Like a Young Kid

Like a Young Kid October 2, 2014

On his way to visit a pleasing woman in Timnah, Samson is attacked by a lion (Judges 14). He defeats the lion, tearing it “like a young goat,” and then heads on to visit the lady.

Does tearing a lion “like a young goat” mean tearing a lion “easily”? Is it easy to tear a young goat?

We are supposed to hear sacrificial overtones. Just a chapter earlier, Samson’s parents offered a “young goat” to the angel of Yahweh who announced Samson’s birth (13:15, 19). Later in the Samson narrative, he brings a kid to his now-wife (15:1), in an obvious bid to have his wife returned and perhaps produce some kids with her.

The sacrificial and marital dimensions of “kid” come together in the scene with the lion. Filled with the Spirit, Samson tears the lion as if for sacrifice, then goes to visit his future bride. That same “sacrifice” will yield sweet honey, which Samson gives as a gift to the woman’s parents. Samson defeats the ferocious enemy, and wins the bride; when he tears the lion, it becomes what the land is supposed to be, a land of honey, which is to say, a bridal land (cf. Song of Songs 5:1).

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