Judges (RSV) 8
8 1 And the men of Ephraim said to him, "What is this that you have done to us, not to call us when you went to fight with Midian?" And they upbraided him violently. 2 And he said to them, "What have I done now in comparison with you? Is not the gleaning of the grapes of Ephraim better than the vintage of Abiezer? 3 God has given into your hands the princes of Midian, Oreb and Zeeb; what have I been able to do in comparison with you?" Then their anger against him was abated, when he had said this.
4 And Gideon came to the Jordan and passed over, he and the three hundred men who were with him, faint yet pursuing. 5 So he said to the men of Succoth, "Pray, give loaves of bread to the people who follow me; for they are faint, and I am pursuing after Zebah and Zalmunna, the kings of Midian." 6 And the officials of Succoth said, "Are Zebah and Zalmunna already in your hand, that we should give bread to your army?" 7 And Gideon said, "Well then, when the LORD has given Zebah and Zalmunna into my hand, I will flail your flesh with the thorns of the wilderness and with briers." 8 And from there he went up to Penuel, and spoke to them in the same way; and the men of Penuel answered him as the men of Succoth had answered. 9 And he said to the men of Penuel, "When I come again in peace, I will break down this tower." 10 Now Zebah and Zalmunna were in Karkor with their army, about fifteen thousand men, all who were left of all the army of the people of the East; for there had fallen a hundred and twenty thousand men who drew the sword. 11 And Gideon went up by the caravan route east of Nobah and Jogbehah, and attacked the army; for the army was off its guard. 12 And Zebah and Zalmunna fled; and he pursued them and took the two kings of Midian, Zebah and Zalmunna, and he threw all the army into a panic.
13 Then Gideon the son of Joash returned from the battle by the ascent of Heres. 14 And he caught a young man of Succoth, and questioned him; and he wrote down for him the officials and elders of Succoth, seventy-seven men. 15 And he came to the men of Succoth, and said, "Behold Zebah and Zalmunna, about whom you taunted me, saying, `Are Zebah and Zalmunna already in your hand, that we should give bread to your men who are faint?'" 16 And he took the elders of the city and he took thorns of the wilderness and briers and with them taught the men of Succoth. 17 And he broke down the tower of Penuel, and slew the men of the city.
18 Then he said to Zebah and Zalmunna, "Where are the men whom you slew at Tabor?" They answered, "As you are, so were they, every one of them; they resembled the sons of a king." 19 And he said, "They were my brothers, the sons of my mother; as the LORD lives, if you had saved them alive, I would not slay you." 20 And he said to Jether his first-born, "Rise, and slay them." But the youth did not draw his sword; for he was afraid, because he was still a youth. 21 Then Zebah and Zalmunna said, "Rise yourself, and fall upon us; for as the man is, so is his strength." And Gideon arose and slew Zebah and Zalmunna; and he took the crescents that were on the necks of their camels.
22 Then the men of Israel said to Gideon, "Rule over us, you and your son and your grandson also; for you have delivered us out of the hand of Midian." 23 Gideon said to them, "I will not rule over you, and my son will not rule over you; the LORD will rule over you." 24 And Gideon said to them, "Let me make a request of you; give me every man of you the earrings of his spoil." (For they had golden earrings, because they were Ishmaelites.) 25 And they answered, "We will willingly give them." And they spread a garment, and every man cast in it the earrings of his spoil. 26 And the weight of the golden earrings that he requested was one thousand seven hundred shekels of gold; besides the crescents and the pendants and the purple garments worn by the kings of Midian, and besides the collars that were about the necks of their camels. 27 And Gideon made an ephod of it and put it in his city, in Ophrah; and all Israel played the harlot after it there, and it became a snare to Gideon and to his family. 28 So Midian was subdued before the people of Israel, and they lifted up their heads no more. And the land had rest forty years in the days of Gideon.
