Judges 16-18 Revised Standard Version

<< Judges 15 | Judges 16-18 | Judges 19 >>

Samson at Gaza

16 1  Samson went to Gaza, and there he saw a harlot, and he went in to her. 2  The Gazites were told, "Samson has come here," and they surrounded the place and lay in wait 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." 3  But 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 before Hebron.

Samson and Delilah

4  After this he loved a woman in the valley of Sorek, whose name was Deli'lah. 5  And the lords of the Philistines came to her and said to her, "Entice him, and see wherein his great strength lies, and by what means we may overpower him, that we may bind him to subdue him; and we will each give you eleven hundred pieces of silver." 6  And Deli'lah said to Samson, "Please tell me wherein your great strength lies, and how you might be bound, that one could subdue you." 7  And Samson said to her, "If they bind me with seven fresh bowstrings which have not been dried, then I shall become weak, and be like any other man." 8  Then the lords of the Philistines brought her seven fresh bowstrings which had not been dried, and she bound him with them. 9  Now she had men lying in wait in an inner chamber. And she said to him, "The Philistines are upon you, Samson!" But he snapped the bowstrings, as a string of tow snaps when it touches the fire. So the secret of his strength was not known. 10  And Deli'lah said to Samson, "Behold, you have mocked me, and told me lies; please tell me how you might be bound." 11  And 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." 12  So Deli'lah took new ropes and bound him with them, and said to him, "The Philistines are upon you, Samson!" And the men lying in wait were in an inner chamber. But he snapped the ropes off his arms like a thread. 13  And Deli'lah 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 make it tight with the pin, then I shall become weak, and be like any other man." 14  So while he slept, Deli'lah 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. 15  And 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 wherein your great strength lies." 16  And when she pressed him hard with her words day after day, and urged him, his soul was vexed to death. 17  And he told her all his mind, 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 I be shaved, then my strength will leave me, and I shall become weak, and be like any other man."

18  When Deli'lah saw that he had told her all his mind, she sent and called the lords of the Philistines, saying, "Come up this once, for he has told me all his mind." Then the lords of the Philistines came up to her, and brought the money in their hands. 19  She made him sleep upon 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. 20  And 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." And he did not know that the Lord had left him. 21  And the Philistines seized him and gouged out his eyes, and brought him down to Gaza, and bound him with bronze fetters; and he ground at the mill in the prison.

22  But the hair of his head began to grow again after it had been shaved.

The Death of Samson

23  Now the lords of the Philistines gathered to offer a great sacrifice to Dagon their god, and to rejoice; for they said, "Our god has given Samson our enemy into our hand." 24  And 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 slain many of us." 25  And when their hearts were merry, they said, "Call Samson, that he may make sport for us." So they called Samson out of the prison, and he made sport before them. They made him stand between the pillars; 26  and Samson said to the lad who held him by the hand, "Let me feel the pillars on which the house rests, that I may lean against them." 27  Now the house was full of men and women; all the lords of the Philistines were there, and on the roof there were about three thousand men and women, who looked on while Samson made sport. 28  Then Samson called to 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 avenged upon the Philistines for one of my two eyes." 29  And Samson grasped the two middle pillars upon which the house rested, and he leaned his weight upon them, his right hand on the one and his left hand on the other. 30  And Samson said, "Let me die with the Philistines." Then he bowed with all his might; and the house fell upon the lords and upon all the people that were in it. So the dead whom he slew at his death were more than those whom he had slain during his life. 31  Then his brothers and all his family came down and took him and brought him up and buried him between Zorah and Esh'ta-ol in the tomb of Mano'ah his father. He had judged Israel twenty years.

Micah's Images and His Priest

17 1  There was a man of the hill country of E'phraim, whose name was Micah. 2  And he said to his mother, "The eleven hundred pieces of silver which were taken from you, about which you uttered a curse, and also spoke it in my ears, behold, the silver is with me; I took it." And his mother said, "Blessed be my son by the Lord." 3  And he restored the eleven hundred pieces of silver to his mother; and his mother said, "I consecrate the silver to the Lord from my hand for my son, to make a graven image and a molten image; now therefore I will restore it to you." 4  So when he restored the money to his mother, his mother took two hundred pieces of silver, and gave it to the silversmith, who made it into a graven image and a molten image; and it was in the house of Micah. 5  And the man Micah had a shrine, and he made an ephod and teraphim, and installed one of his sons, who became his priest. 6  In those days there was no king in Israel; every man did what was right in his own eyes.

