Add parallel Print Page Options

Samson Goes to the City of Gaza

16 One day Samson went to Gaza and saw a prostitute there. He went in ·to spend the night with her [L to her; C a euphemism for sexual relations]. When the people of Gaza heard, “Samson has come here!” they surrounded the place and ·waited for him [set an ambush; lay in wait] near the city gate all night. They whispered to each other, “·When dawn comes [At the morning light], we will kill Samson!”

But Samson only stayed with the prostitute until midnight. Then he got up and took hold of the doors and the two posts of the city gate and tore them loose, along with the bar. He put them on his shoulders and carried them to the top of the hill that faces the city of Hebron.

Samson and Delilah

After this, Samson fell in love with a woman named Delilah, who lived in the Valley of Sorek. The Philistine ·rulers [lords] went to Delilah and said, “Find out what makes Samson so strong. ·Trick [Seduce; Entice] him into telling you how we can overpower him and tie him up and ·capture [subdue] him. If you do this, each one of us will give you ·twenty-eight pounds [L eleven hundred pieces] of silver.”

So Delilah said to Samson, “Tell me why you are so strong. How can someone tie you up and ·capture [subdue] you?”

Samson answered, “Someone would have to tie me up with seven ·new [fresh] bowstrings that have not been dried. Then I would be as weak as any other man.”

The Philistine ·rulers [lords] brought Delilah seven ·new [fresh] bowstrings that had not been dried, and she tied Samson with them. Some men were ·hiding [lying in wait] in ·another [an inner; or their] room. Delilah said to him, “Samson, the Philistines are here!” But Samson broke the bowstrings like pieces of burned ·string [flax]. So the Philistines did not find out the secret of Samson’s strength.

10 Then Delilah said to Samson, “You ·made a fool of [mocked; or deceived] me. You lied to me. Now tell me how someone can ·tie you up [subdue you].”

11 Samson said, “They would have to tie me with new ropes that have not been used before. Then I would become as weak as any other man.”

12 So Delilah took new ropes and tied Samson. Some men were hiding in ·another [an inner; or their] room. She called out to him, “Samson, the Philistines are here!” But he broke the ropes from his arms as easily as if they were threads.

13 Then Delilah said to Samson, “·Again [L Until now] you have ·made a fool of [mocked; or deceived] me. You lied to me. Tell me how someone can tie you up.”

He said, “Using the loom, weave the seven braids of my hair into the ·cloth [woven fabric; web], and tighten it with a pin. Then I will be as weak as any other man.”

While Samson slept, Delilah wove the seven braids of his hair into the ·cloth [woven fabric; web]. 14 Then she fastened it with a pin.

Again she said to him, “Samson, the Philistines are here!” Samson woke up and pulled out the pin and the loom with the ·cloth [woven fabric; web].

15 Then Delilah said to him, “How can you say, ‘I love you,’ when ·you don’t even trust me [L your heart is not with me]? This is the third time you have ·made a fool of [mocked; or deceived] me. You haven’t told me the secret of your great strength.” 16 She ·kept bothering [nagged; pressed] Samson about his secret day after day until ·he felt he was going to die [L his soul was annoyed to death]!

17 So he told her ·everything [L all his heart]. He said, “·I have never had my hair cut [L A razor has never come upon my head], because I have been set apart to God as a Nazirite ·since I was born [L from my mother’s womb; 13:5, 7; Num. 6:1–12]. If someone shaved my head, I would lose my strength and be as weak as any other man.”

18 When Delilah saw that he had told her ·everything sincerely [L all his heart], she sent a message to the Philistine ·rulers [lords]. She said, “Come back one more time, because he has told me ·everything [L all that is in his heart].” So the Philistine rulers came back to Delilah and brought the silver ·with them [L in their hands]. 19 Delilah got Samson to sleep, lying in her lap. Then she called in a man to shave off the seven braids of Samson’s hair. In this way she began to ·make him weak [subdue him; make him vulnerable], and his strength left him.