29 Jerubbaal the son of Joash went and dwelt in his own house. 30 Now Gideon had seventy sons, his own offspring, for he had many wives. 31 And his concubine who was in Shechem also bore him a son, and he called his name Abimelech. 32 And Gideon the son of Joash died in a good old age, and was buried in the tomb of Joash his father, at Ophrah of the Abiezrites. 33 As soon as Gideon died, the people of Israel turned again and played the harlot after the Baals, and made Baalberith their god. 34 And the people of Israel did not remember the LORD their God, who had rescued them from the hand of all their enemies on every side; 35 and they did not show kindness to the family of Jerubbaal (that is, Gideon) in return for all the good that he had done to Israel.
9 1 Now Abimelech the son of Jerubbaal went to Shechem to his mother's kinsmen and said to them and to the whole clan of his mother's family, 2 "Say in the ears of all the citizens of Shechem, `Which is better for you, that all seventy of the sons of Jerubbaal rule over you, or that one rule over you?' Remember also that I am your bone and your flesh." 3 And his mother's kinsmen spoke all these words on his behalf in the ears of all the men of Shechem; and their hearts inclined to follow Abimelech, for they said, "He is our brother." 4 And they gave him seventy pieces of silver out of the house of Baalberith with which Abimelech hired worthless and reckless fellows, who followed him. 5 And he went to his father's house at Ophrah, and slew his brothers the sons of Jerubbaal, seventy men, upon one stone; but Jotham the youngest son of Jerubbaal was left, for he hid himself. 6 And all the citizens of Shechem came together, and all Bethmillo, and they went and made Abimelech king, by the oak of the pillar at Shechem.
7 When it was told to Jotham, he went and stood on the top of Mount Gerizim, and cried aloud and said to them, "Listen to me, you men of Shechem, that God may listen to you. 8 The trees once went forth to anoint a king over them; and they said to the olive tree, `Reign over us.' 9 But the olive tree said to them, `Shall I leave my fatness, by which gods and men are honored, and go to sway over the trees?' 10 And the trees said to the fig tree, `Come you, and reign over us.' 11 But the fig tree said to them, `Shall I leave my sweetness and my good fruit, and go to sway over the trees?' 12 And the trees said to the vine, `Come you, and reign over us.' 13 But the vine said to them, `Shall I leave my wine which cheers gods and men, and go to sway over the trees?' 14 Then all the trees said to the bramble, `Come you, and reign over us.' 15 And the bramble said to the trees, `If in good faith you are anointing me king over you, then come and take refuge in my shade; but if not, let fire come out of the bramble and devour the cedars of Lebanon.' 16 "Now therefore, if you acted in good faith and honor when you made Abimelech king, and if you have dealt well with Jerubbaal and his house, and have done to him as his deeds deserved -- 17 for my father fought for you, and risked his life, and rescued you from the hand of Midian; 18 and you have risen up against my father's house this day, and have slain his sons, seventy men on one stone, and have made Abimelech, the son of his maidservant, king over the citizens of Shechem, because he is your kinsman -- 19 if you then have acted in good faith and honor with Jerubbaal and with his house this day, then rejoice in Abimelech, and let him also rejoice in you; 20 but if not, let fire come out from Abimelech, and devour the citizens of Shechem, and Bethmillo; and let fire come out from the citizens of Shechem, and from Bethmillo, and devour Abimelech." 21 And Jotham ran away and fled, and went to Beer and dwelt there, for fear of Abimelech his brother.
