Judges 14:8
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Some time later, when he went back to marry her, he turned aside to look at the lion's carcass, and in it he saw a swarm of bees and some honey.

New Living Translation
Later, when he returned to Timnah for the wedding, he turned off the path to look at the carcass of the lion. And he found that a swarm of bees had made some honey in the carcass.

English Standard Version
After some days he returned to take her. And he turned aside to see the carcass of the lion, and behold, there was a swarm of bees in the body of the lion, and honey.

New American Standard Bible
When he returned later to take her, he turned aside to look at the carcass of the lion; and behold, a swarm of bees and honey were in the body of the lion.

King James Bible
And after a time he returned to take her, and he turned aside to see the carcase of the lion: and, behold, there was a swarm of bees and honey in the carcase of the lion.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
After some time, when he returned to get her, he left the road to see the lion's carcass, and there was a swarm of bees with honey in the carcass.

International Standard Version
When he came back later to marry her, he turned aside to observe the lion's carcass. Amazingly, there was a swarm of bees in the body of the lion, complete with honey.

NET Bible
Some time later, when he went back to marry her, he turned aside to see the lion's remains. He saw a swarm of bees in the lion's carcass, as well as some honey.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Later he went back to marry her. [On his way] he left the road to look at the lion he had killed. He saw a swarm of bees and some honey in the lion's dead body.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And after a time he returned to take her, and he turned aside from the way to see the carcase of the lion; and, behold, there was a swarm of bees and honey in the carcase of the lion.

King James 2000 Bible
And after a time he returned to take her, and he turned aside to see the carcass of the lion: and, behold, there was a swarm of bees and honey in the carcass of the lion.

American King James Version
And after a time he returned to take her, and he turned aside to see the carcass of the lion: and, behold, there was a swarm of bees and honey in the carcass of the lion.

American Standard Version
And after a while he returned to take her; and he turned aside to see the carcass of the lion: and, behold, there was a swarm of bees in the body of the lion, and honey.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And after some days returning to take her, he went aside to see the carcass of the lion, and behold there was a swarm of bees in the mouth of the lion and a honeycomb.

Darby Bible Translation
And he returned after a time to take her, and he turned aside to see the carcase of the lion; and behold, [there was] a swarm of bees in the carcase of the lion, and honey;

English Revised Version
And after a while he returned to take her, and he turned aside to see the carcase of the lion: and, behold, there was a swarm of bees in the body of the lion, and honey.

Webster's Bible Translation
And after a time he returned to take her, and he turned aside to see the carcass of the lion: and behold, there was a swarm of bees and honey in the carcass of the lion.

World English Bible
After a while he returned to take her; and he turned aside to see the carcass of the lion: and behold, there was a swarm of bees in the body of the lion, and honey.

Young's Literal Translation
and he turneth back after some days to take her, and turneth aside to see the carcase of the lion, and lo, a company of bees are in the body of the lion -- and honey.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

14:5-9 By enabling him to kill a lion, God let Samson know what he could do in the strength of the Spirit of the Lord, that he might never be afraid to look the greatest difficulties in the face. He was alone in the vineyards, whither he had rambled. Young people consider not how they exposed themselves to the roaring lion that seeks to devour, when they wander from their prudent, pious parents. Nor do men consider what lions lurk in the vineyards, the vineyards of red wines. Our Lord Jesus having conquered Satan, that roaring lion, believers, like Samson, find honey in the carcass abundant strength and satisfaction, enough for themselves, and for all their friends.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 8. - He returned to take her. All the preliminaries being settled between the parents, he returned to Timnath to take his bride by the same road which he and his parents had travelled by before, and, remembering his feat in killing the lion, very naturally turned aside to see what had become of the carcase. And, behold, there was a swarm of bees, etc. This has been objected to as improbable, because bees are very dainty, and would not approach a putrefying body. But as a considerable time had elapsed, it is very possible that either the mere skeleton was left, or that the heat of the sun had dried up the body and reduced it to the state of a mummy without decomposition, as is said to happen often in the desert of Arabia.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

