Judges 13–15

1 Again the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord, so the Lord gave them into the hands of the Philistines for forty years.

2 There was a certain man from Zorah, from the tribe of Dan. His name was Manoah. His wife was infertile and had borne no children. 3 The angel of the Lord appeared to the woman and said to her, “Indeed, you are infertile and have borne no children, yet you will conceive and bear a son. 4 Now be careful, I pray, that you drink no wine or strong drink and that you do not eat anything ritually unclean. 5 For you will conceive and bear a son. No razor may touch his head, for the boy will be a Nazirite to God from the womb. He will begin to save Israel from the hand of the Philistines.”

6 Then the woman went to her husband and said, “A man of God came to me. He looked like a very fearsome angel of God. I did not ask him where he was from, and he did not tell me his name. 7 He said to me, ‘You will conceive and bear a son. So now, do not drink wine or strong drink, and do not eat anything ritually unclean, for the boy will be a Nazirite to God from the womb until the day he dies.’”

8 Then Manoah prayed to the Lord, “O my Lord, let the man of God whom You sent come again to us, so that he can teach us what we should do for the boy who will be born.”

9 God listened to the voice of Manoah, and the angel of God came again to the woman. She was sitting in the field; but her husband Manoah was not with her. 10 The woman hurried and ran to tell her husband, “The man who came to me the other day has appeared to me.”

11 So Manoah got up and went after his wife. He came to the man and said to him, “Are you the man who spoke to my wife?”

He said, “I am.”

12 Then Manoah said, “Now may your words come true! What will be the boy’s way of life and his work?”

13 The angel of the Lord said to Manoah, “Your wife must observe everything that I said to her. 14 She must not consume anything that grows on the vine. She must not drink wine or strong drink, and she must not eat anything ritually unclean. She must observe everything that I commanded her.”

15 Manoah said to the angel of the Lord, “Please let us detain you, and let us prepare a young goat for you.”

16 The angel of the Lord said to Manoah, “If I stay, I will not eat your food, but if you want to make an offering to the Lord, you should offer it.” (For Manoah did not know that he was an angel of the Lord.)

17 Manoah said to the angel of the Lord, “What is your name, so that we can honor you when your words come true?”

18 The angel of the Lord said to him, “Why do you ask my name? It is too wonderful.” 19 Manoah took the young goat and the grain offering and offered them to the Lord upon a rock. Then he did a wondrous thing while Manoah and his wife watched. 20 When the flame went up from the altar toward the heavens, the angel of the Lord went up in the flames from the altar. Seeing this, Manoah and his wife fell face down on the ground. 21 The angel of the Lord did not appear again to Manoah and his wife. Then Manoah knew that he was an angel of the Lord.

22 Manoah said to his wife, “We are certainly going to die, for we have seen God.”

23 Yet his wife said to him, “If the Lord wanted to kill us, He would not have taken the burnt offering and grain offering from us. He would not have shown us these things, nor let us hear things such as these at this time.”

24 So the woman bore a son, and she called him Samson. The boy grew, and the Lord blessed him. 25 The Spirit of the Lord began to move upon him at Mahaneh Dan, between Zorah and Eshtaol.

Chapter 14

1 Samson went down to Timnah and saw a woman from the daughters of the Philistines. 2 He came back up and told his father and mother, “I have seen a woman in Timnah from the daughters of the Philistines; now get her for me as a wife.”

3 His father and mother said to him, “Are there no women among your relatives, or all of our people, that you are intending to take a wife from among the uncircumcised Philistines?”

Yet Samson said to his father, “Get her for me, for she pleases me well.” 4 His father and mother did not know that this was from the Lord, for He was seeking an opportunity to act against the Philistines. At that time the Philistines were ruling over Israel.

5 Samson went down with his father and mother to Timnah. As they came to the vineyards of Timnah, suddenly a young lion came roaring toward him. 6 Then the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon him, and though unarmed, he tore the lion in two as one might tear a young goat in two. However, he did not tell his father and his mother what he had done. 7 So Samson went down and spoke with the woman, and she pleased Samson.

8 After a while, when he returned to take her, he turned aside to see the carcass of the lion. And a swarm of bees and honey were in the carcass of the lion. 9 He scooped it out into his hands and ate it as he went along. He came to his father and mother and gave some to them, and they also ate. Yet he did not tell them he had scooped the honey out of a lion’s carcass.

10 Then his father went down to the woman. Samson put on a feast there, for this is what young men would do. 11 When the Philistines saw him, they brought thirty companions to be with him.

12 Samson said to them, “Let me tell you a riddle. If you can explain it to me within the seven days of the feast, then I will find thirty linen robes and thirty sets of clothes to give you. 13 However, if you are not able to explain it to me, then you will give me thirty linen robes and thirty sets of clothes.”

They said to him, “Tell us your riddle, so we can hear it.”

14 He said to them,

“Out of the eater came something to eat,

and out of the strong came something sweet.”

They could not explain the riddle after three days.

15 On the fourth day they said to Samson’s wife, “Trick your groom into telling us the riddle, or we will burn you and your father’s house with fire. Have you invited us to steal what we have? Is that not so?”

