Judges chapter 16

Conflicts between Samson and the Philistines, continued. Delilah defeats Samson. Samson’s final act.

 


 

CONFLICTS BETWEEN SAMSON AND THE PHILISTINES, CONTINUED

 

VERSE 1. Samson went to Gaza, and saw there a prostitute, and went in to her.

went in to her. This is a biblical euphemism. It means “had intercourse with her.”

 

VERSE 2. The Gazites were told, “Samson is here!” They surrounded him and laid wait for him all night in the gate of the city, and were quiet all the night, saying, “Wait until morning light; then we will kill him.”

 

VERSE 3. Samson lay until midnight, then arose at midnight and took hold of the doors of the gate of the city, with the two posts, and plucked them up, bar and all, and put them on his shoulders and carried them up to the top of the mountain that is before Hebron.

took hold of the doors of the gate of the city. Samson destroys their gate of security.

put them on his shoulders. This is a great demonstration of Samson’s physical power.

Samson’s physical strength is unmatched, except by his moral weakness.

carried them up to the top of the mountain. Local tradition identifies the mountain as El Montar. It is located just east of Gaza.

 

DELILAH DEFEATS SAMSON

 

VERSE 4. It came to pass afterward that he loved a woman in the valley of Sorek, whose name was Delilah.

he loved a woman in the valley of Sorek. Samson

whose name was Delilah. She was probably a Philistine. But she has a Semitic name meaning “devotee.”

 

VERSE 5. The lords of the Philistines came up to her and said to her, “Entice him, and see in which his great strength lies, and by what means we may prevail against him, that we may bind him to afflict him; and we will each give you eleven hundred pieces of silver.”

The lords of the Philistines. The Philistines had five major cities. There are probably five leaders talking with Delilah.

we will each give you eleven hundred pieces of silver. This is an exorbitant amount.

 

VERSE 6. Delilah said to Samson, “Please tell me where your great strength lies, and what you might be bound to afflict you.”

 

VERSE 7. Samson said to her, “If they bind me with seven green cords that were never dried, then shall I become weak, and be as another man.”

 

VERSE 8. Then the lords of the Philistines brought up to her seven green cords which had not been dried, and she bound him with them.

 

VERSE 9. Now she had an ambush waiting in the inner room. She said to him, “The Philistines are on you, Samson!” He broke the cords as a flax thread is broken when it touches the fire. So his strength was not known.

 

VERSE 10. Delilah said to Samson, “Behold, you have mocked me, and told me lies. Now please tell me how you might be bound.”

 

VERSE 11. He said to her, “If they only bind me with new ropes with which no work has been done, then shall I become weak, and be as another man.”

 

VERSE 12. So Delilah took new ropes and bound him with them, then said to him, “The Philistines are on you, Samson!” The ambush was waiting in the inner room. He broke them off his arms like a thread.

 

VERSE 13. Delilah said to Samson, “Until now, you have mocked me and told me lies. Tell me with what you might be bound.” He said to her, “If you weave the seven locks of my head with the fabric on the loom.”

 

VERSE 14. She fastened it with the pin, and said to him, “The Philistines are on you, Samson!” He awakened out of his sleep, and plucked away the pin of the beam and the fabric.

 

VERSE 15. 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 where your great strength lies.”

 

VERSE 16. When she pressed him daily with her words and urged him, his soul was troubled to death.

 

VERSE 17. He told her all his heart and said to her, “No razor has ever come on my head; for I have been a Nazirite to God from my mother’s womb. If I am shaved, then my strength will go from me and I will become weak, and be like any other man.”

He told her all his heart. Samson reveals his secret. It is a supernatural enablement from the Spirit of God. It is linked to his Nazirite vow of not cutting his hair.

Samson is a fool for revealing this.

 

VERSE 18. When Delilah saw that he had told her all his heart, she sent and called for the lords of the Philistines, saying, “Come up this once, for he has told me all his heart.” Then the lords of the Philistines came up to her and brought the money in their hand.

 

VERSE 19. She made him sleep on her knees; and she called for a man and shaved off the seven locks of his head; and she began to afflict him, and his strength went from him.

shaved off the seven locks of his head. Effectively Samson is un-Nazirited.

HIs strength was not due to his hair. Rather, it stemmed from his obeying the LORD God.

Now he foolishly allows his hair to be cut. He is disobeying the LORD God.

his strength went from him. No longer a Nazirite, Samson’s supernatural strength is lost.

 

VERSE 20. She said, “The Philistines are upon you, Samson!” He awoke out of his sleep, and said, “I will go out as at other times, and shake myself free.” But he didn’t know that the LORD had departed from him.

the LORD had departed from him. Samson’s supernatural strength is gone.

Samson is effectively discharged from his role as judge.

 

VERSE 21. The Philistines laid hold on him and put out his eyes; and they brought him down to Gaza and bound him with fetters of bronze; and he ground at the mill in the prison.

put out his eyes. Samson is made blind.

brought him down to Gaza. Previously he had destroyed their city gate (see verse 3 above). Now he is brought back.

 

VERSE 22. However, the hair of his head began to grow again after he was shaved.

 

SAMSON’S FINAL ACT

 

VERSE 23. The lords of the Philistines gathered together to offer a great sacrifice to Dagon their god, and to rejoice; for they said, “Our god has delivered Samson our enemy into our hand.”

Dagon their god. Dagon was a west Semitic grain deity. The Philistines had adapted it from the Amorites.

 

VERSE 24. When the people saw him, they praised their god; for they said, “Our god has delivered our enemy and the destroyer of our country, who has slain many of us, into our hand.”

 

VERSE 25. When their hearts were merry, they said, “Call for Samson, that he may entertain us.” They called for Samson out of the prison; and he performed before them. They set him between the pillars;

 

VERSE 26. and Samson said to the boy who held him by the hand, “Allow me to feel the pillars on which the house rests, that I may lean on them.”

 

VERSE 27. Now the house was full of men and women; and all the lords of the Philistines were there; and there were on the roof about three thousand men and women, who saw while Samson performed.

 

VERSE 28. Samson called to the LORD, and said, “Lord GOD, remember me, please, and strengthen me, please, only this once, God, that I may be at once avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes.”

 

VERSE 29. Samson took hold of the two middle pillars on which the house rested and leaned on them, the one with his right hand and the other with his left.

 

VERSE 30. Samson said, “Let me die with the Philistines!” He bowed himself with all his might; and the house fell on the lords, and on all the people who were in it. So the dead that he killed at his death were more than those who he killed in his life.

those who he killed in his life. In his life, Samson had killed at least 1,030 Philistines:

 

VERSE 31. Then his brothers and all the house of his father came down and took him, and brought him up and buried him between Zorah and Eshtaol in the burial site of Manoah his father. He judged Israel twenty years.

 


next chapter »

« previous chapter


JUDGES

CHAPTERS: 01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 06, 07, 08, 09, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21

RESOURCES: Summary, Outline, Memorize

Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.