Judges 13:1–14:20

Philistines Oppress Again

1 Now the sons of Israel aagain did evil in the sight of the Lord, so that the Lord gave them into the hands of the Philistines forty years.

2 There was a certain man of aZorah, of the family of the Danites, whose name was Manoah; and his wife was barren and had borne no children.

3 aThen the angel of the Lord appeared to the woman and said to her, “Behold now, you are barren and have borne no children, but you shall conceive and give birth to a son.

4 “Now therefore, be careful anot to drink wine or strong drink, nor eat any unclean thing.

5 aFor behold, you shall conceive and give birth to a son, and no razor shall come upon his head, for the boy shall be a bNazirite to God from the womb; and he shall begin to deliver Israel from the hands of the Philistines.”

6 Then the woman came and told her husband, saying, “aA man of God came to me and his appearance was like the appearance of the angel of God, very awesome. And I did not ask him where he came from, nor did he tell me his name.

7 “But he said to me, ‘Behold, you shall conceive and give birth to a son, and now you shall not drink wine or strong drink nor eat any unclean thing, for the boy shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb to the day of his death.’ ”

8 Then Manoah entreated the Lord and said, “O Lord, please let athe man of God whom You have sent come to us again that he may teach us what to do for the boy who is to be born.”

9 God listened to the voice of Manoah; and athe angel of God came again to the woman as she was sitting in the field, but Manoah her husband was not with her.

10 So the woman ran quickly and told her 1husband, “Behold, athe man who 2came the other day has appeared to me.”

11 Then Manoah arose and followed his wife, and when he came to the man he said to him, “Are you athe man who spoke to the woman?” And he said, “I am.”

12 Manoah said, “Now when your words come to pass, what shall be the boy’s mode of life and his vocation?”

13 So athe angel of the Lord said to Manoah, “bLet the woman pay attention 1to all that I said.

14 “She should not eat anything that comes from the avine nor drink wine or strong drink, nor eat any unclean thing; let her observe all that I commanded.”

15 Then Manoah said to athe angel of the Lord, “Please let us detain you so that we may prepare a young goat for you.”

16 The angel of the Lord said to Manoah, “Though you detain me, aI will not eat your 1food, but if you prepare a burnt offering, then offer it to the Lord.” For Manoah did not know that he was the angel of the Lord.

17 Manoah said to the angel of the Lord, “aWhat is your name, so that when your words come to pass, we may honor you?”

18 But the angel of the Lord said to him, “Why do you ask my name, seeing it is 1awonderful?”

19 So aManoah took the young goat with the grain offering and offered it on the rock to the Lord, and He performed wonders while Manoah and his wife looked on.

20 For it came about when the flame went up from the altar toward heaven, that the angel of the Lord ascended in the flame of the altar. When Manoah and his wife saw this, they afell on their faces to the ground.

21 Now the angel of the Lord did not appear to Manoah or his wife again. aThen Manoah knew that he was the angel of the Lord.

22 So Manoah said to his wife, “aWe will surely die, for we have seen God.”

23 But his wife said to him, “If the Lord had desired to kill us, He would not have accepted a burnt offering and a grain offering from our hands, nor would He have ashown us all these things, nor would He have let us hear things like this at this time.”

24 Then the woman gave birth to a son and named him Samson; and the achild grew up and the Lord blessed him.

25 And athe Spirit of the Lord began to stir him in 1bMahaneh-dan, between Zorah and Eshtaol.

Chapter 14

Samson’s Marriage

1 Then Samson went down to Timnah and saw a woman in Timnah, one of the daughters of the Philistines.

2 So he came 1back and told his father and 2mother, “I saw a woman in Timnah, one of the daughters of the Philistines; now therefore, get her for me as a wife.”

3 Then his father and his mother said to him, “Is there no woman among the daughters of your 1arelatives, or among all 2our people, that you go to btake a wife from the uncircumcised Philistines?” But Samson said to his father, “Get her for me, for she 3looks good to me.”

4 However, his father and mother did not know that ait was of the Lord, for He was seeking an occasion against the Philistines. Now at that time the Philistines were ruling over Israel.

5 Then Samson went down to Timnah with his father and mother, and came as far as the vineyards of Timnah; and behold, a young lion came roaring toward him.

6 aThe Spirit of the Lord 1came upon him mightily, so that bhe tore him as one tears a young goat though he had nothing in his hand; but he did not tell his father or mother what he had done.

7 So he went down and talked to the woman; and she 1looked good to Samson.

8 When he returned later to take her, he turned aside to look at the carcass of the lion; and behold, a swarm of bees and honey were in the body of the lion.

9 So he scraped 1the honey into his 2hands and went on, eating as he went. When he came to his father and mother, he gave some to them and they ate it; but he did not tell them that he had scraped the honey out of the body of the lion.

10 Then his father went down to the woman; and Samson made a feast there, for the young men customarily did this.

11 When they saw him, they brought thirty companions to be with him.

Samson’s Riddle

12 Then Samson said to them, “Let me now apropound a riddle to you; if you will indeed tell it to me within the seven days of the feast, and find it out, then I will give you thirty linen wraps and thirty bchanges of clothes.

13 “But if you are unable to tell me, then you shall give me thirty linen wraps and thirty changes of clothes.” And they said to him, “Propound your riddle, that we may hear it.”

14 So he said to them,

“Out of the eater came something to eat,

And out of the strong came something sweet.”

But they could not tell the riddle in three days.

15 Then it came about on the 1fourth day that they said to Samson’s wife, “aEntice your husband, so that he will tell us the riddle, bor we will burn you and your father’s house with fire. Have you invited us to impoverish us? Is this not so?

16 Samson’s wife wept before him and said, “aYou only hate me, and you do not love me; you have propounded a riddle to the sons of my people, and have not told it to me.” And he said to her, “Behold, I have not told it to my father or mother; so should I tell you?”

17 However she wept before him seven days while their feast lasted. And on the seventh day he told her because she pressed him so hard. She then told the riddle to the sons of her people.

18 So the men of the city said to him on the seventh day before the sun went down,

“What is sweeter than honey?

And what is stronger than a lion?”

And he said to them,

“If you had not plowed with my heifer,

You would not have found out my riddle.”

19 Then athe Spirit of the Lord 1came upon him mightily, and he went down to Ashkelon and killed thirty of them and took their spoil and gave the changes of clothes to those who told the riddle. And his anger burned, and he went up to his father’s house.

20 But Samson’s wife was agiven to his companion who had been his 1friend.

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