“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 14:8-9)
On his way down to the wedding, Samson stopped to gloat over his victory over the lion, still not recognizing it as a warning from God. Seeing that some bees had used the carcase for a hive, he took the honey and shared it with his parents without telling them where it came from. In doing so he violated the command that a Nazarite was not to touch a dead body as Numbers 6:6 commands. “All the days that he separateth himself unto the LORD he shall come at no dead body.” Knowing that as Jews they were not to eat potentially contaminated food, he encouraged his parents to eat the honey taken from a rotting corpse without telling them where it came from.
Although he was the judge chosen by God to teach and enforce God’s law, Samson clearly didn’t consider it of great importance. It didn’t really apply to him and could be ignored any time it was inconvenient to follow it. It is a common attitude, and like many today, he deliberately involved innocent people who were trying to do what was right.
“So his father went down unto the woman: and Samson made there a feast; for so used the young men to do. And it came to pass, when they saw him, that they brought thirty companions to be with him.
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: 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.” (Judges 14:10-13)
Rather than inviting his Jewish friends, who might offend the Philistines, Samson let who was invited be dictated by the Philistines, and had a Philistine wedding. In order to be accepted by the Philistines, he gave up any testimony he might have for the Lord, adopting the Philistine customs.
When I flipped on the TV the other night they were questioning a woman who was on the show Survivor about being on the show as a Christian. She said she had deliberately chosen not to pray or do other things that might raise the issue. It is essentially what Samson was doing.
Seeing an opportunity to make an extra profit, Samson got up a bet with the Philistines that they couldn’t guess his riddle. In doing so he again demonstrates his essential selfishness and lack of concern for what is right. It would be impossible for them to know what he was thinking. They had no chance.
A suit of clothes in that day was hand sewn from hand woven and home grown materials, requiring hundreds of hours of labor. Like buying old style traditional Navajo dress made of two rugs, along with the other accoutrements, it was very expensive. Being able to bet thirty complete sets would hopefully impress the Philistines, and he was sure he wouldn’t have to pay up, so they’d never know it was a scam.
“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.
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?
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?
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.” (Judges 14:14-17)
Since not even his parents knew about the lion or the honey he’d gotten from it, there was no way the guests could guess what Samson was referring to. After hearing the riddle, and knowing they had no way of guessing the answer, the guests threatened to kill Samson’s fiancée and her family if she didn’t find out what the answer was. They were not about to lose that much money. Terrified, the girl finally wheedled the answer out of him by crying and claiming he didn’t love her or he would tell her the secret. Like most guys, Samson couldn’t stand to see a woman cry, so he told her, and she told the others.
“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. 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.” (Judges 14:18-19)
When the men answered his riddle, Samson became very angry, accusing them of cheating, totally ignoring the fact that he had been trying to cheat them. It was okay for him to cheat, but not for them to. Not having thirty sets of clothing, he went down to the city of Ashkelon and robbed and murdered thirty men, giving their clothing to pay off his bet.
“And his anger was kindled, and he went up to his father's house. But Samson's wife was given to his companion, whom he had used as his friend.” (Judges 14:19b-20)
Acting like spoiled little child that didn’t get his way Samson walked out and went home. Not knowing whether he’d ever come back or not, and knowing that everyone knew she’d gotten married, she was given to the guy who’d played the part of best man to remove any shame that her husband had walked out on her on her wedding day.