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Judges 13-14

Samson’s Birth

13 The Israelites again did evil in the Lord’s sight, so the Lord handed them over to the Philistines for forty years.

There was a man named Manoah from Zorah, from the Danite tribe. His wife was infertile and childless. The Lord’s angelic messenger appeared to the woman and said to her, “You are infertile and childless, but you will conceive and have a son. Now be careful! Do not drink wine or beer, and do not eat any food that will make you ritually unclean. Look, you will conceive and have a son. You must never cut his hair, for the child will be dedicated to God from birth. He will begin to deliver Israel from the power of the Philistines.”

The woman went and said to her husband, “A man sent from God came to me! He looked like God’s angelic messenger—he was very awesome. I did not ask him where he came from, and he did not tell me his name. He said to me, ‘Look, you will conceive and have a son. So now, do not drink wine or beer and do not eat any food that will make you ritually unclean. For the child will be dedicated to God from birth till the day he dies.’”

Manoah prayed to the Lord, “Please, Lord, allow the man sent from God to visit us again, so he can teach us how we should raise the child who will be born.” God answered Manoah’s prayer. God’s angelic messenger visited the woman again while she was sitting in the field. But her husband Manoah was not with her. 10 The woman ran at once and told her husband, “Come quickly, the man who visited me the other day has appeared to me!” 11 So Manoah got up and followed his wife. When he met the man, he said to him, “Are you the man who spoke to my wife?” He said, “Yes.” 12 Manoah said, “Now, when your announcement comes true, how should the child be raised and what should he do?” 13 The Lord’s messenger told Manoah, “Your wife should pay attention to everything I told her. 14 She should not drink anything that the grapevine produces. She must not drink wine or beer, and she must not eat any food that will make her ritually unclean. She should obey everything I commanded her to do.” 15 Manoah said to the Lord’s messenger, “Please stay here awhile, so we can prepare a young goat for you to eat.” 16 The Lord’s messenger said to Manoah, “If I stay, I will not eat your food. But if you want to make a burnt sacrifice to the Lord, you should offer it.” (He said this because Manoah did not know that he was the Lord’s messenger.) 17 Manoah said to the Lord’s messenger, “Tell us your name, so we can honor you when your announcement comes true.” 18 The Lord’s messenger said to him, “You should not ask me my name, because you cannot comprehend it.” 19 Manoah took a young goat and a grain offering and offered them on a rock to the Lord. The Lord’s messenger did an amazing thing as Manoah and his wife watched. 20 As the flame went up from the altar toward the sky, the Lord’s messenger went up in it while Manoah and his wife watched. They fell facedown to the ground.

21 The Lord’s messenger did not appear again to Manoah and his wife. After all this happened Manoah realized that the visitor had been the Lord’s messenger. 22 Manoah said to his wife, “We will certainly die, because we have seen a supernatural being!” 23 But his wife said to him, “If the Lord wanted to kill us, he would not have accepted the burnt offering and the grain offering from us. He would not have shown us all these things, or have spoken to us like this just now.”

24 Manoah’s wife gave birth to a son and named him Samson. The child grew and the Lord empowered him. 25 The Lord’s spirit began to control him in Mahaneh Dan between Zorah and Eshtaol.

Samson’s Unconsummated Marriage

14 Samson went down to Timnah, where a Philistine girl caught his eye. When he got home, he told his father and mother, “A Philistine girl in Timnah has caught my eye. Now get her for my wife.” But his father and mother said to him, “Certainly you can find a wife among your relatives or among all our people! You should not have to go and get a wife from the uncircumcised Philistines.” But Samson said to his father, “Get her for me, because she is the right one for me.” Now his father and mother did not realize this was the Lord’s doing, because he was looking for an opportunity to stir up trouble with the Philistines (for at that time the Philistines were ruling Israel).

Samson went down to Timnah. When he approached the vineyards of Timnah, he saw a roaring young lion attacking him. The Lord’s spirit empowered him and he tore the lion in two with his bare hands as easily as one would tear a young goat. But he did not tell his father or mother what he had done.

Samson continued on down to Timnah and spoke to the girl. In his opinion, she was just the right one. Some time later, when he went back to marry her, he turned aside to see the lion’s remains. He saw a swarm of bees in the lion’s carcass, as well as some honey. He scooped it up with his hands and ate it as he walked along. When he returned to his father and mother, he offered them some and they ate it. But he did not tell them he had scooped the honey out of the lion’s carcass.

10 Then Samson’s father accompanied him to Timnah for the marriage. Samson hosted a party there, for this was customary for bridegrooms to do. 11 When the Philistines saw he had no attendants, they gave him thirty groomsmen who kept him company. 12 Samson said to them, “I will give you a riddle. If you really can solve it during the seven days the party lasts, I will give you thirty linen robes and thirty sets of clothes. 13 But if you cannot solve it, you will give me thirty linen robes and thirty sets of clothes.” They said to him, “Let us hear your riddle.” 14 He said to them,

“Out of the one who eats came something to eat;
out of the strong one came something sweet.”

They could not solve the riddle for three days.

