OceanSide church of Christ
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THE LIFE OF SAMSON
The First Conflict with the Philistines (5)
Victor M. Eskew
I. THE REQUEST FOR A WIFE (Judg. 14:1-4)
II. THE RENDING OF THE LION (Judg. 14:5-9)
III. THE RIDDLE OF SAMSON (Judg. 14:10-20)
A. The Feast (Judg. 14:10-11).
1. The Celebration (Judg. 14:10).
So his father went down unto the woman: and Samson made them a feast: for so used the young men to do.
a. This was the wedding feast, an important part of the wedding celebration of that day (Gen. 29:22; Matt. 22:2-4).
b. This feast was to last seven days (Judg. 14:12).
c. The word “feast” can mean “drink.” Therefore, some believe that this was a feast of wine drinking and drunkenness.
1) Most commentators will accuse Samson of sinning again.
2) The text, however, does not elaborate on this. The word can just mean “feast.”
2. The Companions (Judg. 14:11)
And it came to pass, when they saw him, that they brought thirty companions to be with him.
a. Samson did not bring any of his personal friends with him from Israel.
b. Therefore, he was furnished with thirty companions by the bride’s family.
c. They are referred to as “the children of the bridechamber” (Matt. 9:15).
d. See Judges 14:20
But Samson’s wife was given to his companion, whom he had used as his friend.
e. Lesson: One noted that a single companion, the woman, now turned into thirty. One ungodly association often turns into many. “’Just one will become an uncontrollable multitude in short order” (Butler, 75).
f. Some believe that this proves that Samson’s parents were quite wealthy since they had to provide food and drink to a minimum of 30 men during an entire week. It could also have been that this was forced upon them, involving them in something they had not anticipated.
B. The Fun (Judg. 14:12-14a).
1. The Conditions (Judg. 14:12-13)
And Samson said unto them, I will now put forth a riddle unto you: if ye can certainly declare it me within seven days of the feast, and find it out, then I will give you thirty sheets and thirty changes of garments: but if ye cannot declare it me, then shall ye give me thirty sheets and thirty changes of garments. And they said unto him, Put forth thy riddle, that we may hear it.
a. Wedding feasts involved a lot of time. There was a lot of idle time between eating and drinking. Riddles were often used to fill the time of the guests at a feast.
b. Samson set this up as a gambling arrangement.
a) To stake or risk money, or anything of value, on the outcome of something involving chance
b) To lose or squander by betting
2) In this instance, both parties put up their wager.
3) The wager
a) Sheets: soft linen undergarments which were worn next to the skin
b) Change of garments: the outer garment, “which was part of the wealth of the rich and the great, and was, and is to the present day, one of the most frequent presents on all state occasions” (Hervey as quoted by Butler, 77).
4) Is gambling wrong?
a) Gambling tempts man’s desire (greed) and leads him into covetousness (Col. 3:5). “Greed is a bottomless pit which exhausts the person in an endless effort to satisfy the need without ever reaching satisfaction” (Erich Fromm).
b) Gambling is a form of legal theft. It robs the poor.
c) Gambling involves a system of injustice. The games are loaded to favor the casinos and government. How can the government promise to use lottery money to fund education unless they know that those who gamble will lose?
d) Gambling quenches the desire to work in order to obtain (Eph. 4:28).
e) Gambling wrecks homes and communities.
f) Gambling breeds dishonesty, drug abuse, prostitution, and crime. Three years after the arrival of casinos, Atlantic City rose from 50th to 1st in the nation among cities in per capita crime.
2. The Conundrum (Judg. 14:14a)
And he said unto them, Out of the eater came forth meat, and out of the strong came forth sweetness…
a. For us, the riddle is simple. It involves the honey that Samson found in the carcass of the lion he had killed.
b. Two lessons:
1) Samson had no guilt for his sin.
a) Touching a lion and a dead lion was against the Law of Moses.
b) Instead of guilt, he uses his experiences as a riddle to entertain guests at his wedding feast.
c) “It is no mark of wisdom or strength or character to view sin with no remorse. Rather this lack of guilt feeling emphasizes the hardness of heart of the disobedient; and it will curse all those who have this shameful attitude” (Butler, 76).
d) Jeremiah 8:12
Were they ashamed when they have committed abomination? Nay, there were not ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore shall they fall among them that fall: in the time of their visitation they shall be cast down, saith the Lord.
- The homosexuals having their parades in the city streets.
- ISIS taking videos of the beheadings of “Christians” and others.