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What’s the Bible story behind Lyle’s Golden Syrup?

Author: Bible Society, 21 February 2024

Lyle’s Golden Syrup has had a rebrand, losing the famous Bible-based logo featuring a lion and a swarm of bees. 

The rebrand is the first in almost 150 years, with Lyle’s saying that the branding has been ‘revitalised for the modern UK family.' But what’s the story behind the original logo?

The Biblical quote from Lyle's golden syrup logo 

It’s found in Judges 14, where Samson, the super-strong judge who warred with the Philistines all his life, killed a young lion. A few days later he found a swarm of bees and some honey inside the lion’s carcass, and ate some of it.

Alongside this there’s the story of his courtship of a Philistine woman. At the wedding feast with 30 young Philistine men, Samson made a wager that they couldn’t guess a riddle he would tell them, with the forfeit being fine linen and clothes for each of them if he lost. 

The riddle was: ‘Out of the eater [the lion] came something to eat; out of the strong came something sweet [the honey]’ (Judges 14.14, GNB). When the Philistines were unable to guess it, they persuaded Samson’s new wife to get the answer from him, and they won their wager. Furious, Samson killed 30 other Philistines and gave their fine clothes to the wedding guests to settle the bet. 

His new father-in-law, not unreasonably assuming that the marriage had broken down, gave the bride to the best man. It’s fair to say that things escalated from there, and it’s not a happy story. 

In the Bible, Samson is an example of someone who’s very powerful but lacks wisdom. His great gifts were often squandered, and his lack of self-discipline led to him being weakened, captured and blinded. Only when he turns back to God in prayer is his strength restored for one last victory. 

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