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Judges 16:4-21Common English Bible (CEB)

Samson and Delilah

Some time after this, in the Sorek Valley, Samson fell in love with a woman whose name was Delilah. The rulers of the Philistines confronted her and said to her, “Seduce him and find out what gives him such great strength and what we can do to overpower him, so that we can tie him up and make him weak. Then we’ll each pay you eleven hundred pieces of silver.”

So Delilah said to Samson, “Please tell me what gives you such great strength and how you can be tied up and made weak.”

Samson replied to her, “If someone ties me up with seven fresh bowstrings that aren’t dried out, I’ll become weak. I’ll be like any other person.” So the rulers of the Philistines brought her seven fresh bowstrings that weren’t dried out, and she tied him up with them.

While an ambush was waiting for her signal in an inner room, she called out to him, “Samson, the Philistines are on you!” And he snapped the bowstrings like a thread of fiber snaps when it touches a flame. So the secret of his strength remained unknown.

10 Then Delilah said to Samson, “You made a fool out of me and lied to me. Now please tell me how you can really be tied up!”

11 He replied to her, “If someone ties me up with new ropes that haven’t been used for work, I’ll become weak. I’ll be like any other person.”

12 So Delilah took new ropes and tied him up with them. Then she called out to him, “Samson, the Philistines are on you!” Once again, an ambush was waiting in an inner room. Yet he snapped them from his arms like thread.

13 And Delilah said to Samson, “Up to now, you’ve made a fool out of me and lied to me. Tell me how you can be tied up!”

He responded to her, “If you weave the seven braids of my hair into the fabric on a loom and pull it tight with a pin, then I’ll become weak. I’ll be like any other person.”[a]

14 So she got him to fall asleep, wove the seven braids of his hair into the fabric on a loom,[b] and pulled it tight with a pin. Then she called out to him, “Samson, the Philistines are on you!” He woke up from his sleep and pulled loose the pin, the loom, and the fabric.

15 Delilah said to him, “How can you say, ‘I love you,’ when you won’t trust me? Three times now you’ve made a fool out of me and not told me what gives you such great strength!” 16 She nagged him with her words day after day and begged him until he became worn out to the point of death.

17 So he told her his whole secret. He said to her, “No razor has ever touched my head, because I’ve been a nazirite for God from the time I was born. If my head is shaved, my strength will leave me, and I’ll become weak. I’ll be like every other person.”

18 When Delilah realized that he had told her his whole secret, she sent word to the rulers of the Philistines, “Come one more time, for he has told me his whole secret.” The rulers of the Philistines came up to her and brought the silver with them.

19 She got him to fall asleep with his head on her lap. Then she called a man and had him shave off the seven braids of Samson’s hair. He began to weaken,[c] and his strength left him. 20 She called out, “Samson, the Philistines are on you!”

He woke up from his sleep and thought, I’ll escape just like the other times and shake myself free. But he didn’t realize that the Lord had left him. 21 So the Philistines captured him, put out his eyes, and took him down to Gaza. They bound him with bronze chains, and he worked the grinding mill in the prison.

Footnotes:

  1. Judges 16:13 LXX; MT lacks and pull it… other person.
  2. Judges 16:14 LXX; MT lacks so she got him… on a loom.
  3. Judges 16:19 LXX; MT she began to torment him.
Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

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