Now Samson went to Gaza and saw a harlot there, and went in to her.
When it was told to the Gazites, saying, ``Samson has come here," they surrounded the place and lay in wait for him all night at the gate of the city. And they kept silent all night, saying, `` Let us wait until the morning light, then we will kill him."
Now Samson lay until midnight, and at midnight he arose and took hold of the doors of the city gate and the two posts and pulled them up along with the bars; then he put them on his shoulders and carried them up to the top of the mountain which is opposite Hebron.
After this it came about that he loved a woman in the valley of Sorek, whose name was Delilah.
The lords of the Philistines came up to her and said to her, ``Entice him, and see where his great strength lies and how we may overpower him that we may bind him to afflict him. Then we will each give you eleven hundred pieces of silver."
So Delilah said to Samson, ``Please tell me where your great strength is and how you may be bound to afflict you."
Samson said to her, ``If they bind me with seven fresh cords that have not been dried, then I will become weak and be like any other man."
Then the lords of the Philistines brought up to her seven fresh cords that had not been dried, and she bound him with them.
Now she had men lying in wait in an inner room. And she said to him, ``The Philistines are upon you, Samson!" But he snapped the cords as a string of tow snaps when it touches fire. So his strength was not discovered.
Then Delilah said to Samson, ``Behold, you have deceived me and told me lies; now please tell me how you may be bound."
He said to her, ``If they bind me tightly with new ropes which have not been used, then I will become weak and be like any other man."
So Delilah took new ropes and bound him with them and said to him, ``The Philistines are upon you, Samson!" For the men were lying in wait in the inner room. But he snapped the ropes from his arms like a thread.
Then Delilah said to Samson, ``Up to now you have deceived me and told me lies; tell me how you may be bound." And he said to her, ``If you weave the seven locks of my hair with the web [and fasten it with a pin, then I will become weak and be like any other man."
So while he slept, Delilah took the seven locks of his hair and wove them into the web]. And she fastened it with the pin and said to him, ``The Philistines are upon you, Samson!" But he awoke from his sleep and pulled out the pin of the loom and the web.
Then she said to him, ``How can you say, `I love you,' when your heart is not with me? You have deceived me these three times and have not told me where your great strength is."
It came about when she pressed him daily with her words and urged him, that his soul was annoyed to death.
So he told her all that was in his heart and said to her, ``A razor has never come on my head, for I have been a Nazirite to God from my mother's womb. If I am shaved, then my strength will leave me and I will become weak and be like any other man."
When Delilah saw that he had told her all that was in his heart, she sent and called the lords of the Philistines, saying, ``Come up once more, for he has told me all that is in his heart." Then the lords of the Philistines came up to her and brought the money in their hands.
She made him sleep on her knees, and called for a man and had him shave off the seven locks of his hair. Then she began to afflict him, and his strength left him.
She said, ``The Philistines are upon you, Samson!" And he awoke from his sleep and said, ``I will go out as at other times and shake myself free." But he did not know that the LORD had departed from him.
Then the Philistines seized him and gouged out his eyes; and they brought him down to Gaza and bound him with bronze chains, and he was a grinder in the prison.
However, the hair of his head began to grow again after it was shaved off.
Now the lords of the Philistines assembled to offer a great sacrifice to Dagon their god, and to rejoice, for they said, ``Our god has given Samson our enemy into our hands."
When the people saw him, they praised their god, for they said, ``Our god has given our enemy into our hands, Even the destroyer of our country, Who has slain many of us."
It so happened when they were in high spirits, that they said, ``Call for Samson, that he may amuse us." So they called for Samson from the prison, and he entertained them. And they made him stand between the pillars.
Then Samson said to the boy who was holding his hand, ``Let me feel the pillars on which the house rests, that I may lean against them."
Now the house was full of men and women, and all the lords of the Philistines were there. And about 3,000 men and women were on the roof looking on while Samson was amusing them.
Then Samson called to the LORD and said, ``O Lord GOD, please remember me and please strengthen me just this time, O God, that I may at once be avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes."
Samson grasped the two middle pillars on which the house rested, and braced himself against them, the one with his right hand and the other with his left.
And Samson said, ``Let me die with the Philistines!" And he bent with all his might so that the house fell on the lords and all the people who were in it. So the dead whom he killed at his death were more than those whom he killed in his life.
Then his brothers and all his father's household came down, took him, brought him up and buried him between Zorah and Eshtaol in the tomb of Manoah his father. Thus he had judged Israel twenty years.
Now there was a man of the hill country of Ephraim whose name was Micah.
He said to his mother, ``The eleven hundred pieces of silver which were taken from you, about which you uttered a curse in my hearing, behold, the silver is with me; I took it." And his mother said, ``Blessed be my son by the LORD."
He then returned the eleven hundred pieces of silver to his mother, and his mother said, ``I wholly dedicate the silver from my hand to the LORD for my son to make a graven image and a molten image; now therefore, I will return them to you."
So when he returned the silver to his mother, his mother took two hundred pieces of silver and gave them to the silversmith who made them into a graven image and a molten image, and they were in the house of Micah.
And the man Micah had a shrine and he made an ephod and household idols and consecrated one of his sons, that he might become his priest.
In those days there was no king in Israel; every man did what was right in his own eyes.
Now there was a young man from Bethlehem in Judah, of the family of Judah, who was a Levite; and he was staying there.
Then the man departed from the city, from Bethlehem in Judah, to stay wherever he might find a place; and as he made his journey, he came to the hill country of Ephraim to the house of Micah.
Micah said to him, ``Where do you come from?" And he said to him, ``I am a Levite from Bethlehem in Judah, and I am going to stay wherever I may find a place. "
Micah then said to him, ``Dwell with me and be a father and a priest to me, and I will give you ten pieces of silver a year, a suit of clothes, and your maintenance." So the Levite went in.
The Levite agreed to live with the man, and the young man became to him like one of his sons.
So Micah consecrated the Levite, and the young man became his priest and lived in the house of Micah.
Then Micah said, ``Now I know that the LORD will prosper me, seeing I have a Levite as priest."