Judges 14-17 Amplified Bible (AMP)
14 Samson went down to Timnah and at Timnah he saw a woman, one of the daughters of the Philistines. 2 So he went back and told his father and his mother, “I saw a woman in Timnah, one of the daughters of the Philistines; now get her for me as a wife.” 3 But his father and mother said to him, “Is there no woman among the daughters of your relatives, or among all our people, that you must go to take a wife from the uncircumcised (pagan) Philistines?” And Samson said to his father, “Get her for me, because she [a]looks pleasing to me.” 4 His father and mother did not know that it was of the Lord, and that He was seeking an occasion [to take action] 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 [to arrange the marriage], and they came as far as the vineyards of Timnah; and [b]suddenly, a young lion came roaring toward him. 6 The Spirit of the Lord came upon him mightily, and he tore the lion apart as one tears apart a young goat, and he had nothing at all in his hand; but he did not tell his father or mother what he had done. 7 So he went down and talked with the woman; and she looked pleasing to Samson. 8 When he returned later to take her, he turned aside to see the carcass of the lion; and behold, a swarm of bees and honey were in the body of the lion. 9 So he scraped the honey out into his hands and went on, eating as he went. When he came to his father and mother, he gave them some, and they ate it; but he did not tell them he had taken the honey from the body of the lion.
10 His father went down to the woman, and Samson prepared a feast there, for that was the customary thing for young men to do. 11 When the people saw him, they brought thirty companions (wedding attendants) to be with him.
12 Then Samson said to them, “Let me now ask you a riddle; if you can tell me what it is within the seven days of the feast, and solve it, then I will give you thirty linen tunics (undergarments) and thirty changes of [outer] clothing. 13 But if you are unable to tell me [the answer], then you shall give me thirty linen tunics (undergarments) and thirty changes of [outer] clothing.” And they said to him, “Ask your riddle, so that we may hear it.” 14 So he said to them,
“Out of the eater came something to eat,
And they could not solve the riddle in three days.
15 Then on the fourth day they said to Samson’s wife, “Persuade your husband to tell us [through you] the [answer to the] riddle, or we will burn you and your father’s household with fire. Have you invited us to make us poor? Is this not true?” 16 So Samson’s wife wept before him and said, “You only hate me, you do not love me; you have asked my countrymen a riddle, and have not told [the answer] to me.” And he said to her, “Listen, I have not told my father or my mother [either], so [why] should I tell you?” 17 However Samson’s wife wept before him seven days while their [wedding] feast lasted, and on the seventh day he told her because she pressed him so hard. Then she told the [answer to the] riddle to her countrymen. 18 So the men of the city said to Samson on the seventh day before sundown,
“What is sweeter than honey?
And he said to them,
“If you had not plowed with [c]my heifer,
19 Then the Spirit of the Lord came upon him mightily, and he went down to Ashkelon and killed thirty of them and took their gear, and gave changes of clothes to those who had explained the riddle. And his anger burned, and he went up to his father’s house. 20 But Samson’s wife was given to his [d]companion who had been his friend.
Samson Burns Philistine Crops
15 But after a while, in the time of wheat harvest, Samson went to visit his wife with a young goat [as a gift of reconciliation]; and he said, “I will go in to my wife in her room.” But her father would not allow him to go in. 2 Her father said, “I really thought you utterly hated her; so I gave her to your companion. Is her younger sister not more beautiful than she? Please take her [as your wife] instead.” 3 Samson said to them, “This time I shall be blameless in regard to the Philistines when I do them harm.” 4 So Samson went and caught three hundred foxes, and took torches and turning the foxes tail to tail, he put a torch between each pair of tails. 5 When he had set the torches ablaze, he let the foxes go into the standing grain of the Philistines, and he burned up the heap of sheaves and the standing grain, along with the vineyards and olive groves. 6 Then the Philistines said, “Who did this?” And they were told, “Samson, the son-in-law of the Timnite, because he took Samson’s wife and gave her to his [chief] companion [at the wedding feast].” So the Philistines came up and burned her and her father with fire. 7 Samson said to them, “If this is the way you act, be certain that I will take revenge on you, and [only] after that I will stop.” 8 Then he struck them [e]without mercy, a great slaughter; and he went down and lived in the cleft of the rock of Etam.
