1Samson went down to Timnah. There he saw a young Philistine woman.2When he returned, he spoke to his father and mother. He said, “I've seen a Philistine woman in Timnah. Get her for me. I want her to be my wife.”3His father and mother replied, “Can't we find a wife for you among your relatives? Isn't there one among any of our people? Do you have to go to the Philistines to get a wife? They aren't God's people. They haven't even been circumcised.” But Samson said to his father, “Get her for me. She's the right one for me.”4Samson's parents didn't know that the Lord wanted things to happen that way. He was working out his plans against the Philistines. That's because the Philistines were ruling over Israel at that time.5Samson went down to Timnah. His father and mother went with him. They approached the vineyards of Timnah. Suddenly a young lion came roaring toward Samson.6Then the Spirit of the Lord came on Samson with power. He tore the lion apart with his bare hands. He did it as easily as he might have torn a young goat apart. But he didn't tell his father or mother what he had done.7Then he went down and talked with the woman. He liked her.8Some time later, he was going back to get married to her. But he turned off the road to look at the lion's dead body. Large numbers of bees and some honey were in it.9He dug the honey out with his hands. He ate it as he walked along. Then he joined his parents again. He gave them some honey. They ate it too. But he didn't tell them he had taken it from the lion's dead body.10Samson's father went down to see the woman. Samson had a big dinner prepared there. He was following the practice of men when they got married.11When the people saw Samson, they gave him 30 companions.12“Let me tell you a riddle,” Samson said to the companions. “The dinner will last for seven days. Give me the answer to the riddle before the dinner ends. If you do, I'll give you 30 linen shirts. I'll also give you 30 sets of clothes.13But suppose you can't give me the answer. Then you must give me 30 linen shirts. You must also give me 30 sets of clothes.” “Tell us your riddle,” they said. “Let's hear it.”14Samson replied, “Out of the eater came something to eat. Out of the strong came something sweet.” For three days they couldn't give him the answer.15On the fourth day they spoke to Samson's wife. “Get your husband to explain the riddle for us,” they said. “If you don't, we'll burn you to death. We'll burn up everyone in your family. Did you invite us here to rob us?”16Then Samson's wife threw herself on him. She sobbed, “You hate me! You don't really love me. You have given my people a riddle. But you haven't told me the answer.” “I haven't even explained it to my father or mother,” he replied. “So why should I explain it to you?”17She cried during the whole seven days the dinner was going on. So on the seventh day he finally told her the answer to the riddle. That's because she kept on asking him to tell her. Then she explained the riddle to her people.18Before sunset on the seventh day the men of the town spoke to Samson. They said, “What is sweeter than honey? What is stronger than a lion?” Samson said to them, “You have plowed with my young cow. If you hadn't, you wouldn't have known the answer to my riddle.”19Then the Spirit of the Lord came on Samson with power. He went down to Ashkelon. He struck down 30 of their men. He took everything they had with them. And he gave their clothes to those who had explained the riddle. Samson was burning with anger as he went up to his father's house.20Samson's wife was given to someone else. She was given to a friend of Samson. The friend had helped him at his wedding.
English Standard Version
1Samson went down to Timnah, and at Timnah he saw one of the daughters of the Philistines. (Ge 38:12; Jos 15:10; Jos 19:43; Heb 11:32)2Then he came up and told his father and mother, “I saw one of the daughters of the Philistines at Timnah. Now get her for me as my wife.” (Ge 34:4)3But his father and mother said to him, “Is there not a woman among the daughters of your relatives, or among all our people, that you must go to take a wife from the uncircumcised Philistines?” But Samson said to his father, “Get her for me, for she is right in my eyes.” (Ge 24:3; Ge 28:1; Jud 15:18; 1Sa 14:6; 1Sa 17:26; 1Sa 17:36; 1Sa 31:4; 2Sa 1:20)4His father and mother did not know that it was from the Lord, for he was seeking an opportunity against the Philistines. At that time the Philistines ruled over Israel. (Jos 11:20; Jud 13:1; Jud 15:11)5Then Samson went down with his father and mother to Timnah, and they came to the vineyards of Timnah. And behold, a young lion came toward him roaring.6Then the Spirit of the Lord rushed upon him, and although he had nothing in his hand, he tore the lion in pieces as one tears a young goat. But he did not tell his father or his mother what he had done. (Jud 3:10; Jud 14:19; Jud 15:14; 1Sa 11:6)7Then he went down and talked with the woman, and she was right in Samson’s eyes.8After some days he returned to take her. And he turned aside to see the carcass of the lion, and behold, there was a swarm of bees in the body of the lion, and honey.9He scraped it out into his hands and went on, eating as he went. And he came to his father and mother and gave some to them, and they ate. But he did not tell them that he had scraped the honey from the carcass of the lion.10His father went down to the woman, and Samson prepared a feast there, for so the young men used to do.11As soon as the people saw him, they brought thirty companions to be with him.12And Samson said to them, “Let me now put a riddle to you. If you can tell me what it is, within the seven days of the feast, and find it out, then I will give you thirty linen garments and thirty changes of clothes, (Ge 29:27; Ge 45:22; 1Ki 10:1; 2Ki 5:5; 2Ki 5:22; Ps 78:2; Pr 1:6; Eze 17:2)13but if you cannot tell me what it is, then you shall give me thirty linen garments and thirty changes of clothes.” And they said to him, “Put your riddle, that we may hear it.”14And he said to them, “Out of the eater came something to eat. Out of the strong came something sweet.” And in three days they could not solve the riddle.15On the fourth day they said to Samson’s wife, “Entice your husband to tell us what the riddle is, lest we burn you and your father’s house with fire. Have you invited us here to impoverish us?” (Jud 15:6; Jud 16:5)16And Samson’s wife wept over him and said, “You only hate me; you do not love me. You have put a riddle to my people, and you have not told me what it is.” And he said to her, “Behold, I have not told my father nor my mother, and shall I tell you?” (Jud 16:15)17She wept before him the seven days that their feast lasted, and on the seventh day he told her, because she pressed him hard. Then she told the riddle to her people. (Jud 16:16)18And the men of the city said to him on the seventh day before the sun went down, “What is sweeter than honey? What is stronger than a lion?” And he said to them, “If you had not plowed with my heifer, you would not have found out my riddle.”19And the Spirit of the Lord rushed upon him, and he went down to Ashkelon and struck down thirty men of the town and took their spoil and gave the garments to those who had told the riddle. In hot anger he went back to his father’s house. (Jud 1:18; Jud 14:6)20And Samson’s wife was given to his companion, who had been his best man. (Jud 15:2; Jud 15:6; Joh 3:29)