Bible Question:

What is sweeter than honey and stronger than a lion in Samson's riddle?

Bible Answer:

Samson’s riddle is be found in Judges 14:14.

So he said to them, “Out of the eater came something to eat, And out of the strong came something sweet.” But they could not tell the riddle in three days. (NASB) Judges 14:14

Samson’s riddle came from one of his personal experiences. Judges 14:2-3 tell us that Samson saw a Philistine woman who looked good to him. So he went to his parents and said, “Get her for me, for she looks good to me” (NASB). Initially his parents objected, but they finally agreed. So both Samson and his parents went to visit the woman.

Then Samson went down to Timnah with his father and mother . . . And the Spirit of the LORD came upon him mightily, so that he tore him as one tears a kid though he had nothing in his hand; but he did not tell his father or mother what he had done. So he went down and talked to the woman; and she looked good to Samson. 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. So 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. (NASB) Judges 14:5-9

Apparently during the feast of the wedding, Samson presented the riddle (Judges 14:14) to thirty of the young men. The riddle can be understood since we know about Samson and the lion. When Samson says, “Out of the eater” he is talking about the lion. The lion is the eater. So when he says, “Out of the eater came something to eat,” he is referring to the honey that came out of the lion. The second part of the riddle – “out of the strong” refers to the lion again. So Samson is focusing on the lion and the honey. But the men could not solve the riddle because they did not know about Samson’s life experience. They finally asked his wife for help. Samson’s new wife helped the young men solve the riddle. This is what the young men said to Samson on the seventh day.

What is sweeter than honey? And what is stronger than a lion? (NASB) Judges 14:18

Their answer appears to be “nothing is sweeter than honey and nothing is stronger than a lion.” They knew about Samson’s experience with the lion and the honey.


Samson’s experience reveals a key spiritual fact. God will use the situations in our life to accomplish His will. Samson’s parents objected but God allowed Samson to be attracted to the woman.

However, his father and mother did not know that it was of the LORD, for He was seeking an occasion against the Philistines. Now at that time the Philistines were ruling over Israel. (NASB) Judges 14:4

God is in control of our lives to accomplish His purpose. It is a comfort to know that God is in control and that He uses each of us for His glory. We should always trust Him because He is with us. He cares for us and He is in control of the events around us. We are not alone in the rough road of life. He is here with us!