The Story of Samson
And the woman bare a son, and called his name Samson: and the child
grew, and the Lord blessed him. And the Spirit of the Lord began to
move him at times in the camp of Dan between Zorah and Eshtaol.
And Samson went down to Timnath, and saw a woman in Timnath of the
daughters of the Philistines. And he came up, and told his father and
his mother, and said, "I have seen a woman in Timnath of the daughters
of the Philistines: now therefore get her for me to wife."
Then his father and his mother said unto him, "Is there never a woman
among the daughters of thy brethren, or among all my people, that thou
goest to take a wife of the uncircumcised Philistines? "And Samson said
unto his father," Get her for me; for she pleaseth me well."
But his father and his mother knew not that it was of the Lord, that he
sought an occasion against the Philistines: for at that time the
Philistines had dominion over Israel.
Then went Samson down, and his father and his mother, to Timnath, and
came to the vineyards of Timnath: and, behold, a young lion roared
against him. And the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon him, and he
rent him as he would have rent a kid, and he had nothing in his hand:
but he told not his father or his mother what he had done. And he went
down, and talked with the woman; and she pleased Samson well.
And after a time he returned to take her, and he turned aside to see
the carcass of the lion: and, behold, there was a swarm of bees and
honey in the carcass of the lion. And he took thereof in his hands, and
went on eating, and came to his father and mother, and he gave them,
and they did eat: but he told not them that he had taken the honey out
of the carcass of the lion.
So his father went down unto the woman: and Samson made there a feast;
for so used the young men to do. And it came to pass, when they saw
him, that they brought thirty companions to be with him.
And Samson said unto them, "I will now put forth a riddle unto you: if
ye can certainly declare it me within the seven days of the feast, and
find it out, then I will give you thirty sheets and thirty change of
garments: But if ye cannot declare it me, then shall ye give me thirty
sheets and thirty change of garments." And they said unto him, "Put
forth thy riddle, that we may hear it." And he said unto them, "Out of
the eater came forth meat, and out of the strong came forth sweetness."
And they could not in three days expound the riddle. And it came to
pass on the seventh day, that they said unto Samson's wife, "Entice thy
husband, that he may declare unto us the riddle, lest we burn thee and
thy father's house with fire: have ye called us to take that we have?
is it not so?" And Samson's wife wept before him, and said, "Thou dost
but hate me, and lovest me not: thou hast put forth a riddle unto the
children of my people, and hast not told it me." And he said unto her,
"Behold, I have not told it my father nor my mother, and shall I tell
it thee?" And she wept before him the seven days, while their feast
lasted: and it came to pass on the seventh day, that he told her,
because she lay sore upon him: and she told the riddle to the children
of her people. And the men of the city said unto him on the seventh day
before the sun went down, "What is sweeter than honey? and what is
stronger than a lion?" And he said unto them, "If ye had not plowed
with my heifer, ye had not found out my riddle."
And the Spirit of the Lord came upon him, and he went down to Ashkelon,
and slew thirty men of them, and took their spoil, and gave change of
garments unto them which expounded the riddle. And his anger was
kindled, and he went up to his father's house. But Samson's wife was
given to his companion, whom he had used as his friend.
But it came to pass within a while after, in the time of wheat harvest,
that Samson visited his wife with a kid; and he said, "I will go in to
my wife into the chamber." But her father would not suffer him to go
in. And her father said, "I verily thought that thou hadst utterly
hated her; therefore I gave her to thy companion: is not her younger
sister fairer than she? take her, I pray thee, instead of her."
And Samson said concerning them, "Now shall I be more blameless than
the Philistines, though I do them a displeasure." And Samson went and
caught three hundred foxes, and took firebrands, and turned tail to
tail, and put a firebrand in the midst between two tails. And when he
had set the brands on fire, he let them go into the standing corn of
the Philistines, and burnt up both the shocks, and also the standing
corn, with the vineyards and olives.
Then the Philistines said, "Who hath done this?" And they answered,
"Samson, the son-in-law of the Timnite, because he had taken his wife,
and given her to his companion." And the Philistines came up, and burnt
her and her father with fire.
And Samson said unto them, "Though ye have done this, yet will I be
avenged of you, and after that I will cease." And he smote them hip and
thigh with a great slaughter: and he went down and dwelt in the top of
the rock Etam.
Then the Philistines went up, and pitched in Judah, and spread
themselves in Lehi. And the men of Judah said, "Why are ye come up
against us?" And they answered, "To bind Samson are we come up, to do
to him as he hath done to us." Then three thousand men of Judah went to
the top of the rock Etam, and said to Samson, "Knowest thou not that
the Philistines are rulers over us? what is this that thou hast done
unto us?" And he said unto them, "As they did unto me, so have I done
unto them." And they said unto him, "We are come down to bind thee,
that we may deliver thee into the hand of the Philistines." And Samson
said unto them, "Swear unto me, that ye will not fall upon me
yourselves." And they spake unto him, saying, "No; but we will bind
thee fast, and deliver thee into their hand: but surely we will not
kill thee." And they bound him with two new cords, and brought him up
from the rock.
And when he came unto Lehi, the Philistines shouted against him: and
the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon him, and the cords that were
upon his arms became as flax that was burnt with fire, and his bands
loosed from off his hands. And he found a new jawbone of an ass, and
put forth his hand, and took it, and slew a thousand men therewith. And
Samson said, "With the jawbone of an ass, heaps upon heaps, with the
jaw of an ass have I slain a thousand men." And it came to pass, when
he had made an end of speaking, that he cast away the jawbone out of
his hand, and called that place Ramath-lehi.
