Samson's Riddle: The Revelation of Jesus Christ
by Bill Somers
The Riddle: Out of the eater came forth meat; out of the strong came forth sweetness. The answer: What is sweeter than honey and what is stronger than a lion? Second Riddle: What has this got to do with End Time Prophetic Vision?
Second answer: A Lot!
1 And Samson went down to Timnath, and saw a woman in Timnath of the daughters of the Philistines.
2 And he came up, and told his father and his mother, and said, I have seen a woman in Timnath of the daughters of the Philistines: now therefore get her for me to wife.
3 Then his father and his mother said unto him, Is there never a woman among the daughters of thy brethren, or among all my people, that thou goest to take a wife of the uncircumcised Philistines? And Samson said unto his father, Get her for me; for she pleaseth me well.
4 But his father and his mother knew not that it was of the LORD, that he sought an occasion against the Philistines: for at that time the Philistines had dominion over Israel.
5- Then went Samson down, and his father and his mother, to Timnath, and came to the vineyards of Timnath: and, behold, a young lion roared against him.
6 And the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon him, and he rent him as he would have rent a kid, and [he had] nothing in his hand: but he told not his father or his mother what he had done.
7 And he went down, and talked with the woman; and she pleased Samson well.
8 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.
9 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 carcase of the lion.
10 So his father went down unto the woman: and Samson made there a feast; for so used the young men to do.
11 And it came to pass, when they saw him, that they brought thirty companions to be with him.
12 And Samson said unto them, I will now put forth a riddle unto you: if ye can certainly declare it me within the seven days of the feast, and find [it] out, then I will give you thirty sheets and thirty change of garments:
13 But if ye cannot declare [it] me, then shall ye give me thirty sheets and thirty change of garments. And they said unto him, Put forth thy riddle, that we may hear it.
14 And he said unto them, Out of the eater came forth meat, and out of the strong came forth sweetness. And they could not in three days expound the riddle.
15 And it came to pass on the seventh day, that they said unto Samson's wife, Entice thy husband, that he may declare unto us the riddle, lest we burn thee and thy father's house with fire: have ye called us to take that we have? [is it] not [so]?
16 And Samson's wife wept before him, and said, Thou dost but hate me, and lovest me not: thou hast put forth a riddle unto the children of my people, and hast not told [it] me. And he said unto her, Behold, I have not told [it] my father nor my mother, and shall I tell [it] thee?
17 And she wept before him the seven days, while their feast lasted: and it came to pass on the seventh day, that he told her, because she lay sore upon him: and she told the riddle to the children of her people.
18 And the men of the city said unto him on the seventh day before the sun went down, What [is] sweeter than honey? and what [is] stronger than a lion? And he said unto them, If ye had not plowed with my heifer, ye had not found out my riddle.
19 And the Spirit of the LORD came upon him, and he went down to Ashkelon, and slew thirty men of them, and took their spoil, and gave change of garments unto them which expounded the riddle. And his anger was kindled, and he went up to his father's house.
The Riddle speaks of the Word of God. The lion is Jesus And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof. Rev. 5.5
The lion died; he died for us, ("I am he that liveth and was dead .." Rev 1:18) Inside the carcase of the Lion was found the honey. The honey, the sweetness is the word of God. Then said Jonathan, .: see, I pray you, how mine eyes have been enlightened, because I tasted a little of this honey. 1 Sam 14:29 And I took the little book out of the angel's hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey.. Rev 10:10
The meat (food) speaks of the word. Hebrews. 5 in discussing the word of righteousness tells us that meat is for them that are of full age. The bible says that hidden in Christ are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of
the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Colossians 2:2-3 So this sweet meat [food] hidden inside the lion speaks of the Word of God, but especially it speaks of deep revelation and rich understanding of the Word. Hidden treasures of Wisdom. It speaks of mature insight into the Word. The Philistines Couldn't Possibly Know the Answer. In this story there was no way the Philistines could know the answer. They had to be totally clueless at to what Samson was talking about. This agrees with the idea that the Riddle speaks of the Word of God. The Philistines are a type of the world. The natural man cannot understand the Word of God .
