Judges 13-15 World English Bible

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The Birth of Samson

13 1  The children of Israel again did that which was evil in the sight of Yahweh; and Yahweh delivered them into the hand of the Philistines forty years. 2  There was a certain man of Zorah, of the family of the Danites, whose name was Manoah; and his wife was barren, and didn’t bear. 3  The angel of Yahweh appeared to the woman, and said to her, “See now, you are barren, and don’t bear; but you shall conceive, and bear a son. 4  Now therefore please beware and drink no wine nor strong drink, and don’t eat any unclean thing: 5  for, behold, you shall conceive, and bear a son; and no razor shall come on his head; for the child shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb: and he shall begin to save Israel out of the hand of the Philistines.” 6  Then the woman came and told her husband, saying, “A man of God came to me, and his face was like the face of the angel of God, very awesome; and I didn’t ask him whence he was, neither did he tell me his name: 7  but he said to me, ‘Behold, you shall conceive, and bear a son; and now drink no wine nor strong drink, and eat not any unclean thing; for the child shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb to the day of his death.’”

8  Then Manoah entreated Yahweh, and said, “Oh, Lord, please let the man of God whom you did send come again to us, and teach us what we shall do to the child who shall be born.” 9  God listened to the voice of Manoah; and the angel of God came again to the woman as she sat in the field: but Manoah, her husband, wasn’t with her. 10  The woman made haste, and ran, and told her husband, and said to him, “Behold, the man has appeared to me, who came to me the other day.” 11  Manoah arose, and went after his wife, and came to the man, and said to him, “Are you the man who spoke to the woman?”

He said, “I am.” 12  Manoah said, “Now let your words happen. What shall be the ordering of the child, and how shall we do to him?” 13  The angel of Yahweh said to Manoah, “Of all that I said to the woman let her beware. 14  She may not eat of anything that comes of the vine, neither let her drink wine or strong drink, nor eat any unclean thing; all that I commanded her let her observe.”

15  Manoah said to the angel of Yahweh, “I pray you, let us detain you, that we may make a young goat ready for you.” 16  The angel of Yahweh said to Manoah, “Though you detain me, I won’t eat of your bread; and if you will make ready a burnt offering, you must offer it to Yahweh.” For Manoah didn’t know that he was the angel of Yahweh. 17  Manoah said to the angel of Yahweh, “What is your name, that when your words happen, we may honor you?” 18  The angel of Yahweh said to him, “Why do you ask about my name, seeing it is wonderful?” 19  So Manoah took the young goat with the meal offering, and offered it on the rock to Yahweh: and the angel did wondrously, and Manoah and his wife looked on. 20  For it happened, when the flame went up toward the sky from off the altar, that the angel of Yahweh ascended in the flame of the altar: and Manoah and his wife looked on; and they fell on their faces to the ground. 21  But the angel of Yahweh did no more appear to Manoah or to his wife. Then Manoah knew that he was the angel of Yahweh. 22  Manoah said to his wife, “We shall surely die, because we have seen God.” 23  But his wife said to him, “If Yahweh were pleased to kill us, he wouldn’t have received a burnt offering and a meal offering at our hand, neither would he have shown us all these things, nor would at this time have told such things as these.”

24  The woman bore a son, and named him Samson: and the child grew, and Yahweh blessed him. 25  The Spirit of Yahweh began to move him in Mahaneh Dan, between Zorah and Eshtaol.

Samson and the Woman of Timnath

14 1  Samson went down to Timnah, and saw a woman in Timnah of the daughters of the Philistines. 2  He came up, and told his father and his mother, and said, “I have seen a woman in Timnah of the daughters of the Philistines: now therefore get her for me as wife.” 3  Then his father and his mother said to him, “Is there never a woman among the daughters of your brothers, or among all my people, that you go to take a wife of the uncircumcised Philistines?”

Samson said to his father, “Get her for me; for she pleases me well.” 4  But his father and his mother didn’t know that it was of Yahweh; for he sought an occasion against the Philistines. Now at that time the Philistines had rule over Israel. 5  Then went Samson down, and his father and his mother, to Timnah, and came to the vineyards of Timnah: and behold, a young lion roared against him. 6  The Spirit of Yahweh came mightily on him, and he tore him as he would have torn a young goat; and he had nothing in his hand: but he didn’t tell his father or his mother what he had done. 7  He went down, and talked with the woman, and she pleased Samson well. 8  After a while he returned to take her; and he turned aside to see the carcass of the lion: and behold, there was a swarm of bees in the body of the lion, and honey. 9  He took it into his hands, and went on, eating as he went; and he came to his father and mother, and gave to them, and they ate: but he didn’t tell them that he had taken the honey out of the body of the lion.

