Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn 1606 – 1669

Samson Tells a Riddle at his Feast

oil on canvas (126 × 175 cm) — 1638 Museum Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, Dresden

Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn biography

This work is linked to Judges 14:12

Tags: Samson

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Samson wants to marry a daughter of the Philistines, against his parents' wishes. At their wedding feast, our hero tells a riddle to some youths, who have been sent by the enemy to keep an eye on the invincible giant. Samson is on to them, and asks them this riddle: "Out of the eater came forth meat, and out of the strong came forth sweetness."

Only Samson could possibly know the answer, as he was referring to the lion he killed earlier and in whose carcass he had later found a swarm of bees.

The composition strongly resembles that of Leonardo da Vinci's Last Supper. In the center, the serene bride. On the right, the youths with Samson (with his characteristic long hair). On the left, the other wedding guests.

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