But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 1Co 2:14 Samson is a Type of the Lord Jesus Christ Just as Samson was dedicated to the Lord from birth, as a nazarite, Jesus was dedicated and separated to be the head of the church. Samson is also a type of the resurrected Christ. Nothing could bind Him. Nothing could hold Him, not even death, hell and the grave. His Wife is a Type of the Church
Then went Samson down, and his father and his mother, to Timnath, and came to the vineyards of Timnath .. Judges 14:5
There are three clues in this verse. 1. Samson went down; this speaks of Jesus coming down from Heaven. 2. Timnath means portion. This says Jesus came down to get His portion or inheritance. [The World] 3. He came to the vineyards of Timnath; vineyards speak of the Church. The Church is His Harlot Bride. Samson kept going after a harlotous, Gentile
JESUS has done the same. Jesus' bride, the Church in many ways has been just as harlotous as Israel ever was and yet Jesus will purify her for she pleaseth him..
And Samson said unto his father, Get her for me; for she pleaseth me well. Judges 14:3 Samson's Wife Couldn't Possibly Know the Answer either. Now here I have to be careful. We just said that the natural man cannot know spiritual things. [The Word of God.] But the Church, surely is different! We are made up of born again believers, we are spiritual people aren't we?
Well recall that we said knowing the answer to the riddle speaks of Mature Insight into the Word. It means a depth of revelation. Can we say that about today's Church? Rather look back again to Hebrews 5:12 " For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat." Here we find a more accurate description of the state of the Church today.
The strong meat is the answer to the riddle, but we are not ready! Secondly it is impossible for us to know the answer because the Books are Sealed! But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased. Daniel 12;:4 Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples. Isaiah 8:16
Revealing the Answer on the Seventh Day is a type of End Time Revival The seventh day speaks of the Millenium or the end times which we are now in. Revealing the Answer is the Revelation of Jesus Christ
And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof. Rev. 5.5 Revealing the answer to the riddle is the same as opening the Book. In the Book of revelation we see Jesus the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, opening the Book. In Judges 14:17 we see Samson revealing the answer to his wife. This speaks of nothing less than God Revealing Himself, because Jesus is the Word of God. And only God can reveal Himself. No man was found worthy to open the book. Man cannot comprehend God by his own efforts. God reveals Himself to man at the time of His choosing. Notice also that the answer was not revealed to the wife until she wept before Him and pleaded for the answer. Doesn't this speak of deep repentance that we know must come to the Church?
The Lesson So we see that Samson revealing the answer to the riddle to his wife is that same as Jesus revealing Himself to the Church! Notice what happens next!
. and she told the riddle to the children of her people. Judges 14:17
As soon as she knew the answer, she turned around and told the other Philistines. Isn't this what the Church is required to do? To reveal Jesus to a lost and dying world, marked for judgment? So we see that when and only when we receive the Revelation of Jesus Christ will we really be able to impart that to the lost.
The 'Rest of the Story'
by Bill Somers
Q. Out of the eater came forth meat, out of the strong, came forth sweetness.
A. What is sweeter than honey and what is stronger than a lion?
That is Samson's riddle. Did you notice that the answer is a question? And naturally a question calls for another answer. What is the answer to the answer? Now this is interesting, the answer to the answer is, so to speak, the ultimate answer! And The Ultimate Answer is Jesus Christ! For it is He who is sweeter than honey and He who is stronger than a lion! In the first article on Samson's Riddle we found the following conclusions: [see Samson's Riddle by Bill Somers]
a. Samson is a type of the Lord Jesus
b. Samson's wife is a type of the Church
c. Samson's father is a type of God the Father
d. The Philistines are a type of the world
e. The honey is a type of the Word Of God Revealed In Depth, or Revelation Knowledge
f. The answer to the riddle is Jesus Christ
g. The act of giving the answer is a type of The Revelation of Jesus Christ! This is the Word Of God Revealed In Depth
h. The act of Samson's wife telling her people the answer is a type of the Church revealing Jesus to the World. That is preaching the gospel to all the world and completing the great commission.
i. One of the main lessons is that the Church cannot effectively reveal Jesus to the World till she receives that revelation in depth herself! That is till Jesus reveals Himself to the Church. Then the world will see Jesus in the Church.
Now let's draw some conclusions from this allegory:
Looking at point G above, we understand that this speaks of Revival. That is Jesus coming to the Church and revealing Himself in awesome holiness and irresistible power is what we really mean by revival. Not lots of people
getting converted. That comes next. Point H speaks of the harvest or ingathering that must follow revival.
Now the text tells us that this took place on the 7th day. Prophetically this means the 7th 1000 year period, in other words, the Millenium. Thus the revival and harvest will take place not before the Millenium but on and at
the very beginning of the Millenium! Now what else does the text tell us will happen at that time? What is the 'Rest of the Story'?