22 Abimelech ruled over Israel three years. 23 And God sent an evil spirit between Abimelech and the men of Shechem; and the men of Shechem dealt treacherously with Abimelech; 24 that the violence done to the seventy sons of Jerubbaal might come and their blood be laid upon Abimelech their brother, who slew them, and upon the men of Shechem, who strengthened his hands to slay his brothers. 25 And the men of Shechem put men in ambush against him on the mountain tops, and they robbed all who passed by them along that way; and it was told Abimelech. 26 And Gaal the son of Ebed moved into Shechem with his kinsmen; and the men of Shechem put confidence in him. 27 And they went out into the field, and gathered the grapes from their vineyards and trod them, and held festival, and went into the house of their god, and ate and drank and reviled Abimelech. 28 And Gaal the son of Ebed said, "Who is Abimelech, and who are we of Shechem, that we should serve him? Did not the son of Jerubbaal and Zebul his officer serve the men of Hamor the father of Shechem? Why then should we serve him? 29 Would that this people were under my hand! then I would remove Abimelech. I would say to Abimelech, `Increase your army, and come out.'" 30 When Zebul the ruler of the city heard the words of Gaal the son of Ebed, his anger was kindled. 31 And he sent messengers to Abimelech at Arumah, saying, "Behold, Gaal the son of Ebed and his kinsmen have come to Shechem, and they are stirring up the city against you. 32 Now therefore, go by night, you and the men that are with you, and lie in wait in the fields. 33 Then in the morning, as soon as the sun is up, rise early and rush upon the city; and when he and the men that are with him come out against you, you may do to them as occasion offers." 34 And Abimelech and all the men that were with him rose up by night, and laid wait against Shechem in four companies. 35 And Gaal the son of Ebed went out and stood in the entrance of the gate of the city; and Abimelech and the men that were with him rose from the ambush. 36 And when Gaal saw the men, he said to Zebul, "Look, men are coming down from the mountain tops!" And Zebul said to him, "You see the shadow of the mountains as if they were men." 37 Gaal spoke again and said, "Look, men are coming down from the center of the land, and one company is coming from the direction of the Diviners' Oak." 38 Then Zebul said to him, "Where is your mouth now, you who said, `Who is Abimelech, that we should serve him?' Are not these the men whom you despised? Go out now and fight with them." 39 And Gaal went out at the head of the men of Shechem, and fought with Abimelech. 40 And Abimelech chased him, and he fled before him; and many fell wounded, up to the entrance of the gate. 41 And Abimelech dwelt at Arumah; and Zebul drove out Gaal and his kinsmen, so that they could not live on at Shechem. 42 On the following day the men went out into the fields. And Abimelech was told. 43 He took his men and divided them into three companies, and laid wait in the fields; and he looked and saw the men coming out of the city, and he rose against them and slew them. 44 Abimelech and the company that was with him rushed forward and stood at the entrance of the gate of the city, while the two companies rushed upon all who were in the fields and slew them. 45 And Abimelech fought against the city all that day; he took the city, and killed the people that were in it; and he razed the city and sowed it with salt. 46 When all the people of the Tower of Shechem heard of it, they entered the stronghold of the house of Elberith. 47 Abimelech was told that all the people of the Tower of Shechem were gathered together. 48 And Abimelech went up to Mount Zalmon, he and all the men that were with him; and Abimelech took an axe in his hand, and cut down a bundle of brushwood, and took it up and laid it on his shoulder. And he said to the men that were with him, "What you have seen me do, make haste to do, as I have done." 49 So every one of the people cut down his bundle and following Abimelech put it against the stronghold, and they set the stronghold on fire over them, so that all the people of the Tower of Shechem also died, about a thousand men and women.
50 Then Abimelech went to Thebez, and encamped against Thebez, and took it. 51 But there was a strong tower within the city, and all the people of the city fled to it, all the men and women, and shut themselves in; and they went to the roof of the tower. 52 And Abimelech came to the tower, and fought against it, and drew near to the door of the tower to burn it with fire. 53 And a certain woman threw an upper millstone upon Abimelech's head, and crushed his skull. 54 Then he called hastily to the young man his armor-bearer, and said to him, "Draw your sword and kill me, lest men say of me, `A woman killed him.'" And his young man thrust him through, and he died. 55 And when the men of Israel saw that Abimelech was dead, they departed every man to his home. 56 Thus God requited the crime of Abimelech, which he committed against his father in killing his seventy brothers; 57 and God also made all the wickedness of the men of Shechem fall back upon their heads, and upon them came the curse of Jotham the son of Jerubbaal.
