Judges 15:1–16:31

Samson Burns Philistine Crops

1 But after a while, in the time of wheat harvest, Samson visited his wife awith a young goat, and said, “I will go in to my wife in her room.” But her father did not let him enter.

2 Her father said, “I really thought that you hated her intensely; so I agave her to your companion. Is not her younger sister 1more beautiful than she? Please let her be yours 2instead.”

3 Samson then said to them, “This time I shall be blameless in regard to the Philistines when I do them harm.”

4 Samson went and caught three hundred foxes, and took torches, and turned the foxes tail to tail and put one torch in the middle between two tails.

5 When he had set fire to the torches, he released 1the foxes into the standing grain of the Philistines, thus burning up both the shocks and the standing grain, along with the vineyards and groves.

6 Then the Philistines said, “Who did this?” And they said, “Samson, the son-in-law of the Timnite, because 1he took his wife and gave her to his companion.” So the Philistines came up and aburned her and her father with fire.

7 Samson said to them, “Since you act like this, I will surely take revenge on you, but after that I will quit.”

8 He struck them 1ruthlessly with a great slaughter; and he went down and lived in the cleft of the rock of Etam.

9 Then the Philistines went up and camped in Judah, and spread out in Lehi.

10 The men of Judah said, “Why have you come up against us?” And they said, “We have come up to bind Samson in order to do to him as he did to us.”

11 Then 3,000 men of Judah went down to the cleft of the rock of Etam and said to Samson, “Do you not know athat the Philistines are rulers over us? What then is this that you have done to us?” And he said to them, “As they did to me, so I have done to them.”

12 They said to him, “We have come down to bind you so that we may give you into the hands of the Philistines.” And Samson said to them, “Swear to me that you will not 1kill me.”

13 So they said to 1him, “No, but we will bind you fast and give you into their hands; yet surely we will not kill you.” Then they bound him with two new ropes and brought him up from the rock.

14 When he came to Lehi, the Philistines shouted as they met him. And athe Spirit of the Lord 1came upon him mightily so that the ropes that were on his arms were as flax that is burned with fire, and his bonds 2dropped from his hands.

15 He found a fresh jawbone of a donkey, so he 1reached out and took it and 2killed aa thousand men with it.

16 Then Samson said,

“With the jawbone of a donkey,

1Heaps upon heaps,

With the jawbone of a donkey

I have 2killed a thousand men.”

17 When he had finished speaking, he threw the jawbone from his hand; and he named that place 1Ramath-lehi.

18 Then he became very thirsty, and he acalled to the Lord and said, “You have given this great deliverance by the hand of Your servant, and now 1shall I die of thirst 2and fall into the hands of the uncircumcised?”

19 But God split the hollow place that is in Lehi so that water came out of it. When he drank, ahis 1strength returned and he revived. Therefore he named it 2En-hakkore, which is in Lehi to this day.

20 So ahe judged Israel twenty years in bthe days of the Philistines.

Chapter 16

Samson’s Weakness

1 Now Samson went to aGaza and saw a harlot there, and went in to her.

2 When it was told to the Gazites, saying, “Samson has come here,” they asurrounded the place and lay in wait for him all night at the gate of the city. And they kept silent all night, saying, “Let us wait until the morning light, then we will kill him.”

3 Now Samson lay until midnight, and at midnight he arose and took hold of the doors of the city gate and the two posts and pulled them up along with the bars; then he put them on his shoulders and carried them up to the top of the mountain which is opposite Hebron.

4 After this it came about that he loved a woman in the valley of Sorek, whose name was Delilah.

5 The alords of the Philistines came up to her and said to her, “bEntice him, and see where his great strength lies and 1how we may overpower him that we may bind him to afflict him. Then we will each give you eleven hundred pieces of silver.”

6 So Delilah said to Samson, “Please tell me where your great strength is and 1how you may be bound to afflict you.”

7 Samson said to her, “If they bind me with seven fresh cords that have not been dried, then I will become weak and be like any other man.”

