New International Version - UK
14 As he approached Lehi, the Philistines came towards him shouting. The Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon him. The ropes on his arms became like charred flax, and the bindings dropped from his hands. 15 Finding a fresh jawbone of a donkey, he grabbed it and struck down a thousand men.
16 Then Samson said,
‘With a donkey’s jawbone
I have made donkeys of them.[a]
With a donkey’s jawbone
I have killed a thousand men.’
17 When he finished speaking, he threw away the jawbone; and the place was called Ramath Lehi.[b]
18 Because he was very thirsty, he cried out to the Lord, ‘You have given your servant this great victory. Must I now die of thirst and fall into the hands of the uncircumcised?’ 19 Then God opened up the hollow place in Lehi, and water came out of it. When Samson drank, his strength returned and he revived. So the spring was called En Hakkore,[c] and it is still there in Lehi.
20 Samson led[d] Israel for twenty years in the days of the Philistines.
Samson and Delilah
16 One day Samson went to Gaza, where he saw a prostitute. He went in to spend the night with her. 2 The people of Gaza were told, ‘Samson is here!’ So they surrounded the place and lay in wait for him all night at the city gate. They made no move during the night, saying, ‘At dawn we’ll kill him.’
3 But Samson lay there only until the middle of the night. Then he got up and took hold of the doors of the city gate, together with the two posts, and tore them loose, bar and all. He lifted them to his shoulders and carried them to the top of the hill that faces Hebron.
4 Some time later, he fell in love with a woman in the Valley of Sorek whose name was Delilah. 5 The rulers of the Philistines went to her and said, ‘See if you can lure him into showing you the secret of his great strength and how we can overpower him so that we may tie him up and subdue him. Each one of us will give you eleven hundred shekels[e] of silver.’
6 So Delilah said to Samson, ‘Tell me the secret of your great strength and how you can be tied up and subdued.’
7 Samson answered her, ‘If anyone ties me with seven fresh bow-strings that have not been dried, I’ll become as weak as any other man.’
8 Then the rulers of the Philistines brought her seven fresh bow-strings that had not been dried, and she tied him with them. 9 With men hidden in the room, she called to him, ‘Samson, the Philistines are upon you!’ But he snapped the bow-strings as easily as a piece of string snaps when it comes close to a flame. So the secret of his strength was not discovered.
10 Then Delilah said to Samson, ‘You have made a fool of me; you lied to me. Come now, tell me how you can be tied.’
11 He said, ‘If anyone ties me securely with new ropes that have never been used, I’ll become as weak as any other man.’
12 So Delilah took new ropes and tied him with them. Then, with men hidden in the room, she called to him, ‘Samson, the Philistines are upon you!’ But he snapped the ropes off his arms as if they were threads.
13 Delilah then said to Samson, ‘All this time you have been making a fool of me and lying to me. Tell me how you can be tied.’
He replied, ‘If you weave the seven braids of my head into the fabric on the loom and tighten it with the pin, I’ll become as weak as any other man.’ So while he was sleeping, Delilah took the seven braids of his head, wove them into the fabric 14 and[f] tightened it with the pin.
Again she called to him, ‘Samson, the Philistines are upon you!’ He awoke from his sleep and pulled up the pin and the loom, with the fabric.
15 Then she said to him, ‘How can you say, “I love you,” when you won’t confide in me? This is the third time you have made a fool of me and haven’t told me the secret of your great strength.’ 16 With such nagging she prodded him day after day until he was sick to death of it.
17 So he told her everything. ‘No razor has ever been used on my head,’ he said, ‘because I have been a Nazirite dedicated to God from my mother’s womb. If my head were shaved, my strength would leave me, and I would become as weak as any other man.’
18 When Delilah saw that he had told her everything, she sent word to the rulers of the Philistines, ‘Come back once more; he has told me everything.’ So the rulers of the Philistines returned with the silver in their hands. 19 After putting him to sleep on her lap, she called for someone to shave off the seven braids of his hair, and so began to subdue him.[g] And his strength left him.
20 Then she called, ‘Samson, the Philistines are upon you!’
He awoke from his sleep and thought, ‘I’ll go out as before and shake myself free.’ But he did not know that the Lord had left him.
21 Then the Philistines seized him, gouged out his eyes and took him down to Gaza. Binding him with bronze shackles, they set him to grinding corn in the prison. 22 But the hair on his head began to grow again after it had been shaved.
- Judges 15:16 Or made a heap or two; the Hebrew for donkey sounds like the Hebrew for heap.
- Judges 15:17 Ramath Lehi means jawbone hill.
- Judges 15:19 En Hakkore means caller’s spring.
- Judges 15:20 Traditionally judged
- Judges 16:5 That is, about 13 kilograms
- Judges 16:14 Some Septuagint manuscripts; Hebrew replied, ‘I can if you weave the seven braids of my head into the fabric on the loom.’ 14 So she
- Judges 16:19 Hebrew; some Septuagint manuscripts and he began to weaken