Judges 16:5-22New International Reader's Version (NIRV)
5 The rulers of the Philistines went to her. They said, “See if you can get him to tell you the secret of why he’s so strong. Find out how we can overpower him. Then we can tie him up. We can bring him under our control. Each of us will give you 28 pounds of silver.”
6 So Delilah said to Samson, “Tell me the secret of why you are so strong. Tell me how you can be tied up and controlled.”
7 Samson answered her, “Let someone tie me up with seven new bowstrings. They must be strings that aren’t completely dry. Then I’ll become as weak as any other man.”
8 So the Philistine rulers brought seven new bowstrings to her. They weren’t completely dry. Delilah tied Samson up with them. 9 Men were hiding in the room. She called out to him, “Samson! The Philistines are attacking you!” But he snapped the bowstrings easily. They were like pieces of string that had come too close to a flame. So the secret of why he was so strong wasn’t discovered.
10 Delilah spoke to Samson again. “You have made me look foolish,” she said. “You told me a lie. Come on. Tell me how you can be tied up.”
11 Samson said, “Let someone tie me tightly with new ropes. They must be ropes that have never been used. Then I’ll become as weak as any other man.”
12 So Delilah got some new ropes. She tied him up with them. Men were hiding in the room. She called out to him, “Samson! The Philistines are attacking you!” But he snapped the ropes off his arms. They fell off just as if they were threads.
13 Delilah spoke to Samson again. “All this time you have been making me look foolish,” she said. “You have been telling me lies. This time really tell me how you can be tied up.”
He replied, “Weave the seven braids of my hair into the cloth on a loom. Then tighten the cloth with a pin. If you do, I’ll become as weak as any other man.” So while Samson was sleeping, Delilah took hold of the seven braids of his hair. She wove them into the cloth on a loom. 14 Then she tightened the cloth with a pin.
Again she called out to him, “Samson! The Philistines are attacking you!” He woke up from his sleep. He pulled up the pin and the loom, together with the cloth.
15 Then she said to him, “How can you say, ‘I love you’? You won’t even share your secret with me. This is the third time you have made me look foolish. And you still haven’t told me the secret of why you are so strong.” 16 She continued to pester him day after day. She nagged him until he was sick and tired of it.
17 So he told her everything. He said, “My hair has never been cut. That’s because I’ve been a Nazirite since the day I was born. A Nazirite is set apart to God. If you shave my head, I won’t be strong anymore. I’ll become as weak as any other man.”
18 Delilah realized he had told her everything. So she sent a message to the Philistine rulers. She said, “Come back one more time. He has told me everything.” So the rulers returned. They brought the silver with them. 19 Delilah got Samson to go to sleep on her lap. Then she called for someone to shave off the seven braids of his hair. That’s how she began to bring Samson under her control. And he wasn’t strong anymore.
20 She called out, “Samson! The Philistines are attacking you!”
He woke up from his sleep. He thought, “I’ll go out just as I did before. I’ll shake myself free.” But he didn’t know that the Lord had left him.
21 Then the Philistines grabbed him. They poked his eyes out. They took him down to Gaza. They put bronze chains around him. Then they made him grind grain in the prison. 22 His head had been shaved. But the hair on it began to grow again.
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