8 Then the lords of the Philistines brought up to her seven fresh cords that had not been dried, and she bound him with them.

9 Now she had men lying in wait in an inner room. And she said to him, “The Philistines are upon you, Samson!” But he snapped the cords as a string of tow snaps when it 1touches fire. So his strength was not discovered.

10 Then Delilah said to Samson, “Behold, you have deceived me and told me lies; now please tell me 1how you may be bound.”

11 He said to her, “If they bind me tightly with new ropes 1which have not been used, then I will become weak and be like any other man.”

12 So Delilah took new ropes and bound him with them and said to him, “The Philistines are upon you, Samson!” For the men were lying in wait in the inner room. But he snapped 1the ropes from his arms like a thread.

13 Then Delilah said to Samson, “Up to now you have deceived me and told me lies; tell me 1how you may be bound.” And he said to her, “If you weave the seven locks of my 2hair with the web 3[and fasten it with a pin, then I will become weak and be like any other man.”

14 So while he slept, Delilah took the seven locks of his 1hair and wove them into the web]. And she fastened it with the pin and said to him, “The Philistines are upon you, Samson!” But he awoke from his sleep and pulled out the pin of the loom and the web.

Delilah Extracts His Secret

15 Then she said to him, “aHow can you say, ‘I love you,’ when your heart is not with me? You have deceived me these three times and have not told me where your great strength is.”

16 It came about when she pressed him daily with her words and urged him, that his soul was 1annoyed to death.

17 So he told her all that was in his heart and said to her, “A razor has never come on my head, for I have been a aNazirite to God from my mother’s womb. If I am shaved, then my strength will leave me and I will become weak and be like any other man.”

18 When Delilah saw that he had told her all that was in his heart, she sent and called the lords of the Philistines, saying, “Come up once more, for he has told me all that is in his heart.” Then the lords of the Philistines came up to her and brought the money in their hands.

19 She made him sleep on her knees, and called for a man and had him shave off the seven locks of his 1hair. Then she began to afflict him, and his strength left him.

20 She said, “The Philistines are upon you, Samson!” And he awoke from his sleep and said, “I will go out as at other times and shake myself free.” But he did not know that athe Lord had departed from him.

21 Then the Philistines seized him and gouged out his eyes; and they brought him down to Gaza and bound him with bronze chains, and he was a grinder in the prison.

22 However, the hair of his head began to grow again after it was shaved off.

23 Now the lords of the Philistines assembled to offer a great sacrifice to aDagon their god, and to rejoice, for they said,

“Our god has given Samson our enemy into our hands.”

24 When the people saw him, athey praised their god, for they said,

“Our god has given our enemy into our hands,

Even the destroyer of our country,

Who has slain many of us.”

25 It so happened when 1they were in high spirits, that they said, “Call for Samson, that he may amuse us.” So they called for Samson from the prison, and he 2entertained them. And they made him stand between the pillars.

26 Then Samson said to the boy who was holding his hand, “Let me feel the pillars on which the house rests, that I may lean against them.”

27 Now the house was full of men and women, and all the lords of the Philistines were there. And about 3,000 men and women were on the roof looking on while Samson was amusing them.

Samson Is Avenged

28 aThen Samson called to the Lord and said, “O Lord 1God, please remember me and please strengthen me just this time, O God, that I may at once bbe avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes.”

29 Samson grasped the two middle pillars on which the house rested, and braced himself against them, the one with his right hand and the other with his left.

30 And Samson said, “Let me die with the Philistines!” And he bent with 1all his might so that the house fell on the lords and all the people who were in it. So the dead whom he killed at his death were more than those whom he killed in his life.

31 Then his brothers and all his father’s household came down, took him, brought him up and buried him between Zorah and Eshtaol in the tomb of Manoah his father. aThus he had judged Israel twenty years.

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