16 1THEN SAMSON went to Gaza and saw a harlot there, and went in to her. 2The Gazites were told, Samson has come here. So they surrounded the place and lay in wait for him all night at the gate of the city. They were quiet all night, saying, In the morning, when it is light, we will kill him. 3But Samson lay until midnight, and [then] he arose and took hold of the doors of the city’s gate and the two posts, and pulling them up, bar and all, he put them on his shoulders and carried them to the top of the hill that is before Hebron. 4After this he loved a woman in the Valley of Sorek whose name was Delilah. 5And the lords of the Philistines came to her and said to her, Entice him and see in what 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 1,100 pieces of silver. 6And Delilah said to Samson, Tell me, I pray you, wherein your great strength lies, and with what you might be bound to subdue you. 7And Samson said to her, If they bind me with seven fresh, strong gutstrings, still moist, then shall I be weak and be like any other man. 8Then the Philistine lords brought to her seven fresh, strong bowstrings, still moist, and she bound him with them. 9Now she had men lying in wait in an inner room. And she said to him, The Philistines are upon you, Samson! And he broke the bowstrings as a string of tow breaks when it touches the fire. So the secret of his strength was not known. 10And Delilah said to Samson, Behold, you have mocked me and told me lies; now tell me, I pray you, how you might be bound. 11And he said to her, If they bind me fast with new ropes that have not been used, then I shall become weak and be like any other man. 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 wait were in the inner room. But he snapped the ropes off his arms like [sewing] thread. 13And Delilah said to Samson, Until now you have mocked me and told me lies; tell me with what you might be bound. And he said to her, If you weave the seven braids of [the hair of] my head with the web. 14And she did so and fastened it with the pin and said to him, The Philistines are upon you, Samson! And he awoke out of his sleep and went away with the pin of the [weaver’s] beam and with 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 have not told me in what your great strength lies. 16And when she pressed him day after day with her words and urged him, he was vexed to death. 17Then 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 birth. If I am shaved, then my strength will go from me, and I shall become weak and be like any other man. 18And when Delilah saw that he had told her all his mind, she went and called for the Philistine lords, saying, Come up this once, for he has told me all he knows. Then the Philistine lords came up to her and brought the money in their hands. 19And she made Samson sleep upon her knees, and she called a man and caused him to shave off the seven braids of his head. Then she began to torment [Samson], and his strength went from him. 20She said, The Philistines are upon you, Samson! And he awoke out of his sleep and said, I will go out as I have time after time and shake myself free. For Samson did not know that the Lord had departed from him. 21But the Philistines laid hold of him, bored out his eyes, and brought him down to Gaza and bound him with [two] bronze fetters; and he ground at the mill in the prison. 22But the hair of his head began to grow again after it had been shaved. 23Then the Philistine lords gathered together to offer a great sacrifice to Dagon their god and to rejoice, for they said, Our god has given Samson our enemy into our hands. 24And when the people saw Samson, they praised their god, for they said, Our god has delivered into our hands our enemy, the ravager of our country, who has slain many of us. 25And when their hearts were merry, they said, Call for Samson, that he may make sport for us. So they called [blind] Samson out of the prison, and he made sport before them. They made him stand between the pillars. 26And Samson said to the lad who held him by the hand, Allow me to feel the pillars upon which the house rests, that I may lean against them. 27Now the house was full of men and women; all the Philistine princes were there, and on the roof were about 3,000 men and women who looked on while Samson made sport. 28Then Samson called to the Lord and said, O Lord God, [earnestly] remember me, I pray You, and strengthen me, I pray You, only this once, O God, and let me have one vengeance upon the Philistines for both my eyes. 29And Samson laid hold of the two middle pillars by which the house was borne up, one with his right hand and the other with his left. 30And Samson cried, Let me die with the Philistines! And he bowed himself mightily, and the house fell upon the princes and upon all the people that were in it. So the dead whom he slew at his death were more than they whom he slew in his life. 31Then his kinsmen and all the tribal family of his father came down, took his body, and brought it up; and they buried him between Zorah and Eshtaol in the burial place of Manoah his father. He had judged Israel [that is, had defended the Israelites] twenty years.
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