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Timnath, also rendered into English as Timnah, was a town approximately 20 miles west of Jerusalem. It is mentioned early in Bible History in the incident with Tamar and Judah (see the Fact Finder question below):
"38:12 And in process of time the daughter of Shuah Judah's wife died; and Judah was comforted, and went up unto his sheepshearers to Timnath, he and his friend Hirah the Adullamite. 38:13 And it was told Tamar, saying, Behold thy father in law goeth up to Timnath to shear his sheep. 38:14 And she put her widow's garments off from her, and covered her with a veil, and wrapped herself, and sat in an open place, which is by the way to Timnath; for she saw that Shelah was grown, and she was not given unto him to wife." (Genesis 38:12-14 KJV)
"And Samson went down to Timnath, and saw a woman in Timnath of the daughters of the Philistines"
Although Timnath was earlier in the assigned land of Judah, the Philistines had control of it much of the time. It was from that occupation that Samson found his wife (prior to his knowing Delilah), despite his parents' plea that he find a wife from among his own nation.
"14:1 And Samson went down to Timnath, and saw a woman in Timnath of the daughters of the Philistines. 14:2 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.
It wasn't entirely a matter of Samson looking to Philistine women. It was moreover a matter of "it was of the LORD, that He sought an occasion against the Philistines: for at that time the Philistines had dominion over Israel." "Samson's riddle" wasn't a simple wager; it was provided as a provocation.
"14:4 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. 14:5 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. 14:6 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. 14:7 And he went down, and talked with the woman; and she pleased Samson well.