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Samson’s Career
Judges 14:1 – 16:3
 
 

Samson Goes Down to Timnath, Kills the Lion, Finds Honey (14:1-9)

CHAPTER 14
1 And Samson went down to Timnathah, and saw a woman in Timnathah of the daughters of the Philistines. 2 And he went up, and told his father and his mother, and said, I have seen a woman in Timnathah of the daughters of the Philistines; and now take her for me as wife. 3 And his father and his mother said to him, Is there no woman among the daughters of thy brethren, and among all my people, that thou goest to take a wife of the Philistines, the uncircumcised? And Samson said to his father, Take her for me, for she pleases me well. 4 And his father and his mother did not know that it was of Jehovah, that he was seeking an occasion against the Philistines. Now at that time the Philistines were ruling over Israel. 5 And Samson went down, and his father and his mother, to Timnathah; and they came to the vineyards of Timnathah. And behold, a young lion roared against him; 6 and the Spirit of Jehovah came upon him, and he rent it as one rends a kid, and nothing was in his hand. And he did not tell his father or his mother what he had done. 7 And he went down and talked with the woman; and she pleased Samson well. 8 And he returned after a time to take her, and he turned aside to see the carcase of the lion; and behold, there was a swarm of bees in the carcase of the lion, and honey; 9 and he took it out in his hands, and went on, and ate as he went. And he came to his father and to his mother, and gave them, and they ate; but he did not tell them that he had taken the honey out of the carcase of the lion.
 

Samson’s Riddle and the Slaughter of Thirty Philistines (14:10-20)

10 And his father went down to the woman, and Samson made there a feast; for so used the young men to do. 11 And it came to pass when they saw him, that they brought thirty companions, and they were with him. 12 And Samson said to them, Let me now propound a riddle to you; if ye clearly explain it to me within the seven days of the feast, and find it out, then I will give you thirty shirts, and thirty changes of garments. 13 But if ye cannot explain it to me, then shall ye give me thirty shirts, and thirty changes of garments. And they said to him, Propound thy riddle, that we may hear it. 14 And he said to them, Out of the eater came forth food, And out of the strong came forth sweetness. And they could not in three days explain the riddle. 15 And it came to pass on the seventh day, that they said to Samson’s wife, Persuade thy husband, that he may explain to us the riddle, lest we burn thee and thy father’s house with fire. Have ye invited us to impoverish us, — is it not so? 16 And Samson’s wife wept before him, and said, Thou dost but hate me, and lovest me not. Thou hast propounded the riddle to the children of my people, and hast not explained it to me. And he said to her, Behold, I have not explained it to my father nor my mother, and shall I explain it to thee? 17 And she wept before him the seven days, while they had the feast. And it came to pass on the seventh day, that he explained it to her, for she pressed him. And she explained the riddle to the children of her people. 18 And the men of the city said to him on the seventh day before the sun went down, What is sweeter than honey, And what stronger than a lion? And he said to them, If ye had not ploughed with my heifer, Ye had not found out my riddle. 19 And the Spirit of Jehovah came upon him, and he went down to Ashkelon, and slew of them thirty men, and took their spoil, and gave the changes of garments unto them that explained the riddle. And his anger was kindled, and he went up to his father’s house. 20 And Samson’s wife was given to his companion, whom he had made his friend. 
 

Samson Burns the Philistines’ Fields, A Great Slaughter (15:1-8)

CHAPTER 15
1 And it came to pass after a time, in the days of the wheat-harvest, that Samson visited his wife with a kid of the goats. And he said, I will go in to my wife into the chamber; but her father would not suffer him to go in. 2 And her father said, I verily thought that thou didst utterly hate her; therefore I gave her to thy companion. Is not her younger sister fairer than she? Let her, I pray thee, be thine instead of her. 3 And Samson said to them, This time I am blameless toward the Philistines, though I do them harm. 4 And Samson went and caught three hundred jackals, and took torches, and turned tail to tail, and put a torch in the midst between the two tails. 5 And he set the torches on fire, and let them run into the standing corn of the Philistines, and burnt up both the shocks, and also the standing corn, and the olive gardens. 6 And the Philistines said, Who has done this? And they answered, Samson, the son-in-law of the Timnite, because he took his wife and gave her to his companion. And the Philistines came up, and burned her and her father with fire. 7 And Samson said to them, If ye act thus, for a certainty I will avenge myself on you, and then I will cease. 8 And he smote them hip and thigh with a great slaughter. And he went down and dwelt in the cleft of the cliff Etam.
 

Samson Slays 1000 Men with a Jawbone that Come to Take Him (15:9-17)

9 And the Philistines went up, and encamped in Judah, and spread themselves in Lehi. 10 And the men of Judah said, Why are ye come up against us? And they said, To bind Samson are we come up, to do to him as he has done to us. 11 Then three thousand men of Judah went down to the cleft of the cliff Etam, and said to Samson, Knowest thou not that the Philistines rule over us? And what is this that thou hast done to us? And he said to them, As they did to me, so have I done to them. 12 And they said to him, We are come down to bind thee, that we may give thee into the hand of the Philistines. And Samson said to them, Swear to me that ye will not fall on me yourselves. 13 And they spoke to him, saying, No; but we will bind thee fast, and deliver thee into their hand; but we certainly shall not put thee to death. And they bound him with two new cords, and brought him up from the cliff. 14 When he came to Lehi, the Philistines shouted against him. And the Spirit of Jehovah came upon him, and the cords that were on his arms became as threads of flax that are burned with fire, and his bands loosed from off his hands. 15 And he found a fresh jawbone of an ass, and put forth his hand and took it, and slew with it a thousand men. 16 And Samson said, With the jawbone of an ass, a heap, two heaps, With the jawbone of an ass have I slain a thousand men. 17 And it came to pass when he had ended speaking, that he cast away the jawbone out of his hand, and called that place Ramath-Lehi.
 

The Lord Sends Water Out of a Rock to Quench Samson’s Thirst (15:18-20)

18 And he was very thirsty, and called on Jehovah, and said, Thou hast given by the hand of thy servant this great deliverance, and now shall I die for thirst, and fall into the hand of the uncircumcised? 19 And God clave the hallow rock which was in Lehi, and water came out of it. And he drank, and his spirit came again, and he revived. Therefore its name was called En-hakkore, which is in Lehi to this day. 20 And he judged Israel in the days of the Philistines twenty years. 
 

Samson Takes Away the Gates of a City to Avoid Capture (16:1-3)

CHAPTER 16
1 And Samson went to Gazah, and saw there a harlot, and went in to her. 2 And it was told the Gazathites, saying, Samson is come hither. And they surrounded him, and laid wait for him all night at the gate of the city, and were quiet all the night, saying, In the morning light we will kill him. 3 And Samson lay till midnight; and he arose at midnight, and seized the doors of the gate of the city, and the two posts, and tore them up with the bar, and put them upon his shoulders, and carried them up to the top of the mountain that is before Hebron.
  

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