15 On the fourth day they said to Samson’s bride, “Trick your husband into giving the solution to the riddle. If you refuse, we will burn up you and your father’s family. Did you invite us here to make us poor?” 16 So Samson’s bride cried on his shoulder and said, “You must hate me; you do not love me! You told the young men a riddle, but you have not told me the solution.” He said to her, “Look, I have not even told my father or mother. Do you really expect me to tell you?” 17 She cried on his shoulder until the party was almost over. Finally, on the seventh day, he told her because she had nagged him so much. Then she told the young men the solution to the riddle. 18 On the seventh day, before the sun set, the men of the city said to him,

“What is sweeter than honey?
What is stronger than a lion?”

He said to them,

“If you had not plowed with my heifer,
you would not have solved my riddle!”

19 The Lord’s spirit empowered him. He went down to Ashkelon and killed thirty men. He took their clothes and gave them to the men who had solved the riddle. He was furious as he went back home. 20 Samson’s bride was then given to his best man.

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John 1:29-51

29 On the next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is the one about whom I said, ‘After me comes a man who is greater than I am, because he existed before me.’ 31 I did not recognize him, but I came baptizing with water so that he could be revealed to Israel.”

32 Then John testified, “I saw the Spirit descending like a dove from heaven, and it remained on him. 33 And I did not recognize him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘The one on whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining—this is the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ 34 I have both seen and testified that this man is the Chosen One of God.”

35 Again the next day John was standing there with two of his disciples. 36 Gazing at Jesus as he walked by, he said, “Look, the Lamb of God!” 37 When John’s two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus. 38 Jesus turned around and saw them following and said to them, “What do you want?” So they said to him, “Rabbi” (which is translated Teacher), “where are you staying?” 39 Jesus answered, “Come and you will see.” So they came and saw where he was staying, and they stayed with him that day. Now it was about four o’clock in the afternoon.

Andrew’s Declaration

40 Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, was one of the two disciples who heard what John said and followed Jesus. 41 He first found his own brother Simon and told him, “We have found the Messiah!” (which is translated Christ). 42 Andrew brought Simon to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon, the son of John. You will be called Cephas” (which is translated Peter).

The Calling of More Disciples

43 On the next day Jesus wanted to set out for Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Follow me.” 44 (Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the town of Andrew and Peter.) 45 Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the law, and the prophets also wrote about—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” 46 Nathanael replied, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip replied, “Come and see.”

47 Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and exclaimed, “Look, a true Israelite in whom there is no deceit! 48 Nathanael asked him, “How do you know me?” Jesus replied, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.” 49 Nathanael answered him, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the king of Israel!” 50 Jesus said to him, “Because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree, do you believe? You will see greater things than these.” 51 He continued, “I tell all of you the solemn truth—you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”

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Psalm 102

Psalm 102

The prayer of an oppressed man, as he grows faint and pours out his lament before the Lord.

O Lord, hear my prayer!
Pay attention to my cry for help!
Do not ignore me in my time of trouble!
Listen to me!
When I call out to you, quickly answer me!
For my days go up in smoke,
and my bones are charred like a fireplace.
My heart is parched and withered like grass,
for I am unable to eat food.
Because of the anxiety that makes me groan,
my bones protrude from my skin.
I am like an owl in the wilderness;
I am like a screech owl among the ruins.
I stay awake;
I am like a solitary bird on a roof.
All day long my enemies taunt me;
those who mock me use my name in their curses.
For I eat ashes as if they were bread,
and mix my drink with my tears,
10 because of your anger and raging fury.
Indeed, you pick me up and throw me away.
11 My days are coming to an end,
and I am withered like grass.
12 But you, O Lord, rule forever,
and your reputation endures.
13 You will rise up and have compassion on Zion.
For it is time to have mercy on her,
for the appointed time has come.
14 Indeed, your servants take delight in her stones,
and feel compassion for the dust of her ruins.
15 The nations will respect the reputation of the Lord,
and all the kings of the earth will respect his splendor,
16 when the Lord rebuilds Zion,
and reveals his splendor,
17 when he responds to the prayer of the destitute,
and does not reject their request.
18 The account of his intervention will be recorded for future generations;
people yet to be born will praise the Lord.
19 For he will look down from his sanctuary above;
from heaven the Lord will look toward earth,
20 in order to hear the painful cries of the prisoners,
and to set free those condemned to die,
21 so they may proclaim the name of the Lord in Zion,
and praise him in Jerusalem,
22 when the nations gather together,
and the kingdoms pay tribute to the Lord.
23 He has taken away my strength in the middle of life;
he has cut short my days.
24 I say, “O my God, please do not take me away in the middle of my life!
You endure through all generations.
25 In earlier times you established the earth;
the skies are your handiwork.
26 They will perish,
but you will endure.
They will wear out like a garment;
like clothes you will remove them and they will disappear.
27 But you remain;
your years do not come to an end.
28 The children of your servants will settle down here,
and their descendants will live securely in your presence.”

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Proverbs 14:15-16

15 A naive person believes everything,
but the shrewd person discerns his steps.
16 A wise person is cautious and turns from evil,
but a fool throws off restraint and is overconfident.

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New English Translation (NET)

NET Bible® copyright ©1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://netbible.com All rights reserved.

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