20 Then she said, “Samson, the Philistines are here!”

He woke up and thought, “I’ll leave as I did before and shake myself free.” But he did not know that the Lord had left him.

21 Then the Philistines captured Samson and ·tore [gouged] out his eyes. They took him down to Gaza, where they put bronze ·chains [shackles] on him and made him grind grain in the prison. 22 But his hair began to grow again after it was shaved off.

Samson Dies

23 The Philistine ·rulers [lords] gathered to celebrate and to offer a great sacrifice to their god Dagon. They said, “Our god has handed Samson our enemy ·over to us [into our hand].” 24 When the people saw him, they praised their god, saying,

“This man ·destroyed [laid waste; ravaged] our country.
    He ·killed many of us [L multiplied our dead]!
But our god handed over
    our enemy to us.”

25 ·While the people were enjoying the celebration [When they were in high spirits; L When their heart was good], they said, “Bring Samson out to ·perform for [entertain; amuse] us.” So they brought Samson from the prison, and he ·performed for [entertained; amused] them. They made him stand between the pillars. 26 Samson said to the ·servant [youth; young man] holding his hand, “Let me feel the pillars that hold up the ·temple [house] so I can lean against them.” 27 Now the ·temple [house] was full of men and women. All the Philistine ·rulers [lords] were there, and about three thousand men and women were on the roof watching Samson perform. 28 Then Samson prayed to the Lord, “·Lord God [Sovereign Lord], remember me. God, please give me strength one more time so I ·can pay these Philistines back [avenge the Philistines] for putting out my two eyes!” 29 Then Samson ·turned to [grasped] the two center pillars ·that supported the whole temple [L on which the house rested]. He braced himself between the two pillars, with his right hand on one and his left hand on the other. 30 Samson said, “Let me die with these Philistines!” Then he pushed ·as hard as he could [with all his strength], causing the temple to fall on the ·rulers [lords] and all the people in it. So Samson killed more of the Philistines when he died than ·when he was alive [during his lifetime].

31 Samson’s brothers and ·his whole family [L all the house of his father] went down to get his body. They brought him back and buried him in the tomb of Manoah, his father, between the cities of Zorah and Eshtaol. Samson had ·judged [led; 2:16] Israel for twenty years.

Samson and Delilah

16 One day Samson(A) went to Gaza,(B) where he saw a prostitute.(C) He went in to spend the night with her. The people of Gaza were told, “Samson is here!” So they surrounded the place and lay in wait for him all night at the city gate.(D) They made no move during the night, saying, “At dawn(E) we’ll kill him.”

But Samson lay there only until the middle of the night. Then he got up and took hold of the doors of the city gate, together with the two posts, and tore them loose, bar and all. He lifted them to his shoulders and carried them to the top of the hill that faces Hebron.(F)

Some time later, he fell in love(G) with a woman in the Valley of Sorek whose name was Delilah.(H) The rulers of the Philistines(I) went to her and said, “See if you can lure(J) him into showing you the secret of his great strength(K) and how we can overpower him so we may tie him up and subdue him. Each one of us will give you eleven hundred shekels[a] of silver.”(L)

So Delilah(M) said to Samson, “Tell me the secret of your great strength and how you can be tied up and subdued.”

Samson answered her, “If anyone ties me with seven fresh bowstrings that have not been dried, I’ll become as weak as any other man.”

Then the rulers of the Philistines brought her seven fresh bowstrings that had not been dried, and she tied him with them. With men hidden in the room,(N) she called to him, “Samson, the Philistines are upon you!”(O) But he snapped the bowstrings as easily as a piece of string snaps when it comes close to a flame. So the secret of his strength was not discovered.

10 Then Delilah said to Samson, “You have made a fool of me;(P) you lied to me. Come now, tell me how you can be tied.”

11 He said, “If anyone ties me securely with new ropes(Q) that have never been used, I’ll become as weak as any other man.”

