16 Samson went to Gaza,h where he saw a prostitute and went to bed with her. 2 When the Gazites heard that Samson was there, they surrounded the place and waited in ambush for him all that night at the city gate. They kept quiet all night, saying, “Let’s wait until dawn; then we will kill him.” 3 But Samson stayed in bed only until midnight. Then he got up, took hold of the doors of the city gate along with the two gateposts, and pulled them out, bar and all. He put them on his shoulders and took them to the top of the mountain overlooking Hebron.
4 Some time later, he fell in love with a woman named Delilah, who lived in the Sorek Valley. 5 The Philistine leadersa went to her and said, “Persuade him to tell youA where his great strength comes from, so we can overpower him, tie him up, and make him helpless. Each of us will then give you 1,100 pieces of silver.”
8 The Philistine leaders brought her seven fresh bowstrings that had not been dried, and she tied him up with them. 9 While the men in ambush were waiting in her room, she called out to him, “Samson, the Philistines are here!”* But he snapped the bowstrings as a strand of yarn snaps when it touches fire. The secret of his strength remained unknown.
11 He told her, “If they tie me up with new ropes that have never been used,b I will become weak and be like any other man.”
12 Delilah took new ropes, tied him up with them, and shouted, “Samson, the Philistines are here!” But while the men in ambush were waiting in her room, he snapped the ropes off his arms like a thread.
He told her, “If you weave the seven braids on my head into the fabric on a loom—”*
15 “How can you say, ‘I love you,’ ”c she told him, “when your heart is not with me? This is the third time you have mocked me and not told me what makes your strength so great!”
16 Because she nagged him day after day and pleaded with him until she wore him out,D 17 he told her the whole truth and said to her, “My hair has never been cut,E because I am a Nazirited to God from birth. If I am shaved, my strength will leave me, and I will become weak and be like any other man.”
18 When Delilah realized that he had told her the whole truth, she sent this message to the Philistine leaders: “Come one more time, for he has told me the whole truth.” The Philistine leaders came to her and brought the silver with them.
19 Then she let him fall asleep on her lap and called a man to shave off the seven braids on his head. In this way, she made him helpless, and his strength left him. 20 Then she cried, “Samson, the Philistines are here!” When he awoke from his sleep, he said, “I will escape as I did before and shake myself free.” But he did not know that the Lord had left him.e
21 The Philistines seized him and gouged out his eyes. They brought him down to Gaza and bound him with bronze shackles, and he was forced to grind grain in the prison. 22 But his hair began to grow back after it had been shaved.
23 Now the Philistine leaders gathered together to offer a great sacrifice to their god Dagon.f They rejoiced and said:
Our god has handed over
our enemy Samson to us.
24 When the people saw him, they praised their godg and said:
Our god has handed over to us
our enemy who destroyed our land
and who multiplied our dead.
25 When they were in good spirits,F they said, “Bring Samson here to entertain us.” So they brought Samson from prison, and he entertained them. They had him stand between the pillars.
26 Samson said to the young man who was leading him by the hand, “Lead me where I can feel the pillars supporting the temple, so I can lean against them.” 27 The temple was full of men and women; all the leaders of the Philistines were there, and about three thousand men and women were on the roof watching Samson entertain them. 28 He called out to the Lord: “Lord God, please remember me.a Strengthen me, God, just once more. With one act of vengeance, let me pay back the Philistines for my two eyes.” 29 Samson took hold of the two middle pillars supporting the temple and leaned against them, one on his right hand and the other on his left. 30 Samson said, “Let me die with the Philistines.” He pushed with all his might, and the temple fell on the leaders and all the people in it. And those he killed at his death were more than those he had killed in his life.
About Christian Standard Bible
The Christian Standard Bible (CSB) is a highly trustworthy, faithful translation that is proven to be the optimal blend of accuracy and readability. It’s as literal to the original as possible without sacrificing clarity. The CSB is poised to become the translation that pastors rely on and Bible readers turn to again and again to read and to share with others.
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