Judges 16 Modern English Version (MEV)
Samson and Delilah
16 Samson went to Gaza. There he saw a prostitute and spent the night with her. 2 The people of Gaza were told, “Samson has come here!” So they surrounded him and laid in wait for him all night at the city gate. They kept quiet all night, thinking, “In the morning light we will kill him.”
3 Samson lay until midnight, then at midnight he got up. He grabbed the doors of the city gate and the two gateposts and pulled them out along with the bar. He put them on his shoulder and brought them to the top of the mountain near Hebron.
4 After this Samson loved a woman in the Valley of Sorek, whose name was Delilah. 5 The Philistine rulers came up to her and said, “Trick him! Find out about how his strength is so great and how we can overcome him, bind him, and humiliate him. Each one of us will give you eleven hundred silver coins.[a]”
6 So Delilah said to Samson, “Please tell me how your strength is so great and how you could be bound in order to be subdued.”
7 Samson said to her, “If they bind me with seven fresh bowstrings that have not been dried, then I will become weak and be like an ordinary man.”
8 So the Philistine rulers brought her seven fresh bowstrings that had not been dried, and she bound him with them. 9 They lay in wait in her inner room. She said to him, “The Philistines are upon you, Samson.” Then he split apart the bowstrings like a single thread is split apart at the touch of fire. So the source of his strength did not become known.
10 Delilah said to Samson, “You have deceived me. You have told me lies. Now, please tell me how you can be bound.”
11 He said to her, “If they bind me with new ropes that have never been used, then I will become weak and be like an ordinary man.”
12 So Delilah took new ropes and bound him with them. Then she said to him, “The Philistines are upon you, Samson.” For men were lying in wait, remaining in the room. But he split apart the ropes on his arms like a thread.
13 Delilah said to Samson, “Up to now you have deceived me. You have told me lies. Tell how you can be bound.”
He said to her, “If you weave seven locks of my hair into the fabric on the loom and fasten it with the pin, then I will become weak and be like an ordinary man.” 14 So Delilah lulled him to sleep and wove seven locks of his hair into the fabric on the loom. She fastened it with the pin and said to him, “The Philistines are upon you, Samson.” He awakened from his sleep and tore away from the loom pin and the fabric.
15 She said to him, “How can you say, ‘I love you,’ when your heart is not with me? You have deceived me these three times and have not told me how your strength is so great.” 16 Every day she nagged him with her words and pleaded with him until he was tired to death.
17 So he told her all his secrets and said to her, “No razor has touched my head, for I have been a Nazirite to God from my mother’s womb. If I were shaven, my strength would leave me, and I would become weak and be like all other men.”
18 Delilah saw that he had told her all his secrets, so she sent for the Philistine rulers, saying, “Come up this time, for he has told me all his secrets.” So the Philistine rulers came up to her and brought the money in their hands. 19 Delilah lulled Samson to sleep on her knees and called for a man to shave off the seven locks of his hair. Then she began to humiliate him, and his strength left him.
20 She said, “The Philistines are upon you, Samson.”
Then he awakened from his sleep and thought, “I will go out as before and shake myself free of them.” He did not know that the Lord had left him.
21 The Philistines seized him and gouged out his eyes. They took him down to Gaza, bound him with bronze chains, and he ground grain in prison. 22 Yet after it had been shaven, the hair on his head began to grow back.
The Death of Samson
23 The Philistine rulers gathered to offer a great sacrifice to Dagon their god and to celebrate. They said, “Our god has given Samson our enemy into our hands.”
24 The people saw him and praised their god, for they said,
“Our god has given into our hands
25 When their hearts were merry, they said, “Call for Samson, so he can entertain us.” So they called for Samson from the prison, and he entertained them.
They placed him between the pillars. 26 Samson said to the young man who held his hand, “Let me rest and touch the pillars on which the temple is set, then I can lean against them.” 27 The temple was full of men and women, and all the Philistine rulers were there. There were about three thousand men and women on the roof watching Samson entertain. 28 Samson called out to the Lord, “Lord God, remember me, I pray! Please strengthen me just this once, God, so that I may get full revenge on the Philistines for my two eyes!” 29 Then Samson grasped the two middle pillars on which the temple was set and leaned against them, one with his right hand and one with his left. 30 Samson said, “Let me die with the Philistines!” He pushed with all his strength, and the temple fell upon the rulers and all the people who were in it. At his death he killed more than he had killed in his life.
31 Then his brothers and all his family came down, carried him, brought him up, and buried him between Zorah and Eshtaol in the grave of his father Manoah. He had judged Israel for twenty years.