And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the Lord: and he delivered them into the hands of the Philistines forty years.
Now there was a certain man of Saraa, and of the race of Dan, whose name was Manue, and his wife was barren.
And an angel of the Lord appeared to her, and said: Thou art barren and without children: but thou shalt conceive and bear a son.
Now therefore beware, and drink no wine nor strong drink, and eat not any unclean thing.
Because thou shalt conceive, and bear a son, and no razor shall touch his head: for he shall be a Nazarite of God, from his infancy, and from his mother’s womb, and he shall begin to deliver Israel from the hands of the Philistines. And when she was come to her husband, she said to him: A man of God came to me, having the countenance of an angel, very awful. And when I asked him whence he came, and by what name he was called, he would not tell me:
But he answered thus: Behold thou shalt conceive and bear a son: beware thou drink no wine, nor strong drink, nor eat any unclean thing: for the child shall be a Nazarite of God from his infancy, from his mother’s womb until the day of his death.
Then Manue prayed to the Lord, and said: I beseech thee, O Lord, that the man of God, whom thou didst send, may come again, and teach us what we ought to do concerning the child, that shall be born.
And the Lord heard the prayer of Manue, and the angel of the Lord appeared again to his wife, as she was sitting in the field. But Manue her husband was not with her. And when she saw the angel,
She made haste, and ran to her husband: and told him, saying: Behold the man hath appeared to me, whom I saw before.
He rose up, and followed his wife: and coming to the man, said to him: Art thou he that spoke to the woman? And he answered: I am.
And Manue said to him: When thy word shall come to pass, what wilt thou that the child should do? or from what shall he keep himself?
And the angel of the Lord said to Manue: From all the things I have spoken of to thy wife, let her refrain herself:
And let her eat nothing that cometh of the vine, neither let her drink wine or strong drink, nor eat any unclean thing: and whatsoever I have commanded her, let her fulfil and observe.
And Manue said to the angel of the Lord: I beseech thee to consent to my request, and let us dress a kid for thee.
And the angel answered him: If thou press me I will not eat of thy bread: but if thou wilt offer a holocaust, offer it to the Lord. And Manue knew not it was the angel of the Lord.
And he said to him: What is thy name, that, if thy word shall come to pass, we may honour thee?
And he answered him: Why askest thou my name, which is wonderful?
Then Manue took a kid of the flocks, and the libations, and put them upon a rock, offering to the Lord, who doth wonderful things: and he and his wife looked on.
And when the flame from the altar went up towards heaven, the angel of the Lord ascended also in the same. And when Manue and his wife saw this, they fell flat on the ground;
And the angel of the Lord appeared to them no more. And forthwith Manue understood that it was an angel of the Lord,
And he said to his wife: We shall certainly die, because we have seen God.
And his wife answered him: If the Lord had a mind to kill us, he would not have received a holocaust and libations at our hands; neither would he have shewed us all these things, nor have told us the things that are to come.
And she bore a son, and called his name Samson. And the child grew, and the Lord blessed him.
And the Spirit of the Lord began to be with him in the camp of Dan, between Saraa and Esthaol.
Then Samson went down to Thamnatha, and seeing there a woman of the daughters of the Philistines,
He came up, and told his father and his mother, saying: I saw a woman in Thamnatha of the daughters of the Philistines: I bescech you, take her for me to wife.
And his father and mother said to him: Is there no woman among the daughters of thy brethren, or among all my people, that thou wilt take a wife of the Philistines, who are uncircumcised? And Samson said to his father: Take this woman for me; for she hath pleased my eyes.
Now his parents knew not that the thing was done by the Lord, and that he sought an occasion against the Philistines: for at that time the Philistines had dominion over Israel.
Then Samson went down with his father and mother to Thamnatha. And when they were come to the vineyards of the town, behold a young lion met him, raging and roaring.
And the Spirit of the Lord came upon Samson, and he tore the lion as he would have torn a kid in pieces, having nothing at all in his hand: and he would not tell this to his father and mother.
And he went down, and spoke to the woman that had pleased his eyes.
And after some days, returning to take her, he went aside to see the carcass of the lion, and behold there was a swarm of bees in the mouth of the lion, and a honey-comb.
And when he had taken it in his hands, he went on eating: and coming to his father and mother, he gave them of it, and they ate: but he would not tell them that he had taken the honey from the body of the lion.
So his father went down to the woman, and made a feast for his son Samson: for so the young men used to do.
And when the citizens of that place saw him, they brought him thirty companions to be with him.
