Plain text: Judge 14
Read the texts of the Bible carefully and leave nothing out.
First in love, then engaged, that's how Simson works.
The plain text in Simson's story is the basis for interpretation. We must read it attentively and with concentration so that we understand the story. No detail may be omitted, so it is also necessary to know his prehistory exactly. Simson will be a Nasir, from the womb until his death. If we drop this fact under the table, we forget it and look at the text wrongly. A Nasir is pure and serves God in the state of his purity. As a prince he knows etiquette and knows how to move and behave properly. He has only bound himself to God until the end of his life.
Samson goes to Timnath and sees a girl. He then goes back to his parents and tells them about his trip to the city. He comes to speak to the Philistine and tells father and mother that he wants to marry the girl.
His behaviour shows us his familiarity with the parents. He can talk about his feelings for the girl without being harshly rejected by the parents. He answers the question about a woman from his own people wisely: "The girl is just and sincere in my eyes.
What does the expression mean: in my eyes? It is said that Samson, as an obedient boy who had previously enjoyed a good upbringing, can now judge things for himself. There is no objection from the parents. Father and mother know their son and know that if Samson calls the Philistine just and sincere, then so it is. Father and mother are beyond all doubt about Samson. There is no reason to distrust his words and deeds.
The intimate relationship to father and mother is also expressed by the fact that they accompany their son to Timnath and the father comes into conversation with the girl. One gets to know each other and the details of the engagement are discussed.
A good education, based on the Bible, creates healthy and self-confident children. The common conversation is just as much a part of it as the demand on the children to listen to their parents. If, on the threshold to adulthood, the children are still in a confidential conversation with father and mother, then the parents have done the basic right thing.
The parents do not experience all the things that Simson experiences, but that is not necessary either. The roaring lions don't notice the parents anyway, and they can't do that either. Feelings and feelings cannot be seen by anyone, not even by the parents, but sometimes they become visible by laughing or crying.
First he goes alone to the Philistine and later together with his father, who talks to his son's girlfriend. Meanwhile Simson prepares a party and celebrates with thirty comrades a kind of bachelor party. At the beginning of the party he gives up the riddle to his friends with the prospect of a win. A shirt and a changing dress for each comrade. Because winning has always been fun, the comrades get involved in the game and want to hear his puzzle.
From the eater came food, and from the strong came sweetness. (Elberfelder 1905)
Food went from the devourer and sweets from the strong (Luther 1545)
מֵ-הָֽ-ֽ-אֹכֵל֙ יָצָ֣א מַאֲכָ֔ל וּ-מֵ-עַ֖ז יָצָ֣א מָת֑וֹק
The joy of winning disappears after three days. None of the friends can solve the riddle. Now they urge Simson's fiancée and threaten her, turning out to be arsonists. Why do they act like that? They are poor, unable and unwilling to make the bet. All 30 only thought about their success, but not that they could lose and then each of them would have to cede his shirt and only dress to Simson.
How would they have stood there? Quite simple: Naked! Dressed in nothing, they would have stood embarrassed in front of Simson, because each of them had only one dress.
The fiancée becomes insecure during the seven days. That her own countrymen threaten her makes her afraid. She turns to her bridegroom, crying, begging him to tell her the answer to the riddle. Simson asks her a question, she too is to be understood rhetorically: I didn't tell my parents, and you want me to tell you? There can only be one answer: "Yes, of course! I only want to tell you my secret! Why only you? Because she is the object of his love, for her sake Samson resisted the lion, tore him up in the air with nothing in his hand.
From the seventh day Samson explains the riddle to his bride and she betrays it to the men of her people. Shortly before the end of the day, the journeymen stand in front of Samson and cheekily ask: What is sweeter than honey? And what is stronger than the lion? The men did not solve the riddle, but blackmailed it. Nevertheless, they are not sure of the correct answer and formulate the solution of the riddle with a question.
Simson recognizes their wicked behavior and yet, in Asklon, he gets them the bet by killing 30 men and taking their robes from them; he gave change of clothes to the comrades who told her the riddle. The fact that Simson delivers his bet despite the betting fraud shows us: he pays his betting debts although, on closer examination, he is not even in debt with the 30 friends.
Why did 30 men have to die? And why does he take their robes away when his comrades get changeable clothes? Only the Hebrew text can give a satisfactory answer. The word "robe" does not appear there, but "he killed thirty men because of their corruption". This can only be understood from the point of view of the New Testament. The 30 men in Askalon point to the spiritual powers of wickedness. They are not only bad, but thoroughly corrupt. The Messiah has triumphed over the 30. But the 30 men also stand for the 30 men who take part in his feast. However, they do not receive the stained and corrupt clothes of the men from Askalon, whose robes are a symbol of sin, but they are given changing clothes. Change clothes stand for wealth, which the Messiah has acquired.
Simson's comrades now belong to the really rich and have the chance to get eternal life. The thirty men only have to put on the changing clothes, but they would have to get rid of the worn clothes and put on the white robes that they have not yet received.
Will they personally accept the riches of Simson? If the death of the 30 men of Askalon also means their death, then they also have white robes, for the Lord then took off their dirty clothes and put on new ones.