Among the ancients no pastime was more common than that of proposing and answering difficult questions. The person who solved the question was honoured with a reward; he who failed in the attempt suffered a certain punishment; both the rewards and penalties were varied according to the disposition of the company. That the custom of proposing riddles was very ancient, and derived from the eastern nations, appears from the story of Samson, in the book of Judges, who proposed one to the Philistines at his nuptial feast. Nor were these questions confined to entertainments, but, in the primitive times, were proposed on other occasions, by those who desired to make proof of another's wisdom and learning. Agreeably to this custom, the queen of Sheba came to prove Solomon with hard questions, 1 Kings 10:1 .