1Samson went down to Timnah and saw there a young Philistine woman.2When he returned, he said to his father and mother, “I have seen a Philistine woman in Timnah; now get her for me as my wife.”3His father and mother replied, “Isn’t there an acceptable woman among your relatives or among all our people? Must you go to the uncircumcised Philistines to get a wife?” But Samson said to his father, “Get her for me. She’s the right one for me.”4(His parents did not know that this was from the Lord, who was seeking an occasion to confront the Philistines; for at that time they were ruling over Israel.)5Samson went down to Timnah together with his father and mother. As they approached the vineyards of Timnah, suddenly a young lion came roaring toward him.6The Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon him so that he tore the lion apart with his bare hands as he might have torn a young goat. But he told neither his father nor his mother what he had done.7Then he went down and talked with the woman, and he liked her.8Some time later, when he went back to marry her, he turned aside to look at the lion’s carcass, and in it he saw a swarm of bees and some honey.9He scooped out the honey with his hands and ate as he went along. When he rejoined his parents, he gave them some, and they too ate it. But he did not tell them that he had taken the honey from the lion’s carcass.10Now his father went down to see the woman. And there Samson held a feast, as was customary for young men.11When the people saw him, they chose thirty men to be his companions.12“Let me tell you a riddle,” Samson said to them. “If you can give me the answer within the seven days of the feast, I will give you thirty linen garments and thirty sets of clothes.13If you can’t tell me the answer, you must give me thirty linen garments and thirty sets of clothes.” “Tell us your riddle,” they said. “Let’s hear it.”14He replied, “Out of the eater, something to eat; out of the strong, something sweet.” For three days they could not give the answer.15On the fourth day, they said to Samson’s wife, “Coax your husband into explaining the riddle for us, or we will burn you and your father’s household to death. Did you invite us here to steal our property?”16Then Samson’s wife threw herself on him, sobbing, “You hate me! You don’t really love me. You’ve 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 the whole seven days of the feast. So on the seventh day he finally told her, because she continued to press him. She in turn explained the riddle to her people.18Before sunset on the seventh day the men of the town said to him, “What is sweeter than honey? What is stronger than a lion?” Samson said to them, “If you had not plowed with my heifer, you would not have solved my riddle.”19Then the Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon him. He went down to Ashkelon, struck down thirty of their men, stripped them of everything and gave their clothes to those who had explained the riddle. Burning with anger, he returned to his father’s home.20And Samson’s wife was given to one of his companions who had attended him at the feast.
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)