The Birth of Samson
13 1 And the children of Israel again did evil in the eyes of the Lord; and the Lord gave them into the hands of the Philistines for forty years. 2 Now there was a certain man of Zorah of the family of the Danites, and his name was Manoah; and his wife had never given birth to a child. 3 And the angel of the Lord came to the woman, and said to her, See now! though you have never given birth to children, you will be with child and give birth to a son. 4 Now then take care to have no wine or strong drink and to take no unclean thing for food; 5 For you are with child and will give birth to a son; his hair is never to be cut, for the child is to be separate to God from his birth; and he will take up the work of freeing Israel from the hands of the Philistines. 6 Then the woman came in, and said to her husband, A man came to me, and his form was like the form of a god, causing great fear; I put no question to him about where he came from, and he did not give me his name; 7 But he said to me, You are with child and will give birth to a son; and now do not take any wine or strong drink or let anything unclean be your food; for the child will be separate to God from his birth to the day of his death.
8 Then Manoah made prayer to the Lord, and said, O Lord, let the man of God whom you sent come to us again and make clear to us what we are to do for the child who is to come. 9 And God gave ear to the voice of Manoah; and the angel of God came to the woman again when she was seated in the field; but her husband Manoah was not with her. 10 So the woman, running quickly, gave her husband the news, saying, I have seen the man who came to me the other day. 11 And Manoah got up and went after his wife, and came up to the man and said to him, Are you the man who was talking to this woman? And he said, I am. 12 And Manoah said, Now when your words come true, what is to be the rule for the child and what will be his work? 13 And the angel of the Lord said to Manoah, Let the woman take note of what I have said to her. 14 She is to have nothing which comes from the vine for her food, and let her take no wine or strong drink or anything which is unclean; let her take care to do all I have given her orders to do.
15 And Manoah said to the angel of the Lord, Now let us keep you while we make ready a young goat for you. 16 And the angel of the Lord said to Manoah, Though you keep me I will not take of your food; but if you will make a burned offering, let it be offered to the Lord. For it had not come into Manoah's mind that he was the angel of the Lord. 17 Then Manoah said to the angel of the Lord, What is your name, so that when your words come true we may give you honour? 18 But the angel of the Lord said to him, Why are you questioning me about my name, seeing that it is a wonder? 19 So Manoah took the young goat with its meal offering, offering it on the rock to the Lord, who did strange things. 20 And when the flame went up to heaven from the altar, the angel of the Lord went up in the flame of the altar, while Manoah and his wife were looking on; and they went down on their faces to the earth. 21 But the angel of the Lord was seen no more by Manoah and his wife. Then it was clear to Manoah that he was the angel of the Lord. 22 And Manoah said to his wife, Death will certainly be our fate, for it is a god whom we have seen. 23 But his wife said to him, If the Lord was purposing our death, he would not have taken our burned offering and our meal offering, or have given us such orders about the child.
24 So the woman gave birth to a son, and gave him the name Samson; and he became a man and the blessing of the Lord was on him. 25 And the spirit of the Lord first came on him in Mahaneh-dan, between Zorah and Eshtaol.
Samson and the Woman of Timnath
14 1 Now Samson went down to Timnah, and saw a woman in Timnah, of the daughters of the Philistines; 2 And when he came back he said to his father and mother, I have seen a woman in Timnah, of the daughters of the Philistines: get her now for me for my wife. 3 Then his father and mother said to him, Is there no woman among the daughters of your relations or among all my people, that you have to go for your wife to the Philistines, who are without circumcision? But Samson said to his father, Get her for me, for she is pleasing to me. 4 Now his father and mother had no knowledge that this was the purpose of the Lord, who had the destruction of the Philistines in mind. Now the Philistines at that time were ruling over Israel. 5 Then Samson went down to Timnah (and his father and his mother,) and came to the vine-gardens of Timnah; and a young lion came rushing out at him. 6 And the spirit of the Lord came on him with power, and, unarmed as he was, pulling the lion in two as one might do to a young goat, he put him to death; (but he said nothing to his father and mother of what he had done.) 7 So he went down and had talk with the woman; and she was pleasing to Samson. 8 Then after a time he went back to take her; and turning from the road to see the dead body of the lion, he saw a mass of bees in the body of the lion, and honey there. 9 And he took the honey in his hand, and went on, tasting it on the way; and when he came to his father and mother he gave some to them; but did not say that he had taken the honey from the body of the lion.
