Chapter 13: Manoah’s Son Samson
Israel once again does evil in the sight of the Lord and are put into bondage for forty years to the Philistines. An angel comes to a woman who is barren, who is Manoah’s wife. The angel tells Manoah’s wife that she will conceive a son and he will deliver Israel from their bondage.
The angel commands Manoah’s wife to not drink alcohol or any unclean thing while she is pregnant. (see verses 3-4), interesting how this is probably the first time we know of that we learn it is not good to drink during a pregnancy.
The angel leaves as he came, in a flame from the altar. Samson is born to Manoah and his wife and he begins to grow and is blessed with the Spirit of the Lord that starts to move him when he is at the camp of Dan, between Zorah and Eshtaol.
Chapter 14: Samson Slays a Lion
Samson (all grown up) goes down to Timnath and sees a Philistine woman that he likes. So he goes and tells his parents that he wants to marry her. So they come with him down to Timnath and while on their journey a young lion roared at Samson. The Spirit of the Lord came upon him strong and he was able to kill the Lion with his bare hands, having no weapon of any kind with him.
Samson meets up with the woman and he likes her a lot. As he travels back with her he noticed the carcass of the Lion he had killed and inside was a bee hive. So he took some of the honey and gave it to his parents, but not telling them where he got the honey from.
Him and his parents go to Timnath to meet the lady whom Samson will marry. Samson throws a seven day feast, and he is given 30 companions. Samson decides to give a riddle; “…Out of the eater came forth meat, and out of the strong came forth sweetness…” (Judges 14:14)
The prize for figuring out the riddle is 30 sets of sheets and garments. But the Philistines only have seven days to figure out the riddle to win. If they win, Samson will give those clothes, but if they lose they have to give him the clothes. The Philistines are unable to solve the riddle, and on the 4th day they come to Samson’s bride and ask her to coax her husband into telling her answer to the riddle and if she doesn’t do it they will burn her and her family to death! Samson’s bride to be goes to her groom to tell her the answer and if he doesn’t then he really doesn’t love her. He tells her that only he knows and that he hasn’t even told his parents, so why would he tell her?
Finally after seven days, and every day begging for the answer, Samson explains the riddle to her. She tells the Philistines the answer, and they present the answer to Samson. Samson is upset, because they only got the right answer because his bride to be told them the answer.
Samson decides to still go through with his promise, but in his own way. The Spirit of the Lord comes upon him again very strong and he goes to Ashkelon and kills 30 Philistines, strips them of whatever they were wearing and gives those clothes to the people who “figured out” the riddle. Then her returns to his parents’ house angry. Samson does not return with his wife.