29 May. Judges 14:1-11

29 May.  Samson kills a lion and marries a Philistine woman

“Samson went down to the city of Timnah where he saw a Philistine woman. When he returned home, he said to his father and mother, ‘I saw a Philistine woman in Timnah. I want you to get her for me so I can marry her.’”

“His father and mother answered, ‘Surely there is a woman from Israel you can marry. Do you have to marry a woman from the Philistines, who are not circumcised?’ But Samson said, ‘Get that woman for me! She is the one I want!’ (Samson’s parents did not know that the LORD wanted this to happen because he was looking for a way to challenge the Philistines, who were ruling over Israel at that time.)”

“Samson went down with his father and mother to Timnah, as far as the vineyard near there. Suddenly, a young lion came roaring towards Samson! The Spirit of the LORD entered Samson with great power, and he tore the lion apart with his bare hands. For him it was as easy as tearing apart a young goat.”

“But Samson did not tell his father or mother what he had done. Then he went down to the city and talked to the Philistine woman, and he liked her.”

“Several days later Samson went back to marry her. On his way he went over to look at the body of the dead lion and found a swarm of bees and honey in it. Samson got some of the honey with his hands and walked along eating it.”

“When he came to his parents, he gave some to them. They ate it, too, but Samson did not tell them he had taken the honey from the body of the dead lion.”

“Samson’s father went down to see the Philistine woman. And Samson gave a feast, as was the custom for the bridegroom. When the people saw him, they sent 30 friends to be with him.”

          (Judges 14:1-11)



Samson, the boy who was dedicated on his birth to God’s service as a ‘Nazirite’ (see Judges 13:5), grew up to become a handsome and headstrong young man. One day he spotted an attractive Philistine girl from Timnah, near Ekron (see 3 on the map on 10 May) and was bowled over with desire for her.

Returning home, he told his parents he was intent on marrying this young Philistine, whose family belonged to the enemies of the people of Israel. His parents tried to persuade him to marry a young Israelite woman, one of their own race. They feared that nothing but trouble would come from marrying a ‘foreigner.’ (They were right, but didn’t know that God was planning to bring this ‘trouble’ on the Philistines.)

On the way back to visit the young woman at Timnah, a young lion ran towards Samson, baring its teeth and roaring in anger. But Samson grabbed hold of the lion, dislocated its legs and dashed its head on a rock, killing it.

Some time later, Samson set off once again for Timnah to celebrate his wedding over a period of seven days. On the way, he passed the dead lion, and found that a swarm of bees had taken refuge in the partly-decomposed body of the animal. Samson helped himself to some of the sweet honey that the bees had formed inside the lion’s body.

Later, this unusual incident was to provide Samson with the material for a riddle that he set the Philistine revellers at his marriage feast – with the intention of cheating each of the 30 Philistine guests out of an expensive set of clothes. We’ll learn more about that tomorrow!

The photo (by  עדירל ) shows a reconstructed Philistine house in Revadim near Ekron.

You can read more about Samson’s riddle tomorrow, or @ https://www.thebiblejourney.org/biblejourney2/28-the-israelites-face-continuing-opposition/samson-challenges-the-philistines/

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