The people of Israel had disobeyed God.
God sent the Philistines to rule over them.
For 40 years, the Philistines had ruled over Israel.
Just as the angel had said, Manoah and his wife did have a child. His name was Samson.
Samson was picked by God to free Israel from the Philistines.
The Philistines were the enemies of the Israelites. Samson, just
as the angel had said, was a Nazarite. There are three rules which
a Nazarite must follow:
1. No Strong drink or wine.
2. Not allowed to ever cut the hair.
3. No contact with the dead.
Later on, the marriage was arranged and there was a big
wedding feast. Thirty young Philistine men were there. Samson said
to them, "Here is a riddle for you, and if you can solve it within seven
days, I shall give you thirty sheets and thirty suits of clothes, but if
you fail to find the answer, you must give me thirty sheets and thirty
changes of clothing."
The men said, "Tell us your riddle."
Samson said, "Out of the eater came forth meat, and out of the strong came forth sweetness."
The Philistine men could not answer to the riddle. They thought and thought and still did not know the answer.
They went to Samson's wife to see if she could find out the answer. They threatened to burn her father's house if she did not find out the answer. Samson's wife begged him so much, Samson finally told her the answer to the riddle ... she told the Philistine men the answer.
Before sunset on the very last day, the Philistine men
gave Samson the answer to the riddle. They said, "What is sweeter
than honey? And what is stronger than a lion?"
Samson knew what had happened and said to them, "You would never have found the answer to my riddle if you had not threatened my wife." Samson was angry. He felt cheated. He now owed the men their winnings for answering the riddle correctly when they cheated. He went to Ashkelon. That was where the Philistine's fort was. There, he forcibly took the thirty suits, hurting the men who owned them. He brought the suits back to Timnath and gave them to the men who had cheated him.
He was angry with his wife. He felt she betrayed him. Samson went to his parents house without her. Her father allowed her to marry another. After a period of time, Samson returned to her father's house with a gift. He wanted to talk to her. Her father told him she had married another. Samson was angry. Samson decided to burn the farm lands of the Philistines. He went into the forest and caught 300 foxes. He tied their tails together, placed firebrands upon them and turned them lose. Frightened by the torches, the foxes streaked through the fields and vineyards setting fire to the grain and setting fire to the vineyards.
They brought Samson to Lehi where the Philistines were
waiting. When they saw Samson coming, they shouted with a terrific
howl of scorn and triumph. At that very moment, the Spirit of the
Lord descended on Samson making the strong ropes on his arms as if they
were a weak stem from a small plant, the ties on his hands fell away.
"The Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon him"
Samson saw a clean jawbone from a donkey laying at his side. He picked it up and began using it against the entire Philistine army. He lashed into them, swinging the jawbone, lunging at this one and lunging at that one. The Philistine army was surprised by this sudden power. They were unable to fight in their confusion and they ran in fear. After the Philistines had run away, Samson threw down the jawbone and named the place, Remathlehi, in memory of his victory.
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