Scripture quotations are from the Lexham English Bible. Copyright 2012 Logos Bible Software. Lexham is a registered trademark of Logos Bible Software.
The men of Ephraim were called to arms, and they crossed over to Zaphon and said to Jephthah, "Why did you cross over and make war against the Ammonites, and why did you not call us to go with you? We will burn down your house over you with fire." And Jephthah said to them, "I and my people were engaged in great conflict with the Ammonites; I called you, but you did not deliver me from their hand. I saw that you would not deliver us; I risked my own life, and I crossed over to the Ammonites, and Yahweh gave them into my hand. Why have you come up to me this day to fight against me?" Jephthah gathered all the men of Gilead, and he made war with Ephraim; and the men of Gilead defeated Ephraim because they said, "You are fugitives of Ephraim, you Gileadites, in the midst of Ephraim and Manasseh." Then Gilead captured the fords of the Jordan from Ephraim, and whenever a fugitive of Ephraim said, "Let me cross over," the men of Gilead said to him, "Are you an Ephraimite?" When he said, "No," they said to him, "Please say Shibboleth," and if he said, "Sibboleth"—because he could not pronounce it correctly—they grabbed him and executed him at the fords of Jordan. At that time forty-two thousand from Ephraim fell.
Jephthah judged Israel six years. Then Jephthah the Gileadite died, and he was buried in one of the cities of Gilead.
After him Ibzan from Bethlehem judged Israel. He had thirty sons. He gave his thirty daughters away in marriage outside his clan and brought in from outside thirty young women for his sons. He judged Israel for seven years. Then Ibzan died and was buried in Bethlehem.
After him Elon the Zebulunite judged Israel, and he judged Israel ten years. Then Elon the Zebulunite died and was buried in Aijalon in the land of Zebulun.
After him Abdon the son of Hillel the Pirathonite judged Israel. He had forty sons and thirty grandsons that rode on seventy male donkeys. He judged Israel for eight years. Then Abdon the son of Hillel the Pirathonite died and was buried in Pirathon, in the land of Ephraim in the hill country of the Amalekites.
And again, the Israelites did evil in the eyes of Yahweh, and Yahweh gave them into the hand of the Philistines forty years.
There was a certain man from Zorah, from the tribe of the Danites, and his name was Manoah; his wife was infertile and did not bear children. And an angel of Yahweh appeared to the woman, and he said to her, "Behold, you are infertile and have not borne children, but you will conceive and bear a son. So then, be careful and do not drink wine or strong drink, and do not eat anything unclean, because you will conceive and bear a son. No razor will touch his head, because the boy will be a Nazirite of God from birth. And it is he who will begin to deliver Israel from the hand of the Philistines." And the woman came and told her husband, saying, "A man of God came to me, and his appearance was like the appearance of an angel of God, very awesome. I did not ask him from where he came, and he did not tell me his name. And he said to me, ‘Look, you will conceive and bear a son, so then, do not drink wine or strong drink, and do not eat anything unclean, for the boy will be a Nazirite of God from birth until the day of his death.’"
Then Manoah prayed to Yahweh and said, "Excuse me, my Lord, please let the man of God whom you sent again come to us and teach us what we should do concerning the boy who will be born." And God listened to the voice of Manoah, and an angel of God came again to the woman; she was sitting in the field, but Manoah her husband was not with her. The woman quickly ran and told her husband, and she said to him, "Look! The man who came to me the other day appeared to me." So Manoah got up and went after his wife, and he came to the man and said to him, "Are you the man that spoke to the woman?" And he said, "I am." And Manoah said to him, "Now when your words come true, what will be the boy’s manner of life and work?" And the angel of Yahweh said to Manoah, "Let the woman be attentive to all that I said. She should not eat of anything that comes from the vine, or drink wine or strong drink, or eat anything unclean; she should keep all that I commanded."
And Manoah said to the angel of Yahweh, "Please stay, and let us prepare a young goat for you." The angel of Yahweh said to Manoah, "If you keep me, I will not eat your food, but if you prepare a burnt offering for Yahweh, you can offer it (for Manoah did not know that he was an angel of Yahweh)." And Manoah said to the angel of Yahweh, "What is your name so that when your words come true we may honor you?" But the angel of Yahweh said to him, "Why do you ask my name? It is too wonderful."
And Manoah took the young goat and the grain offering, and he offered it to Yahweh on the rock, to the one who performs miracles. And Manoah and his wife were watching. And when the flame went up toward the heaven from the altar, the angel of Yahweh went up in the flame of the altar to heaven while Manoah and his wife were watching. And they fell on their faces to the ground. The angel of Yahweh did not appear again to Manoah and his wife, and then Manoah knew that he was a messenger of Yahweh. And Manoah said to his wife, "We will certainly die because we have seen God." But his wife said to him, "If Yahweh wanted to kill us he would not have taken from our hand the burnt offering and the grain offering, or shown us all these things, or now announced to us things such as these."
