Judges 16:7

7 Samson answered her, “If anyone ties me with seven fresh bowstrings that have not been dried, I’ll become as weak as any other man.”

Judges 16:7 in Other Translations

KJV
7 And Samson said unto her, If they bind me with seven green withs that were never dried, then shall I be weak, and be as another man.
ESV
7 Samson said to her, "If they bind me with seven fresh bowstrings that have not been dried, then I shall become weak and be like any other man."
NLT
7 Samson replied, “If I were tied up with seven new bowstrings that have not yet been dried, I would become as weak as anyone else.”
MSG
7 Samson told her, "If they were to tie me up with seven bowstrings - the kind made from fresh animal tendons, not dried out - then I would become weak, just like anyone else."
CSB
7 Samson told her, "If they tie me up with seven fresh bowstrings that have not been dried, I will become weak and be like any other man."

Judges 16:7 Meaning and Commentary

Judges 16:7

And Samson said unto her
In answer to her pressing solicitations:

if they bind me with seven green withs that were never dried;
the word is sometimes used for nerves, and cords or ropes; but neither of these can be here meant, since these, if moistened or made wet, are the less fit to bind with, and the drier the better; but rods or branches of trees just cut off, such as faggots are bound up with, or green osiers, which are easily bent and twisted, and may bind with; Josephus F21 calls them vine branches:

then shall I be weak, and be as another man;
which cannot well be excused from a lie; for Samson knew full well that being bound would not weaken his strength; but as he had fallen into one sin, it is no wonder he was drawn into another: unless this can be understood, as it is by some, as jesting with her; however, it shows that he was "compos mentis", as Josephus F23 observes, and was upon his guard with respect to the secret of his strength.


FOOTNOTES:

F21 Ut supra. (Antiqu. l. 5. c. 8. sect. 9.)
F23 Ibid.

Judges 16:7 In-Context

5 The rulers of the Philistines went to her and said, “See if you can lure him into showing you the secret of his great strength and how we can overpower him so we may tie him up and subdue him. Each one of us will give you eleven hundred shekels of silver.”
6 So Delilah said to Samson, “Tell me the secret of your great strength and how you can be tied up and subdued.”
7 Samson answered her, “If anyone ties me with seven fresh bowstrings that have not been dried, I’ll become as weak as any other man.”
8 Then the rulers of the Philistines brought her seven fresh bowstrings that had not been dried, and she tied him with them.
9 With men hidden in the room, she called to him, “Samson, the Philistines are upon you!” But he snapped the bowstrings as easily as a piece of string snaps when it comes close to a flame. So the secret of his strength was not discovered.