7  Now there was a young man of Bethlehem in Judah, of the family of Judah, who was a Levite; and he sojourned there. 8  And the man departed from the town of Bethlehem in Judah, to live where he could find a place; and as he journeyed, he came to the hill country of E'phraim to the house of Micah. 9  And Micah said to him, "From where do you come?" And he said to him, "I am a Levite of Bethlehem in Judah, and I am going to sojourn where I may find a place." 10  And Micah said to him, "Stay with me, and be to me a father and a priest, and I will give you ten pieces of silver a year, and a suit of apparel, and your living." 11  And the Levite was content to dwell with the man; and the young man became to him like one of his sons. 12  And Micah installed the Levite, and the young man became his priest, and was in the house of Micah. 13  Then Micah said, "Now I know that the Lord will prosper me, because I have a Levite as priest."

Micah and the Danites

18 1  In those days there was no king in Israel. And in those days the tribe of the Danites was seeking for itself an inheritance to dwell in; for until then no inheritance among the tribes of Israel had fallen to them. 2  So the Danites sent five able men from the whole number of their tribe, from Zorah and from Esh'ta-ol, to spy out the land and to explore it; and they said to them, "Go and explore the land." And they came to the hill country of E'phraim, to the house of Micah, and lodged there. 3  When they were by the house of Micah, they recognized the voice of the young Levite; and they turned aside and said to him, "Who brought you here? What are you doing in this place? What is your business here?" 4  And he said to them, "Thus and thus has Micah dealt with me: he has hired me, and I have become his priest." 5  And they said to him, "Inquire of God, we pray thee, that we may know whether the journey on which we are setting out will succeed." 6  And the priest said to them, "Go in peace. The journey on which you go is under the eye of the Lord."

7  Then the five men departed, and came to La'ish, and saw the people who were there, how they dwelt in security, after the manner of the Sido'nians, quiet and unsuspecting, lacking nothing that is in the earth, and possessing wealth, and how they were far from the Sido'nians and had no dealings with any one. 8  And when they came to their brethren at Zorah and Esh'ta-ol, their brethren said to them, "What do you report?" 9  They said, "Arise, and let us go up against them; for we have seen the land, and behold, it is very fertile. And will you do nothing? Do not be slow to go, and enter in and possess the land. 10  When you go, you will come to an unsuspecting people. The land is broad; yea, God has given it into your hands, a place where there is no lack of anything that is in the earth." 11  And six hundred men of the tribe of Dan, armed with weapons of war, set forth from Zorah and Esh'ta-ol, 12  and went up and encamped at Kir'iath-je'arim in Judah. On this account that place is called Ma'haneh-dan to this day; behold, it is west of Kir'iath-je'arim. 13  And they passed on from there to the hill country of E'phraim, and came to the house of Micah.

14  Then the five men who had gone to spy out the country of La'ish said to their brethren, "Do you know that in these houses there are an ephod, teraphim, a graven image, and a molten image? Now therefore consider what you will do." 15  And they turned aside thither, and came to the house of the young Levite, at the home of Micah, and asked him of his welfare. 16  Now the six hundred men of the Danites, armed with their weapons of war, stood by the entrance of the gate; 17  and the five men who had gone to spy out the land went up, and entered and took the graven image, the ephod, the teraphim, and the molten image, while the priest stood by the entrance of the gate with the six hundred men armed with weapons of war. 18  And when these went into Micah's house and took the graven image, the ephod, the teraphim, and the molten image, the priest said to them, "What are you doing?" 19  And they said to him, "Keep quiet, put your hand upon your mouth, and come with us, and be to us a father and a priest. Is it better for you to be priest to the house of one man, or to be priest to a tribe and family in Israel?" 20  And the priest's heart was glad; he took the ephod, and the teraphim, and the graven image, and went in the midst of the people. 21  So they turned and departed, putting the little ones and the cattle and the goods in front of them. 22  When they were a good way from the home of Micah, the men who were in the houses near Micah's house were called out, and they overtook the Danites. 23  And they shouted to the Danites, who turned round and said to Micah, "What ails you that you come with such a company?" 24  And he said, "You take my gods which I made, and the priest, and go away, and what have I left? How then do you ask me, 'What ails you?'" 25  And the Danites said to him, "Do not let your voice be heard among us, lest angry fellows fall upon you, and you lose your life with the lives of your household." 26  Then the Danites went their way; and when Micah saw that they were too strong for him, he turned and went back to his home.

27  And taking what Micah had made, and the priest who belonged to him, the Danites came to La'ish, to a people quiet and unsuspecting, and smote them with the edge of the sword, and burned the city with fire. 28  And there was no deliverer because it was far from Sidon, and they had no dealings with any one. It was in the valley which belongs to Beth-rehob. And they rebuilt the city, and dwelt in it. 29  And they named the city Dan, after the name of Dan their ancestor, who was born to Israel; but the name of the city was La'ish at the first. 30  And the Danites set up the graven image for themselves; and Jonathan the son of Gershom, son of Moses, and his sons were priests to the tribe of the Danites until the day of the captivity of the land. 31  So they set up Micah's graven image which he made, as long as the house of God was at Shiloh.

<< Judges 15 | Judges 16-18 | Judges 19 >>

Add Another Translation