In an age without television or other leisure-time pursuits, the people of Bible times often used riddles as a form of entertainment. Like Samson, they would pose a puzzling or mystifying question or problem and see who could figure it out.
Some of these riddle games were long-term deals. Samson gave his friends seven days to solve his riddle.
The Queen of Sheba tested Solomon, an Israelite king who was known for his wisdom, with riddles (1 Kings 10:1). The Hebrew word behind “riddle” in this passage is translated elsewhere in the King James Version as “hard questions” (1 Kings 10:1; 2 Chronicles 9:1).
Judges 14:12 – Samson said unto them [thirty friends], I will now put forth a riddle unto you.