Riddles of The Bible

By: Tre Brock (author, Zablocki Bros. LLC) on July 12th, 2013 02:17 PM.


Riddles have been used throughout history as a test of many of the greatest men, both real and mythical, to prove that they are not only men of great physical prowess and pride; but also that they have mental superiority over their peers. In the bible, like many religious texts, riddles are posed by God and many God-like men to test people and expose their vices. One simple riddle from the bible that is somewhat on the lighter note (but not really):

Three things are never satisfied;
four never say, "Enough":
Sheol, the barren womb,
the land never satisfied with water,
and the fire that never says, "Enough".

- Proverbs 30:15-16

The most famous and talked about riddle from the bible is Samson's honey and lion riddle. Samson plans to ask a Philistine woman to marry him. On the way to ask her he is attacked by a lion that he promptly rips apart with the power of God, keeping it a secret. After he receives the woman's parent's approval they arrange the marriage. On his way to the wedding, he sees that bees have began to live in the lion and make honey. Samson marries the Philistine woman and at his wedding he tells his groomsman a riddle. If they can answer it correctly he will give them thirty pieces of fine linen and garments. The riddle was:

Out of the eater, something to eat;
Out of the strong, something sweet.

The groomsman can not solve it so they become angry and tell Samson's wife that if she can not discover the answer to the riddle that her own house and her father's will be burnt. She comes to Samson very torn by the groomsmen's demands so he tells her the answer. She then tells the groomsmen the answer who tell Samson:

What is sweeter than honey?
and what is stronger than a lion?

He knows they only know the answer because they plowed with his heifer. He then goes on a rampage killing 30 Philistines, then giving their garments to his groomsmen. The point of the riddle was to test these men and eventually punish them for their greed.

At some points in the bible, such as Daniel 5:12, it is said how important the ability to solve a riddle is. In the bible, the ability to solve and explain riddles is apparently a sign of great knowledge, or it is assumed those with great minds are great with riddles. Other mention of riddles from the bible can be found at the following: Ezekiel 17:1-24, Proverbs 1:6 and Habakkuk 2:6.

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