Teacher: Rusty Kennedy
Series: Bible Stories
History of Israel
- Judges (300-480 years)
o 7 Cycles of:
o Cries of distress
o Gracious divine deliverance
Honest Preacher Video
- 12 Judges
o Minor Judges
§ Shamgar (3:31)
§ Tola (10:1-2)
§ Jair (10:3-5)
§ Ibzan (12:8-10)
§ Elon (12:11-12)
§ Abdon (12:13-15)
o Major Judges
§ Othniel Defeats Aram Naharaim (3:7-11)
§ Ehud Defeats Moab (3:12-30)
§ Deborah Defeats Canaan (Chs. 4-5)
§ Gideon Defeats Midian (Chs. 6-8)
§ Jephthah Defeats Ammon (10:6-12:7)
§ Samson Checks Philistia (Chs. 13-16)
1 The Israelites again did what was evil in the Lord’s sight, so the Lord handed them over to the Philistines 40 years. 2 There was a certain man from Zorah, from the family of Dan, whose name was Manoah; his wife was unable to conceive and had no children. 3 The Angel of the Lord appeared to the woman and said to her, “It is true that you are unable to conceive and have no children, but you will conceive and give birth to a son. 4 Now please be careful not to drink wine or beer, or to eat anything unclean; 5 for indeed, you will conceive and give birth to a son. You must never cut his hair, because the boy will be a Nazirite to God from birth, and he will begin to save Israel from the power of the Philistines.”
- A Nazirite (meaning “devoted” or “consecrated”) was a person whose vow of separation to God included abstaining from fermented drink, refraining from cutting his hair, and avoiding contact with dead bodies (Num. 6:2–6).
15 “Please stay here,” Manoah told Him, “and we will prepare a young goat for You.”
16 The Angel of the Lord said to him, “If I stay, I won’t eat your food. But if you want to prepare a burnt offering, offer it to the Lord.” For Manoah did not know He was the Angel of the Lord.
19 Manoah took a young goat and a grain offering and offered them on a rock to the Lord, and He did a wonderful thing while Manoah and his wife were watching. 20 When the flame went up from the altar to the sky, the Angel of the Lord went up in its flame. When Manoah and his wife saw this, they fell facedown on the ground. 21 The Angel of the Lord did not appear again to Manoah and his wife. Then Manoah realized that it was the Angel of the Lord.
24 So the woman gave birth to a son and named him Samson. The boy grew, and the Lord blessed him. 25 Then the Spirit of the Lord began to direct him in the Camp of Dan, between Zorah and Eshtaol.
14 Samson went down to Timnah and saw a young Philistine woman there. 2 He went back and told his father and his mother: “I have seen a young Philistine woman in Timnah. Now get her for me as a wife.”
3 But his father and mother said to him, “Can’t you find a young woman among your relatives or among any of our people? Must you go to the uncircumcised Philistines for a wife?”
But Samson told his father, “Get her for me, because I want her.”
5 Samson went down to Timnah with his father and mother and came to the vineyards of Timnah. Suddenly a young lion came roaring at him, 6 the Spirit of the Lord took control of him, and he tore the lion apart with his bare hands as he might have torn a young goat. But he did not tell his father or mother what he had done. 7 Then he went and spoke to the woman, because Samson wanted her.
8 After some time, when he returned to get her, he left the road to see the lion’s carcass, and there was a swarm of bees with honey in the carcass. 9 He scooped some honey into his hands and ate it as he went along. When he returned to his father and mother, he gave some to them and they ate it. But he did not tell them that he had scooped the honey from the lion’s carcass.
10 His father went to visit the woman, and Samson prepared a feast there, as young men were accustomed to do. 11 When the Philistines saw him, they brought 30 men to accompany him.
12 “Let me tell you a riddle,” Samson said to them. “If you can explain it to me during the seven days of the feast and figure it out, I will give you 30 linen garments and 30 changes of clothes. 13 But if you can’t explain it to me, you must give me 30 linen garments and 30 changes of clothes.”
“Tell us your riddle,” they replied. “Let’s hear it.”
14 So he said to them:
Out of the eater came something to eat, and out of the strong came something sweet.