The woman bore a son, and she called him Samson; the boy grew big, and Yahweh blessed him. And the Spirit of Yahweh began to stir him in the camp of Dan, between Zorah and Eshtaol.
And Samson went down to Timnah, and he saw a woman in Timnah from the daughters of the Philistines. He went up and told his father and mother, and he said, "I saw a woman in Timnah from the daughters of the Philistines; so then, take her for me as a wife." But his father and mother said to him, "Is there not a wife among the daughters of your relatives, or among all our people, that you must take a wife from the uncircumcised Philistines?" But Samson said to his father, "Take her for me because she pleases me." His father and mother did not know that this was from Yahweh; he was seeking for an occasion against the Philistines. Now at that time the Philistines were ruling in Israel.
And Samson and his father and mother went down to Timnah, and they came to the vineyards of Timnah, and suddenly a young lion came roaring to meet him. And the Spirit of Yahweh rushed upon him, and he tore the lion apart as one might tear apart a male kid goat (he was bare-handed). But he did not tell his father and mother what he had done. Then he went down and talked to the woman, and she pleased Samson. And he returned after awhile to marry her, and he turned aside to see the carcass of the lion, and there was a swarm of wild honey bees in the body of the lion, and honey. He scraped it out into his hands, and he went on, eating it as he went. And he went to his father and mother and gave some to them, and they ate it. But he did not tell them that he had scraped the honey from the body of the lion.
His father went down to the woman, and Samson prepared there a feast, as young men were accustomed to doing this. When they saw him, they took thirty companions, and they were with him. And Samson said to them, "Let me tell you a riddle. If you can fully explain it to me within the seven days of the feast, and find it out, I will give to you thirty linen garments and thirty festal garments. But if you are unable to explain it to me, you must give me thirty linen garments and thirty festal garments." So they said to him, "Tell your riddle; let us hear it." He said to them,
"From the eater came out food,
From the strong came out sweet."
But they were unable to explain the riddle for three days.
When it was the fourth day, they said to Samson’s wife, "Entice your husband and tell us the riddle, or we will burn you and your father’s house with fire. Have you invited us to rob us?" And Samson’s wife wept before him, and she said, "You must hate me; you do not love me. You told the riddle to my people, but you have not explained it to me." He said to her, "I have not explained it to my father and mother. Why should I explain it to you?" She wept before him the seven days of their feast; and it happened, because she nagged him, on the seventh day he explained it to her, and she told the riddle to her people. 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?"
And he said to them,
"If you had not plowed with my heifer,
you would not have found out my riddle."
And the Spirit of Yahweh rushed on him, and he went down to Ashkelon. He killed thirty men from them, and he took their belongings, and he gave festal garments to the ones that explained the riddle. He was angry, and he went up to his father’s house. And Samson’s wife was given to his companion who was his best man.
After a while, at the time of the wheat harvest, Samson visited his wife with a young goat. He said, "I want to go to my wife’s private room." But her father would not allow him to enter. Her father said, "I really thought that you hated her, so I gave her to your companion. Is not her younger sister more beautiful than she? Please, take her instead." And Samson said to them, "This time, as far as the Philistines are concerned, when I do something evil I am without blame." And Samson went and captured three hundred foxes, and he took torches. He turned them tail to tail, and he put one torch between two tails. He set fire to the torches and let the foxes go into the standing grain of the Philistines, and he burned both the stacks of sheaves and the standing grain, up to the vineyards of olive groves. And the Philistines said, "Who has done this?" And they said, "Samson the son-in-law of the Timnite, because he took his wife and gave her to his companion." And the Philistines went up and burned her and her father with fire. Samson said to them, "If you want to behave like this, I swear I will not rest unless I have taken revenge on you." And he gave them a thorough beating, and he went down and stayed in the cleft of the rock of Etam.
Then the Philistines came up and encamped in Judah, and they overran Lehi. And the men of Judah said, "Why have you come up against us?" And they said, "To bind Samson; to do to him just as he did to us." Then three thousand men from Judah went down to the cleft of the rock of Etam, and they said to Samson, "Do you not know that the Philistines are ruling over us? What is this that you have done to us?" And he said to them, "Just as they did to me, so I have done to them." They said to him, "We have come down to bind you and give you over into the hand of the Philistines." And Samson said to them, "Swear to me that you will not attack me yourselves." They said to him, "No, we will only bind you and give you into their hand; we will certainly not kill you." So they bound him with two new ropes, and they brought him up from the rock.
