The Birth of Samson

13 And the people of Israel again (A)did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, so the Lord gave them (B)into the hand of the Philistines for forty years.

There was a certain man of (C)Zorah, of the tribe of the Danites, whose name was Manoah. (D)And his wife was barren and had no children. (E)And the angel of the Lord appeared to the woman and said to her, “Behold, you are barren and have not borne children, but you shall conceive and bear a son. Therefore be careful (F)and drink no wine or strong drink, and eat nothing unclean, for behold, you shall conceive and bear a son. (G)No razor shall come upon his head, for the child shall be (H)a Nazirite to God from the womb, and he shall (I)begin to save Israel from the hand of the Philistines.” Then the woman came and told her husband, (J)“A man of God came to me, and his appearance was like the appearance of the angel of God, very awesome. (K)I did not ask him where he was from, and he did not tell me his name, but he said to me, (L)‘Behold, you shall conceive and bear a son. So then drink no wine or strong drink, and eat nothing unclean, for the child shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb to the day of his death.’”

Then Manoah prayed to the Lord and said, “O Lord, please let the man of God whom you sent come again to us and teach us what we are to do with the child who will be born.” And God listened to the voice of Manoah, and the angel of God came again to the woman as she sat in the field. But Manoah her husband was not with her. 10 So the woman ran quickly and told her husband, “Behold, the man who came to me the other day has appeared to me.” 11 And Manoah arose and went after his wife and came to the man and said to him, “Are you the man who spoke to this woman?” And he said, “I am.” 12 And Manoah said, “Now when your words come true, (M)what is to be the child's manner of life, and what is his mission?” 13 And the angel of the Lord said to Manoah, “Of all that I said to the woman let her be careful. 14 She may not eat of anything that comes from the vine, (N)neither let her drink wine or strong drink, or eat any unclean thing. All that I commanded her let her observe.”

15 Manoah said to the angel of the Lord, “Please let us detain you and (O)prepare a young goat for you.” 16 And the angel of the Lord said to Manoah, “If you detain me, I will not eat of your food. 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 And Manoah said to the angel of the Lord, (P)“What is your name, so that, when your words come true, we may honor you?” 18 And the angel of the Lord said to him, (Q)“Why do you ask my name, seeing (R)it is wonderful?” 19 So (S)Manoah took the young goat with the grain offering, and offered it on the rock to the Lord, to the one who works[a] wonders, and Manoah and his wife were watching. 20 And when the flame went up toward heaven from the altar, the angel of the Lord went up in the flame of the altar. Now Manoah and his wife were watching, (T)and they fell on their faces to the ground.

21 The angel of the Lord appeared no more to Manoah and to his wife. (U)Then Manoah knew that he was the angel of the Lord. 22 And Manoah said to his wife, (V)“We shall surely die, for we have seen God.” 23 But his wife said to him, “If the Lord had meant to kill us, he would not have accepted a burnt offering and a grain offering at our hands, or shown us all these things, or now announced to us such things as these.” 24 And the woman bore a son and called his name Samson. (W)And the young man grew, and the Lord blessed him. 25 (X)And the Spirit of the Lord began to stir him in Mahaneh-dan, between (Y)Zorah and Eshtaol.

Footnotes

  1. Judges 13:19 Septuagint, Vulgate; Hebrew Lord, and working

Samson and Delilah

16 Samson went to (A)Gaza, and there he saw a prostitute, and he went in to her. The Gazites were told, “Samson has come here.” And they (B)surrounded the place and set an ambush for him all night at the gate of the city. They kept quiet all night, saying, “Let us wait till the light of the morning; then we will kill him.” But Samson lay till midnight, and at midnight he arose and took hold of the doors of the gate of the city and the two posts, and pulled them up, bar and all, and put them on his shoulders and carried them to the top of the hill that is in front of Hebron.

