The Marriage of Samson

Perhaps you have read the story about a woman and her husband who came to a pastor and said, “We’re going to get a divorce, but we want to come to make sure that you approve of it.” There are people who come to the pastor hoping that when they say there is no feeling le … More


In those days the parents arranged for a marriage, and there was several weeks between  engagement and marriage. On the trip to Timnath with his parents he had killed a lion with his bare hands. Then several weeks later when he came back, perhaps to complete the marriage, he found honey in the dead carcass of the lion. Samson not only defied his parents but he defiled his body by eating honey from the dead carcass of the lion (vv. 8-9). Numbers 6:6-9 tells us that a Nazarite was never to touch a dead body, but Samson deliberately defiled himself for the sake of the honey!

The usual length of the celebration was seven days and the marriage was not consummated until the end of that time. Samson challenges the thirty companions of the wedding party to a riddle (vv. 10-14). If they could answer the riddle by the end of the celebration he was to give them garments of superior quality. If they couldn’t answer the riddle they were to give him the same. When they couldn’t answer it they put pressure on Samson’s wife to find out the answer from Samson (vv. 15-20). The woman, fearing her life used a flood of tears to get him to tell his secret. The marriage was never completed, but the seeds of sin had already been planted in his heart.


Think of the Christians today who defile themselves just to enjoy a little honey. I need to explain to my family how in just a few minutes of so called pleasure of sin may ruin and wreck your entire life. Also it will have a damaging effect on the lives of others as well.

Judges 14:8-20 (English Standard Version)

After some days he returned to take her. And he turned aside to see the carcass of the lion, and behold, there was a swarm of bees in the body of the lion, and honey. He scraped it out into his hands and went on, eating as he went. And he came to his father and mother and gave some to them, and they ate. But he did not tell them that he had scraped the honey from the carcass of the lion. His father went down to the woman, and Samson prepared a feast there, for so the young men used to do. As soon as the people saw him, they brought thirty companions to be with him. And Samson said to them, "Let me now put a riddle to you. If you can tell me what it is, within the seven days of the feast, and find it out, then I will give you thirty linen garments and thirty changes of clothes, but if you cannot tell me what it is, then you shall give me thirty linen garments and thirty changes of clothes." And they said to him, "Put your riddle, that we may hear it." And he said to them, "Out of the eater came something to eat. Out of the strong came something sweet." And in three days they could not solve the riddle. On the fourth day they said to Samson's wife, "Entice your husband to tell us what the riddle is, lest we burn you and your father's house with fire. Have you invited us here to impoverish us?" And Samson's wife wept over him and said, "You only hate me; you do not love me. You have put a riddle to my people, and you have not told me what it is." And he said to her, "Behold, I have not told my father nor my mother, and shall I tell you?" She wept before him the seven days that their feast lasted, and on the seventh day he told her, because she pressed him hard. Then she told the riddle to her people. And the men of the city said to him on the seventh day before the sun went down, "What is sweeter than honey? What is stronger than a lion?" And he said to them, "If you had not plowed with my heifer, you would not have found out my riddle." And the Spirit of the LORD rushed upon him, and he went down to Ashkelon and struck down thirty men of the town and took their spoil and gave the garments to those who had told the riddle. In hot anger he went back to his father's house. And Samson's wife was given to his companion, who had been his best man.

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