9 Then the [army of the] Philistines came up and camped in [the tribal territory of] Judah, and overran Lehi (Jawbone). 10 The men of Judah said, “Why have you come up against us?” And they answered, “We have come up to bind Samson, in order to do to him as he has done to us.” 11 Then three thousand men of Judah went down to the cleft of the rock of Etam and said to Samson, “Have you not known that the Philistines are rulers over us? What is this that you have done to us?” 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 hand you over to the Philistines.” And Samson said to them, “Swear to me that you will not [f]kill me.” 13 So they said to him, “No, we will [only] bind you securely and place you into their hands; but we certainly will not kill you.” So they bound him with two new ropes and brought him up from the rock [of Etam].
14 When he came to Lehi, the Philistines came shouting to meet him. And the Spirit of the Lord came upon him mightily, and the ropes on his arms were like flax (linen) that had been burned, and his bonds [g]dropped off his hands. 15 He found a fresh jawbone of a donkey, so he reached out his hand and took it and killed a thousand men with it. 16 Then Samson said,
“With the jawbone of a donkey,
17 When he finished speaking, he threw the jawbone from his hand; and he named that place Ramath-lehi (hill of the jawbone). 18 Then Samson was very thirsty, and he called out to the Lord and said, “You have given this great victory through the hand of Your servant, and now am I to die of thirst and fall into the hands of the uncircumcised (pagans)?” 19 So God split open the hollow place that was at Lehi, and water came out of it. When Samson drank, his spirit (strength) returned and he was revived. Therefore he named it En-hakkore (spring which is calling), which is at Lehi to this day. 20 And Samson judged Israel in the days of [occupation by] the Philistines for twenty years.
16 Then Samson went to Gaza and saw a prostitute there, and went in to her. 2 The Gazites were told, “Samson has come here.” So they surrounded the place and waited all night at the gate of the city to ambush him. They kept quiet all night, saying, “In the morning, when it is light, we will kill him.” 3 But Samson lay [resting] until midnight, then at midnight he got up and took hold of the doors of the city gate and the two door-posts, and pulled them up, [security] bar and all, and he put them on his shoulders and carried them up to the top of the hill which is opposite Hebron.
4 After this he fell in love with a [Philistine] woman [living] in the Valley of Sorek, whose name was Delilah. 5 So the [five] lords (governors) of the Philistines came to her and said to her, “Persuade him, and see where his great strength lies and [find out] how we may overpower him so that we may bind him to subdue him. And each of us will give you eleven hundred pieces of silver.” 6 So Delilah said to Samson, “Please tell me where your great strength lies and with what you may be bound and subdued.” 7 Samson said to her, “If they bind me with seven fresh cords ([h]tendons) that have not been dried, then I will be weak and be like any [other] man.” 8 Then the Philistine lords brought her seven fresh cords that had not been dried, and she bound him with them. 9 Now she had men lying in ambush in an inner room. And she said to him, “The Philistines are upon you, Samson!” And he broke the cords as a [i]string of tow breaks when it touches fire. So [the secret of] his strength was not discovered.
10 Then Delilah said to Samson, “See now, you have mocked me and told me lies; now please tell me [truthfully] how you may be bound.” 11 He said to her, “If they bind me tightly with new ropes that 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!” And the men lying in ambush were in the inner room. But he snapped the ropes off his arms like [sewing] thread.
13 Then Delilah said to Samson, “Until now you have mocked me and told me lies; tell me [truthfully] with what you may be bound.” And he said to her, “If you weave the seven braids of my hair with the web [j][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 (braids) of his hair and wove them into the web]. And she fastened it with the pin [of the loom] and said to him, “The Philistines are upon you, Samson!” And he awoke from his sleep and pulled out the pin of the [weaver’s] loom and the web.
