1. Samson went down to Timnah, and at Timnah he noticed a woman, a Philistine girl.
2. He went home again and told his father and mother this. 'At Timnah', he said, 'I noticed a woman, a Philistine girl. So now get her for me, to be my wife.'
3. His father and mother said to him, 'Is there no woman among your brothers' daughters or in our entire nation, for you to go and take a wife among these uncircumcised Philistines?' But Samson said to his father, 'Get that one for me; she is the one I am for me; she is the one I am fond of.'
4. His father and mother did not know that all this came from Yahweh, who was seeking grounds for a quarrel with the Philistines, since at this time the Philistines dominated Israel.
5. Samson went down to Timnah and, as he reached the vineyards of Timnah, he saw a young lion coming roaring towards him.
6. The spirit of Yahweh seized on him and he tore the lion to pieces with his bare hands as though it were a kid; but he did not tell his father or mother what he had done.
7. He went down and talked to the woman, and he became fond of her.
8. Not long after this, Samson went back to marry her. He went out of his way to look at the carcase of the lion, and there was a swarm of bees in the lion's body, and honey.
9. He took up some honey in his hand and ate it as he went along. On returning to his father and mother, he gave some to them, which they ate too, but he did not tell them that he had taken it from the lion's carcase.
10. His father then went down to the woman, and Samson made a feast there, as is the custom for young men.
11. And when the Philistines saw him, they chose thirty companions to stay with him.
12. Samson then said to them, 'Let me ask you a riddle. If you can give me the answer during the seven days of feasting, I shall give you thirty pieces of fine linen and thirty festal robes.
13. But if you cannot tell me the answer, then you in your turn must give me thirty pieces of fine linen and thirty festal robes.' 'Ask your riddle,' they replied, 'we are listening.'
14. So he said to them: Out of the eater came what is eaten, and out of the strong came what is sweet. But three days went by and they could not solve the riddle.
15. On the fourth day they said to Samson's wife, 'Cajole your husband into explaining the riddle to us, or we shall burn you and your father's family to death. Did you invite us here to rob us?'
16. Samson's wife then went to him in tears and said, 'You only hate me, you do not love me. You have asked my fellow countrymen a riddle and told not even me the answer.' He said to her, 'I have not told even my father or mother; why should I tell you?'
17. She wept on his neck for the seven days that their feasting lasted. She was so persistent that on the seventh day he told her the answer, and she told her fellow-countrymen.
18. So on the seventh day, before he went into the bedroom, the men of the town said to him: What is sweeter than honey, and what stronger than a lion? He retorted: If you had not ploughed with my heifer, you would never have solved my riddle.
19. Then the spirit of Yahweh seized on him. He went down to Ashkelon, killed thirty men there, took what they wore and gave the festal robes to those who had answered the riddle, then burning with rage returned to his father's house.
20. Samson's wife was then given to the companion who had acted as his best man.