After three days, they were unable to explain the riddle. 15 On the fourth day they said to Samson’s wife, “Persuade your husband to explain the riddle to us, or we will burn you and your father’s household to death. Did you invite us here to rob us?”
16 So Samson’s wife came to him, weeping, and said, “You hate me and don’t love me! You told my people the riddle, but haven’t explained it to me.”
“Look,” he said, “I haven’t even explained it to my father or mother, so why should I explain it to you?”
17 She wept the whole seven days of the feast, and at last, on the seventh day, he explained it to her, because she had nagged him so much. Then she explained it to her people. 18 On the seventh day, before sunset, the men of the city said to him:
What is sweeter than honey?
What is stronger than a lion?
So he said to them:
If you hadn’t plowed with my young cow,
you wouldn’t know my riddle now!
19 The Spirit of the Lord took control of him, and he went down to Ashkelon and killed 30 of their men. He stripped them and gave their clothes to those who had explained the riddle. In a rage, Samson returned to his father’s house, 20 and his wife was given to one of the men who had accompanied him.
15 Later on, during the wheat harvest, Samson took a young goat as a gift and visited his wife. “I want to go to my wife in her room,” he said. But her father would not let him enter.
2 “I was sure you hated her,” her father said, “so I gave her to one of the men who accompanied you. Isn’t her younger sister more beautiful than she is? Why not take her instead?”
3 Samson said to them, “This time I won’t be responsible when I harm the Philistines.” 4 So he went out and caught 300 foxes. He took torches, turned the foxes tail-to-tail, and put a torch between each pair of tails. 5 Then he ignited the torches and released the foxes into the standing grain of the Philistines. He burned up the piles of grain and the standing grain as well as the vineyards and olive groves.
6 Then the Philistines asked, “Who did this?”
They were told, “It was Samson, the Timnite’s son-in-law, because he has taken Samson’s wife and given her to another man.” So the Philistines went to her and her father and burned them to death.
7 Then Samson told them, “Because you did this, I swear that I won’t rest until I have taken vengeance on you.” 8 He tore them limb from limb with a great slaughter, and he went down and stayed in the cave at the rock of Etam.
9 The Philistines went up, camped in Judah, and raided Lehi. 10 So the men of Judah said, “Why have you attacked us?” They replied, “We have come to arrest Samson and pay him back for what he did to us.”
11 Then 3,000 men of Judah went to the cave at the rock of Etam, and they asked Samson, “Don’t you realize that the Philistines rule over us? What have you done to us?”
“I have done to them what they did to me,” he answered.
12 They said to him, “We’ve come to arrest you and hand you over to the Philistines.”
Then Samson told them, “Swear to me that you yourselves won’t kill me.”
13 “No,” they said, “we won’t kill you, but we will tie you up securely and hand you over to them.” So they tied him up with two new ropes and led him away from the rock.
14 When he came to Lehi, the Philistines came to meet him shouting. The Spirit of the Lord took control of him, and the ropes that were on his arms became like burnt flax and his bonds fell off his wrists. 15 He found a fresh jawbone of a donkey, reached out his hand, took it, and killed 1,000 men with it. 16 Then Samson said:
With the jawbone of a donkey
I have piled them in a heap.
With the jawbone of a donkey
I have killed 1,000 men.
17 When he finished speaking, he threw away the jawbone and named that place Ramath-lehi. 18 He became very thirsty and called out to the Lord: “You have accomplished this great victory through Your servant. Must I now die of thirst and fall into the hands of the uncircumcised?” 19 So God split a hollow place in the ground at Lehi, and water came out of it. After Samson drank, his strength returned, and he revived. That is why he named it En-hakkore, which is in Lehi to this day. 20 And he judged Israel 20 years in the days of the Philistines.
16 Samson went to Gaza, where he saw a prostitute and went to bed with her. 2 When the Gazites heard that Samson was there, they surrounded the place and waited in ambush for him all that night at the city gate. While they were waiting quietly, they said, “Let us wait until dawn; then we will kill him.” 3 But Samson stayed in bed until midnight when he got up, took hold of the doors of the city gate along with the two gateposts, and pulled them out, bar and all. He put them on his shoulders and took them to the top of the mountain overlooking Hebron.