Delilah Extracts His Secret
15 Then she said to him, “How can you say, ‘I love you,’ when your heart is not with me? You have mocked me these three times and have not told me where your great strength lies.” 16 When she pressured him day after day with her words and pleaded with him, he was annoyed to death. 17 Then [finally] he told her everything that was in his heart and said to her, “A razor has never been used on my head, for I have been a Nazirite 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 Then Delilah realized that he had told her everything in his heart, so she sent and called for the Philistine lords, saying, “Come up this once, because he has told me everything in his heart.” Then the Philistine lords came up to her and brought the money [they had promised] in their hands. 19 She made Samson sleep on her knees, and she called a man and had him shave off the seven braids of his head. Then she began to abuse Samson, 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 I have time after time and shake myself free.” For Samson did not know that the 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 [two] bronze chains; and he was forced to be a grinder [of grain into flour at the mill] in the prison. 22 But the hair of his head began to grow again after it had been shaved off.
23 Now the Philistine lords gathered together to offer a great sacrifice to Dagon their god, and to celebrate, for they said,
“Our god has given Samson our enemy into our hands!”
24 When the people saw Samson, they praised their god, for they said,
“Our god has handed over our enemy to us,
25 Now when they were in high spirits, they said, “Call for Samson, so that he may amuse us.” So they called Samson out of the prison, and he entertained them. They made him stand between the pillars. 26 Then Samson said to the boy who held him by the hand, “Let me feel the pillars on which the [roof of the] house rests, so that I may lean against them.” 27 Now the house was full of men and women; all the Philistine lords were there, and on the flat roof were about three thousand men and women who looked on while Samson was entertaining them.
Samson Is Avenged
28 Then Samson called to the Lord and said, “O Lord God, please remember me and please strengthen me just this one time, O God, and let me take vengeance on the Philistines for my two eyes.” 29 Samson took hold of the two middle [support] pillars on which the house rested, and braced himself against them, one with his right hand and the other with his left. 30 And Samson said, “Let me die with the Philistines!” And he stretched out with all his might [collapsing the support pillars], and the house fell on the lords and on 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 his father’s entire [tribal] household came down, took him, and brought him up; and they buried him in the tomb of Manoah his father, [which was] between Zorah and Eshtaol. So Samson had judged Israel for twenty years.
17 There was a man of the hill country of Ephraim whose name was Micah. 2 And he said to his mother, “The eleven hundred pieces of silver which were taken from you, about which you cursed [the thief] and also spoke about in my hearing, behold, the silver is with me; I took it.” And his mother said, “Blessed be my son before the Lord.” 3 He returned the eleven hundred pieces of silver to his mother, and she said, “I had truly dedicated the silver from my hand to the Lord for my son (in his name) to make an image [carved from wood and plated with silver] and a cast image [of solid silver]; so now, I will return it to you.” 4 So when he returned the silver to his mother, she took two hundred pieces of silver and gave them to the silversmith who made of it an image [of silver-plated wood] and a cast image [of solid silver]; and they were in the house of Micah. 5 Now the man Micah had a house of gods (shrine), and he made an ephod and teraphim and dedicated and installed one of his sons, who became his [personal] priest. 6 In those days there was no king in Israel; every man did what was right in his own eyes.
7 Now there was a young man from Bethlehem in Judah, from the family [of the tribe] of Judah, who was a [k]Levite; and he was staying there [temporarily]. 8 Then the man left the town of Bethlehem in Judah, to stay wherever he could find a place; and as he journeyed, he came to the hill country of Ephraim, to the house of Micah. 9 Micah said to him, “Where do you come from?” And he said to him, “I am a Levite from Bethlehem in Judah, and I am going to stay wherever I can find a place.” 10 And Micah said to him, “Live here with me and be a father and a [personal] priest to me, and I will give you ten pieces of silver each year, a supply of clothing, and your sustenance (room and board).” So the Levite went in. 11 The Levite agreed to live with the man, and the young man became to Micah like one of his sons. 12 So Micah dedicated (installed) the Levite, and the young man became his priest and lived in the house of Micah. 13 Then Micah said, “Now I know that the Lord will favor me and make me prosper because I have a Levite as my priest.”
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