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Judges 16 - Easy To Read Version

Samson and Delilah

1. One day Samson went to the city of Gaza. He saw a prostitute there. He went in to stay the night with her.

2. Someone told the people of Gaza, “Samson has come here.” They wanted to kill Samson, so they surrounded the city. They hid near the city gate and waited all night for Samson. They were very quiet all night long. They had said to each other, “When morning comes, we will kill Samson.”

3. But Samson only stayed with the prostitute until midnight. Samson got up at midnight. Samson grabbed the doors of the city gate and pulled them loose from the wall. Samson pulled down the doors, the two posts, and the bars that lock the door shut. Samson put those things on his shoulders and carried them to the top of the hill near the city of Hebron.

4. Later, Samson fell in love with a woman named Delilah. She was from Sorek Valley.

5. The rulers of the Philistine people went to Delilah. They said, “We want to know what makes Samson so strong. Try to trick him into telling you his secret. Then we will know how to capture him and tie him up. Then we will be able to control him. If you do this, each one of us will give you 28 pounds [114] of silver.”

6. So Delilah said to Samson, “Tell me why you are so strong. How could someone tie you up and make you helpless?”

7. Samson answered, “Someone would have to tie me up with seven fresh, new bowstrings. [115] If someone did that, I would be weak like any other man.”

8. Then the rulers of the Philistine people brought seven fresh, new bowstrings to Delilah. Delilah tied up Samson with the bowstrings.

9. Some men were hiding in the next room. Delilah said to Samson, “Samson, the Philistine men are going to capture you!” But Samson easily broke the bowstrings. They snapped like a string when it comes too close to a flame. So the Philistine people did not find out the secret of Samson’s strength.

10. Then Delilah said to Samson, “You lied to me! You made me look foolish. Please tell me the truth, how could someone tie you up?”

11. Samson said, “Someone would have to tie me up with new ropes. They would have to tie me with ropes that have not been used before. If someone did that, I would become as weak as any other man.”

12. So Delilah took some new ropes and tied up Samson. Some men were hiding in the next room. Then Delilah called out to him, “Samson, the Philistine men are going to capture you!” But he broke the ropes easily. He broke them like they were threads.

13. Then Delilah said to Samson, “You lied to me again! You made me look foolish. Now, tell me how someone could tie you up.”

14. Then Delilah fastened {the loom to the ground} with a tent peg. Again she called out to him, “Samson, the Philistine men are going to capture you!” Samson pulled up the tent peg, the loom, [119] and the shuttle! [120]

15. Then Delilah said to Samson, “How can you say, ‘I love you,’ when you don’t even trust me? You refuse to tell me your secret. This is the third time you made me look foolish. You haven’t told me the secret of your great strength.”

16. She kept bothering Samson day after day. He got so tired of her asking him about his secret that he felt like he was going to die.

17. Finally, Samson told Delilah everything. He said, “I have never had my hair cut. I was dedicated to God before I was born. If someone shaved my head, then I would lose my strength. I would become as weak as any other man.”

18. Delilah saw that Samson had told her his secret. She sent a message to the rulers of the Philistine people. She said, “Come back again. Samson has told me everything.” So the rulers of the Philistine people came back to Delilah. They brought the money that they had promised to give her.

19. Delilah got Samson to go to sleep while he was lying in her lap. Then she called in a man to shave off the seven braids [121] of Samson’s hair. In this way she made Samson weak. Samson’s strength left him.

20. Then Delilah called out to him, “Samson, the Philistine men are going to capture you!” He woke up and thought, “I will escape like I did before and free myself.” But Samson did not know that the Lord had left him.

21. The Philistine men captured Samson. They tore out his eyes, and took him down to the city of Gaza. Then they put chains on him to keep him from running away. They put Samson in prison and made him work grinding grain.

22. But Samson’s hair began to grow again.

Samson Dies with the Philistines

23. The rulers of the Philistine people came together to celebrate. They were going to offer a great sacrifice to their god Dagon. [122] They said, “Our god helped us defeat Samson our enemy.”

24. When the Philistine people saw Samson, they praised their god. They said,

25. The people were having a good time at the celebration. So they said, “Bring Samson out. We want to make fun of him.” So they brought Samson from the prison and made fun of him. They made Samson stand between the columns in the temple of the god Dagon.

26. A servant was holding Samson’s hand. Samson said to him, “Put me where I can feel the columns that hold this temple up. I want to lean against them.”

27. The temple was crowded with men and women. All the rulers of the Philistine people were there. There were about 3,000 men and women on the roof [123] of the temple. They were laughing and making fun of Samson.

28. Then Samson said a prayer to the Lord. He said, “Lord All-Powerful, remember me. God, please give me strength one more time. Let me do this one thing to punish these Philistines for tearing out my two eyes!”

29. Then Samson held the two columns in the center of the temple. These two columns supported the whole temple. He braced himself between the two columns. One column was at his right side and the other at his left side.

30. Samson said, “Let me die with these Philistines!” Then he pushed as hard as he could. And the temple fell on the rulers and all the people in it. In this way, Samson killed many more Philistine people when he died than when he was alive.

31. Samson’s brothers and all the people in his father’s family went down to get his body. They brought him back and buried him in his father’s tomb. That tomb is between the cities of Zorah and Eshtaol. Samson was a judge for the people of Israel for 20 years.

Easy To Read Version

Copyright © 2006 by Bible League international. www.bibleleague.org





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