5 The Philistine rulers[a] went to Delilah and said, “Trick Samson into telling you what makes him so strong and what can make him weak. Then we can tie him up so he can’t get away. If you find out his secret, we will each give you eleven hundred pieces of silver.”[b]
6 The next time Samson was at Delilah’s house, she asked, “Samson, what makes you so strong? How can I tie you up so you can’t get away? Come on, you can tell me.”
7 Samson answered, “If someone ties me up with seven new bowstrings that have never been dried,[c] it will make me just as weak as anyone else.”
16.5Philistine rulers: There were five rulers, each one controlling part of Philistia.
16.5silver: About 140 pounds of silver altogether.
16.7new bowstrings. . . dried: The string for a bow was often made from sinews or internal organs of animals. These strings were made while the animal tissues were still moist, and they became much stronger, once they were dry.
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