And after a time he returned to take her,.... Matters being agreed on, and settled on both sides, and the espousals made, he and his parents returned, and, at the proper usual time for the consummation of the marriage, he went again to Timnath for that purpose. It is in the Hebrew text, "after days" (c), which sometimes signifies a year, see Genesis 4:3 and so Ben Gersom interprets it, that a year after this woman became Samson's wife (i.e. betrothed to him) he returned to take her to himself to wife; and it seems, adds he, that twelve months were given her to prepare herself; and some considerable time must have elapsed, as appears from what had happened to the carcass of the lion, next related:

and he turned aside to see the carcass of the lion: just before he came to Timnath he thought of the lion he had slain some time ago, and he went a little out of the way to see what was become of it, or had happened to it. Josephus says (d), when he slew it he threw it into a woody place, perhaps among some bushes, a little out of the road; for which reason it had not been seen and removed, and was in a more convenient place for what was done in it:

and, behold, there was a swarm of bees and honey in the carcass of the lion; and though naturalists (e) tell us that bees are averse to flesh, and will not touch any, yet in the course of time that the carcass of this lion had lain, its flesh might have been clean eaten off by the fowls of the air, or was quite dried away and consumed, so that it was nothing but a mere skeleton; a bony carcass, as the Syriac version. Josephus (f) says, the swarm was in the breast of the lion; and it is no more unlikely that a swarm of bees should settle in it, and continue and build combs, and lay up their honey there, than that the like should be done in the skull of Onesilus king of Cyprus, when hung up and dried, as Herodotus (g) relates. Besides, according to Virgil (h), this was a method made use of to produce a new breed of bees, even from the corrupt gore and putrid bowels of slain beasts; and Pythagoras (i) observes, they are produced from thence. This may be an emblem of those sweet blessings of grace, which come to the people of Christ through his having destroyed Satan the roaring lion, and all his works; particularly which came to the poor Gentiles, when the devil was cast out from them, and his empire there demolished.

(c) "a diebus", Montanus; "post dies", Vatablus. (d) Ut supra. (Antiqu. l. 5. c. 8. sect. 5.) (e) Aristot. Hist. Animal. l. 9. c. 40. Plin. Nat. Hist. l. 11. c. 21. (f) Ut supra, (Antiqu. l. 5. c. 8.) sect. 6. (g) Terpsichore, sive, l. 5. c. 114. (h) "----quoquo modo caesis", &c. Georgic. l. 4. ver. 284, &c. "Liguefacta boum per viscera", &c. Ib ver. 555. (i) Apud Ovid. Melamorph. l. 15. fab. 4. ver. 365, 366.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

8. after a time he returned to take her—probably after the lapse of a year, the usual interval between the ceremonies of betrothal and marriage. It was spent by the bride elect with her parents in preparation for the nuptials; and at the proper time the bridegroom returned to take her home.

he turned aside to see the carcass of the lion: and, behold, there was a swarm of bees and honey in the carcass of the lion—In such a climate, the myriads of insects and the ravages of birds of prey, together with the influences of the solar rays, would, in a few months, put the carcass in a state inviting to such cleanly animals as bees.

Judges 14:8 Additional Commentaries
Context
Samson's Riddle
8When he returned later to take her, he turned aside to look at the carcass of the lion; and behold, a swarm of bees and honey were in the body of the lion. 9So he scraped the honey into his hands and went on, eating as he went. When he came to his father and mother, he gave some to them and they ate it; but he did not tell them that he had scraped the honey out of the body of the lion.…
Cross References
Judges 14:7
Then he went down and talked with the woman, and he liked her.

Judges 14:9
He scooped out the honey with his hands and ate as he went along. When he rejoined his parents, he gave them some, and they too ate it. But he did not tell them that he had taken the honey from the lion's carcass.

Proverbs 25:16
If you find honey, eat just enough-- too much of it, and you will vomit.
Treasury of Scripture

And after a time he returned to take her, and he turned aside to see the carcass of the lion: and, behold, there was a swarm of bees and honey in the carcass of the lion.

to take her

Genesis 29:21 And Jacob said to Laban, Give me my wife, for my days are fulfilled, …

Matthew 1:20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the LORD …

a swarm. It is probable, that the flesh had been entirely consumed off the bones, which had become dry; and the body having been throw into some private place, (for Samson turned aside to visit it,) a swarm of bees had formed their combs in the cavity of the dry ribs, or region of the thorax; nor was it a more improper place than a hollow rock.

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