1One day Samson went to Gaza city in the Philistia area. He spent some time with a prostitute.
2People soon found out that Samson was there, so the men of Gaza gathered together at the city gate and waited all night. They said to themselves, “When it dawns tomorrow morning, we will kill him when he tries to leave the city.”
3But Samson did not stay there all night. At midnight, he got up. He went to the city gate, he took hold of its two posts, and he lifted it up out of the ground, with its connecting cross bar still attached. He put it on his shoulders and carried it many miles uphill to Hebron.
4Later Samson fell in love with a woman named Delilah, and started to live with her. She lived in Sorek Valley in the Philistia area.
5The Philistine leaders went to her and said, “Find out from Samson what makes him so strong. And find out how we can subdue him and tie him up securely. If you do that, each of us will give you 1,100 pieces of silver.”
6So Delilah said to Samson, “Please tell me what makes you so strong, and tell me how someone can subdue you and tie you up.”
7Samson said, “If someone ties me with seven new bowstrings, ones that are not dry yet, I will become as weak as other men.”
8So after Delilah told that to the Philistine leaders, they brought seven new bowstrings to Delilah.
9Then she hid the men in one of the rooms in her house. Then while Samson was sleeping, she tied him up with the bowstrings. Then she called out, “Samson! The Philistines have come here to capture you!” But Samson snapped the bowstrings as easily as though they were strings that had been singed in a fire. So the Philistines did not find out what made Samson so strong.
10Then Delilah said to Samson, “You have deceived me and lied to me! Now tell me the truth, how someone can tie you up securely.”
11Samson replied, “If someone ties me with new ropes, ones that have never been used, I will be as weak as other men.”
12So again, she told the Philistine leaders, and they came and hid in the room as they had done before. And again, while Samson was sleeping, she took the new ropes and tied him up with them. Then she called out, “Samson! The Philistines have come to capture you!” But Samson snapped the ropes on his arms as easily as if they were threads.
13Then Delilah said, “You have deceived me and lied to me again! Please tell me how someone can tie you up securely!” Samson replied, “If you weave the seven braids of my hair into the threads you are weaving on the loom, and then fasten those threads with the pin that makes the threads tight, then I will be as weak as other men.” So again, while Samson was sleeping on her lap, Delilah held the seven braids of his hair, and wove them into the threads on the loom,
14and she tightened them with the pin. Then she called out, “Samson! The Philistines have come to capture you!” But Samson woke up and pulled out the pin, and pulled his hair from the threads on the loom.
15Then Delilah said to him, “How can you say that you love me when you do not tell me the truth about yourself? You have deceived me three times, and you still have not told me what really makes you so strong!”
16Day after day she nagged him like that. He thought he would die from her nagging IDM.
17Finally Samson told her the truth. He said, “I have been set apart for God since the day I was born. And because of that, my hair has never been cut. If my hair were shaved off, my strength would be gone, and I would be as weak as other men.”
18Delilah realized that this time he had told her the truth. So she summoned the Philistine leaders again, saying, “Come back one more time, because Samson has really told me everything about why he is so strong”. So the Philistine leaders returned and brought to Delilah the money that they promised to give her.
19Again she lulled Samson to sleep, with his head in her lap. Then she called one of the Philistine men to come and shave off Samson's hair. As he did that, Samson began to get weaker. And finally his strength was all gone.
20Then after she tied him up, she called out, “Samson! The Philistines have come to capture you!” He woke up and thought, “I will do as I did before. I will shake these ropes off myself and be free!” But he did not realize that Yahweh had left him.
21So the Philistine men seized him and gouged out his eyes. Then they took him to Gaza. There they put him in prison and bound him with bronze chains. They made him turn a millstone to grind grain every day.
22But his hair started to grow again.
23Several months later the Philistine leaders celebrated a big festival. During the festival they offered sacrifices to their god Dagon. They praised him, saying, “Our god has enabled us to defeat our great enemy Samson!”
24And when the other people saw Samson, they also praised their god Dagon, saying, “Samson ruined our crops and killed many of our people, but our god has put our enemy into our hands. Our god helped us to capture the one who has killed so many of us!”
25By that time the people were half-drunk. They shouted, “Bring Samson out of the prison! Bring him here so that he can entertain us!” So they brought Samson from the prison and made fun of him. Then they made him stand in the center of the temple. They made him stand between the two pillars that held up the roof.
26Samson said to the servant who was leading him by his hand, “Place my hands against the two pillars. I want to rest against them.”
27At that time the temple was full of men and women. All the Philistine leaders were also there. And there were about 3,000 people on the roof, watching Samson and making fun of him.
28Then Samson prayed, saying, “Yahweh, my Lord, think about me again! Please give me strength one more time, so that I may get revenge on the Philistines for gouging out my eyes!”
29Then Samson put his hands on the two center pillars of the temple. He put his right hand on one pillar and his left hand on the other pillar.
30Then he shouted to God, “Let me die with the Philistines!”, and he pushed with all his strength. The pillars collapsed, and the temple crashed down on the Philistine leaders and all the other Philistine people, and they all died. So Samson killed more people when he died than he had killed all during his life.
31Later his brothers and their relatives went down from Zorah to Gaza to get his body. They took it back home and buried it between Zorah and Eshtaol, at the place where Samson's father Manoah was buried. Samson had been Israel's leader for twenty years.