10  His father went down to the woman: and Samson made there a feast; for so used the young men to do. 11  It happened, when they saw him, that they brought thirty companions to be with him. 12  Samson said to them, “Let me tell you a riddle now. If you can declare it to me within the seven days of the feast, and find it out, then I will give you thirty linen garments and thirty changes of clothing; 13  but if you can’t declare it to me, then you shall give me thirty linen garments and thirty changes of clothing.”

They said to him, “Put forth your riddle, that we may hear it.” 14  He said to them,

“Out of the eater came forth food.
Out of the strong came forth sweetness.”

They couldn’t in three days declare the riddle. 15  It happened on the seventh day, that they said to Samson’s wife, “Entice your husband, that he may declare to us the riddle, lest we burn you and your father’s house with fire. Have you called us to impoverish us? Is it not so?” 16  Samson’s wife wept before him, and said, “You just hate me, and don’t love me. You have put forth a riddle to the children of my people, and haven’t told it me.”

He said to her, “Behold, I haven’t told it my father nor my mother, and shall I tell you?” 17  She wept before him the seven days, while their feast lasted: and it happened on the seventh day, that he told her, because she pressed him sore; and she told the riddle to the children of her people. 18  The men of the city said to him on the seventh day before the sun went down, “What is sweeter than honey? What is stronger than a lion?”

He said to them,

“If you hadn’t plowed with my heifer,
you wouldn’t have found out my riddle.” 19  The Spirit of Yahweh came mightily on him, and he went down to Ashkelon, and struck thirty men of them, and took their spoil, and gave the changes of clothing to those who declared the riddle. His anger was kindled, and he went up to his father’s house. 20  But Samson’s wife was given to his companion, whom he had used as his friend.

15 1  But it happened after a while, in the time of wheat harvest, that Samson visited his wife with a young goat; and he said, “I will go in to my wife into the chamber.”

But her father wouldn’t allow him to go in. 2  Her father said, “I most certainly thought that you had utterly hated her; therefore I gave her to your companion. Isn’t her younger sister more beautiful than she? Please take her, instead.” 3  Samson said to them, “This time I will be blameless in regard of the Philistines, when I harm them.” 4  Samson went and caught three hundred foxes, and took torches, and turned tail to tail, and put a torch in the midst between every two tails. 5  When he had set the brands on fire, he let them go into the standing grain of the Philistines, and burnt up both the shocks and the standing grain, and also the olive groves. 6  Then the Philistines said, “Who has done this?”

They said, “Samson, the son-in-law of the Timnite, because he has taken his wife, and given her to his companion.” The Philistines came up, and burnt her and her father with fire. 7  Samson said to them, “If you behave like this, surely I will be avenged of you, and after that I will cease.” 8  He struck them hip and thigh with a great slaughter: and he went down and lived in the cleft of the rock of Etam.

Samson Defeats the Philistines at Lehi

9  Then the Philistines went up, and encamped in Judah, and spread themselves in Lehi. 10  The men of Judah said, “Why have you come up against us?”

They said, “We have come up to bind Samson, to do to him as he has done to us.” 11  Then three thousand men of Judah went down to the cleft of the rock of Etam, and said to Samson, “Don’t you know that the Philistines are rulers over us? What then is this that you have done to us?”

He said to them, “As they did to me, so have I done to them.” 12  They said to him, “We have come down to bind you, that we may deliver you into the hand of the Philistines.”

Samson said to them, “Swear to me that you will not fall on me yourselves.” 13  They spoke to him, saying, “No; but we will bind you fast, and deliver you into their hand; but surely we will not kill you.” They bound him with two new ropes, and brought him up from the rock. 14  When he came to Lehi, the Philistines shouted as they met him: and the Spirit of Yahweh came mightily on him, and the ropes that were on his arms became as flax that was burnt with fire, and his bands dropped from off his hands. 15  He found a fresh jawbone of a donkey, and put forth his hand, and took it, and struck a thousand men therewith. 16  Samson said, “With the jawbone of a donkey, heaps on heaps; with the jawbone of a donkey I have struck a thousand men.” 17  It happened, when he had made an end of speaking, that he cast away the jawbone out of his hand; and that place was called Ramath Lehi.

18  He was very thirsty, and called on Yahweh, and said, “You have given this great deliverance by the hand of your servant; and now shall I die for thirst, and fall into the hand of the uncircumcised?” 19  But God split the hollow place that is in Lehi, and water came out of it. When he had drunk, his spirit came again, and he revived: therefore its name was called En Hakkore, which is in Lehi, to this day. 20  He judged Israel in the days of the Philistines twenty years.

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