Bible Book List

Judges 14 1599 Geneva Bible (GNV)

14 2 Samson desireth to have a wife of the Philistines. 6 He killeth a lion. 12 He propoundeth a riddle. 19 He killeth thirty. 20 His wife forsaketh him, and taketh another.

Now Samson went down to Timnah, and saw a woman in Timnah 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 Timnah of the daughters of the Philistines: now therefore [a]give me her to wife.

Then his father and his mother said unto him, Is there [b]never a wife among the daughters of thy brethren, and among all my people, that thou must go to take a wife of the uncircumcised Philistines? And Samson said unto his father, Give me her, for she pleaseth me well.

But his father and his mother knew not that it came of the Lord, that he should seek an occasion against the [c]Philistines: for at that time the Philistines reigned over Israel.

¶ Then went Samson, and his father and his mother down to Timnah, and came to the vineyards of Timnah: and behold, a young lion roared upon him.

And the Spirit of the Lord [d]came upon him, and he tare him, as one should have rent a kid, and had nothing in his hand, neither told he his father nor his mother what he had done.

And he went down, and talked with the woman which was beautiful in the eyes of Samson.

¶ And within a few days, when he returned [e]to receive her, he went aside to see the carcass of the lion: and behold, there was a swarm of bees, and honey in the body of the lion.

And he took thereof in his hands, and went eating, and came to his father and to his mother, and gave unto them, and they did eat: but he told not them, that he had taken the honey out of the body of the lion.

10 So his father went down unto the woman, and Samson made there a [f]feast: for so used the young men to do.

11 And when [g]they saw him, they brought thirty companions to be with him.

12 Then Samson said unto them, I will now put forth a riddle unto you: and if you can declare it me within seven days of the feast, and find it out, I will give you thirty sheets, and thirty [h]change of garments.

13 But if you cannot declare it me, then shall ye give me thirty sheets and thirty change of garments. And they answered him, Put forth thy riddle, that we may hear it.

14 And he said unto them, Out of the eater came meat, and out of the strong came sweetness: and they could not in three days expound the riddle.

15 And when the seventh day was [i]come, they said unto Samson’s wife, Entice thine husband that he may declare us the riddle, lest we burn thee and thy father’s house with fire. Have ye called us [j]to possess us? is it not so?

16 And Samson’s wife wept before him, and said, Surely thou hatest me, and lovest me not: for thou hast put forth a riddle unto the [k]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?

17 Then Samson’s wife wept before him [l]seven days, while their feast lasted, and when the seventh day came, he told her, because she was importunate upon him: so she told the riddle to the children of her people.

18 And the men of the city said unto him the seventh day before the sun went down, What is sweeter than honey? and what is stronger than a Lion? Then said he unto them, [m]If ye had not plowed with my heifer, ye had not found out my riddle.

19 And the Spirit of the Lord came upon him, and he went down [n]to Ashkelon, and slew thirty men of them and spoiled them, and gave change of garments unto them, which expounded the riddle: and his wrath was kindled, and he went up to his father’s house.

20 Then Samson’s wife was given to his companion, whom he had used as his friend.


  1. Judges 14:2 Hebrew, take her for me to wife.
  2. Judges 14:3 Though his parents did justly reprove him, yet it appeareth that this was the secret work of the Lord, verse 4.
  3. Judges 14:4 To fight against them for the deliverance of Israel.
  4. Judges 14:6 Whereby he had strength and boldness.
  5. Judges 14:8 Or, to take her to his wife.
  6. Judges 14:10 Meaning, when he was married.
  7. Judges 14:11 That is, her parents or friends.
  8. Judges 14:12 To wear at feasts, or solemn days.
  9. Judges 14:15 Or, drew near: for it was the fourth day.
  10. Judges 14:15 Or, to impoverish us.
  11. Judges 14:16 Unto them which are of my nation.
  12. Judges 14:17 Or, to the seventh day beginning at the fourth.
  13. Judges 14:18 If ye had not used the help of my wife.
  14. Judges 14:19 Which was one of the five chief cities of the Philistines.
1599 Geneva Bible (GNV)

Geneva Bible, 1599 Edition. Published by Tolle Lege Press. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, without written permission from the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations in articles, reviews, and broadcasts.

Judges 14 New International Version (NIV)

Samson’s Marriage

14 Samson went down to Timnah and saw there a young Philistine woman. When he returned, he said to his father and mother, “I have seen a Philistine woman in Timnah; now get her for me as my wife.”

His father and mother replied, “Isn’t there an acceptable woman among your relatives or among all our people? Must you go to the uncircumcised Philistines to get a wife?

But Samson said to his father, “Get her for me. She’s the right one for me.” (His parents did not know that this was from the Lord, who was seeking an occasion to confront the Philistines; for at that time they were ruling over Israel.)

Samson went down to Timnah together with his father and mother. As they approached the vineyards of Timnah, suddenly a young lion came roaring toward him. The Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon him so that he tore the lion apart with his bare hands as he might have torn a young goat. But he told neither his father nor his mother what he had done. Then he went down and talked with the woman, and he liked her.

Some time later, when he went back to marry her, he turned aside to look at the lion’s carcass, and in it he saw a swarm of bees and some honey. He scooped out the honey with his hands and ate as he went along. When he rejoined his parents, he gave them some, and they too ate it. But he did not tell them that he had taken the honey from the lion’s carcass.

10 Now his father went down to see the woman. And there Samson held a feast, as was customary for young men. 11 When the people saw him, they chose thirty men to be his companions.

12 “Let me tell you a riddle,” Samson said to them. “If you can give me the answer within the seven days of the feast, I will give you thirty linen garments and thirty sets of clothes. 13 If you can’t tell me the answer, you must give me thirty linen garments and thirty sets of clothes.”

“Tell us your riddle,” they said. “Let’s hear it.”

14 He replied,

“Out of the eater, something to eat;
    out of the strong, something sweet.”

For three days they could not give the answer.

15 On the fourth[a] day, they said to Samson’s wife, “Coax your husband into explaining the riddle for us, or we will burn you and your father’s household to death. Did you invite us here to steal our property?”

16 Then Samson’s wife threw herself on him, sobbing, “You hate me! You don’t really love me. You’ve given my people a riddle, but you haven’t told me the answer.”

“I haven’t even explained it to my father or mother,” he replied, “so why should I explain it to you?” 17 She cried the whole seven days of the feast. So on the seventh day he finally told her, because she continued to press him. She in turn explained the riddle to her people.

18 Before sunset on the seventh day the men of the town said to him,

“What is sweeter than honey?
    What is stronger than a lion?”

Samson said to them,

“If you had not plowed with my heifer,
    you would not have solved my riddle.”

19 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. 20 And Samson’s wife was given to one of his companions who had attended him at the feast.


  1. Judges 14:15 Some Septuagint manuscripts and Syriac; Hebrew seventh
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Viewing of
Cross references