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A Strong Man Who Lost His Streng





Afterward, Samson fell in love with a woman in the valley of Sorek,
named Delilah. Then the rulers of the Philistines came to her and said,
"Find out by teasing him how it is that his strength is so great and
how we may overpower and bind him that we may torture him. Then we will
each one of us give you eleven hundred pieces of silver." So Delilah
said to Samson, "Tell me how it is that your strength is so great and
how you might be bound to torture you?" Samson said to her, "If they
should bind me with seven green bowstrings which have not been dried, I
would become weak like any other man."

Then the rulers of the Philistines brought her seven green bowstrings
which had not been dried, and she bound him with them. She had the men
lying in wait in the inner room, but when she said to him, "The
Philistines are upon you, Samson!" he snapped the bowstrings as a piece
of yarn is snapped when it comes near the fire; so they did not find out
the secret of his strength.

Then Delilah said to Samson, "You have deceived me and lied to me; now
tell me with what you can be bound fast." He said to her, "If they
should bind me securely with new ropes with which no work has been done,
I would become weak like any other man." So Delilah took new ropes and
bound him with them and said to him, "The Philistines are upon you,
Samson!" Men were also lying in wait in the inner room; but he snapped
the ropes from his arms like thread.

Again Delilah said to Samson, "So far you have deceived me and lied to
me; tell me now with what you can be bound fast." He said to her, "If
you should weave the seven braids on my head along with the web and beat
it into form with the weaving pin, I would become weak like any other
man." So while he was asleep, she took the seven braids of his hair and
wove it with the web and beat it into form with the pin, and said to
him, "The Philistines are upon you, Samson!" But he awoke out of his
sleep and pulled up the loom and the web.

Then she said to him, "How can you say, 'I love you,' when you do not
trust me? You have deceived me three times already and have not told me
the secret of your great strength." But in time, since she daily begged
and urged him, he was wearied to death, and told her all that he knew,
saying, "A razor has never touched my head; for I have belonged to God
from my birth. If I should be shaved, my strength would be gone, and I
would become weak like any other man."

When Delilah saw that he had told her all that he knew, she sent and
called for the rulers of the Philistines and said, "Come at once, for
he has told me all that he knows." Then the rulers of the Philistines
came up to her and brought the money with them. After she had put Samson
to sleep on her knees, she called for a man and had him shave off the
seven braids on his head. Then she began to tease him, and his strength
went from him; and she said, "The Philistines are upon you, Samson!" And
he awoke out of his sleep and thought, "I will get up as I have done at
other times and shake myself free"; for he did not know that Jehovah had
left him. So the Philistines seized him and bored out his eyes. Then
they brought him down to Gaza and bound him with chains of brass, and
then he was set to grinding in the prison. But the hair of his head
began to grow again as soon as he was shaved.

Then the rulers of the Philistines assembled to offer a great sacrifice
to their god Dagon and to rejoice, for they said, "Our god has given
Samson, our enemy, into our power." When the people saw him, they also
praised their god, saying:

"Our god has laid low our foe,
He who brought our country woe,
He who slew us with many a blow."

When they were in high spirits, they said, "Call Samson that he may
amuse us." So they called Samson from the prison and he amused them; and
they placed him between the pillars.

Then Samson said to the young man who held him by the hand, "Let me
touch the pillars on which the building rests, that I may lean against
them." Now the building was full of men and women, and all the rulers of
the Philistines were there, and on the roof about three thousand men and
women were looking on while Samson amused them. Samson called on Jehovah
and said, "O Jehovah, remember me and strengthen me, I pray thee, just
this once, O God, that by one act I may avenge myself on the Philistines
for the loss of my two eyes."

Then Samson took hold of the two middle pillars upon which the building
rested, one with his right hand and the other with his left, and leaned
against them. And Samson said, "Let me die with the Philistines." Then
he bent over with all his strength, and the house fell upon the rulers
and upon all the people who were in it. So those whom he killed at his
death were more than those whom he killed during his lifetime.

Then his brothers and all his family came down and took him away and
buried him between Zorah and Eshtaol in the burying-place of Manoah his
father.





Next: The Devotion Of Ruth

Previous: Samson Who Did To Others As They



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