As he came up to Lehi, the Philistines came shouting to meet him; and the Spirit of Yahweh rushed on him, and the ropes that were on his arms became like flax that has burned with fire, and his bindings melted from his hands. And he found a fresh jawbone of a donkey; he reached down and took it and killed one thousand men with it. And Samson said,
"With the jawbone of the donkey,
heap upon heap;
with the jawbone of the donkey,
I struck dead one thousand men."
And it happened, when he finished speaking he threw the jawbone from his hand; and he called that place Ramath Lehi.
And he was very thirsty, and he called to Yahweh and said, "You gave this great victory into the hand of your servant, but now I must die of thirst and fall into the hand of the uncircumcised?" So God split the hollow place that is at Lehi, and water came out from it; and he drank, and his spirit returned, and he was revived. Thus he called its name The Spring of Ha-Qore, which is at Lehi to this day. And he judged Israel in the days of the Philistines twenty years.
Samson went down to Gaza; there he saw a prostitute and had sex with her. The Gazites were told, "Samson has come here," so they surrounded the place and lay in ambush for him all night at the city gate. They kept silent all night, saying, "We will wait until the morning light, and then we will kill him." But Samson lay until the middle of the night; he got up in the middle of the night and took hold of the doors of the city gate and the two door posts, tore them loose with the bar, put them on his shoulders, and carried them up to the top of the hill that is in front of Hebron.
After this he fell in love with a woman in the wadi of Sorek, and her name was Delilah. And the rulers of the Philistines came up to her and said, "Entice him and find out what makes his strength so great, and how we can overpower him, so that we may bind him up in order to subdue him; each of us will give you eleven hundred pieces of silver. So Delilah said to Samson, "Please tell me what makes your strength so great, and with what can you be tied up to subdue you?" Samson said to her, "If you tie me up with seven fresh bowstrings that are not dried up, I will become weak like everyone else." So the rulers of the Philistines brought up to her seven fresh bowstrings that were not dried up, and she tied him up with them. The ambush was sitting in wait for her in an inner room. And she said to him, "The Philistines are upon you Samson!" And he snapped the bowstrings just as flax fiber snaps when it comes close to fire. And the secret of his strength remained unknown. Delilah said to Samson, "Look, you have mocked me and told me lies. Please tell me how you can be bound." He said to her, "If they tie me tightly with new ropes that have not been used, I will become weak and be like everyone else." So Delilah took new ropes and tied him up with them, and she said to him, "The Philistines are upon you, Samson!" (The ambush was sitting in an inner room.) But he snapped them from his arms like thread.
And Delilah said to Samson, "Until now you have mocked me and told lies to me. Tell me how you can be bound." And he said to her, "If you weave seven locks of my head with warp-threads." She fastened it with the pin and said to him, "The Philistines are upon you, Samson!" And Samson woke up from his sleep and tore loose the loom pin of the web and the warp-threads.
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 how your strength is so great." And because she nagged him day after day with her words, and pestered him, his soul grew impatient to the point of death. So he confided everything to her, and he said to her, "A razor has never touched my head, for I am a Nazirite of God from birth. If I am shaved my strength will leave me, and I will become weak, like everyone else.
Delilah realized that he had confided in her, so she sent and called the rulers of the Philistines, saying, "Come up one more time, for he has confided in me." And the rulers of the Philistines came up, and they brought the money with them. And she put him to sleep on her lap; then she called the men and shaved off seven locks of his head. Then she began to subdue him, and his strength went away from him. And she said to him, "The Philistines are upon you, Samson!" And he woke up from his sleep and said, "I will go out just like every other time and shake myself free," but he did not know that Yahweh had left him. And the Philistines seized him, gouged his eyes, and brought him to Gaza. They tied him up with bronze shackles, and he became a grinder in the prison. But the hair of his head began to grow back after it had been shaved off.
The rulers of the Philistines had gathered to sacrifice a great sacrifice to Dagon their god and to rejoice. And they said, "Our god has given Samson our enemy into our hand." And the people saw him, and they praised their god, for they said, "Our god has given into our hand those who hate us, devastate our land, and have killed many of us." After awhile, when their hearts were merry, they said, "Call Samson and let him entertain us." And they called Samson from the prison, and he entertained them. And they made him stand between the pillars. Then Samson said to the servant who was holding him by his hand, "Position me so that I can touch the pillars on which the house rests, so I can lean on them." And the house was full of men and women, and all of the rulers of the Philistines were there—about three thousand men and women were on the roof watching the performance of Samson.
