Through the Bible – Day 89

Bible text(s)

9But it wasn't long before the Philistines invaded Judah and set up a huge army camp at Jawbone.

10The people of Judah asked, “Why have you invaded our land?”

The Philistines answered, “We've come to get Samson. We're going to do the same things to him that he did to our people.”

11Three thousand men from Judah went to the cave at Etam Rock and said to Samson, “Don't you know that the Philistines rule us, and they will punish us for what you did?”

“I was only getting even with them,” Samson replied. “They did the same things to me first.”

12“We came here to tie you up and turn you over to them,” said the men of Judah.

“I won't put up a fight,” Samson answered, “but you have to promise not to hurt me yourselves.”

13-14“We promise,” the men said. “We will only tie you up and turn you over to the Philistines. We won't kill you.” Then they tied up his hands and arms with two brand-new ropes and led him away from Etam Rock.

When the Philistines saw that Samson was being brought to their camp at Jawbone, they started shouting and ran towards him. But the LORD's Spirit took control of Samson, and Samson broke the ropes, as though they were pieces of burnt cloth. 15Samson glanced around and spotted the jawbone of a donkey. The jawbone had not yet dried out, so it was still hard and heavy. Samson grabbed it and started hitting Philistines—he killed a thousand of them! 16After the fighting was over, he made up this poem about what he had done to the Philistines:

I used a donkey's jawbone

to kill a thousand men;

I beat them with this jawbone

over and over again.

17Samson tossed the jawbone on the ground and decided to call the place Jawbone Hill. It is still called that today.

18Samson was so thirsty that he prayed, “Our LORD, you helped me win a battle against a whole army. Please don't let me die of thirst now. Those heathen Philistines will carry off my dead body.”

19Samson was tired and weary, but God sent water gushing from a rock. Samson drank some and felt strong again.

Samson named the place Caller Spring, because he had called out to God for help. The spring is still there at Jawbone.

20Samson was a leader of Israel for twenty years, but the Philistines were still the rulers of Israel.

Samson carries off the gates of Gaza

1One day while Samson was in Gaza, he saw a prostitute and went to her house to spend the night. 2The people who lived in Gaza found out he was there, and they decided to kill him at sunrise. So they went to the city gate and waited all night in the guardrooms on each side of the gate.

3But Samson got up in the middle of the night and went to the town gate. He pulled the gate doors and doorposts out of the wall and put them on his shoulders. Then he carried them all the way to the top of the hill that overlooks Hebron, where he set the doors down, still closed and locked.

Delilah tricks Samson

4Some time later, Samson fell in love with a woman named Delilah, who lived in Sorek Valley. 5The Philistine rulers went to Delilah and said, “Trick Samson into telling you what makes him so strong and what can make him weak. Then we can tie him up so he can't get away. If you find out his secret, we will each give you eleven hundred pieces of silver.”

6The next time Samson was at Delilah's house, she asked, “Samson, what makes you so strong? How can I tie you up so you can't get away? Come on, you can tell me.”

7Samson answered, “If someone ties me up with seven new bowstrings that have never been dried, it will make me just as weak as anyone else.”

8-9The Philistine rulers gave seven new bowstrings to Delilah. They also told some of their soldiers to go to Delilah's house and hide in the room where Samson and Delilah were. If the bowstrings made Samson weak, they would be able to capture him.

Delilah tied up Samson with the bowstrings and shouted, “Samson, the Philistines are attacking!”

Samson snapped the bowstrings, as though they were pieces of scorched string. The Philistines had not found out why Samson was so strong.

10“You lied and made me look like a fool,” Delilah said. “Now tell me. How can I really tie you up?”

11Samson answered, “Use some new ropes. If I'm tied up with ropes that have never been used, I'll be just as weak as anyone else.”

12Delilah got new ropes and again some Philistines hid in the room. Then she tied up Samson's arms and shouted, “Samson, the Philistines are attacking!”

Samson snapped the ropes as if they were threads.

13“You're still lying and making a fool of me,” Delilah said. “Tell me how I can tie you up!”

“My hair is in seven braids,” Samson replied. “If you weave my braids into the threads on a loom and nail the loom to a wall, then I will be as weak as anyone else.”

14While Samson was asleep, Delilah wove his braids into the threads on a loom and nailed the loom to a wall. Then she shouted, “Samson, the Philistines are attacking!”

Samson woke up and pulled the loom free from its posts in the ground and from the nails in the wall. Then he pulled his hair free from the woven cloth.

15“Samson,” Delilah said, “you claim to love me, but you don't mean it! You've made me look like a fool three times now, and you still haven't told me why you are so strong.” 16Delilah started nagging and pestering him day after day, until he couldn't stand it any longer.

17Finally, Samson told her the truth. “I have belonged to God ever since I was born, so my hair has never been cut. If it were ever cut off, my strength would leave me, and I would be as weak as anyone else.”

