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Samson sets a riddle

Wedding guests are given a riddle to solve.
Contributed by Sweet Publishing
Story also available on our translated websites: Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, Hindi, Simplified Chinese
Once again, the Israelites started worshipping idols and did wrong in God’s eyes. – Slide 1
God allowed them to be subject for 40 years to the Philistines who lived along the southern coast and had five large cities, Gaza, Ashkelon, Gath, Ekron, and Ashdod. – Slide 2
Near the Philistine territory, in the town of Zorah, lived a man called Manoah and his wife. They had not been able to have children. – Slide 3
One day the angel of the Lord appeared to Manoah’s wife and said, ‘Even though you have been unable to have children, you will soon give birth to a son. You must not eat grapes or raisins, drink wine or any other alcoholic drink, or eat any forbidden food. Your son’s hair must never be cut. For he will be dedicated to God as a Nazirite from birth. He will begin to rescue Israel from the Philistines.’ – Slide 4
When she told her husband, Manoah, he prayed, ‘Lord, please let the man of God come back to us again and give us more instructions about this son who is to be born.’ – Slide 5
The angel of God appeared once again to his wife as she was sitting in the field. But her husband, Manoah, was not with her. So she went to fetch him. – Slide 6
Manoah asked, ‘When the boy is born, what rules should govern his life?’ The angel repeated the instruction he had given to Manoah’s wife.‘What is your name?’ asked Manoah.‘It is too wonderful for you to understand,’ the angel of the Lord replied. – Slide 7
Then Manoah took a young goat and a grain offering and offered it on a rock as a sacrifice to the Lord.  – Slide 8
As the flames from the altar shot up toward the sky, the angel of the Lord ascended in the fire. Manoah and his wife fell with their faces to the ground. – Slide 9
Some time later the son they had been promised was born. They named him Samson. – Slide 10
The Lord blessed Samson as he grew up and the Spirit of the Lord stirred in him. His hair was not cut and he did not drink wine or eat forbidden food. – Slide 11
One day when Samson was in Timnah, one of the Philistine women caught his eye. He returned home, demanding, ‘I want to marry a young Philistine woman in Timnah. Get her for me.’ – Slide 12
His father and mother objected. ‘Isn’t there even one woman in our tribe or among all the Israelites you could marry?’ they asked. ‘Why must you go to the pagan Philistines to find a wife?’ Samson refused to listen to them, demanding the marriage be arranged. – Slide 13
As Samson and his parents were going down to Timnah, a young lion suddenly attacked Samson. The Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon him, and he ripped the lion’s jaws apart with his bare hands. Later, when he returned to Timnah for the wedding, he turned off the path to look at the carcass of the lion. He found that a swarm of bees had made some honey in the carcass and scooped some of the honey into his hands and ate it. – Slide 14
Samson threw a party at Timnah, as was the custom for elite young men. When the bride’s parents saw him, they selected thirty young men from the town to be his companions. Samson announced, ‘Let me tell you a riddle. If you solve it during these seven days of the celebration, I will give you thirty fine linen robes and thirty sets of festive clothing. But if you can’t solve it, then you must give me thirty fine linen robes and thirty sets of festive clothing.’ They agreed.Samson put the riddle to them, ‘Out of the one who eats came something to eat – Slide 15
Three days later they were still trying to figure it out.  On the fourth day they said to Samson’s wife, ‘Entice your husband to explain the riddle for us, or we will burn down your father’s house with you in it. Did you invite us to this party just to make us poor?’ – Slide 16
So, Samson’s wife came to him in tears and said, ‘You don’t love me – Slide 17
So before sunset of the seventh day, the men of the town came to Samson with their answer: ‘What is sweeter than honey?What is stronger than a lion?’Samson replied, ‘If you hadn’t put pressure on my wife to betray me, you wouldn’t have solved my riddle!’ – Slide 18
Then the Spirit of the Lord came powerfully on Samson. He went down to the enemy town of Ashkelon, killed thirty men, took their belongings, and gave their clothing to the men who had solved his riddle. – Slide 19
Samson was furious about what had happened, and he went back home to live with his father and mother. His wife was given in marriage to the man who had been Samson’s best man at the wedding. – Slide 20
Slide 21