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17 She cried on his shoulder[a] until the party was almost over.[b] Finally, on the seventh day, he told her because she had nagged him so much.[c] Then she told the young men the solution to the riddle.[d] 18 On the seventh day, before the sun set, the men of the city said to him,

“What is sweeter than honey?
What is stronger than a lion?”

He said to them,

“If you had not plowed with my heifer,[e]
you would not have solved my riddle!”

19 The Lord’s Spirit empowered him. He went down to Ashkelon and killed thirty men. He took their clothes[f] and gave them[g] to the men who had solved the riddle. He was furious as he went back home.[h]

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  1. Judges 14:17 tn Heb “on him.”
  2. Judges 14:17 tn Heb “the seven days [during] which they held the party.” This does not mean she cried for the entire seven days; v. 15 indicates otherwise. She cried for the remainder of the seven day period, beginning on the fourth day.
  3. Judges 14:17 tn Heb “because she forced him.”
  4. Judges 14:17 tn Heb “she told the riddle to the sons of her people.”
  5. Judges 14:18 sn Plowed with my heifer. This statement emphasizes that the Philistines had utilized a source of information which should have been off-limits to them. Heifers were used in plowing (Hos 10:11), but one typically used one’s own farm animals, not another man’s.
  6. Judges 14:19 tn Heb “equipment”; or “gear.”
  7. Judges 14:19 tn Heb “changes [of clothes].”
  8. Judges 14:19 tn Heb “he went up to his father’s house.”