It says in sefer Shoftim (14,5-6) "And Shimshon and his father and mother went down to Timnas, and they came until the vineyards of Timnas, and behold, a young lion roared towards him. And there rested upon him the spirit of Hashem, and he tore it apart as one would tear apart a kid, and he had nothing in his hand, but he did not tell his father and mother what he had done".

It says clearly that Shimshon (Samson) went together with his father and mother, so why did they not see what happened? And why does it not say "a young lion roared towards them?


1 Answer 1


The Vilna Gaon here answers this problem according to what the gemara teaches in several places (e.g. Pesachim 40b) - "Go! Go!" we say to the Nazir, "Go around! Go around! Do not go close to the vineyard!". And as we know Shimshon was a Nazir, and behold, it says "and they came until the vineyards of Timnas".

Therefore Shimshon did not go with them but instead went around the vineyard, and thus he was in a different location when the incident occurred. Therefore, his father and mother did not see or know about what he did when he was alone.

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    Thankyou, Moshe! If you're interested in adding it to your answer, I had a bit of a look around and Qol Eliyahu (your source) was first published at the end of 1904. Although it's the most frequently quoted source for some of the Gra's hiddushim, the earliest one for this hiddush appears to be Likkutei Shoshanim, first published in 1837. It's in the end of that book, in a section titled "לקוטים מרבינו הגאון החסיד ז"ל". I don't know if it's available online, so it might not be as good as the link you provided.
    – Shimon bM
    Dec 16, 2013 at 1:36

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