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Sorek Bees

4_Sorek_Bees_2 One night, in the city of Timnah in the Sorek Valley, Philistine men impudently answered Sampson’s riddle with the words:  “What is sweeter than honey?”  Today, that answer is still true, and bees still thrive in the Sorek Valley, just a few meters from the ancient site of Timnah.  Luckily, however, their keepers have found more hospitable housing for them than the carcass of a lion.

Wheat in Israel

WheatSometimes, I read a story in the Bible and it causes me to laugh. Recently, I was in a study of the Judges, and I was reminded of one of the accounts of Samson.

After a while, in the time of wheat harvest, it happened that Samson visited his wife with a young goat. And he said, “Let me go in to my wife, into her room.” But her father would not permit him to go in. Her father said, “I really thought that you thoroughly hated her; therefore I gave her to your companion. Is not her younger sister better than she? Please, take her instead.” And Samson said to them, “This time I shall be blameless regarding the Philistines if I harm them!” Then Samson went and caught three hundred foxes; and he took torches, turned the foxes tail to tail, and put a torch between each pair of tails. When he had set the torches on fire, he let the foxes go into the standing grain of the Philistines, and burned up both the shocks and the standing grain, as well as the vineyards and olive groves. - Judges 15:1-5

This story just made me laugh. If there is a universal truth it is this: When it comes to girls, guys act crazy some times.

But, as you can read from the story, this takes place during the time of the wheat harvest. In Israel, the wheat is usually harvested in late May or June. In 2010, I saw a beautiful field of wheat in the Valley of Harod that was only a couple of weeks from being harvested. These fields are very common in a number of areas around Israel, but in particular in and around the Jezreel Valley and in the Shephelah.

We also read of wheat in the story of Ruth:

And Naomi said to Ruth her daughter-in-law, “It is good, my daughter, that you go out with his young women, and that people do not meet you in any other field.” So she stayed close by the young women of Boaz, to glean until the end of barley harvest and wheat harvest; and she dwelt with her mother-in-law. - Ruth 2:22-23