“Get her for me!” Samson’s demand rang out through the house. He pictured the woman he had just met with her luminous eyes and dark hair almost as long as his own. He was captivated.
In vain his parents remonstrated, cajoled and explained.
“Why do you have to go to the uncircumcised Philistines to find a wife?” they said.
“Is there not an acceptable woman among our own relatives and our own people?”
“I must have her.” Samson stormed around the house but his parents continued.
“You’ve been a Nazarite from birth,” they reminded him. “God’s hand is on you and he has chosen you to deliver us from the Philistines who are our enemies. It is not right that you should marry one of them.”
But Samson was determined. The local girls could never compete with this exotic foreigner who enchanted and allured him and filled him with all-consuming passion.
“Get her for me,” he demanded again. “She is the right one for me.”
So his parents went with Samson to meet her and were also enchanted. In spite of their reservations the wedding was arranged.
When Samson arrived for his wedding he was given thirty companions and he teased them with a riddle.
“If you solve my riddle, I will give you thirty linen garments and thirty sets of clothes,” he promised.
For seven days the feasting continued. The bride and her maidens enchanted the whole company with their grace and beauty when they danced. But Samson’s companions were exasperated when they could not solve his riddle. They secretly went to his wife and persuaded her to find the answer.
Samson’s exotic foreigner quickly turned into a nagging wife. She wept and pleaded and threw herself on him, sobbing, to find the answer.
“I haven’t even told my parents,” he said. “How can I tell you?”
“You hate me, you don’t love me,” she wept, and her pleading prevailed. When the Philistines came to him with the answer he was furious.
“If you had not interfered with my wife, you would not have solved my riddle,” he said to the jeering men.
Burning with anger, he went out on a rampage. Thirty men from Ashkelon were killed and their clothes given as the prize. He returned to his father’s house.
When his anger cooled he went back to claim his wife, but she was not there.
“I thought you weren’t coming back,” said her father. “I gave her to your friend because I thought you didn’t want her.”
Incensed, Samson hurried off and set fire to their fields to burn their crops. In one way or another he would get even, he vowed.
Although Samson didn’t know it, the deliverance of the Israelites from their enemies, the Philistines, had begun.
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