Judges 16:15-31

15 Then she said to him, “How can you say, ‘I love you,’ when you won’t confide in me? This is the third time you have made a fool of me and haven’t told me the secret of your great strength.”
16 With such nagging she prodded him day after day until he was sick to death of it.
17 So he told her everything. “No razor has ever been used on my head,” he said, “because I have been a Nazirite dedicated to God from my mother’s womb. If my head were shaved, my strength would leave me, and I would become as weak as any other man.”
18 When Delilah saw that he had told her everything, she sent word to the rulers of the Philistines, “Come back once more; he has told me everything.” So the rulers of the Philistines returned with the silver in their hands.
19 After putting him to sleep on her lap, she called for someone to shave off the seven braids of his hair, and so began to subdue him.[a] And his strength left him.
20 Then she called, “Samson, the Philistines are upon you!” He awoke from his sleep and thought, “I’ll go out as before and shake myself free.” But he did not know that the LORD had left him.
21 Then the Philistines seized him, gouged out his eyes and took him down to Gaza. Binding him with bronze shackles, they set him to grinding grain in the prison.
22 But the hair on his head began to grow again after it had been shaved.

The Death of Samson

23 Now the rulers of the Philistines assembled to offer a great sacrifice to Dagon their god and to celebrate, saying, “Our god has delivered Samson, our enemy, into our hands.”
24 When the people saw him, they praised their god, saying, “Our god has delivered our enemy into our hands, the one who laid waste our land and multiplied our slain.”
25 While they were in high spirits, they shouted, “Bring out Samson to entertain us.” So they called Samson out of the prison, and he performed for them. When they stood him among the pillars,
26 Samson said to the servant who held his hand, “Put me where I can feel the pillars that support the temple, so that I may lean against them.”
27 Now the temple was crowded with men and women; all the rulers of the Philistines were there, and on the roof were about three thousand men and women watching Samson perform.
28 Then Samson prayed to the LORD, “Sovereign LORD, remember me. Please, God, strengthen me just once more, and let me with one blow get revenge on the Philistines for my two eyes.”
29 Then Samson reached toward the two central pillars on which the temple stood. Bracing himself against them, his right hand on the one and his left hand on the other,
30 Samson said, “Let me die with the Philistines!” Then he pushed with all his might, and down came the temple on the rulers and all the people in it. Thus he killed many more when he died than while he lived.
31 Then his brothers and his father’s whole family went down to get him. They brought him back and buried him between Zorah and Eshtaol in the tomb of Manoah his father. He had led[b] Israel twenty years.

Judges 16:15-31 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO JUDGES 16

In this chapter we have an account of Samson's too great familiarity with two harlots; by the one he was brought into great danger, and narrowly escaped, Jud 16:1-3, and by the other he was betrayed into the hands of the Philistines, having got the secret out of him wherein his great strength lay, Jud 16:4-20 who having him in their hands, put out his eyes, imprisoned him, and in their idol temple made sport of him, Jud 16:21-25, where praying for renewed strength from the Lord, he pulled down the temple, and destroyed multitudes with the loss of his own life, Jud 16:26-31.

Judges 16:15-31 In-Context

13 Delilah then said to Samson, “All this time you have been making a fool of me and lying to me. Tell me how you can be tied.” He replied, “If you weave the seven braids of my head into the fabric on the loom and tighten it with the pin, I’ll become as weak as any other man.” So while he was sleeping, Delilah took the seven braids of his head, wove them into the fabric
14 and tightened it with the pin. Again she called to him, “Samson, the Philistines are upon you!” He awoke from his sleep and pulled up the pin and the loom, with the fabric.
15 Then she said to him, “How can you say, ‘I love you,’ when you won’t confide in me? This is the third time you have made a fool of me and haven’t told me the secret of your great strength.”
16 With such nagging she prodded him day after day until he was sick to death of it.
17 So he told her everything. “No razor has ever been used on my head,” he said, “because I have been a Nazirite dedicated to God from my mother’s womb. If my head were shaved, my strength would leave me, and I would become as weak as any other man.”
18 When Delilah saw that he had told her everything, she sent word to the rulers of the Philistines, “Come back once more; he has told me everything.” So the rulers of the Philistines returned with the silver in their hands.
19 After putting him to sleep on her lap, she called for someone to shave off the seven braids of his hair, and so began to subdue him. And his strength left him.
20 Then she called, “Samson, the Philistines are upon you!” He awoke from his sleep and thought, “I’ll go out as before and shake myself free.” But he did not know that the LORD had left him.
21 Then the Philistines seized him, gouged out his eyes and took him down to Gaza. Binding him with bronze shackles, they set him to grinding grain in the prison.
22 But the hair on his head began to grow again after it had been shaved.
23 Now the rulers of the Philistines assembled to offer a great sacrifice to Dagon their god and to celebrate, saying, “Our god has delivered Samson, our enemy, into our hands.”
24 When the people saw him, they praised their god, saying, “Our god has delivered our enemy into our hands, the one who laid waste our land and multiplied our slain.”
25 While they were in high spirits, they shouted, “Bring out Samson to entertain us.” So they called Samson out of the prison, and he performed for them. When they stood him among the pillars,
26 Samson said to the servant who held his hand, “Put me where I can feel the pillars that support the temple, so that I may lean against them.”
27 Now the temple was crowded with men and women; all the rulers of the Philistines were there, and on the roof were about three thousand men and women watching Samson perform.
28 Then Samson prayed to the LORD, “Sovereign LORD, remember me. Please, God, strengthen me just once more, and let me with one blow get revenge on the Philistines for my two eyes.”
29 Then Samson reached toward the two central pillars on which the temple stood. Bracing himself against them, his right hand on the one and his left hand on the other,
30 Samson said, “Let me die with the Philistines!” Then he pushed with all his might, and down came the temple on the rulers and all the people in it. Thus he killed many more when he died than while he lived.
31 Then his brothers and his father’s whole family went down to get him. They brought him back and buried him between Zorah and Eshtaol in the tomb of Manoah his father. He had led Israel twenty years.

Cross References 24

  • 1. Judges 14:16
  • 2. Numbers 24:10
  • 3. S ver 5
  • 4. ver 18; Micah 7:5
  • 5. S Numbers 6:2; Numbers 6:2,5; Judges 13:5
  • 6. S Joshua 13:3; 1 Samuel 5:8
  • 7. ver 5
  • 8. Proverbs 7:26-27
  • 9. S ver 14
  • 10. Numbers 14:42; Joshua 7:12; 1 Samuel 16:14; 1 Samuel 18:12; 1 Samuel 28:15
  • 11. Jeremiah 47:1
  • 12. S Numbers 16:14
  • 13. S Genesis 10:19
  • 14. Job 31:10; Isaiah 47:2
  • 15. 1 Samuel 5:2; 1 Chronicles 10:10
  • 16. Daniel 5:4
  • 17. 1 Samuel 31:9; 1 Chronicles 10:9
  • 18. Judges 9:27; Judges 19:6,9,22; Ruth 3:7; Esther 1:10
  • 19. Deuteronomy 22:8; S Joshua 2:8
  • 20. Judges 15:18
  • 21. Jeremiah 15:15
  • 22. S Judges 13:2
  • 23. Ruth 1:1; 1 Samuel 4:18; 1 Samuel 7:6
  • 24. Judges 15:20

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. Hebrew; some Septuagint manuscripts "and he began to weaken"
  • [b]. Traditionally "judged"
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