The Birth of Samson

13 Again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord, so the Lord delivered them into the hands of the Philistines(A) for forty years.(B)

A certain man of Zorah,(C) named Manoah,(D) from the clan of the Danites,(E) had a wife who was childless,(F) unable to give birth. The angel of the Lord(G) appeared to her(H) and said, “You are barren and childless, but you are going to become pregnant and give birth to a son.(I) Now see to it that you drink no wine or other fermented drink(J) and that you do not eat anything unclean.(K) You will become pregnant and have a son(L) whose head is never to be touched by a razor(M) because the boy is to be a Nazirite,(N) dedicated to God from the womb. He will take the lead(O) in delivering Israel from the hands of the Philistines.”

Then the woman went to her husband and told him, “A man of God(P) came to me. He looked like an angel of God,(Q) very awesome.(R) I didn’t ask him where he came from, and he didn’t tell me his name. But he said to me, ‘You will become pregnant and have a son. Now then, drink no wine(S) or other fermented drink(T) and do not eat anything unclean, because the boy will be a Nazirite of God from the womb until the day of his death.(U)’”

Then Manoah(V) prayed to the Lord: “Pardon your servant, Lord. I beg you to let the man of God(W) you sent to us come again to teach us how to bring up the boy who is to be born.”

God heard Manoah, and the angel of God came again to the woman while she was out in the field; but her husband Manoah was not with her. 10 The woman hurried to tell her husband, “He’s here! The man who appeared to me(X) the other day!”

11 Manoah got up and followed his wife. When he came to the man, he said, “Are you the man who talked to my wife?”

“I am,” he said.

12 So Manoah asked him, “When your words are fulfilled, what is to be the rule that governs the boy’s life and work?”

13 The angel of the Lord answered, “Your wife must do all that I have told her. 14 She must not eat anything that comes from the grapevine, nor drink any wine or other fermented drink(Y) nor eat anything unclean.(Z) She must do everything I have commanded her.”

15 Manoah said to the angel of the Lord, “We would like you to stay until we prepare a young goat(AA) for you.”

16 The angel of the Lord replied, “Even though you detain me, I will not eat any of your food. But if you prepare a burnt offering,(AB) offer it to the Lord.” (Manoah did not realize(AC) that it was the angel of the Lord.)

17 Then Manoah inquired of the angel of the Lord, “What is your name,(AD) so that we may honor you when your word comes true?”

18 He replied, “Why do you ask my name?(AE) It is beyond understanding.[a] 19 Then Manoah took a young goat, together with the grain offering, and sacrificed it on a rock(AF) to the Lord. And the Lord did an amazing thing while Manoah and his wife watched: 20 As the flame(AG) blazed up from the altar toward heaven, the angel of the Lord ascended in the flame. Seeing this, Manoah and his wife fell with their faces to the ground.(AH) 21 When the angel of the Lord did not show himself again to Manoah and his wife, Manoah realized(AI) that it was the angel of the Lord.

22 “We are doomed(AJ) to die!” he said to his wife. “We have seen(AK) God!”

23 But his wife answered, “If the Lord had meant to kill us, he would not have accepted a burnt offering and grain offering from our hands, nor shown us all these things or now told us this.”(AL)

24 The woman gave birth to a boy and named him Samson.(AM) He grew(AN) and the Lord blessed him,(AO) 25 and the Spirit of the Lord began to stir(AP) him while he was in Mahaneh Dan,(AQ) between Zorah and Eshtaol.

Footnotes

  1. Judges 13:18 Or is wonderful

Ezekiel’s Call to Be a Prophet

He said to me, “Son of man,[a](A) stand(B) up on your feet and I will speak to you.(C) As he spoke, the Spirit came into me and raised me(D) to my feet, and I heard him speaking to me.

He said: “Son of man, I am sending you to the Israelites, to a rebellious nation that has rebelled against me; they and their ancestors have been in revolt against me to this very day.(E) The people to whom I am sending you are obstinate and stubborn.(F) Say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says.’(G) And whether they listen or fail to listen(H)—for they are a rebellious people(I)—they will know that a prophet has been among them.(J) And you, son of man, do not be afraid(K) of them or their words. Do not be afraid, though briers and thorns(L) are all around you and you live among scorpions. Do not be afraid of what they say or be terrified by them, though they are a rebellious people.(M) You must speak(N) my words to them, whether they listen or fail to listen, for they are rebellious.(O) But you, son of man, listen to what I say to you. Do not rebel(P) like that rebellious people;(Q) open your mouth and eat(R) what I give you.”

Then I looked, and I saw a hand(S) stretched out to me. In it was a scroll,(T) 10 which he unrolled before me. On both sides of it were written words of lament and mourning and woe.(U)

Footnotes

  1. Ezekiel 2:1 The Hebrew phrase ben adam means human being. The phrase son of man is retained as a form of address here and throughout Ezekiel because of its possible association with “Son of Man” in the New Testament.

