Samson sees a Philistine woman who pleases him well
And Samson went down to Timnath, and saw
a woman in Timnath of the daughters of the Philistines.
And he came up, and told his father and his
mother, and said, I have seen a woman in Timnath of the daughters of the
Philistines: now therefore get her for me to wife.
Samson said to his parents,
I have seen a Philistine woman in Timnath, get her for me as a wife. 
Then his father and his mother said unto him, Is there never a woman among
the daughters of thy brethren, or among all my people, that thou goest to
take a wife of the uncircumcised Philistines? And Samson said unto his
father, Get her for me; for she pleaseth me well.
His parents said to him,
Isn't there a Hebrew woman you could marry? Do you have to marry a Philistine? 
Samson said to his father,
Get her for me, because she pleases me well.
But his father and his mother knew not that it was of the LORD, that he
sought an occasion against the Philistines: for at that time the Philistines
had dominion over Israel.
But Samson's parents didn't know that it was all part of God's plan against the Philistines.
Then went Samson down, and his father and his mother, to Timnath, and came
to the vineyards of Timnath: and, behold, a young lion roared against him.
Samson and his parents went to Timnah. On their way, a young lion roared at Samson.
And the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon him, and he rent him as he would have rent a kid,
and he had nothing in his hand: but he told not his father or his mother
what he had done.
The Philistine woman pleased Samson well
And he went down, and talked with the woman; and she pleased Samson well.
When Samson arrived at his Philistine girlfriend's house, she pleased him well.
Samson collects "honey" from a lion's carcass
And after a time he returned to take her, and he turned aside to see the carcase of the lion:
and, behold, there was a swarm of bees and honey in the carcase of the lion.
Later, when Samson returned to take her as his wife, he saw the carcass of the lion, and there was
a swarm of bees and honey in it. [3
And he took thereof in his hands, and went on eating, and came to his
father and mother, and he gave them, and they did eat: but he told not them
that he had taken the honey out of the carcase of the lion.
Samson ate some of the honey and brought some home to his parents, who ate it.
He didn't tell them where he got the honey.
So his father went down unto the woman: and Samson made there a feast; for
so used the young men to do.
Samson and his father prepared a feast.
And it came to pass, when they saw him, that they brought thirty
companions to be with him.
And Samson said unto them, I will now put forth a riddle unto you: if ye
can certainly declare it me within the seven days of the feast, and find it
out, then I will give you thirty sheets and thirty change of garments:
But if ye cannot declare it me, then shall ye give me thirty sheets and
thirty change of garments. And they said unto him, Put forth thy riddle,
that we may hear it.
Thirty Philistine men went to the feast. Samson said to them,
I will tell you a riddle. If you can answer it within the seven-day feast, I'll give you 30 sheets and
But if you can't answer it, then you'll have to give me 30 sheets and 30 garments.
The Philistines said to Samson,
Okay. Tell us the riddle.
And he said unto them, Out of the eater came forth meat, and out of the
strong came forth sweetness. And they could not in three days expound the
So Samson told them the riddle, saying,
Out of the eater came meat, and out of the strong came sweetness.
And after three days, the Philistines couldn't answer it.
And it came to pass on the seventh day, that they said unto Samson's wife,
Entice thy husband, that he may declare unto us the riddle, lest we burn
thee and thy father's house with fire: have ye called us to take that we
have? is it not so?
The Philistines came to Samson's wife, and said to her,
Make your husband tell us the answer to the riddle, or we'll burn your house down.
And Samson's wife wept before him, and said, Thou dost but hate me, and
lovest me not: thou hast put forth a riddle unto the children of my people,
and hast not told it me. And he said unto her, Behold, I have not told it my
father nor my mother, and shall I tell it thee?
Samson's wife cried and asked Samson,
You must hate me, because you told a riddle to my friends but didn't tell it to me.
I didn't tell it to my parents, why should I tell it to you.
And she wept before him the seven days, while their feast lasted: and it
came to pass on the seventh day, that he told her, because she lay sore upon
him: and she told the riddle to the children of her people.
She continued to weep in front of Samson for all seven days of the feast.
Finally, on the seventh day, Samson told her the answer to the riddle.
And she told her Philistine friends.
And the men of the city said unto him on the seventh day before the sun
went down, What is sweeter than honey? And what is stronger than a lion? and
he said unto them, If ye had not plowed with my heifer, ye had not found out
Before the sun set on the seventh day the Philistines answered Samson's riddle, saying,
What is sweeter than honey and stronger than a lion? 
Samson said to them,
If you hadn't plowed with my heifer , you wouldn't have answered my riddle.
Samson kills 30 men for their clothes
And the Spirit of the LORD came upon him, and he went down to Ashkelon, and slew thirty men of
them, and took their spoil, and gave change of garments unto them which
expounded the riddle. And his anger was kindled, and he went up to his
Samson's Philistine wife is given to his best man
But Samson's wife was given to his companion, whom he had used as his
Then after all that, Samson's wife was given to his best man.
- Get her for me to wife. (v.2)
This is the first thing the Bible tells us about Samson. It goes downhill from there.
- And Samson said unto his father, Get her for me; for she pleaseth me well. (v.3)
Now Samson's parents were a bit troubled by this, since they knew how crazy God
gets when an Israelite even thinks about marrying a non-Israelite.
- There was a swarm of bees and honey in the carcase of the lion. (v.8)
"The swarm of bees in the lion's carcass ... were nothing but so-called drone flies,
Eristalis tenax, hoverflies disguised as bees. It was these drone flies that Samson saw."
The Fly Trap,
Fredrik Sjoberg, p.114.
- What is sweeter than honey? And what is stronger than a lion? (v.18a)
I guess this (somehow) is the answer to Samson's silly riddle.
- If ye had not plowed with my heifer, ye had not found out my riddle. (v.18b)
Samson calls his wife a cow and says that the Philistines "plowed" with her (had sex with her?).
Note for verse 18 in The New Oxford Annotated Bible: "Plowed with my heifer, sexual innuendo."
- The Spirit of the LORD came upon him, and he ... slew thirty men. (v.19)
Samson might have
been a decent person if he could have kept the spirit of the Lord off him.
DWB: 55. The spirit of the Lord came upon Samson
and he murdered thirty men for their clothes
- Dwindling in Unbelief
- How many animals has God killed?
- The Heroes of Faith (14:5, 19)
- The Spirit of
the Lord came upon him (14:5, 19)
- God's 53rd Killing: The Spirit
of the Lord comes upon Samson and he murders 30 men for their clothes (14:19)
- Slate Blogs the Bible by David Plotz
- Is Samson a hero?
- Christian Response
- Annotated Skeptic's Annotated Bible
- It is not good to eat much honey:
so for men to search their own glory is not glory. (Judges 14)