12 So Delilah took new ropes and tied him with them. Then, with men hidden in the room, she called to him, “Samson, the Philistines are upon you!”(R) But he snapped the ropes off his arms as if they were threads.

13 Delilah then said to Samson, “All this time you have been making a fool of me and lying to me. Tell me how you can be tied.”

He replied, “If you weave the seven braids of my head into the fabric on the loom and tighten it with the pin, I’ll become as weak as any other man.” So while he was sleeping, Delilah took the seven braids of his head, wove them into the fabric 14 and[b] tightened it with the pin.

Again she called to him, “Samson, the Philistines are upon you!”(S) He awoke from his sleep and pulled up the pin and the loom, with the fabric.

15 Then she said to him, “How can you say, ‘I love you,’(T) when you won’t confide in me? This is the third time(U) you have made a fool of me and haven’t told me the secret of your great strength.(V) 16 With such nagging she prodded him day after day until he was sick to death of it.

17 So he told her everything.(W) “No razor has ever been used on my head,” he said, “because I have been a Nazirite(X) dedicated to God from my mother’s womb. If my head were shaved, my strength would leave me, and I would become as weak as any other man.”

18 When Delilah saw that he had told her everything, she sent word to the rulers of the Philistines(Y), “Come back once more; he has told me everything.” So the rulers of the Philistines returned with the silver in their hands.(Z) 19 After putting him to sleep on her lap, she called for someone to shave off the seven braids of his hair, and so began to subdue him.[c] And his strength left him.(AA)

20 Then she called, “Samson, the Philistines are upon you!”(AB)

He awoke from his sleep and thought, “I’ll go out as before and shake myself free.” But he did not know that the Lord had left him.(AC)

21 Then the Philistines(AD) seized him, gouged out his eyes(AE) and took him down to Gaza.(AF) Binding him with bronze shackles, they set him to grinding grain(AG) in the prison. 22 But the hair on his head began to grow again after it had been shaved.

The Death of Samson

23 Now the rulers of the Philistines assembled to offer a great sacrifice to Dagon(AH) their god and to celebrate, saying, “Our god has delivered Samson, our enemy, into our hands.”

24 When the people saw him, they praised their god,(AI) saying,

“Our god has delivered our enemy
    into our hands,(AJ)
the one who laid waste our land
    and multiplied our slain.”

25 While they were in high spirits,(AK) they shouted, “Bring out Samson to entertain us.” So they called Samson out of the prison, and he performed for them.

When they stood him among the pillars, 26 Samson said to the servant who held his hand, “Put me where I can feel the pillars that support the temple, so that I may lean against them.” 27 Now the temple was crowded with men and women; all the rulers of the Philistines were there, and on the roof(AL) were about three thousand men and women watching Samson perform. 28 Then Samson prayed to the Lord,(AM) “Sovereign Lord, remember me. Please, God, strengthen me just once more, and let me with one blow get revenge(AN) on the Philistines for my two eyes.” 29 Then Samson reached toward the two central pillars on which the temple stood. Bracing himself against them, his right hand on the one and his left hand on the other, 30 Samson said, “Let me die with the Philistines!” Then he pushed with all his might, and down came the temple on the rulers and all the people in it. Thus he killed many more when he died than while he lived.

31 Then his brothers and his father’s whole family went down to get him. They brought him back and buried him between Zorah and Eshtaol in the tomb of Manoah(AO) his father. He had led[d](AP) Israel twenty years.(AQ)

Footnotes

  1. Judges 16:5 That is, about 28 pounds or about 13 kilograms
  2. Judges 16:14 Some Septuagint manuscripts; Hebrew replied, “I can if you weave the seven braids of my head into the fabric on the loom.” 14 So she
  3. Judges 16:19 Hebrew; some Septuagint manuscripts and he began to weaken
  4. Judges 16:31 Traditionally judged

Bible Gateway Sponsors