16 So Samson’s wife wept all over him and said, “You must hate me. You do not love me. You have told a riddle to the young men and did not tell it to me.”

Then he said to her, “I have not told it to my father and mother. Why should I tell it to you?” 17 She wept on him for the seven days of the feast, then on the seventh day he told it to her because she had nagged him. Then she explained the riddle to her people.

18 So on the seventh day before sunset, the men of the city said to Samson,

“What is sweeter than honey,

and what is stronger than a lion?”

Then he said to them,

“If you had not plowed with my heifer,

you would not have solved my riddle.”

19 Then the Spirit of the Lord mightily came upon him, and he went down to Ashkelon and struck down thirty of their men. He took their clothes and gave them to the ones who had explained the riddle. His anger burned and he went up to his father’s house. 20 So Samson’s wife was given to his companion, who had been his best man.

Chapter 15

1 After a while, during the wheat harvest, Samson went to visit his wife, taking a young goat. He said, “I’m going in to my wife in her bedroom,” but her father would not let him go in.

2 Her father said, “I thought that you thoroughly hated her, so I gave her to your best man. Is not her younger sister better than she? Please, let her be your wife instead.”

3 Samson said to them, “This time I cannot be blamed by the Philistines when I do them harm.” 4 Samson went and caught three hundred foxes. He took torches and turned the foxes tail to tail and put a torch between each pair of tails. 5 He set fire to the torches and sent the foxes into standing grain of the Philistines. He burned the harvested grain, standing grain, vineyards, and olive trees.

6 The Philistines asked, “Who did this?” They said, “Samson, the son-in-law of the Timnite, because the Timnite took the bride of Samson and gave her to his best man.”

So the Philistines went up and burned her and her father with fire. 7 Samson said to them, “Because you have done this, I will take revenge on you, and afterwards I will stop.” 8 He struck them down with a mighty blow, then went to live in a cave in Etam Rock.

9 Then the Philistines went up and set up camp in Judah. They deployed against Lehi. 10 The men of Judah said, “Why have you come up against us?”

They said, “It is to take Samson prisoner that we have come up, to do to him what he did to us.”

11 So three thousand men from Judah went to the cave in Etam Rock and said to Samson, “Do you not know that the Philistines are ruling us? Why have you done this to us?”

He said to them, “As they did to me, so I have done to them.”

12 They said to him, “We have come to take you prisoner, to give you into the hands of the Philistines.”

Samson said to them, “Swear to me that you will not attack me.”

13 They said to him, “No, we will bind you securely and give you into their hands, but we will not kill you.” They bound him with two new ropes and took him away from the rock. 14 He came to Lehi, and the Philistines shouted as they approached him. Then the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon him. The ropes on his arms became like burned flax and the ties on his hands dissolved. 15 Then he found a fresh jawbone of a donkey, reached out his hand and took it, and with it struck down a thousand men.

16 Samson said,

“With a jawbone of a donkey,

heaps upon heaps.

With a jawbone of a donkey

I have slain a thousand men.”

17 When he finished speaking, he threw the jawbone away and called that place Ramath Lehi.

18 He was very thirsty, and he called out to the Lord, “You gave this great deliverance through Your servant, but now may I die of thirst and fall into the hands of the uncircumcised?” 19 So God split open the basin at Lehi, and water flowed out of it. He drank, was refreshed, and revived. Because of this he called the place En Hakkore, which is in Lehi to this day.

20 Samson judged Israel for twenty years in the days of the Philistines.

Luke 6:27–49

27 “But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you. 29 To him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer also the other. And from him who takes away your cloak, do not withhold your tunic as well. 30 Give to everyone who asks of you. And of him who takes away your goods, do not ask for them back. 31 Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.

32 “For if you love those who love you, what thanks do you receive? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who do good to you, what thanks do you receive? For even sinners do the same. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what thanks do you receive? Even sinners lend to sinners, to receive as much in return. 35 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return. Then your reward will be great, and you will be the sons of the Highest. For He is kind to the unthankful and the evil. 36 Be therefore merciful, even as your Father is merciful.

37 “Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you shall be forgiven. 38 Give, and it will be given to you: Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will men give unto you. For with the measure you use, it will be measured unto you.”

39 He spoke a parable to them: “Can the blind lead the blind? Will they not both fall into the ditch? 40 The disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is trained will be like his teacher.

41 “Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not see the beam that is in your own eye? 42 How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me remove the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the beam that is in your own eye? You hypocrite! First remove the beam from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck that is in your brother’s eye.

43 “A good tree does not bear corrupt fruit, nor does a corrupt tree bear good fruit. 44 Each tree is known by its own fruit. Men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they gather grapes from a wild bush. 45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bears what is good, and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bears what is evil. For of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.

46 “Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I say? 47 Whoever comes to Me and hears My words and does them, I will show whom he is like: 48 He is like a man who built a house, and dug deep, and laid the foundation on rock. When the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently against that house, but could not shake it, for it was founded on rock. 49 But he who hears and does not obey is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation, against which the stream beat vehemently. Immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great.”