And he took thereof in his hands, and went on eating, and came to his father and mother, and he gave them, and they did eat: but he told not them that he had taken the honey out of the carcass of the lion.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)He took thereof in his hands.—Unless he considered that a skeleton could not be regarded as a dead body, he could not have done this without breaking the express conditions of his Nazarite vow (Numbers 5:6).
He told not them.—Perhaps from the general reticence of his character, but more probably because they might have been more scrupulous than he was about the ceremonial defilement involved in eating anything which had touched a carcase. Possibly, too, he may have already made the riddle in his head, and did not wish to give any clue to its solution.
The carcase of the lion - The lion, slain by him a year or some months before, had now become a mere skeleton, fit for bees to swarm into. It was a universal notion among the ancients that bees were generated from the carcass of an ox.
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.He took thereof in his hands, out of the lion’s carcass.
Quest. Did not Samson transgress in touching a carcass?
Answ. It was in itself a legal pollution; but some such pollutions were involuntary and unavoidable, as in one that hath an issue running in his sleep; and some were necessary duties, as in those who were to attend upon a woman in her month, or upon the burial of a dead body. And such was this pollution, being contracted by Divine instinct and direction, and in order to God’s honour, and therefore dispensed with by the author of that law, and required by him for his service.
Came to his father and mother; from whom he had turned aside for a season, Judges 14:8, upon some pretence or other.
and came to his father and mother, and he gave them, and they did eat; who went down with him to the consummation of the marriage, and from whom he had turned a little aside; and now overtook them, and to whom he gave some of his honey to eat, which, having travelled some way, might be grateful to them. The above writer takes no notice of this, but says he gave of it to the young woman whom he betrothed, when he came to her; but of that the text makes no mention:
but he told not them that he had taken the honey out of the carcass of the lion; either lest they should scruple eating it, being taken out of such a carcass; or that the riddle, which perhaps he meditated as he came along eating the honey, might not be found out, which might more easily have been done, had this fact been known by any.And he took thereof in his hands, and went on eating, and came to his father and mother, and he gave them, and they did eat: but he told not them that he had taken the honey out of the carcass of the lion.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)9. And he took it … had taken] The word, which occurs only here (? in Jeremiah 5:31), is used in the Talmud for taking honey out of the hive, detaching bread from the sides of the oven; so we may render he scraped off the honey into his palms. It is one of the household words of old Hebrew which rarely find their way into literature (Moore). For wild honey as food cf. 1 Samuel 14:25 ff., St Mark 1:6.Verse 9. - And... he went on eating, etc. Compare the account of Jonathan finding and eating the wild honey (1 Samuel 14:25, and following verses).
CHAPTER 14:10-20 Exodus 34:16 and Deuteronomy 7:3-4, are marriages with Canaanitish women; but the reason assigned for this prohibition was equally applicable to marriages with daughters of the Philistines. In fact, the Philistines are reckoned among the Canaanites in Joshua 13:3 upon the very same ground. But Samson was acting under a higher impulse, whereas his parents did not know that it was from Jehovah, i.e., that Jehovah had so planned it; "for Samson was seeking an opportunity on account of the Philistines," i.e., an occasion to quarrel with them, because, as is afterwards added in the form of an explanatory circumstantial clause, the Philistines had dominion over Israel at that time. תּאנה, ἁπ. λεγ., an opportunity (cf. התאנּה, 2 Kings 5:7).
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