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Thursday, March 6 2014

Judges 14: Samson's Riddle

"It was of the LORD, that He sought an occasion against the Philistines: for at that time the Philistines had dominion over Israel"

The Judges were called by the LORD (Who was and is Jesus Christ - see Genesis 1: In The Beginning Was The Word and The Kingdom Of The LORD God) for a purpose (see Judges 2: The Rise Of The Judges). As recorded, almost all of the Judges were enlisted as adults (e.g. see Judges 3: Othniel, Ehud and Shamgar and Judges 6: Gideon Of Manasseh). Although his purpose was the same as all of the rest, Samson was unique in that he was made a Judge at the instant that his (and every other human) life began - at conception ("thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and no razor shall come on his head: for the child shall be a Nazarite unto God from the womb: and he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines").

Samson

"13:3 And the angel of the LORD appeared unto the woman, and said unto her, Behold now, thou art barren, and bearest not: but thou shalt conceive, and bear a son. 13:4 Now therefore beware, I pray thee, and drink not wine nor strong drink, and eat not any unclean thing [see Judges 13: Should Every Mother Be A Nazarite?]: 13:5 For, lo, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and no razor shall come on his head: for the child shall be a Nazarite unto God from the womb: and he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines." (Judges 13:3-5 KJV)

"13:24 And the woman bare a son, and called his name Samson: and the child grew, and the LORD blessed him.

13:25 And the Spirit of the LORD began to move him at times in the camp of Dan between Zorah and Eshtaol." (Judges 13:24-25 KJV)

Many people are aware of the famous involvement that Samson had with Deliliah. Samson's entanglements with Philistine women began before that however; Samson's first wife was a Philistine. His parents objected to the marriage, 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."

"14:1 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.

14:3 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.

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." (Judges 14:1-7 KJV)

The incident with Samson's riddle demonstrates his weakness with Philistine women - a pattern that would repeat to the end of his life. That first marriage was broken with a separation that became a divorce without Samson's awareness or consent. To add to Samson's anger, his wife was given "to his companion, whom he had used as his friend." The collision course between Samson and the Philistines was then set - by the LORD.

"14:8 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. 14:9 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.

14:10 So his father went down unto the woman: and Samson made there a feast; for so used the young men to do.

Gaza 14:11 And it came to pass, when they saw him, that they brought thirty companions to be with him.

14:12 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: 14:13 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.

14:14 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 riddle.

14:15 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?

14:16 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?

14:17 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.

14:18 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 my riddle.

14:19 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 father's house.

14:20 But Samson's wife was given to his companion, whom he had used as his friend." (Judges 14:8-20 KJV)

Fact Finder: What does the Bible tell us about Philistine Gaza?
See Gaza In History And Prophecy


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This Day In History, March 6

12 BC: Roman Emperor Augustus was named Pontifex Maximus, thereby incorporating the position into that of the Emperor. Augustus was the Emperor at the time of the birth the Jesus Christ (see Does Rome Have Christ's Birth Certificate? and A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars).

Augustus 961: Nikephoros Phokas led the Byzantine conquest of Chandax.

1521: Ferdinand Magellan discovered Guam (it was no discovery for the native people who lived there).

1617: Louis Hebert signed an agreement that entitled him to become the first farmer in New France (North America).

1629: In Germany, the Edict of Restitution ordered that all church property seized since 1552 be returned to the Roman Catholic Church.

1820: The Missouri Compromise was enacted by the U.S. Congress and signed by President James Monroe. It provided for the admission of Missouri into the Union as a "slave state," but prohibited slavery in the rest of the northern Louisiana Purchase territory.

1834: The city of York was officially renamed Toronto. The city had a population of 10,000 (the population of the "Greater Toronto Area" today is 6 million).

1836: The 13-day siege of the Alamo ended when Mexican troops under Santa Anna captured the mission fort.

1857: The U.S. Supreme Court's Dred Scott decision ruled that slaves were property, not citizens.

1899: Bayer registered "Aspirin" as a trademark of its brand of acetylsalicylic acid.

1900: Gottfried Daimler, engineer who built the first motorcycle, died.

1912: The Oreo cookie was introduced by Nabisco.

1933: All U.S. banks were closed by a proclamation from President Franklin Roosevelt. The closings were considered necessary after a series of major bank failures and runs on banks (in the 8 days preceding March 4, $1,500,000,000 had been withdrawn by depositors) and the closing of banks by a number of states beginning with Michigan in mid-February. Following passage by Congress of the Emergency Banking Act 3 days later, "sound" banks were permitted to reopen.

1944: 658 U.S. bombers began a daylight attack on Berlin from bases in Britain and dropped 2,000 tons of bombs.

1946: France stated that it would recognize Vietnam as a "free state" within the French Union, with French troops stationed there (which hardly made it a "free state"), but the final confirmation of the accord never came. French imperialism in southeast Asia resulted in the ancient nation of Vietnam being divided into North and South Vietnam, a foreign-imposed partition of the Vietnamese people that did not end until the early 1970s after the U.S. had involved itself in the Vietnamese civil conflict for over a decade (the U.S. replaced France in Vietnam).

1964: King Constantine II of Greece succeeded to the throne after the death of his father, Paul I.

1964: "The Nation of Islam" officially gave boxing champion Cassius Clay the name Muhammad Ali.

1975: The Zapruder film of the assassination of John F. Kennedy in Dallas was shown to a national TV audience for the first time.

1987: A Townsend Thoreson ferry, Herald of Free Enterprise, capsized on its way out of Zeebrugge harbor in Belgium drowning 193 people.

2008: A Palestinian gunman murdered 8 students and critically injured 11 more in the library of the Mercaz HaRav yeshiva, in Jerusalem, Israel.


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