1One day Samson went to Gaza. There he saw a prostitute. He went in to spend the night with her.2The people of Gaza were told, “Samson is here!” So they surrounded the place. They hid and waited for him at the city gate all night long. They didn't make any move against him during the night. They said, “Let's wait until the sun comes up. Then we'll kill him.”3But Samson stayed there only until the middle of the night. Then he got up. He took hold of the doors of the city gate. He also took hold of the two doorposts. He tore them loose, together with their metal bar. He picked them up and put them on his shoulders. Then he carried them to the top of the hill that faces Hebron.4Some time later, Samson fell in love again. The woman lived in the Valley of Sorek. Her name was Delilah.5The rulers of the Philistines went to her. They said, “See if you can get him to tell you the secret of why he's so strong. Find out how we can overpower him. Then we can tie him up. We can bring him under our control. Each of us will give you 28 pounds of silver.”6So Delilah spoke to Samson. She said, “Tell me the secret of why you are so strong. Tell me how you can be tied up and controlled.”7Samson answered her, “Let someone tie me up with seven new leather straps. They must be straps that aren't completely dry. Then I'll become as weak as any other man.”8So the Philistine rulers brought seven new leather straps to her. They weren't completely dry. Delilah tied Samson up with them.9Men were hiding in the room. She called out to him. She said, “Samson! The Philistines are attacking you!” But he snapped the leather straps easily. They were like pieces of string that had come too close to a flame. So the secret of why he was so strong wasn't discovered.10Delilah spoke to Samson again. “You have made me look foolish,” she said. “You told me a lie. Come on. Tell me how you can be tied up.”11Samson said, “Let someone tie me tightly with new ropes. They must be ropes that have never been used. Then I'll become as weak as any other man.”12So Delilah got some new ropes. She tied him up with them. Men were hiding in the room. She called out to him. She said, “Samson! The Philistines are attacking you!” But he snapped the ropes off his arms. They fell off just as if they were threads.13Delilah spoke to Samson again. “Until now, you have been making me look foolish,” she said. “You have been telling me lies. This time really tell me how you can be tied up.” He replied, “Weave the seven braids of my hair into the cloth on a loom. Then pin my hair to the loom. If you do, I'll become as weak as any other man.” So while Samson was sleeping, Delilah took hold of the seven braids of his hair. She wove them into the cloth on a loom.14Then she pinned his hair to the loom. Again she called out to him. She said, “Samson! The Philistines are attacking you!” He woke up from his sleep. He pulled up the pin and the loom, together with the cloth.15Then she said to him, “How can you say, ‘I love you’? You won't even share your secret with me. This is the third time you have made me look foolish. And you still haven't told me the secret of why you are so strong.”16She continued to pester him day after day. She nagged him until he was sick and tired of it.17So he told her everything. “I've never used a razor on my head,” he said. “I've never cut my hair. That's because I've been a Nazirite since the day I was born. A Nazirite is set apart to God. If you shave my head, I won't be strong anymore. I'll become as weak as any other man.”18Delilah realized he had told her everything. So she sent a message to the Philistine rulers. She said, “Come back one more time. He has told me everything.” So the rulers returned. They brought the silver with them.19Delilah got Samson to go to sleep on her lap. Then she called for a man to shave off the seven braids of his hair. That's how she began to bring him under her control. And he wasn't strong anymore.20She called out, “Samson! The Philistines are attacking you!” He woke up from his sleep. He thought, “I'll go out just as I did before. I'll shake myself free.” But he didn't know that the Lord had left him.21Then the Philistines grabbed hold of him. They poked his eyes out. They took him down to Gaza. They put bronze chains around him. Then they made him grind grain in the prison.22His head had been shaved. But the hair on it began to grow again.
23The rulers of the Philistines gathered together. They were going to offer a great sacrifice to their god Dagon. They were going to celebrate. They said, “Our god has handed our enemy Samson over to us.”24When the people saw Samson, they praised their god. They said, “Our god has handed our enemy over to us. Our enemy has destroyed our land. He has killed large numbers of our people.”25After they had drunk a lot of wine, they shouted, “Bring Samson out. Let him put on a show for us.” So they called Samson out of the prison. He put on a show for them. They had him stand near the temple pillars.26Then he spoke to the servant who was holding his hand. He said, “Put me where I can feel the pillars. I'm talking about the ones that hold the temple up. I want to lean against them.”27The temple was crowded with men and women. All of the Philistine rulers were there. About 3,000 men and women were on the roof. They were watching Samson put on a show.28Then he prayed to the Lord. He said, “Lord and King, show me that you still have concern for me. God, please make me strong just one more time. Let me pay the Philistines back for what they did to my two eyes. Let me do it with only one blow.”29Then Samson reached toward the two pillars that were in the middle of the temple. They held the temple up. He put his right hand on one of them. He put his left hand on the other. He leaned hard against them.30Samson said, “Let me die together with the Philistines!” Then he pushed with all his might. The temple came down on the rulers. It fell on all of the people who were in it. So Samson killed many more Philistines when he died than he did while he lived.31Then his brothers went down to get him. So did his father's whole family. All of them brought Samson's body back home. They buried his body in the tomb of his father Manoah. It's between Zorah and Eshtaol. Samson had led Israel for 20 years.