And Samson said to them: I will propose to you a riddle, which if you declare unto me within the seven days of the feast, I will give you thirty shirts, and as many coats:
But if you shall not be able to declare it, you shall give me thirty shirts and the same number of coats. They answered him: Put forth the riddle, that we may hear it.
And he said to them: Out of the eater came forth meat, and out of the strong came forth sweetness. And they could not for three days expound the riddle.
And when the seventh day came, they said to the wife of Samson: Sooth thy husband, and persuade him to tell thee what the riddle meaneth. But if thou wilt not do it, we will burn thee, and thy father’s house. Have you called us to the wedding on purpose to strip us?
So she wept before Samson and complained, saying: Thou hatest me, and dost not love me: therefore thou wilt not expound to me the riddle, which thou hast proposed to the sons of my people. But he answered: I would not tell it to my father and mother: and how can I tell it to thee?
So she wept before him the seven days of the feast: and, at length, on the seventh day, as she was troublesome to him, he expounded it. And she immediately told her countrymen.
And they, on the seventh day before the sun went down, said to him: What is sweeter than honey? and what is stronger than a lion? And he said to them: If you had not ploughed with my heifer, you had not found out my riddle.
And the Spirit of the Lord came upon him, and he went down to Ascalon, and slew there thirty men whose garments he took away, and gave to them that had declared the riddle. And being exceeding angry, he went up to his father’s house:
But his wife took one of his friends and bridal companions for her husband.
And a while after, when the days of the wheat harvest were at hand, Samson came, meaning to visit his wife, and he brought her a kid of the flock. And when he would have gone into her chamber, as usual, her father would not suffer him, saying:
I thought thou hadst hated her, and therefore I gave her to thy friend: but she hath a sister, who is younger and fairer than she, take her to wife instead of her.
And Samson answered him: From this day I shall be blameless in what I do against the Philistines: for I will do you evils.
And he went and caught three hundred foxes, and coupled them tail to tail, and fastened torches between the tails:
And setting them on fire he let the foxes go, that they might run about hither and thither. And they presently went into the standing corn of the Philistines. Which being set on fire, both the corn that was already carried together, and that which was yet standing, was all burnt, insomuch that the flame consumed also the vineyards and the oliveyards. Then the Philistines said: Who hath done this thing? And it was answered: Samson, the son in law of the Thamnathite, because he took away his wife, and gave her to another, hath done these things. And the Philistines went up and burnt both the woman and her father.
But Samson said to them: Although you have done this, yet will I be revenged of you, and then I will be quiet.
And he made a great slaughter of them, so that in astonishment they laid the calf of the leg upon the thigh. And going down he dwelt in a cavern of the rock Etam.
Then the Philistines going up into the land of Juda, camped in the place which afterwards was called Lechi, that is, the Jawbone, where their army was spread abroad.
And the men of the tribe of Juda said to them: Why are you come up against us? They answered: We are come to bind Samson, and to pay him for what he hath done against us.
Wherefore three thousand men of Juda went down to the cave of the rock Etam, and said to Samson: Knowest thou not that the Philistines rule over us? Why wouldst thou do thus? And he said to them: As they did to me, so have I done to them.
And they said to him: We are come to bind thee, and to deliver thee into the hands of the Philistines. And Samson said to them: Swear to me, and promise me that you will not kill me.
They said: We will not kill thee: but we will deliver thee up bound. And they bound him with two new cords, and brought him from the rock Etam.
Now when he was come to the place of the Jawbone, and the Philistines shouting went to meet him, the Spirit of the Lord came strongly upon him: and as flax is wont to be consumed at the approach of fire, so the bands with which he was bound were broken and loosed.
And finding a jawbone, even the jawbone of an ass, which lay there, catching it up, he slew therewith a thousand men.
And he said: With the jawbone of an ass, with the jaw of the colt of asses, I have destroyed them, and have slain a thousand men.
And when he had ended these words, singing, he threw the jawbone out of his hand, and called the name of that place Ramathlechi, which is interpreted the lifting up of the jawbone.
And being very thirsty, he cried to the Lord, and said: Thou hast given this very great deliverance and victory into the hand of thy servant: and behold I die for thirst, and shall fall into the hands of the uncircumcised.
Then the Lord opened a great tooth in the jaw of the ass and waters issued out of it. And when he had drunk them, he refreshed his spirit, and recovered his strength. Therefore the name of that place was called The Spring of him that invoked from the jawbone, until this present day.
And he judged Israel, in the days of the Philistines, twenty years.