10 Then Samson went down to the woman, and made a feast there, as was the way among young men. 11 And he took thirty friends, and they were with him. 12 And Samson said, Now I have a hard question for you: if you are able to give me the answer before the seven days of the feast are over, I will give you thirty linen robes and thirty changes of clothing; 13 But if you are not able to give me the answer, then you will have to give me thirty linen robes and thirty changes of clothing. And they said to him, Put your hard question and let us see what it is. 14 And he said, Out of the taker of food came food, and out of the strong came the sweet. And at the end of three days they were still not able to give the answer. 15 So on the fourth day they said to Samson's wife, Get from your husband the answer to his question by some trick or other, or we will have you and your father's house burned with fire; did you get us here to take all we have? 16 Then Samson's wife, weeping over him, said, Truly you have no love for me but only hate; you have put a hard question to the children of my people and have not given me the answer. And he said to her, See, I have not given the answer even to my father or my mother; am I to give it to you? 17 And all the seven days of the feast she went on weeping over him; and on the seventh day he gave her the answer, because she gave him no peace; and she sent word of it to the children of her people. 18 Then on the seventh day, before he went into the bride's room, the men of the town said to him, What is sweeter than honey? and what is stronger than a lion? And he said to them, If you had not been ploughing with my cow you would not have got the answer to my question. 19 And the spirit of the Lord came rushing on him, and he went down to Ashkelon and, attacking thirty men there, took their clothing from them, and gave it to the men who had given the answer to his hard question. Then, full of wrath, he went back to his father's house. 20 But Samson's wife was given to the friend who had been his best man.
15 1 Now a short time after, at the time of the grain-cutting, Samson, taking with him a young goat, went to see his wife; and he said, I will go in to my wife into the bride's room. But her father would not let him go in. 2 And her father said, It seemed to me that you had only hate for her; so I gave her to your friend: but is not her younger sister fairer than she? so please take her in place of the other. 3 Then Samson said to them, This time I will give payment in full to the Philistines, for I am going to do them great evil. 4 So Samson went and got three hundred foxes and some sticks of fire-wood; and he put the foxes tail to tail with a stick between every two tails; 5 Then firing the sticks, he let the foxes loose among the uncut grain of the Philistines, and all the corded stems as well as the living grain and the vine-gardens and the olives went up in flames. 6 Then the Philistines said, Who has done this? And they said, Samson, the son-in-law of the Timnite, because he took his wife and gave her to his friend. So the Philistines came up and had her and her father's house burned. 7 And Samson said to them, If you go on like this, truly I will take my full payment from you; and that will be the end of it. 8 And he made an attack on them, driving them in uncontrolled flight, and causing great destruction; then he went away to his safe place in the crack of the rock at Etam.
Samson Defeats the Philistines at Lehi
9 Then the Philistines went and put up their tents in Judah, all round Lehi. 10 And the men of Judah said, Why have you come up against us? And they said, We have come up to take Samson, and to do to him as he has done to us. 11 Then three thousand of the men of Judah went down to the crack of the rock of Etam, and said to Samson, Is it not clear to you that the Philistines are our rulers? What is this you have done to us? And he said to them, I only did to them as they did to me. 12 Then they said to him, We have come down to take you and give you up into the hands of the Philistines. And Samson said to them, Give me your oath that you will not make an attack on me yourselves. 13 And they said, No; we will take you and give you up into their hands, but truly we will not put you to death. So knotting two new cords round him they took him up from the rock. 14 And when he came to Lehi, the Philistines came out, meeting him with loud cries; then the spirit of the Lord came rushing on him, and the cords on his arms became like grass which has been burned with fire, and the bands came falling off his hands. 15 And taking up the mouth-bone of an ass newly dead, which he saw by chance on the earth, he put to death a thousand men with it. 16 And Samson said, With a red ass's mouth-bone I have made them red with blood, with a red ass's mouth-bone I have sent destruction on a thousand men. 17 And having said these words, he let the mouth-bone go out of his hand; so that place was named Ramath-lehi.
18 After this, he was in great need of water, and crying out to the Lord, he said, You have given this great salvation by the hand of your servant, and now need of water will be my death; and I will be given into the hands of this people who are without circumcision. 19 Then God made a crack in the hollow rock in Lehi and water came out of it; and after drinking, his spirit came back to him and he was strong again; so that place was named En-hakkore; it is in Lehi to this day. 20 And he was judge of Israel in the days of the Philistines for twenty years.