Judges 14 – Reading Note – Samson’s Marriage

The Israelites have sinned against God again so he let the Philistines oppress them. Eventually, God decides to rescue them. He goes “OK, those Philistines are going down!” Then he whispers into Samson’s ear “Pssst, Samson. See that Philistine girl? You like her. Tell your parents you want to marry her”. So Samson demands that his parents get the Philistine girl for him in marriage. Unable to dissuade him, his parents proceed to do as he asked. Over the course of the following weeks, Samson kills lion and finds bees making honey in the carcass.

That gives Samson a wonderful idea. At his 7-day long wedding party he gives the philistines a riddle:

“Out of the eater, something to eat

Out of the strong, something sweet”

If they can solve it, he tells them, he would give them thirty linen garments and thirty sets of clothes. Otherwise, they would give him the same. After trying unsuccessfully for three days, the men approach Samson’s wife and threaten to burn her and her father’s house if she did not get the answer from Samson. By crying everyday and accusing Samson of hating her, the bride successfully gets the answer and gives it to the Philistines.

Samson was no idiot. He knew what had happened and was naturally angry. So (get this) he killed 30 other philistines and gave their clothes to the ones who had solved the riddle. Then he went home angry. His wife’s father then gave her in marriage to some other guy because he thought Samson no longer wanted her.

1. God prodded Samson into seeking the Philistine woman, because he knew that would give him an opportunity to confront the philistines.

2. God gave Samson the strength he needed to kill those thirty men. 14:30 says: “Then 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.”

It is not wrong for God to kill, but it was definitely wrong for Samson to kill innocent people in his anger. God did not make Samson kill the men (that was Samson’s choice) but he did enable Samson to. So, Samson would still bear guilt for his actions, but God bears none.

3. There seems to be a notion of family in the story. When Samson’s wife accuses him of hatred for not giving her the answer to the riddle, he replies: “I haven’t even explained it to my father or mother,  so why should I explain it to you?” The implication being that his parents should mean more to him than her.

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Tracy

I’m Tracy

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