And Samson called to Yahweh and said, "My Lord Yahweh, remember me! Please give me strength this one time, O God, so that I can repay with one act of revenge to the Philistines for my eyes." And Samson reached out and held two of the middle pillars on which the house was resting, and he leaned on them, one on his right and one on his left. And Samson said, "Let me die with the Philistines." And he pushed with all his strength, and the house fell on the rulers and all of the people who were with him. And the dead whom he killed in his death were more than those he killed in his life.
His brothers and his whole family came down and picked him up; and they brought him up and buried him between Zorah and Eshtaol in the tomb of Manoah his father; he judged Israel twenty years.
Praise Yahweh, O my soul.
I will praise Yahweh while I live;
I will sing praises to my God while I am still alive.
Do not place trust in princes,
in a son of humankind with whom there is no deliverance.
His breath departs; he returns to his plot;
on that day his plans perish.
Blessed is the one whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is on Yahweh as his God,
who made heaven and earth,
the sea and all that is in them,
the one who keeps faith forever,
who executes justice for the oppressed,
who gives food for the hungry.
Yahweh sets prisoners free;
Yahweh opens the eyes of the blind;
Yahweh raises up those bowed down;
Yahweh loves the righteous;
Yahweh protects the strangers.
He helps up the orphan and the widow,
but the way of the wicked he thwarts.
Yahweh will reign forever,
Your God, O Zion, throughout all generations.
Now on the first day of the week, at very early dawn, they came back to the tomb bringing the fragrant spices which they had prepared. And they found the stone had been rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in, they did not find the body. And it happened that while they were perplexed about this, behold, two men in gleaming clothing stood near them. And as they were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, they said to them, "Why are you looking for the living among the dead? He is not here, but has been raised! Remember how he spoke to you while he was still in Galilee, saying that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of men who are sinners, and be crucified, and on the third day rise?" And they remembered his words, and when they returned from the tomb, they reported all these things to the eleven and to all the rest. Now Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James and the others with them were telling these things to the apostles. And these words appeared to them as nonsense, and they refused to believe them. But Peter got up and ran to the tomb, and bending over to look, he saw only the strips of linen cloth, and he went away to his home wondering what had happened.
And behold, on that same day, two of them were traveling to a village named Emmaus that was sixty stadia distant from Jerusalem, and they were conversing with one another about all these things that had happened. And it happened that while they were conversing, and discussing, Jesus himself also approached and began to go along with them, but their eyes were prevented from recognizing him. And he said to them, "What are these matters that you are discussing with one another as you are walking along?" And they stood still, looking sad. And one of them, named Cleopas, answered and said to him, "Are you the only one living near Jerusalem and not knowing the things that have happened in it in these days?" And he said to them, "What things?" So they said to him, "The things concerning Jesus the Nazarene, a man who was a prophet, powerful in deed and word before God and all the people, and how our chief priests and rulers handed him over to a sentence of death, and crucified him. But we were hoping that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. But in addition to all these things, this is the third day since these things took place. But also some women from among us astonished us, who were at the tomb early in the morning, and when they did not find his body, they came back saying they had seen even a vision of angels, who said that he was alive! And some of those with us went out to the tomb and found it like this, just as the women had also said, but him they did not see." And he said to them, "O foolish and slow in heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ suffer these things and enter into his glory?" And beginning from Moses and from all the prophets, he interpreted to them the things concerning himself in all the scriptures. And they drew near to the village where they were going, and he acted as though he was going farther. And they urged him strongly, saying, "Stay with us, because it is getting toward evening, and by this time the day is far spent." And he went in to stay with them. And it happened that when he reclined at the table with them, he took the bread and gave thanks, and after breaking it, he gave it to them. And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him, and he became invisible to them. And they said to one another, "Were not our hearts burning within us while he was speaking with us on the road, while he was explaining the scriptures to us?" And they got up that same hour and returned to Jerusalem and found the eleven and those with them assembled, saying, "The Lord has really been raised, and has appeared to Simon!" And they began describing what happened on the road, and how he was recognized by them in the breaking of the bread.
And while they were saying these things, he himself stood there among them. But they were startled and became terrified, and thought they had seen a ghost. And he said to them, "Why are you frightened? And for what reason do doubts arise in your hearts? Look at my hands and my feet, that I am I myself! Touch me and see, because a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see that I have." And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. And while they were still disbelieving because of joy and were marveling, he said to them, "Do you have anything to eat here?" So they gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate it in front of them.
And he said to them, "These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything that is written about me in the law of Moses and the prophets and psalms must be fulfilled." Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, and said to them, "Thus it is written that the Christ would suffer and would rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and the forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in his name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And behold, I am sending out what was promised by my Father upon you, but you stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high."
And he led them out as far as Bethany, and lifting up his hands, he blessed them. And it happened that while he was blessing them, he parted from them and was taken up into heaven. And they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. And they were continually in the temple courts praising God.