Judges 14: Samson’s Wedding

One day while Samson was hanging out in Timnah, he fell in love with this Philistine girl. So he went home and asked his parents to arrange the marriage. His parents were all, what? A Philistine girl! Why can’t you find a nice Danite girl to marry? Or any Hebrew girl. You can’t marry one of those heathen Philistines! But Samson insisted, so finally  his parents caved and his dad arranged the match.

Some time later, he was heading down to Timnah to see his girl, when a lion sprung at him, but Samson just grabbed it and tore it apart with his bare hands, and then meandered on his way. He was so casual about it all that he didn’t even mention the lion attack to his girlfriend or her family. On his way home a few days later, he passed by the carcass of the lion. Bees had made a hive inside it, and Samson scooped out a bunch of the honey as a snack to fortify him on his long journey. When he got home, he gave the remaining honey to his parents, but he didn’t tell them where it came from or any part of his adventure. 

The wedding approached. Samson traveled back to Timnah to celebrate the seven day bridal feast. Part of the ceremony included carousing with his groomsmen, thirty young Philistine men. On the first night of drinking, Samson wagered that if the men could guess his riddle, he’d give them each a suit of clothes, but if they couldn’t they would each have to give him one. They were all, sure thing, bro! and so Samson sang,

Out of the eater came something to eat

Out of the strong came something sweet.

No one could guess it, so on the fourth day, the men went to Samson’s new wife and were all, look, either you find out the answer to that riddle or we’ll burn down your father’s house with you in it.

So Samson’s wife went to him crying and asking for the answer to the riddle. He was all, no one knows the answer! I haven’t even told my parents! Why would I tell you before I tell them? But she kept crying and nagging him every day until he gave in on the sixth day. Then on the seventh day, the groomsmen told Samson:

What’s sweeter than honey?

What’s stronger than a lion?

At this Samson was all, yeah, but if you hadn’t milked my cow, you’d never have guessed the answer! He raged off and robbed thirty random dudes in Ashkelon of their clothes. Then he went back to Timnah, threw the clothes at the men’s feet, gave his wife a long, angry, hurt look, and took himself back to his parents’ house.

His father-in-law took this to mean that he was abandoning the girl, and well, she wasn’t quite a virgin anymore, so, the long and short of it is that she was given to Samson’s best Philistine friend.

 

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