10 1 After Abimelech there arose to deliver Israel Tola the son of Puah, son of Dodo, a man of Issachar; and he lived at Shamir in the hill country of Ephraim. 2 And he judged Israel twenty-three years. Then he died, and was buried at Shamir.
3 After him arose Jair the Gileadite, who judged Israel twenty-two years. 4 And he had thirty sons who rode on thirty asses; and they had thirty cities, called Havvothjair to this day, which are in the land of Gilead. 5 And Jair died, and was buried in Kamon.
6 And the people of Israel again did what was evil in the sight of the LORD, and served the Baals and the Ashtaroth, the gods of Syria, the gods of Sidon, the gods of Moab, the gods of the Ammonites, and the gods of the Philistines; and they forsook the LORD, and did not serve him. 7 And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he sold them into the hand of the Philistines and into the hand of the Ammonites, 8 and they crushed and oppressed the children of Israel that year. For eighteen years they oppressed all the people of Israel that were beyond the Jordan in the land of the Amorites, which is in Gilead. 9 And the Ammonites crossed the Jordan to fight also against Judah and against Benjamin and against the house of Ephraim; so that Israel was sorely distressed.
10 And the people of Israel cried to the LORD, saying, "We have sinned against thee, because we have forsaken our God and have served the Baals." 11 And the LORD said to the people of Israel, "Did I not deliver you from the Egyptians and from the Amorites, from the Ammonites and from the Philistines? 12 The Sidonians also, and the Amalekites, and the Maonites, oppressed you; and you cried to me, and I delivered you out of their hand. 13 Yet you have forsaken me and served other gods; therefore I will deliver you no more. 14 Go and cry to the gods whom you have chosen; let them deliver you in the time of your distress." 15 And the people of Israel said to the LORD, "We have sinned; do to us whatever seems good to thee; only deliver us, we pray thee, this day." 16 So they put away the foreign gods from among them and served the LORD; and he became indignant over the misery of Israel. 17 Then the Ammonites were called to arms, and they encamped in Gilead; and the people of Israel came together, and they encamped at Mizpah. 18 And the people, the leaders of Gilead, said one to another, "Who is the man that will begin to fight against the Ammonites? He shall be head over all the inhabitants of Gilead."
11 1 Now Jephthah the Gileadite was a mighty warrior, but he was the son of a harlot. Gilead was the father of Jephthah. 2 And Gilead's wife also bore him sons; and when his wife's sons grew up, they thrust Jephthah out, and said to him, "You shall not inherit in our father's house; for you are the son of another woman." 3 Then Jephthah fled from his brothers, and dwelt in the land of Tob; and worthless fellows collected round Jephthah, and went raiding with him.
4 After a time the Ammonites made war against Israel. 5 And when the Ammonites made war against Israel, the elders of Gilead went to bring Jephthah from the land of Tob; 6 and they said to Jephthah, "Come and be our leader, that we may fight with the Ammonites." 7 But Jephthah said to the elders of Gilead, "Did you not hate me, and drive me out of my father's house? Why have you come to me now when you are in trouble?" 8 And the elders of Gilead said to Jephthah, "That is why we have turned to you now, that you may go with us and fight with the Ammonites, and be our head over all the inhabitants of Gilead." 9 Jephthah said to the elders of Gilead, "If you bring me home again to fight with the Ammonites, and the LORD gives them over to me, I will be your head." 10 And the elders of Gilead said to Jephthah, "The LORD will be witness between us; we will surely do as you say." 11 So Jephthah went with the elders of Gilead, and the people made him head and leader over them; and Jephthah spoke all his words before the LORD at Mizpah.
