Judges 14

Samson demands a Philistine wife  1
He kills a lion; meets the woman and finds honey in the carcass 5
He prepares a wedding feast and poses a riddle  10
His wife learns the riddle; Samson sees that she told it 15
He killed 30 men to provide clothes for the 30 who told the riddle 19
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Text
Explanation
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.
  1 - Down The elevation of Zorah is 1170 ft. (356 m.). Timnath is 800 ft. (244 m.). On Zorah see jos1941.
  1 - Timnath Also called "Timnah. About 4.5 mi (7.2 km.) SW of Zorah. It had been assigned to the tribe of Dan but at this time was controlled by the Philistines. See map, section B, top. ge3812-14.
  1 - Woman She may have been a widow or divorced. Compare jg1604.
  2 - Get her for me It was well to have spoken to his father but Samson really didn't want advice as we seen in the next verses. This is an important lesson for those contemplating marriage.
  2 - Of the Philistines Mariage with a native of Caana had been forbidden ex3416, de0703.
.3  Then his father and his mother said unto him, Is there never a woman among the daughters of thy brethren, or among all my people, that thou goest to take a wife of the uncircumcised Philistines? And Samson said unto his father, Get her for me; for she pleaseth me well.
.4  But his father and his mother knew not that it was of the LORD, that he sought an occasion against the Philistines: for at that time the Philistines had dominion over Israel.
  3 - Never [not] a woman "To marry with any that did not belong to the Israelitish stock, was contrary to the law, Ex 34:16; De 7:3. But this marriage of Samson was said to be of the Lord, Jg 14:4; that is, God permitted it, (for in no other sense can we understand the phrase,) that it might be a means of bringing about the deliverance of Israel." (Adam Clark Commentary)
  3 - Pleaseth me well Literally, "right in my eyes." Blinded by infatuation.
  4 - He sought The Lord would work through the wickedness of Samson to show His power to the Philistines. See jg1628.
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 against him.
6  And the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon him, and he rent him 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 carcase of the lion: and, behold, there was a swarm of bees and honey in the carcase 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 carcase of the lion.
 5 - Young lion roared Literally a young lion in full growth. Lions in the area disappeared around the time of the crusades.
 6 - Spirit of the Lord Samson was given a special gift of the spirit ex3102, 1co1204.
  8 - After a time It could have been a long time according to custom although Samson didn't seem very patient. The bees don't select a site and go through the cycle for making honey very quickly. It was probably more than a year.
  9 - Hands Probably not the usual way. See 1sa1427.
10 ¶ So his father went down unto 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, that they brought thirty companions to be with him.
12  And Samson said unto them, I will now put forth a riddle unto you: if ye can certainly declare it me within the seven days of the feast, and find it out, then I will give you thirty sheets and thirty change of garments:
13  But if ye cannot declare it me, then shall ye give me thirty sheets and thirty change of garments. And they said unto him, Put forth thy riddle, that we may hear it.
14  And he said unto 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.
  10 - Feast Literally "a drinking." As a Nazirite this was forbidden for Samson.
  11 - When they saw him They may have brought their friends for safety.
  12 - Sheets "Linen garments" (RSV). Likely a rectangular linen cloth used as an outer garment or a blanket pr3124, is0323.
15  And it came to pass on the seventh day, that they said unto Samsonís wife, Entice thy husband, that he may declare unto us the riddle, lest we burn thee and thy fatherís house with fire: have ye called us to take that we have? is it not so?
16  And Samsonís wife wept before him, and said, Thou dost but hate me, and lovest me not: thou hast put forth a riddle unto the children of my people, and hast not told  it me. And he said unto her, Behold, I have not told it my father nor my mother, and shall I tell it thee?
  15 - Entice ... lest we burn They later did jg1506.
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 children of her people.
18  And the men of the city said unto 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 unto them, If ye had not plowed with my heifer, ye had not found out my riddle.
  18 - What is sweeter The response, as the riddle, was in poetic form.
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 unto them which expounded the riddle. And his anger was kindled, and he went up to his fatherís house.
20  But Samsonís wife was given to his companion, whom he had used as his friend.
  19 - Spirit of the Lord came See v6 Compare 1sa1614.
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