And the men of the city say to him on the seventh day, before the sun goeth in: -- 'What is sweeter than honey? And what stronger than a lion?' And he saith to them: 'Unless ye had ploughed with my heifer, Ye had not found out my riddle.'
Judges 14:18 Additional TranslationsClarke's Commentary on the Bible
If ye had not ploughed with my heifer - If my wife had not been unfaithful to my bed, she would not have been unfaithful to my secret; and, you being her paramours, your interest was more precious to her than that of her husband. She has betrayed me through her attachment to you. Calmet has properly remarked, in quoting the Septuagint, that to plough with one's heifer, or to plough in another man's ground, are delicate turns of expression used both by the Greeks and Latins, as well as the Hebrews, to point out a wife's infidelities. Thus Theognis, Gnom. v. 581: -
Εχθαιρω δε γυναικα περιδρομον, ανδρα τε μαργον.
Ὁς την αλλονριην βουλετ' αρουραν αρουν.
"I detest a woman who gads about, and also a libidinous man, who wishes to plough in another man's ground."
Fundum alienium arat, incultum familiarem deserit.
"He ploughs another's farm, and leaves his own heritage uncultivated."
Milo domi non est, perepre at Milone profecto
Arva vacant, uxor non minus inde parit.
"Milo is not at home, and Milo being from home, his field lies uncultivated; his wife, nevertheless, continues to breed, and brings forth children."
There is the same metaphor in the following lines of Virgil: -
Hoc faciunt, nimo ne luxu obtusior usus,
Sit genitali arvo, sulcosque oblimet inertes.
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Judges 14:17 However she wept before him seven days while their feast lasted. And on the seventh day he told her because she pressed him so hard. She then told the riddle to the sons of her people.
Judges 14:19 Then the Spirit of the LORD came upon him mightily, and he went down to Ashkelon and killed thirty of them and took their spoil and gave the changes of clothes to those who told the riddle. And his anger burned, and he went up to his father's house.
Judges 14:18 Parallel CommentariesBride's City Cow Hadn't Heifer Honey Lion Ploughing Plowed Riddle Room Samson Seventh Stronger Sun Sunset Sweeter Wouldn'tBride's City Cow Hadn't Heifer Honey Lion Ploughing Plowed Riddle Room Samson Seventh Stronger Sun Sunset Sweeter Wouldn'tTHE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica®.
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