4 Some time later, he fell in love with a woman named Delilah, who lived in the Sorek Valley. 5 The Philistine leaders went to her and said, “Persuade him to tell you where his great strength comes from, so we can overpower him, tie him up, and make him helpless. Each of us will then give you 1,100 pieces of silver.”
6 So Delilah said to Samson, “Please tell me, where does your great strength come from? How could someone tie you up and make you helpless?”
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.”
8 The Philistine leaders brought her seven fresh bowstrings that had not been dried, and she tied him up with them. 9 While the men in ambush were waiting in her room, she called out to him, “Samson, the Philistines are here!” But he snapped the bowstrings as a strand of yarn snaps when it touches fire. The secret of his strength remained unknown.
10 Then Delilah said to Samson, “You have mocked me and told me lies! Won’t you please tell me how you can be tied up?”
11 He told her, “If they tie me up with new ropes that have never been used, I will become weak and be like any other man.”
12 Delilah took new ropes, tied him up with them, and shouted, “Samson, the Philistines are here!” But while the men in ambush were waiting in her room, he snapped the ropes off his arms like a thread.
13 Then Delilah said to Samson, “You have mocked me all along and told me lies! Tell me how you can be tied up.”
He told her, “If you weave the seven braids on my head with the web of a loom—”
14 She fastened the braids with a pin and called to him, “Samson, the Philistines are here!” He awoke from his sleep and pulled out the pin, with the loom and the web.
15 “How can you say, ‘I love you,’ ” she told him, “when your heart is not with me? This is the third time you have mocked me and not told me what makes your strength so great!”
16 Because she nagged him day after day and pleaded with him until she wore him out, 17 he told her the whole truth and said to her, “My hair has never been cut, because I am a Nazirite to God from birth. If I am shaved, my strength will leave me, and I will become weak and be like any other man.”
18 When Delilah realized that he had told her the whole truth, she sent this message to the Philistine leaders: “Come one more time, for he has told me the whole truth.” The Philistine leaders came to her and brought the money with them.
19 Then she let him fall asleep on her lap and called a man to shave off the seven braids on his head. In this way, she made him helpless, and his strength left him. 20 Then she cried, “Samson, the Philistines are here!” When he awoke from his sleep, he said, “I will escape as I did before and shake myself free.” But he did not know that the Lord had left him.
21 The Philistines seized him and gouged out his eyes. They brought him down to Gaza and bound him with bronze shackles, and he was forced to grind grain in the prison. 22 But his hair began to grow back after it had been shaved.
23 Now the Philistine leaders gathered together to offer a great sacrifice to their god Dagon. They rejoiced and said:
Our god has handed over
our enemy Samson to us.
24 When the people saw him, they praised their god and said:
Our god has handed over to us
our enemy who destroyed our land
and who multiplied our dead.
25 When they were drunk, they said, “Bring Samson here to entertain us.” So they brought Samson from prison, and he entertained them. They had him stand between the pillars.
26 Samson said to the young man who was leading him by the hand, “Lead me where I can feel the pillars supporting the temple, so I can lean against them.” 27 The temple was full of men and women; all the leaders of the Philistines were there, and about 3,000 men and women were on the roof watching Samson entertain them. 28 He called out to the Lord: “Lord God, please remember me. Strengthen me, God, just once more. With one act of vengeance, let me pay back the Philistines for my two eyes.” 29 Samson took hold of the two middle pillars supporting the temple and leaned against them, one on his right hand and the other on his left. 30 Samson said, “Let me die with the Philistines.” He pushed with all his might, and the temple fell on the leaders and all the people in it. And the dead he killed at his death were more than those he had killed in his life.
31 Then his brothers and his father’s family came down, carried him back, and buried him between Zorah and Eshtaol in the tomb of his father Manoah. So he judged Israel 20 years. 
 Lindsey, F. D. (1985). Judges. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 1, p. 404). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
 The Holy Bible: Holman Christian standard version. (2009). (Jdg 13:1–16:31). Nashville: Holman Bible Publishers.