We just said that the revival and harvest take place at the beginning of the 7th millenium, not at the end of the 6th. Are there other elements here in Judges 14 and 15 that speak of other end time events?
If we look carefully, with spiritual eyes, there are several. I'm going to share what the Holy Spirit has allowed me to see so far. This includes:
a recapitulation of the cycle of judgment, redemption and harvest; the outpouring of the spirit; further judgment on the world's economy; the final persecution of the Church; the redemption of the Jews; the final battle and return of the Lord.Before going into all that, lets look at some loose ends from part one and their relation to the 'Rest of the Story'. In part one to explain the meaning of the sweetness in the riddle, we said: The honey, the sweetness is the word of God.
Then said Jonathan, .: see, I pray you, how mine eyes have been enlightened, because I tasted a little of this honey. 1 Sam 14;:29 And I took the little book out of the angel's hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: .. Rev 10:10
In each case here we took a passage out of context to make a connection between the sweetness and the word of God and the understanding it brings. But in each case there was a down side; a 'Rest of the Story' that we did not
go into. For Jonathan, eating the honey brought him under a sentence of death! There was a price to pay.
Then Saul said to Jonathan, Tell me what thou hast done. And Jonathan told him, and said, I did but taste a little honey with the end of the rod that was in mine hand, and, lo, I must die. 1 Sam 14:43 In the book of Revelation, when the prophet eats the book, there was a price to pay, a bitter result. And I took the little book out of the angel's hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter. Rev. 10:10 Now in our discussion of Samson's Riddle and him revealing it to his wife, the 'Rest of the Story', the downside is that, shortly after that, SHE DIES! What is this telling us? Is it a picture of the Church being caught up and away from the judgments? Is it a picture of the Church surviving through a period of judgments and caught away at the end? Or is it a picture of the Church persecuted and overcome by her enemies? The 'Rest of the Story' is that the Church must die. But what chess player would not sacrifice his queen to checkmate the enemy? [The Lord spoke this to me as I was writing this.] Now let's look a some specifics:
16 And Samson's wife wept before him, and said, Thou dost but hate me, and lovest me not: thou hast put forth a riddle unto the children of my people, and hast not told it me. And he said unto her, Behold, I have not told it my
father nor my mother, and shall I tell it thee? 17 And she wept before him the seven days, while their feast lasted: and it came to pass on the seventh day, that he told her, because she lay sore upon him: and she told the riddle to the children of her people. 18 And the men of the city said unto him on the seventh day before the sun went down, What is sweeter than honey? and what is stronger than a lion? And he said unto them, If ye had not plowed with my heifer, ye had not found out my riddle. 19 And the Spirit of the LORD came upon him, and he went down to Ashkelon, and slew thirty men of them, and took their spoil, and gave change of garments unto them which expounded the riddle. And his anger was kindled, and he went up to his father's house. 20 But Samson's wife was given to his companion, whom he had used as his friend. Judges 14:16-20 In verses 16 and 17, Samson's wife [the Church] weeps before him and pleads until he reveals the answer to the riddle. This illustrates the Church weeping in repentance before her Lord. She presses in till the great revelation comes and immediately reveals it to the world. It is a case of the cycle of judgment, redemption and harvest. Some judgments having brought the Church to her knees in the first place. Verse 18 shows the reason for the Lord's anger against the enemies of the Church who have "plowed with his heifer". So, in verse 19, following this redemption, during this time of harvest, the Lord executes further judgments on those who have come against His Church. "The gates of hell shall not prevail." Verse 19 ends with the phrase 'he went up to his father's house'. This clearly speaks of the Lord's Visitation to the Church. But what about verse 20? In Young's translation it reads:
and Samson's wife becometh his companion's, who is his friend. Who was Samson's companion? I always had the impression that he worked alone! Who was this mysterious guy who shows up out of nowhere and is never heard from again? At any rate, for the purpose of our end time prophetic vision; if Samson is a type of Jesus, then his companion and friend must be the Holy Spirit. Therefore to say his wife became his companion is to say the Church becomes the possession of the Holy Spirit! The Church is then possessed by the Holy Spirit; much in the same way that the virgin Mary was overshadowed by the Holy Spirit in Luke 1:35. This is another way of saying what the Lord said at the end of verse 19. That is He comes to visit and to dwell in his Fathers house, the Church.