And he was sore athirst, and called on the Lord, and said, "Thou hast
given this great deliverance into the hand of thy servant: and now
shall I die for thirst, and fall into the hand of the uncircumcised?"
But God clave a hollow place that was in the jaw, and there came water
thereout; and when he had drunk, his spirit came again, and he revived:
wherefore he called the name thereof Enhakkore, which is in Lehi unto
this day. And he judged Israel in the days of the Philistines twenty
Then went Samson to Gaza. And it was told the Gazites, saying, "Samson
is come hither." And they compassed him in, and laid wait for him all
night in the gate of the city, and were quiet all the night, saying,
"In the morning, when it is day, we shall kill him." And Samson lay
till midnight, and arose at midnight, and took the doors of the gate of
the city, and the two posts, and went away with them, bar and all, and
put them upon his shoulders, and carried them up to the top of a hill
that is before Hebron.
And it came to pass afterward, that he loved a woman in the valley of
Sorek, whose name was Delilah. And the lords of the Philistines came up
unto her, and said unto her, "Entice him, and see wherein his great
strength lieth, and by what means we may prevail against him, that we
may bind him to afflict him: and we will give thee every one of us
eleven hundred pieces of silver."
And Delilah said to Samson, "Tell me, I pray thee, wherein thy great
strength lieth, and wherewith thou mightest be bound to afflict thee."
And Samson said unto her, "If they bind me with seven green withes that
were never dried, then shall I be weak, and be as another man." Then
the lords of the Philistines brought up to her seven green withes which
had not been dried, and she bound him with them. Now there were men
lying in wait, abiding with her in the chamber. And she said unto him,
"The Philistines be upon thee, Samson." And he brake the withes, as a
thread of tow is broken when it toucheth the fire. So his strength was
not known. And Delilah said unto Samson, "Behold, thou hast mocked me,
and told me lies: now tell me, I pray thee, wherewith thou mightest be
bound." And he said unto her, "If they bind me fast with new ropes that
never were occupied, then shall I be weak, and be as another man."
Delilah therefore took new ropes, and bound him therewith, and said
unto him, "The Philistines be upon thee, Samson." And there were liers
in wait abiding in the chamber. And he brake them from off his arms
like a thread. And Delilah said unto Samson, "Hitherto thou hast mocked
me, and told me lies: tell me wherewith thou mightest be bound." And he
said unto her," If thou weavest the seven locks of my head with the
web." And she fastened it with the pin, and said unto him," The
Philistines be upon thee, Samson." And he awaked out of his sleep, and
went away with the pin of the beam, and with the web.
And she said unto him, "How canst thou say, 'I love thee,' when thine
heart is not with me? Thou hast mocked me these three times, and hast
not told me wherein thy great strength lieth." And it came to pass,
when she pressed him daily with her words, and urged him, so that his
soul was vexed unto death; that he told her all his heart, and said
unto her, "There hath not come a razor upon mine head; for I have been
a Nazarite unto God from my mother's womb: if I be shaven, then my
strength will go from me, and I shall become weak, and be like any
other man." And when Delilah saw that he had told her all his heart,
she sent and called for the lords of the Philistines, saying, "Come up
this once, for he hath showed me all his heart." Then the lords of the
Philistines came up unto her, and brought money in their hand. And she
made him sleep upon her knees; and she called for a man, and she caused
him to shave off the seven locks of his head; and she began to afflict
him, and his strength went from him. And she said, "The Philistines be
upon thee, Samson." And he awoke out of his sleep, and said, "I will go
out as at other times before, and shake myself." And he wist not that
the Lord was departed from him.
But the Philistines took him, and put out his eyes, and brought him
down to Gaza, and bound him with fetters of brass; and he did grind in
the prison house. Howbeit the hair of his head began to grow again
after he was shaven. Then the lords of the Philistines gathered them
together for to offer a great sacrifice unto Dagon their god, and to
rejoice: for they said, "Our god hath delivered Samson our enemy into
our hand." And when the people saw him, they praised their god: for
they said, "Our god hath delivered into our hands our enemy, and the
destroyer of our country, which slew many of us." And it came to pass,
when their hearts were merry, that they said, "Call for Samson, that he
may make us sport." And they called for Samson out of the prison house;
and he made them sport: and they set him between the pillars. And
Samson said unto the lad that held him by the hand, "Suffer me that I
may feel the pillars whereupon the house standeth, that I may lean upon
them." Now the house was full of men and women; and all the lords of
the Philistines were there; and there were upon the roof about three
thousand men and women, that beheld while Samson made sport. And Samson
called unto the Lord, and said, "O Lord God, remember me, I pray thee,
and strengthen me, I pray thee, only this once, O God, that I may be at
once avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes." And Samson took hold
of the two middle pillars upon which the house stood, and on which it
was borne up, of the one with his right hand, and of the other with his
left. And Samson said, "Let me die with the Philistines." And he bowed
himself with all his might; and the house fell upon the lords, and upon
all the people that were therein. So the dead which he slew at his
death were more than they which he slew in his life. Then his brethren
and all the house of his father came down, and took him, and brought
him up, and buried him between Zorah and Eshtaol in the burying-place
of Manoah his father. And he judged Israel twenty years.