12 Then Jephthah sent messengers to the king of the Ammonites and said, "What have you against me, that you have come to me to fight against my land?" 13 And the king of the Ammonites answered the messengers of Jephthah, "Because Israel on coming from Egypt took away my land, from the Arnon to the Jabbok and to the Jordan; now therefore restore it peaceably." 14 And Jephthah sent messengers again to the king of the Ammonites 15 and said to him, "Thus says Jephthah: Israel did not take away the land of Moab or the land of the Ammonites, 16 but when they came up from Egypt, Israel went through the wilderness to the Red Sea and came to Kadesh. 17 Israel then sent messengers to the king of Edom, saying, `Let us pass, we pray, through your land'; but the king of Edom would not listen. And they sent also to the king of Moab, but he would not consent. So Israel remained at Kadesh. 18 Then they journeyed through the wilderness, and went around the land of Edom and the land of Moab, and arrived on the east side of the land of Moab, and camped on the other side of the Arnon; but they did not enter the territory of Moab, for the Arnon was the boundary of Moab. 19 Israel then sent messengers to Sihon king of the Amorites, king of Heshbon; and Israel said to him, `Let us pass, we pray, through your land to our country.' 20 But Sihon did not trust Israel to pass through his territory; so Sihon gathered all his people together, and encamped at Jahaz, and fought with Israel. 21 And the LORD, the God of Israel, gave Sihon and all his people into the hand of Israel, and they defeated them; so Israel took possession of all the land of the Amorites, who inhabited that country. 22 And they took possession of all the territory of the Amorites from the Arnon to the Jabbok and from the wilderness to the Jordan. 23 So then the LORD, the God of Israel, dispossessed the Amorites from before his people Israel; and are you to take possession of them? 24 Will you not possess what Chemosh your god gives you to possess? And all that the LORD our God has dispossessed before us, we will possess. 25 Now are you any better than Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab? Did he ever strive against Israel, or did he ever go to war with them? 26 While Israel dwelt in Heshbon and its villages, and in Aroer and its villages, and in all the cities that are on the banks of the Arnon, three hundred years, why did you not recover them within that time? 27 I therefore have not sinned against you, and you do me wrong by making war on me; the LORD, the Judge, decide this day between the people of Israel and the people of Ammon."
28 But the king of the Ammonites did not heed the message of Jephthah which he sent to him.
29 Then the Spirit of the LORD came upon Jephthah, and he passed through Gilead and Manasseh, and passed on to Mizpah of Gilead, and from Mizpah of Gilead he passed on to the Ammonites. 30 And Jephthah made a vow to the LORD, and said, "If thou wilt give the Ammonites into my hand, 31 then whoever comes forth from the doors of my house to meet me, when I return victorious from the Ammonites, shall be the LORD's, and I will offer him up for a burnt offering." 32 So Jephthah crossed over to the Ammonites to fight against them; and the LORD gave them into his hand. 33 And he smote them from Aroer to the neighborhood of Minnith, twenty cities, and as far as Abelkeramim, with a very great slaughter. So the Ammonites were subdued before the people of Israel.
34 Then Jephthah came to his home at Mizpah; and behold, his daughter came out to meet him with timbrels and with dances; she was his only child; beside her he had neither son nor daughter. 35 And when he saw her, he rent his clothes, and said, "Alas, my daughter! you have brought me very low, and you have become the cause of great trouble to me; for I have opened my mouth to the LORD, and I cannot take back my vow." 36 And she said to him, "My father, if you have opened your mouth to the LORD, do to me according to what has gone forth from your mouth, now that the LORD has avenged you on your enemies, on the Ammonites."
37 And she said to her father, "Let this thing be done for me; let me alone two months, that I may go and wander on the mountains, and bewail my virginity, I and my companions." 38 And he said, "Go." And he sent her away for two months; and she departed, she and her companions, and bewailed her virginity upon the mountains. 39 And at the end of two months, she returned to her father, who did with her according to his vow which he had made. She had never known a man. And it became a custom in Israel 40 that the daughters of Israel went year by year to lament the daughter of Jephthah the Gileadite four days in the year.
