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Chapter 14

1Samson went down to Timnah, and saw a woman in Timnah of the daughters of the Philistines. 2He came up, and told his father and his mother, and said, I have seen a woman in Timnah of the daughters of the Philistines: now therefore get her for me as wife. 3Then his father and his mother said to him, Is there never a woman among the daughters of your brothers, or among all my people, that you go to take a wife of the uncircumcised Philistines? Samson said to his father, Get her for me; for she pleases me well. 4But his father and his mother didn’t know that it was of Yahweh; for he sought an occasion against the Philistines. Now at that time the Philistines had rule over Israel. 5Then went Samson down, and his father and his mother, to Timnah, and came to the vineyards of Timnah: and behold, a young lion roared against him. 6The Spirit of Yahweh came mightily on him, and he tore him as he would have torn a kid; and he had nothing in his hand: but he didn’t tell his father or his mother what he had done. 7He went down, and talked with the woman, and she pleased Samson well. 8After a while 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 took it into his hands, and went on, eating as he went; and he came to his father and mother, and gave to them, and they ate: but he didn’t tell them that he had taken the honey out of the body of the lion. 10His father went down to the woman: and Samson made there a feast; for so used the young men to do. 11It happened, when they saw him, that they brought thirty companions to be with him. 12Samson said to them, Let me now put forth a riddle to you: if you can declare it to me within the seven days of the feast, and find it out, then I will give you thirty linen garments and thirty changes of clothing; 13but if you can’t declare it to me, then shall you give me thirty linen garments and thirty changes of clothing. They said to him, Put forth your riddle, that we may hear it. 14He said to them,

Out of the eater came forth food,

Out of the strong came forth sweetness.

They couldn’t in three days declare the riddle. 15It happened on the seventh day, 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 called us to impoverish us? is it not so? 16Samson’s wife wept before him, and said, You do but hate me, and don’t love me: you have put forth a riddle to the children of my people, and haven’t told it me. He said to her, Behold, I haven’t told it my father nor my mother, and shall I tell you? 17She wept before him the seven days, while their feast lasted: and it happened on the seventh day, that he told her, because she pressed him sore; and she told the riddle to the children of her people. 18The 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? He said to them,

If you hadn’t plowed with my heifer,

You wouldn’t have found out my riddle.

19The Spirit of Yahweh came mightily on him, and he went down to Ashkelon, and struck thirty men of them, and took their spoil, and gave the changes of clothing to those who declared the riddle. His anger was kindled, and he went up to his father’s house. 20But Samson’s wife was given to his companion, whom he had used as his friend.

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