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

years.



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.





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