12 1 The men of Ephraim were called to arms, and they crossed to Zaphon and said to Jephthah, "Why did you cross over to fight against the Ammonites, and did not call us to go with you? We will burn your house over you with fire." 2 And Jephthah said to them, "I and my people had a great feud with the Ammonites; and when I called you, you did not deliver me from their hand. 3 And when I saw that you would not deliver me, I took my life in my hand, and crossed over against the Ammonites, and the LORD gave them into my hand; why then have you come up to me this day, to fight against me?" 4 Then Jephthah gathered all the men of Gilead and fought with Ephraim; and the men of Gilead smote Ephraim, because they said, "You are fugitives of Ephraim, you Gileadites, in the midst of Ephraim and Manasseh." 5 And the Gileadites took the fords of the Jordan against the Ephraimites. And when any of the fugitives of Ephraim said, "Let me go over," the men of Gilead said to him, "Are you an Ephraimite?" When he said, "No," 6 they said to him, "Then say Shibboleth," and he said, "Sibboleth," for he could not pronounce it right; then they seized him and slew him at the fords of the Jordan. And there fell at that time forty-two thousand of the Ephraimites. 7 Jephthah judged Israel six years. Then Jephthah the Gileadite died, and was buried in his city in Gilead.
8 After him Ibzan of Bethlehem judged Israel. 9 He had thirty sons; and thirty daughters he gave in marriage outside his clan, and thirty daughters he brought in from outside for his sons. And he judged Israel seven years. 10 Then Ibzan died, and was buried at Bethlehem.
11 After him Elon the Zebulunite judged Israel; and he judged Israel ten years. 12 Then Elon the Zebulunite died, and was buried at Aijalon in the land of Zebulun.
13 After him Abdon the son of Hillel the Pirathonite judged Israel. 14 He had forty sons and thirty grandsons, who rode on seventy asses; and he judged Israel eight years. 15 Then Abdon the son of Hillel the Pirathonite died, and was buried at Pirathon in the land of Ephraim, in the hill country of the Amalekites.
13 1 And the people of Israel again did what was evil in the sight of the LORD; and the LORD gave them into the hand of the Philistines for forty years.
2 And there was a certain man of Zorah, of the tribe of the Danites, whose name was Manoah; and his wife was barren and had no children. 3 And the angel of the LORD appeared to the woman and said to her, "Behold, you are barren and have no children; but you shall conceive and bear a son. 4 Therefore beware, and drink no wine or strong drink, and eat nothing unclean, 5 for lo, you shall conceive and bear a son. No razor shall come upon his head, for the boy shall be a Nazirite to God from birth; and he shall begin to deliver Israel from the hand of the Philistines."
6 Then the woman came and told her husband, "A man of God came to me, and his countenance was like the countenance of the angel of God, very terrible; I did not ask him whence he was, and he did not tell me his name; 7 but he said to me, `Behold, you shall conceive and bear a son; so then drink no wine or strong drink, and eat nothing unclean, for the boy shall be a Nazirite to God from birth to the day of his death.'"
8 Then Manoah entreated the LORD, and said, "O, LORD, I pray thee, let the man of God whom thou didst send come again to us, and teach us what we are to do with the boy that will be born." 9 And God listened to the voice of Manoah, and the angel of God came again to the woman as she sat in the field; but Manoah her husband was not with her. 10 And the woman ran in haste and told her husband, "Behold, the man who came to me the other day has appeared to me." 11 And Manoah arose and went after his wife, and came to the man and said to him, "Are you the man who spoke to this woman?" And he said, "I am." 12 And Manoah said, "Now when your words come true, what is to be the boy's manner of life, and what is he to do?" 13 And the angel of the LORD said to Manoah, "Of all that I said to the woman let her beware. 14 She may not eat of anything that comes from the vine, neither let her drink wine or strong drink, or eat any unclean thing; all that I commanded her let her observe."
