Week of February 22: Read Judges 16:1-22 (Samson and Delilah)
What was Samson’s downfall?
What could Samson expect to gain by sharing his secret?
Why did shaving his head cost Samson his power?
What do you believe was the worst thing that happened to Samson?
What do you think is the secret to spiritual strength?
Judges 16:1-22 (Samson and Delilah)
1One day Samson went to the Philistine town of Gaza and spent the night with a prostitute. 2Word soon spread that Samson was there, so the men of Gaza gathered together and waited all night at the town gates. They kept quiet during the night, saying to themselves, “When the light of morning comes, we will kill him.”3But Samson stayed in bed only until midnight. Then he got up, took hold of the doors of the town gate, including the two posts, and lifted them up, bar and all. He put them on his shoulders and carried them all the way to the top of the hill across from Hebron.4Some time later Samson fell in love with a woman named Delilah, who lived in the valley of Sorek. 5The rulers of the Philistines went to her and said, “Entice Samson to tell you what makes him so strong and how he can be overpowered and tied up securely. Then each of us will give you 1,100 pieces of silver.”6So Delilah said to Samson, “Please tell me what makes you so strong and what it would take to tie you up securely.”7Samson replied, “If I were tied up with seven new bowstrings that have not yet been dried, I would become as weak as anyone else.”8So the Philistine rulers brought Delilah seven new bowstrings, and she tied Samson up with them. 9She had hidden some men in one of the inner rooms of her house, and she cried out, “Samson! The Philistines have come to capture you!” But Samson snapped the bowstrings as a piece of string snaps when it is burned by a fire. So the secret of his strength was not discovered.10Afterward Delilah said to him, “You’ve been making fun of me and telling me lies! Now please tell me how you can be tied up securely.”11Samson replied, “If I were tied up with brand-new ropes that had never been used, I would become as weak as anyone else.”12So Delilah took new ropes and tied him up with them. The men were hiding in the inner room as before, and again Delilah cried out, “Samson! The Philistines have come to capture you!” But again Samson snapped the ropes from his arms as if they were thread.13Then Delilah said, “You’ve been making fun of me and telling me lies! Now tell me how you can be tied up securely.”Samson replied, “If you were to weave the seven braids of my hair into the fabric on your loom and tighten it with the loom shuttle, I would become as weak as anyone else.”So while he slept, Delilah wove the seven braids of his hair into the fabric. 14Then she tightened it with the loom shuttle.Again she cried out, “Samson! The Philistines have come to capture you!” But Samson woke up, pulled back the loom shuttle, and yanked his hair away from the loom and the fabric.15Then Delilah pouted, “How can you tell me, ‘I love you,’ when you don’t share your secrets with me? You’ve made fun of me three times now, and you still haven’t told me what makes you so strong!” 16She tormented him with her nagging day after day until he was sick to death of it.17Finally, Samson shared his secret with her. “My hair has never been cut,” he confessed, “for I was dedicated to God as a Nazirite from birth. If my head were shaved, my strength would leave me, and I would become as weak as anyone else.”18Delilah realized he had finally told her the truth, so she sent for the Philistine rulers. “Come back one more time,” she said, “for he has finally told me his secret.” So the Philistine rulers returned with the money in their hands. 19Delilah lulled Samson to sleep with his head in her lap, and then she called in a man to shave off the seven locks of his hair. In this way she began to bring him down, and his strength left him.20Then she cried out, “Samson! The Philistines have come to capture you!”When he woke up, he thought, “I will do as before and shake myself free.” But he didn’t realize the lord had left him.21So the Philistines captured him and gouged out his eyes. They took him to Gaza, where he was bound with bronze chains and forced to grind grain in the prison.22But before long, his hair began to grow back.