1 Samson went down to Timnah, and saw a woman in Timnah of the daughters of the Philistines. 2 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 get her for me as wife."
3 Then his father and his mother said to him, "Is there not a woman among the daughters of your brothers, or among all my people, that you go to take a wife from the uncircumcised Philistines?" And Samson said to his father, "Get her for me, for she is the right one for me." 4 But his father and his mother did not know that it was of the LORD, for he sought for an opportunity against the Philistines. Now at that time the Philistines had rule over Israel.
5 Then Samson went down with his father and his mother to Timnah, and came to the vineyards of Timnah. And behold, a young lion roared against him. 6 And the Spirit of the LORD rushed upon him, and he tore him as he would have torn a young goat. And he had nothing in his hand, but he did not tell his father or his mother what he had done. 7 He went down and talked with the woman, and she pleased Samson.
8 After a while 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. 9 He took it into his hands, and went on, eating as he went. And he came to his father and mother, and gave to them, and they ate. But he did not tell them that he had taken the honey out of the body of the lion.
10 His father went down to the woman, and Samson made a feast there, since young men used to do so. 11 It happened, when they saw him, that they brought thirty companions to be with him.
12 Samson said to them, "Let me now put forth a riddle to you. If you can explain it to me within the seven days of the feast, and figure it out, then I will give you thirty linen garments and thirty changes of clothing. 13 But if you can't explain it to me, then you shall give me thirty linen garments and thirty changes of clothing." And they said to him, "Propose your riddle, we want to hear it."
14 He said to them, "Out of the eater came forth food. Out of the strong came forth sweetness." They couldn't in three days declare the riddle. 15 And it happened on the fourthth day, that they said to Samson's wife, "Entice your husband, that he may tell us the riddle, lest we burn you and your father's house with fire. Have you called us to impoverish us? Is it not so?"
16 Samson's wife wept before him, and said, "You just hate me, and do not love me. You have put forth a riddle to the children of my people, and haven't told it me." And he said to her, "Behold, I haven't told it to my father or my mother, and shall I tell you?"
17 She wept before him the seven days, while their feast lasted: and it happened on the seventh day, that he told her, because she pressed him hard; and she told the riddle to the children of her people. 18 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?" He said to them, "If you hadn't plowed with my heifer, you wouldn't have found out my riddle."
19 The Spirit of the LORD rushed upon him, and he went down to Ashkelon, and struck thirty men of them, and took their belongings, and gave their garments to those who explained the riddle. His anger was kindled, and he went up to his father's house. 20 But Samson's wife was given to his companion, who had been his friend.