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DETROYTA - My question today is related to samson in the old testament, in the book of judges chap 14: 6 to 9 it tells us how Sampson was interested in a certain lady and went to ask for her hand in marriage, on his way he killed a lion with his bare hands and kept it to himself without telling his parents what happened. .. Q 1 is why did he not tell them what happened? I mean a lion attacking u is quiet a big deal to talk about right ? Second Q is... after killing the lion on his way back from going to ask the hand of his future bride... it says he came across to where he killed the lion and saw it carcass lying there.. and there was a swam of bees in the carcass and honey, and he took in his hands and ate and also took some to his parents and they ate also...and he told them not where he got it from. I can't help but wonder if there is a meaning why there are bees and honey in a carcass ? It such an unusual place for that right ? And again the silence of not telling his parents about it.... pls help me understand.
JOEL - Here are the scriptures in question:
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.
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.
And he went down, and talked with the woman; and she pleased Samson well.
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.
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. (Judges 14: 5-9)
For one thing this story shows that Samson got his strength from the Lord (verse 6).
The story is told because it sets things up for what happened later, as Samson puts forth a riddle to a group of young men. Starting in verse 12:
"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:
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."
Then referring to his experience with the lion and the honey he said:
"And he said unto them, Out of the eater (lion) came forth meat, and out of the strong came forth sweetness (honey). And they could not in three days expound the riddle.
And it came to pass on the seventh day, that they said unto Samsonís wife, Entice thy husband, that he may declare unto us the riddle, lest we burn thee and thy fatherís house with fire: have ye called us to take that we have? is it not so?"
Samson's wife is upset with him for not letting her in on the answer to the riddle:
"And Samsonís 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?"
It's possible he didn't tell his parents or wife about what happened because he didn't want anyone to know about the riddle he was setting up. It's more likely he didn't tell them because, as a Nazarite, he is not allowed to touch, let alone eat, anything that came from corpses; it would be considered unclean. If they knew where it came from they would not have eaten it. Then his wife's persistant prodding compels him to tell her the answer to the riddle:
"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.
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."
Samson was not calling his wife a cow. "Plowed with my heifer" refers to them using Samson's own resources in a deceitful way to get the information, pressuring his wife into getting the answer to the riddle.
After the young men revealed that they knew the riddle was about a lion and honey, Samson then pays what he promised for getting the riddle:
"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."
A swarm of bees nesting in a carcass is unusual but things like that seem to happen often in the Old Testament, I think just to more effectively grab our attention.
There are different interpretations people have suggested for the symbols of the lion and the honey. Samson could represent the Lord and the lion could represent Satan and the honey represents the temptations coming from Satan, that appear sweet to men who succumb to the temptation. However God is stronger than the lion (Satan) and the words coming from Him are the true sweeter honey (See Deut 32: 13, Psalm 81: 16)compared to that which appears to come from Satan .
Others might see it as the Lion representing temptation or sin and the experience of overcoming the sin (slaying the lion) and receiving the satisfaction and forgiveness which can, like honey, be very sweet to us. But your own interpretation is as good as mine or anyone else's.