On to Jerusalem

21 After we(A) had torn ourselves away from them, we put out to sea and sailed straight to Kos. The next day we went to Rhodes and from there to Patara. We found a ship crossing over to Phoenicia,(B) went on board and set sail. After sighting Cyprus and passing to the south of it, we sailed on to Syria.(C) We landed at Tyre, where our ship was to unload its cargo. We sought out the disciples(D) there and stayed with them seven days. Through the Spirit(E) they urged Paul not to go on to Jerusalem. When it was time to leave, we left and continued on our way. All of them, including wives and children, accompanied us out of the city, and there on the beach we knelt to pray.(F) After saying goodbye to each other, we went aboard the ship, and they returned home.

We continued our voyage from Tyre(G) and landed at Ptolemais, where we greeted the brothers and sisters(H) and stayed with them for a day. Leaving the next day, we reached Caesarea(I) and stayed at the house of Philip(J) the evangelist,(K) one of the Seven. He had four unmarried daughters who prophesied.(L)

10 After we had been there a number of days, a prophet named Agabus(M) came down from Judea. 11 Coming over to us, he took Paul’s belt, tied his own hands and feet with it and said, “The Holy Spirit says,(N) ‘In this way the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem will bind(O) the owner of this belt and will hand him over to the Gentiles.’”(P)

12 When we heard this, we and the people there pleaded with Paul not to go up to Jerusalem. 13 Then Paul answered, “Why are you weeping and breaking my heart? I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die(Q) in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.”(R) 14 When he would not be dissuaded, we gave up(S) and said, “The Lord’s will be done.”(T)

15 After this, we started on our way up to Jerusalem.(U) 16 Some of the disciples from Caesarea(V) accompanied us and brought us to the home of Mnason, where we were to stay. He was a man from Cyprus(W) and one of the early disciples.

Paul’s Arrival at Jerusalem

17 When we arrived at Jerusalem, the brothers and sisters(X) received us warmly.(Y) 18 The next day Paul and the rest of us went to see James,(Z) and all the elders(AA) were present. 19 Paul greeted them and reported in detail what God had done among the Gentiles(AB) through his ministry.(AC)

20 When they heard this, they praised God. Then they said to Paul: “You see, brother, how many thousands of Jews have believed, and all of them are zealous(AD) for the law.(AE) 21 They have been informed that you teach all the Jews who live among the Gentiles to turn away from Moses,(AF) telling them not to circumcise their children(AG) or live according to our customs.(AH) 22 What shall we do? They will certainly hear that you have come, 23 so do what we tell you. There are four men with us who have made a vow.(AI) 24 Take these men, join in their purification rites(AJ) and pay their expenses, so that they can have their heads shaved.(AK) Then everyone will know there is no truth in these reports about you, but that you yourself are living in obedience to the law. 25 As for the Gentile believers, we have written to them our decision that they should abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality.”(AL)

26 The next day Paul took the men and purified himself along with them. Then he went to the temple to give notice of the date when the days of purification would end and the offering would be made for each of them.(AM)

Paul Arrested

27 When the seven days were nearly over, some Jews from the province of Asia saw Paul at the temple. They stirred up the whole crowd and seized him,(AN) 28 shouting, “Fellow Israelites, help us! This is the man who teaches everyone everywhere against our people and our law and this place. And besides, he has brought Greeks into the temple and defiled this holy place.”(AO) 29 (They had previously seen Trophimus(AP) the Ephesian(AQ) in the city with Paul and assumed that Paul had brought him into the temple.)

30 The whole city was aroused, and the people came running from all directions. Seizing Paul,(AR) they dragged him(AS) from the temple, and immediately the gates were shut. 31 While they were trying to kill him, news reached the commander of the Roman troops that the whole city of Jerusalem was in an uproar. 32 He at once took some officers and soldiers and ran down to the crowd. When the rioters saw the commander and his soldiers, they stopped beating Paul.(AT)

33 The commander came up and arrested him and ordered him to be bound(AU) with two(AV) chains.(AW) Then he asked who he was and what he had done. 34 Some in the crowd shouted one thing and some another,(AX) and since the commander could not get at the truth because of the uproar, he ordered that Paul be taken into the barracks.(AY) 35 When Paul reached the steps,(AZ) the violence of the mob was so great he had to be carried by the soldiers. 36 The crowd that followed kept shouting, “Get rid of him!”(BA)

Paul Speaks to the Crowd(BB)

37 As the soldiers were about to take Paul into the barracks,(BC) he asked the commander, “May I say something to you?”

“Do you speak Greek?” he replied. 38 “Aren’t you the Egyptian who started a revolt and led four thousand terrorists out into the wilderness(BD) some time ago?”(BE)

39 Paul answered, “I am a Jew, from Tarsus(BF) in Cilicia,(BG) a citizen of no ordinary city. Please let me speak to the people.”

40 After receiving the commander’s permission, Paul stood on the steps and motioned(BH) to the crowd. When they were all silent, he said to them in Aramaic[a]:(BI)

Footnotes

  1. Acts 21:40 Or possibly Hebrew; also in 22:2

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