18Delilah realized that he was telling the truth. So she sent someone to tell the Philistine rulers, “Come to my house one more time. Samson has finally told me the truth.”

The Philistine rulers went to Delilah's house, and they brought along the silver they had promised her. 19Delilah had lulled Samson to sleep with his head resting in her lap. She signalled to one of the Philistine men as she began cutting off Samson's seven braids. And by the time she had finished, Samson's strength was gone. Delilah tied him up 20and shouted, “Samson, the Philistines are attacking!”

Samson woke up and thought, “I'll break loose and escape, just as I always do.” He did not realize that the LORD had stopped helping him.

21The Philistines grabbed Samson and put out his eyes. They took him to the prison in Gaza and chained him up. Then they put him to work, turning a millstone to grind grain. 22But they didn't cut his hair any more, so it started growing back.

23The Philistine rulers threw a big party and sacrificed a lot of animals to their god Dagon. The rulers said:

Samson was our enemy,

but our god Dagon

helped us capture him!

24-25Everyone there was having a good time, and they shouted, “Bring out Samson—he's still good for a few more laughs!”

The rulers had Samson brought from the prison, and when the people saw him, this is how they praised their god:

Samson ruined our crops

and killed our people.

He was our enemy,

but our god helped us

capture him.

They made fun of Samson for a while, then they told him to stand near the columns that supported the roof. 26A young man was leading Samson by the hand, and Samson said to him, “I need to lean against something. Take me over to the columns that hold up the roof.”

27The Philistine rulers were celebrating in a temple packed with people and with three thousand more on the flat roof. They had all been watching Samson and making fun of him.

28Samson prayed, “Please remember me, LORD God. The Philistines put out my eyes, but make me strong one last time, so I can take revenge for at least one of my eyes!”

29Samson was standing between the two middle columns that held up the roof. He felt around and found one column with his right hand, and the other with his left hand. 30Then he shouted, “Let me die with the Philistines!” He pushed against the columns as hard as he could, and the temple collapsed with the Philistine rulers and everyone else still inside. Samson killed more Philistines when he died than he had killed during his entire life.

31His brothers and the rest of his family went to Gaza and took his body back home. They buried him in his father's tomb, which was between Zorah and Eshtaol.

Samson was a leader of Israel for twenty years.

Judges 15:9-16:31CEVOpen in Bible reader

Jesus heals a crippled man

17One day some Pharisees and experts in the Law of Moses sat listening to Jesus teach. They had come from every village in Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem.

God had given Jesus the power to heal the sick, 18and some people came carrying a crippled man on a mat. They tried to take him inside the house and put him in front of Jesus. 19But because of the crowd, they could not get him to Jesus. So they went up on the roof, where they removed some tiles and let the mat down in the middle of the room.

20When Jesus saw how much faith they had, he said to the crippled man, “My friend, your sins are forgiven.”

21The Pharisees and the experts began arguing, “Jesus must think he is God! Only God can forgive sins.”

22Jesus knew what they were thinking, and he said, “Why are you thinking that? 23Is it easier for me to tell this crippled man that his sins are forgiven or to tell him to get up and walk? 24But now you will see that the Son of Man has the right to forgive sins here on earth.” Jesus then said to the man, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk home.”

25At once the man stood up in front of everyone. He picked up his mat and went home, giving thanks to God. 26Everyone was amazed and praised God. What they saw surprised them, and they said, “We have seen a great miracle today!”

Jesus chooses Levi

27Later, Jesus went out and saw a tax collector named Levi sitting at the place for paying taxes. Jesus said to him, “Come with me.” 28Levi left everything and went with Jesus.

29In his home Levi gave a big dinner for Jesus. Many tax collectors and other guests were also there.

30The Pharisees and some of their teachers of the Law of Moses grumbled to Jesus' disciples, “Why do you eat and drink with those tax collectors and other sinners?”

31Jesus answered, “Healthy people don't need a doctor, but sick people do. 32I didn't come to invite good people to turn to God. I came to invite sinners.”

People ask about going without eating

33Some people said to Jesus, “John's followers often pray and go without eating, and so do the followers of the Pharisees. But your disciples never go without eating or drinking.”

34Jesus told them, “The friends of a bridegroom don't go without eating while he is still with them. 35But the time will come when he will be taken from them. Then they will go without eating.”

36Jesus then told them these sayings:

No one uses a new piece of cloth to patch old clothes. The patch would shrink and make the hole even bigger.

37No one pours new wine into old wineskins. The new wine would swell and burst the old skins. Then the wine would be lost, and the skins would be ruined. 38New wine must be put only into new wineskins.

39No one wants new wine after drinking old wine. They say, “The old wine is better.”

Luke 5:17-39CEVOpen in Bible reader
Canadian Bible Societyv.4.21.9
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