This is the first statement of the judgment and redemption cycle. Now lets move on to Chapter 15. 1 But it came to pass within a while after, in the time of wheat harvest, that Samson visited his wife with a kid; and he said, I will go in to my wife into the chamber. But her father would not suffer him to go in. 2 And her father said, I verily thought that thou hadst utterly hated her; therefore I gave her to thy companion: is not her younger sister fairer than she? take her, I pray thee, instead of her. 3 And Samson said concerning them, Now shall I be more blameless than the Philistines, though I do them a displeasure. 4 And Samson went and caught three hundred foxes, and took firebrands, and turned tail to tail, and put a firebrand in the midst between two tails.
5 And when he had set the brands on fire, he let them go into the standing corn of the Philistines, and burnt up both the shocks, and also the standing corn, with the vineyards and olives. 6 Then the Philistines said, Who hath done this? And they answered, Samson, the son in law of the Timnite, because he had taken his wife, and given her to his companion. And the Philistines came up, and burnt her and her father with fire. 7 And Samson said unto them, Though ye have done this, yet will I be avenged of you, and after that I will cease. 8 And he smote them hip and thigh with a great slaughter: and he went down and dwelt in the top of the rock Etam. Judges 15:1-8
The cycle is partly restated here in Chapter 15. Verse 1 speaks of the Lord desiring to Visit his wife, his bride, the Church at wheat harvest. This is the time of Pentecost! Also in this verse the father causes a delay in the visitation. In verse two he says " I verily thought that thou hadst utterly hated her." This speaks of the judgment the Lord must bring against his Church first. [Judgment must needs begin at the house of God.] These judgments will be so severe that it will appear that the Lord had abandoned his Church but it will not be so. For the redemption comes quickly after. In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the LORD thy Redeemer. Isaiah 54:8
Psalm 79 shows this in two phases:
This is the Church interceding under judgment. 1 O God, the heathen are come into thine inheritance; thy holy temple have they defiled; they have laid Jerusalem on heaps. 2 The dead bodies of thy servants have they given to be meat unto the fowls of the heaven, the flesh of thy saints unto the beasts of the earth. 3 Their blood have they shed like water round about Jerusalem; and there was none to bury them. 4 We are become a reproach to our neighbours, a scorn and derision to them that are round about us. 5 How long, LORD? wilt thou be angry for ever? shall thy jealousy burn like fire? And this is her warfare prayer calling on the Lord to judge his enemies. 6 Pour out thy wrath upon the heathen that have not known thee, and upon the kingdoms that have not called upon thy name.
7 For they have devoured Jacob, and laid waste his dwelling place.
8 O remember not against us former iniquities: let thy tender mercies speedily prevent us: for we are brought very low. 9 Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of thy name: and deliver us, and purge away our sins, for thy name's sake. 10 Wherefore should the heathen say, Where is their God? let him be known among the heathen in our sight by the revenging of the blood of thy servants which is shed. 11 Let the sighing of the prisoner come before thee; according to the greatness of thy power preserve thou those that are appointed to die; 12 And render unto our neighbours sevenfold into their bosom their reproach, wherewith they have reproached thee, O Lord. 13 So we thy people and sheep of thy pasture will give thee thanks for ever: we will shew forth thy praise to all generations.
Samson's next move [verse 4 and 5] is an illustration of the Lord answering the prayers of the Church above. The Foxes Samson went and caug300 foxes. What do foxes stand for? First they are among the 'beasts of the earth' and Jesus and the second Adam is obeying
God's commandment to Adam in Genesis 1:28, to subdue the beasts of the earth or earthly demonic powers.
[See 'which of You Convicts Me of Sin?' By Bill Somers at http://www.do-you-love-me.org/wsomers/]
Secondly foxes speak specifically of demonic forces that come against the Church.
In Nehemiah, where the people are building the walls of Jerusalem, we see their enemies ridiculing them and their walls as weak enough for a fox to destroy. So a fox is a beast of the earth whose assignment is to attack the
holy city, the Church.
