Philistines: now therefore get her for me to wife.”
3: Then his father and his mother said to him, “Is there never a woman among the daughters of your brethren, or among all my people, that you go to take a wife of the uncircumcised Philistines? (an unlawful connection. Cp. Ex. 34:16. Deut. 7:3, with Josh.23:12) And Samson said to his father, “Get her for me; for she pleases me well.” (Heb. is right in my eyes)
4: But his father and his mother knew not that it was of the Lord, that he sought an opportunity against the Philistines: for at that time the Philistines had dominion over Israel.
5: Then went Samson down, and his father and his mother, to Timnath, and came to the vineyards of Timnath: and, behold, a young lion roared at meeting him (lions once abounded in Palestine. Hence names Lebaoth [Josh. 15:32; 19:6]. Arieh [2 Kings 15:25]. Laish [Judg. 18:7].See also 1 Sam. 17:36. 1 Kings 13:24, &c.).
6: And the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon him, and he tore him (i.e. the lion) as he would have rent a kid, and he had nothing in his hand:
but he told not his father or his mother what he had done.
7: And he went down, and talked with the woman; and she pleased Samson well.
8: And after a time he returned to take her, and he turned aside to see the carcass of the lion: and, behold, there was a swarm of bees and honey in the carcass of the lion.
9: And he took thereof in his hands, and went on eating, and came to his father and mother, and he gave them, and they did eat:
but he told not them that he had taken the honey out of the carcass of the lion.
P² y 10,11. Wife and companions. z 12,13. Conditions proposed. a b 14. Riddle put forth. c 15-17. Wife's deceit. a b 18-. Riddle solved. c -18. Wife's deceit. z 19. Conditions fulfilled. y 20. Wife and companions.
10: So his father went down to the woman: and Samson made there a feast; for so used the young men to do.
11: And it came to pass, when they saw him (i.e. saw what sort of man he was. Note emphasis on "him"), that they brought thirty companions to be with him.
12: And Samson said to them, “Let me now put forth a riddle to you: if you all can certainly declare it me within the seven days of the feast, and find it out, then I will give you thirty linen wraps (or shirts) and thirty change of garments:
13: But if you all cannot declare it me, then shall you all give me thirty sheets and thirty change of garments.” And they said to him, “Put forth your riddle, that we may hear it.”
14: And he said to them, “Out of the eater came forth meat, and out of the strong came forth sweetness.” And they could not in three days expound the riddle.
15: And it came to pass on the seventh day (the Sept. read, "fourth"), that they said to Samson's wife, “Entice your husband, that he may declare to us the riddle, lest we burn you and your father's house with fire: have you all called us to take that we have? is it not so? (the italics reveal the uncertainty of A.V. Many codices read, "to this place", which yields better sense. Heb. text simply reads, "not")
16: And Samson's wife wept before him, and said, “You do but hate me, and love me not: you have put forth a riddle to the sons of my people, and have not told it me.” And he said to her, “Behold, I have not told it my father nor my mother, and shall I tell it you?”
17: And 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 lay sore upon him: and she told the riddle to the sons of her people.
18: And 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 all had not plowed with my heifer, you all had not found out my riddle.”
19: And the Spirit of the Lord came upon him, and he went down to Ashkelon, and slew thirty men of them, and took their spoil, and gave change of garments to them which expounded the riddle. And his anger was kindled, and he went up to his father's house.
20: But Samson's wife was given to his companion, whom he had used as his friend (this was strictly in accordance with the laws of Khammurabi §§ 159,163,164).