Samson’s Early Life
Abbreviated version of Judges 13-15 with a lot of personal commentary.
One day, an angel visited an Israelite family and told them they would have a baby who would deliver Israel from its enemies, the Philistines.
The angel instructed the wife to follow a kosher diet. She missed out on eating delicious bacon. She was also told to stay away from the booze. All her friends liked that idea, at parties she was assigned to be the designated driver.
The angel said her baby was to be dedicated to the Lord and raised as a Nasserite, whose vows include 1) Stay away from the barber. 2) Stay clear of booze. 3) Stay clear of corpses. The last one sounds simple right? How many of us want to hang around dead people?
They baby was named Samson. If you thought the father’s name was Sam, like me, you’d be wrong it was Manoah. The child grew to have the Spirit of the Lord inside him.
One day Samson saw a Philistine girl and became smitten with her. He instructed his parents to get her as his wife. His parents weren’t happy about his choice, but Samson insisted. They took a road trip to meet the girl.
During the trip, a lion attacked Samson. Instead of using lion repellent spray, Samson made like a ninja and killed that cat dead with his bare hands! He had gained power from God to do this amazing act. He kept this a secret from his parents. He didn’t want them nagging him since he wasn’t supposed to hang around dead things according to his Nazarene vow.
Later he saw the Philistine girl. They talked and planned a wedding. It must have been a good talk.
On Samson’s wedding day, he came across the dead carcass of the lion. For some reason it had honey inside it. I don’t know what you call that, but I’ll call it was Sweet Honey Lion Globs. Samson scooped some Sweet Honey Lion Globs with his hand and ate it as he traveled to his wedding. Because you know, everybody likes having a snack on a road trip. He shared the snack with his parents. I don’t know how sanitary that was. I also felt sorry for the people who were going to shake his hand and congratulate him at the wedding. They were going to get some sticky fingers.
At the wedding feast, Samson selected thirty men to be his wedding companions. They played a wedding game comprised of Samson asking them a riddle. If they corrected guessed the answer they would win thirty sets of new clothes, if they did not correctly answer, they would give him thirty sets of new clothes. They agreed and asked for the riddle.
Samson asked a riddle about his encounter with the lion and the appearance of the Sweet Honey Lion Globs. They never would have known the answer since they were not around when it happened and he never told anyone of the encounter.
The group could not figure out the answer to his riddle. They went to Samson’s wife and threatened, “If you don’t explain the riddle to us, we will burn you and your father’s household!”
Samson’s wife then cried to Samson, “You don’t love me. You haven’t shared the answer to the riddle.” He replied, “I’m the only one who knows the answer.” But she went on to cry for a long time until he finally broke down and explained it to her.
The next day the men correctly answered his riddle with the wife’s help, “Sweet Honey Lion Globs!”
Samson angrily said, “If you had not plowed with my heifer, you wouldn’t have solved the riddle.”
I don’t know much about historical terms, but I’m pretty sure calling your wife a heifer is losing you major husband points and requires you to sleep on the couch for a very long time. I don’t suggest anyone saying that, ever.
The wedding went downhill after that. Everybody became angry at one another, like a real family reunion. Instead of going to the market and buying new sets of clothes, Samson killed thirty men, took their clothes and gave them to those who answered the riddle. I’m guessing he did not take the time to wash them first. He then stomped out and went back to his home town, which is understandable since he needed to return his wedding tuxedo anyway. According to Philistine customs, the wife of a husband who walks out on a marriage goes to be with one of the groom’s companion to be taken care of. I guess the bride’s father didn’t care too much for Samson, because he didn’t waste any time arranging for that to happen.
Later, after Samson calmed down, he wanted to visit his wife. He brought along a goat; I guess the florist shop was closed. When Samson arrived, he found out his wife was given to a companion. He went crazy mad!
In anger, Samson gathered three hundred foxes. There must have been a major fox infestation or something. He tied them altogether and set their tails on fire. Samson sent the foxes running through the Philistine crops to burn them. Afterwards, the insurance agents inspected the damage and to no one’s surprise they said, “Sorry your policy doesn’t cover fields being burned up by fox fire.”
The Philistines were angry all their food was torched. When they learned Samson went crazy mad because his wife was given to his friend, they made his wife and her father human matchsticks. This must have been a time when a lot of people threatened each other with fire. First the thirty wedding companions threaten to burn Samson’s wife for the answer to the riddle, then Samson burns down fields with fire and now this. I’m also not quite sure what happened to the goat Samson brought, so don’t ask. When Samson found out what happened, he viciously attacked the Philistines.
Later, the Philistines captured Samson and tied him up. But the Lord gave Samson great power. He broke out of the ropes and went on to battle a thousand Philistines armed only with a donkey jawbone. I think it would have been way funnier if he used a rubber chicken. Rubber chickens are pure comedy gold. He cried a victory chant, “I used a donkey’s jawbone to make donkeys out of these men.”
After that intense workout, Sansom became very thirsty. Since he couldn’t drink a cold beer due to his Nazarene vow, he cried out to God, “You gave your servant a great victory. Must I now die of thirst?” God responded by giving him a whole lot of water to shut up his whiny mouth.
Samson went on to get a job as a judge. His time was consumed with killing a lot more Philistines; the lions and foxes were okay with that since he was not bothering them as much.