15 Manoah said to the angel of the LORD, "Pray, let us detain you, and prepare a kid for you." 16 And the angel of the LORD said to Manoah, "If you detain me, I will not eat of your food; but if you make ready a burnt offering, then offer it to the LORD." (For Manoah did not know that he was the angel of the LORD.) 17 And Manoah said to the angel of the LORD, "What is your name, so that, when your words come true, we may honor you?" 18 And the angel of the LORD said to him, "Why do you ask my name, seeing it is wonderful?" 19 So Manoah took the kid with the cereal offering, and offered it upon the rock to the LORD, to him who works wonders. 20 And when the flame went up toward heaven from the altar, the angel of the LORD ascended in the flame of the altar while Manoah and his wife looked on; and they fell on their faces to the ground. 21 The angel of the LORD appeared no more to Manoah and to his wife. Then Manoah knew that he was the angel of the LORD. 22 And Manoah said to his wife, "We shall surely die, for we have seen God." 23 But his wife said to him, "If the LORD had meant to kill us, he would not have accepted a burnt offering and a cereal offering at our hands, or shown us all these things, or now announced to us such things as these."
24 And the woman bore a son, and called his name Samson; and the boy grew, and the LORD blessed him. 25 And the Spirit of the LORD began to stir him in Mahanehdan, between Zorah and Eshtaol.
14 1 Samson went down to Timnah, and at Timnah he saw one of the daughters of the Philistines. 2 Then he came up, and told his father and mother, "I saw one of the daughters of the Philistines at Timnah; now get her for me as my wife." 3 But his father and mother said to him, "Is there not a woman among the daughters of your kinsmen, or among all our people, that you must go to take a wife from the uncircumcised Philistines?" But Samson said to his father, "Get her for me; for she pleases me well." 4 His father and mother did not know that it was from the LORD; for he was seeking an occasion against the Philistines. At that time the Philistines had dominion over Israel.
5 Then Samson went down with his father and mother to Timnah, and he came to the vineyards of Timnah. And behold, a young lion roared against him; 6 and the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon him, and he tore the lion asunder as one tears a kid; and he had nothing in his hand. But he did not tell his father or his mother what he had done. 7 Then he went down and talked with the woman; and she pleased Samson well.
8 And 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 scraped it out into his hands, and went on, eating as he went; and he came to his father and mother, and gave some to them, and they ate. But he did not tell them that he had taken the honey from the carcass of the lion.
10 And his father went down to the woman, and Samson made a feast there; for so the young men used to do. 11 And when the people saw him, they brought thirty companions to be with him.
12 And Samson said to them, "Let me now put a riddle to you; if you can tell me what it is, within the seven days of the feast, and find it out, then I will give you thirty linen garments and thirty festal garments; 13 but if you cannot tell me what it is, then you shall give me thirty linen garments and thirty festal garments." And they said to him, "Put your riddle, that we may hear it."
14 And he said to them, "Out of the eater came something to eat. Out of the strong came something sweet." And they could not in three days tell what the riddle was.
15 On the fourth day they said to Samson's wife, "Entice your husband to tell us what the riddle is, lest we burn you and your father's house with fire. Have you invited us here to impoverish us?" 16 And Samson's wife wept before him, and said, "You only hate me, you do not love me; you have put a riddle to my countrymen, and you have not told me what it is." And he said to her, "Behold, I have not told my father nor my mother, and shall I tell you?" 17 She wept before him the seven days that their feast lasted; and on the seventh day he told her, because she pressed him hard. Then she told the riddle to her countrymen. 18 And 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?" And he said to them, "If you had not plowed with my heifer, you would not have found out my riddle." 19 And the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon him, and he went down to Ashkelon and killed thirty men of the town, and took their spoil and gave the festal garments to those who had told the riddle. In hot anger he went back to his father's house. 20 And Samson's wife was given to his companion, who had been his best man.
Judges (RSV) 8