Now Tobiah the Ammonite was by him, and he said, Even that which they build, if a fox go up, he shall even break down their stone wall. Nehemiah 4:3 In the Song of Solomon, foxes are depicted attacking vines, and we know the
bible commonly uses the vine or vineyard to speak of the Church. Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes. Song of Solomon 2:15 Lamentations mentions foxes as part of the judgment on Jerusalem or Zion [the Church] Because of the mountain of Zion, which is desolate, the foxes walk upon it. Lamentations 5:18 In Matthew, Jesus mentions foxes and birds. These are the beasts of the earth and the fowls of the air. [Demonic Forces]. Because of their inroads into the Church, the holes and nests, the son of man is hindered from taking his place as the head. He cannot come to his rest and rest his head upon his body the Church till it is purged by judgment. The holes of the foxes are the enemies breaches in the wall. They are points where the hedge is broken down allowing the fox entrance to the vineyard. They are places where sin has opened a way
for the enemy to come in. They are the Gates of Hell. The nests of the birds are spiritual strongholds of wrong thinking and false doctrine that fill the Church today. And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head. Matthew 8:20 Later in Matthew, Jesus speaks of King Herod as 'that fox'. Recall that Herod was a leader in persecution of the Church, and suffered a terrible judgment for it in the book of Acts. And he said unto them, Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to day and to morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected. Luke 13:32 Note also the use of the phrase 'third day' in that quote. This speaks of the resurrection on the third day, and of the coming perfection of the Church on the millennial third day. Reinforcing our understanding that these things take place during the millenium. [See 'The Third Day in Prophecy' by Bill Somers] It is this perfection of the Church that results from the redemption. It is made possible by the subduing of the foxes. When the foxes holes are closed off, and the birds nests are eliminated, then the Son of Man will have that place to lay his head, a Church purified and holy, and dedicated only to serving him. A Church that is finally willing to die for Him.
Now back to Samson [verse 4,5], his use of the foxes was to destroy the Philistines crops. Their corn, their wine, their oil. Their entire economy was laid waste. From our end time perspective this speaks of world wide economic disaster, one of the judgments we expect during tribulation. So when the world falls apart, the Church will come together!
Now obviously [let's face it] verse 6 pictures the final persecution of the Church.
And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. Revelation 11:7 And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: .. . Revelation 13:7
Notice the Philistine reaction to these disasters: 6 Then the Philistines said, Who hath done this? And they answered, Samson, .." It is like the world will realize that these judgments are acts of God, and take revenge against Christians out of frustration. But God says: Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Romans 12:19 [See 'The How and the Therefore' by Bill Somers] In Joel there is a reference to the vine and the fig tree.
He hath laid my vine waste, and barked my fig tree: .. Joel 1:7 As the vine is taken to mean the Church, the fig tree is often used to mean Israel. And so we see that verses 7 and 8 picture the Lords final revenge against those who have destroyed his vineyard [the Church]. The next section looks at the end time finale with a focus on the Jews, the Men of Judah. This shows the Lord's final revenge against those who have barked his fig tree [Israel]. 9 Then the Philistines went up, and pitched in Judah, and spread themselves in Lehi. 10 And the men of Judah said, Why are ye come up against us? And they answered, To bind Samson are we come up, to do to him as he hath done to us. 11 Then three thousand men of Judah went to the top of the rock Etam, and said to Samson, Knowest thou not that the Philistines are rulers over us? what is this that thou hast done unto us?
And he said unto them, As they did
unto me, so have I done unto them. [See Joel 3:4] 12 And they said unto him, We are come down to bind thee, that we may deliver thee into the hand of the Philistines. And Samson said unto them, Swear unto me, that ye will not fall upon me yourselves. 13 And they spake unto him, saying, No; but we will bind thee fast, and deliver thee into their hand: but surely we will not kill thee. And they bound him with two new cords, and brought him up from the rock. 14 And when he came unto Lehi, the Philistines shouted against him: and the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon him, and the cords that were upon his arms became as flax that was burnt with fire, and his bands loosed from off his hands. 15 And he found a new jawbone of an ass, and put forth his hand, and took it, and slew a thousand men therewith. Judges 15:9-15 Now to understand this point here, reread the passage and filter out any reference to binding Samson, these details are irrelevant in this case. What this is saying is that there will come a time when the World [Philistines] will come against Israel [the men of Judah] to make war. They pitched and they spread themselves means they come ready to fight.
Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision. Joel 3:14
At this time the Jews of Israel will Call Upon the Lord, [Samson up on the rock of Etam] who will come down from the rock [down from heaven] and fight their enemy for them! So this part of the Samson story is a picture of the
Battle at Armageddon. When the Lord will save his people and destroy the remainder of His enemies. The LORD also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the LORD will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel. Joel 3:6