After this he loved a woman in the Valley of Sorek, whose name was Delilah. And (C)the lords of the Philistines came up to her and said to her, (D)“Seduce him, and see where his great strength lies, and by what means we may overpower him, that we may bind him to (E)humble him. And we will each give you 1,100 pieces of silver.” So Delilah said to Samson, “Please tell me where your great strength lies, and how you might be bound, that one could (F)subdue you.”

Samson said to her, “If they bind me with seven fresh bowstrings that have not been dried, (G)then I shall become weak and be like any other man.” Then the lords of the Philistines brought up to her seven fresh bowstrings that had not been dried, and she bound him with them. Now she had men lying in ambush in an inner chamber. And she said to him, “The Philistines are upon you, Samson!” But he snapped the bowstrings, as a thread of flax snaps when it touches the fire. So the secret of his strength was not known.

10 Then Delilah said to Samson, “Behold, you have mocked me and told me lies. Please tell me how you might be bound.” 11 And he said to her, “If they bind me with (H)new ropes that have not been used, then I shall 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!” And the men lying in ambush were in an inner chamber. But he snapped the ropes off his arms like a thread.

13 Then Delilah said to Samson, “Until now you have mocked me and told me lies. Tell me how you might be bound.” And he said to her, “If you weave the seven locks of my head with the web and fasten it tight with the pin, then I shall become weak and be like any other man.” 14 So while he slept, Delilah took the seven locks of his head and wove them into the web.[a] And she made them tight with the pin and said to him, “The Philistines are upon you, Samson!” But he awoke from his sleep and pulled away the pin, the loom, and the web.

15 And she said to him, (I)“How can you say, ‘I love you,’ when your heart is not with me? You have mocked me these three times, and you have not told me where your great strength lies.” 16 And (J)when she pressed him hard with her words day after day, and urged him, his soul was vexed to death. 17 And he told her all his heart, and said to her, (K)“A razor has never come upon my head, for I have been a Nazirite to God from my mother's womb. If my head is shaved, then my strength will leave me, and I shall become weak and be like any other man.”

18 When Delilah saw that he had told her all his heart, she sent and called the lords of the Philistines, saying, “Come up again, for he has told me all his heart.” Then the lords of the Philistines came up to her and brought (L)the money in their hands. 19 She made him sleep on her knees. And she called a man and had him shave off the seven locks of his head. Then she began (M)to torment him, and his strength left him. 20 And 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 (N)the Lord had left him. 21 And the Philistines seized him and gouged out his eyes and brought him down to Gaza and bound him with bronze shackles. (O)And he ground at the mill in the prison. 22 But the hair of his head began to grow again after it had been shaved.

The Death of Samson

23 Now the lords of the Philistines gathered to offer a great sacrifice to (P)Dagon their god and to rejoice, and they said, “Our god has given Samson our enemy into our hand.” 24 And when the people saw him, (Q)they praised their god. For they said, “Our god has given our enemy into our hand, the ravager of our country, who has killed many of us.”[b] 25 And (R)when their hearts were merry, they said, “Call Samson, that he may entertain us.” So they called Samson out of the prison, and he entertained them. They made him stand between the pillars. 26 And Samson said to the young man who held him by the 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. All the lords of the Philistines were there, and (S)on the roof there were about 3,000 men and women, who looked on while Samson entertained.

28 Then Samson called to the Lord and said, “O Lord God, (T)please remember me and please strengthen me only this once, O God, that I may be avenged on the Philistines for my two eyes.” 29 And Samson grasped the two middle pillars on which the house rested, and he leaned his weight against them, his right hand on the one and his left hand on the other. 30 And Samson said, “Let me die with the Philistines.” Then he bowed with all his strength, and the house fell upon the lords and upon all the people who were in it. So the dead whom he killed at his death were more than those whom he had killed during his life. 31 Then his brothers and all his family came down and took him and brought him up and buried him (U)between Zorah and Eshtaol in the tomb of Manoah his father. He had judged Israel twenty years.

Footnotes

  1. Judges 16:14 Compare Septuagint; Hebrew lacks and fasten it tight… into the web
  2. Judges 16:24 Or who has multiplied our slain

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