English Standard Version
Samson and Delilah
1Samson went to Gaza, and there he saw a prostitute, and he went in to her. (Jos 15:47)2The Gazites were told, “Samson has come here.” And they surrounded the place and set an ambush for him all night at the gate of the city. They kept quiet all night, saying, “Let us wait till the light of the morning; then we will kill him.” (1Sa 23:26; Ps 118:10; Ac 9:24)3But Samson lay till midnight, and at midnight he arose and took hold of the doors of the gate of the city and the two posts, and pulled them up, bar and all, and put them on his shoulders and carried them to the top of the hill that is in front of Hebron.4After this he loved a woman in the Valley of Sorek, whose name was Delilah.5And the lords of the Philistines came up to her and said to her, “Seduce him, and see where his great strength lies, and by what means we may overpower him, that we may bind him to humble him. And we will each give you 1,100 pieces of silver.” (Jos 13:3; Jud 14:15; Jud 16:19)6So Delilah said to Samson, “Please tell me where your great strength lies, and how you might be bound, that one could subdue you.” (Jud 16:5)7Samson said to her, “If they bind me with seven fresh bowstrings that have not been dried, then I shall become weak and be like any other man.” (Jud 16:11; Jud 16:17)8Then the lords of the Philistines brought up to her seven fresh bowstrings that had not been dried, and she bound him with them.9Now she had men lying in ambush in an inner chamber. And she said to him, “The Philistines are upon you, Samson!” But he snapped the bowstrings, as a thread of flax snaps when it touches the fire. So the secret of his strength was not known.10Then Delilah said to Samson, “Behold, you have mocked me and told me lies. Please tell me how you might be bound.”11And he said to her, “If they bind me with new ropes that have not been used, then I shall become weak and be like any other man.” (Jud 15:13)12So Delilah took new ropes and bound him with them and said to him, “The Philistines are upon you, Samson!” And the men lying in ambush were in an inner chamber. But he snapped the ropes off his arms like a thread.13Then Delilah said to Samson, “Until now you have mocked me and told me lies. Tell me how you might be bound.” And he said to her, “If you weave the seven locks of my head with the web and fasten it tight with the pin, then I shall become weak and be like any other man.”14So while he slept, Delilah took the seven locks of his head and wove them into the web. And she made them tight with the pin and said to him, “The Philistines are upon you, Samson!” But he awoke from his sleep and pulled away the pin, the loom, and the web.15And she said to him, “How can you say, ‘I love you,’ when your heart is not with me? You have mocked me these three times, and you have not told me where your great strength lies.” (Jud 14:16)16And when she pressed him hard with her words day after day, and urged him, his soul was vexed to death. (Jud 14:17)17And he told her all his heart, and said to her, “A razor has never come upon my head, for I have been a Nazirite to God from my mother’s womb. If my head is shaved, then my strength will leave me, and I shall become weak and be like any other man.” (Jud 13:5)18When Delilah saw that he had told her all his heart, she sent and called the lords of the Philistines, saying, “Come up again, for he has told me all his heart.” Then the lords of the Philistines came up to her and brought the money in their hands. (Jud 16:5)19She made him sleep on her knees. And she called a man and had him shave off the seven locks of his head. Then she began to torment him, and his strength left him. (Jud 16:5)20And she said, “The Philistines are upon you, Samson!” And he awoke from his sleep and said, “I will go out as at other times and shake myself free.” But he did not know that the Lord had left him. (1Sa 28:15)21And the Philistines seized him and gouged out his eyes and brought him down to Gaza and bound him with bronze shackles. And he ground at the mill in the prison. (Ex 11:5; Mt 24:41)22But the hair of his head began to grow again after it had been shaved.
The Death of Samson
23Now the lords of the Philistines gathered to offer a great sacrifice to Dagon their god and to rejoice, and they said, “Our god has given Samson our enemy into our hand.” (1Sa 5:2; 1Ch 10:10)24And when the people saw him, they praised their god. For they said, “Our god has given our enemy into our hand, the ravager of our country, who has killed many of us.” (Da 5:4)25And when their hearts were merry, they said, “Call Samson, that he may entertain us.” So they called Samson out of the prison, and he entertained them. They made him stand between the pillars. (Jud 19:6; 2Sa 13:28)26And Samson said to the young man who held him by the hand, “Let me feel the pillars on which the house rests, that I may lean against them.”27Now the house was full of men and women. All the lords of the Philistines were there, and on the roof there were about 3,000 men and women, who looked on while Samson entertained. (De 22:8; 2Sa 11:2; Ne 8:16; Mt 24:17; Mr 13:15; Lu 17:31)28Then Samson called to the Lord and said, “O Lord God, please remember me and please strengthen me only this once, O God, that I may be avenged on the Philistines for my two eyes.” (Jer 15:15)29And Samson grasped the two middle pillars on which the house rested, and he leaned his weight against them, his right hand on the one and his left hand on the other.30And Samson said, “Let me die with the Philistines.” Then he bowed with all his strength, and the house fell upon the lords and upon all the people who were in it. So the dead whom he killed at his death were more than those whom he had killed during his life.31Then his brothers and all his family came down and took him and brought him up and buried him between Zorah and Eshtaol in the tomb of Manoah his father. He had judged Israel twenty years. (Jud 13:25)