And after a time he returned to take her
Matters being agreed on, and settled on both sides, and the espousals made, he and his parents returned, and, at the proper usual time for the consummation of the marriage, he went again to Timnath for that purpose. It is in the Hebrew text, "after days" F3, which sometimes signifies a year, see ( Genesis 4:3 ) ( Exodus 13:10 ) and so Ben Gersom interprets it, that a year after this woman became Samson's wife (i.e. betrothed to him) he returned to take her to himself to wife; and it seems, adds he, that twelve months were given her to prepare herself; and some considerable time must have elapsed, as appears from what had happened to the carcass of the lion, next related:
and he turned aside to see the carcass of the lion:
just before he came to Timnath he thought of the lion he had slain some time ago, and he went a little out of the way to see what was become of it, or had happened to it. Josephus says F4, when he slew it he threw it into a woody place, perhaps among some bushes, a little out of the road; for which reason it had not been seen and removed, and was in a more convenient place for what was done in it:
and, behold, [there was] a swarm of bees and honey in the carcass of
and though naturalists F5 tell us that bees are averse to flesh, and will not touch any, yet in the course of time that the carcass of this lion had lain, its flesh might have been clean eaten off by the fowls of the air, or was quite dried away and consumed, so that it was nothing but a mere skeleton; a bony carcass, as the Syriac version. Josephus F6 says, the swarm was in the breast of the lion; and it is no more unlikely that a swarm of bees should settle in it, and continue and build combs, and lay up their honey there, than that the like should be done in the skull of Onesilus king of Cyprus, when hung up and dried, as Herodotus F7 relates. Besides, according to Virgil F8, this was a method made use of to produce a new breed of bees, even from the corrupt gore and putrid bowels of slain beasts; and Pythagoras F9 observes, they are produced from thence. This may be an emblem of those sweet blessings of grace, which come to the people of Christ through his having destroyed Satan the roaring lion, and all his works; particularly which came to the poor Gentiles, when the devil was cast out from them, and his empire there demolished.
F3 (Mymym) "a diebus", Montanus; "post dies", Vatablus.
F4 Ut supra. (Antiqu. l. 5. c. 8. sect. 5.)
F5 Aristot. Hist. Animal. l. 9. c. 40. Plin. Nat. Hist. l. 11. c. 21.
F6 Ut supra, (Antiqu. l. 5. c. 8.) sect. 6.
F7 Terpsichore, sive, l. 5. c. 114.
F8 "----quoquo modo caesis" Georgic. l. 4. ver. 284, &c. "Liguefacta boum per viscera" Ib ver. 555.
F9 Apud Ovid. Melamorph. l. 15. fab. 4. ver. 365, 366.