New Heart English Bible
1And Samson went from there to Gaza, and saw a prostitute there, and went in to her. 2And it was reported to the Gazites, saying, "Samson is here." They surrounded him, and lay in wait for him all night at the gate of the city, and were quiet all night, saying, "Wait until morning light, then we will kill him." 3Now Samson rested until midnight, but got up at midnight and took hold of the doors of the gate of the city, and the two posts, and pulled them up, bar and all, and put them on his shoulders, and carried them up to the top of the mountain that is overlooking Hebron, and set them down there.
4It came to pass afterward, that he fell in love with a woman in the Valley of Sorek, whose name was Delilah. 5The lords of the Philistines came up to her, and said to her, "Entice him, and see in which his great strength lies, and by what means we may prevail against him, that we may bind him to afflict him; and we will each give you eleven hundred pieces of silver." 6Delilah said to Samson, "Please tell me where your great strength lies, and how you can be bound and subdued." 7Samson said to her, "If they bind me with seven green cords that were never dried, then shall I become weak, and be as another man." 8Then the lords of the Philistines brought up to her seven green cords which had not been dried, and she bound him with them. 9Now she had an ambush waiting in the inner room. She said to him, "The Philistines are on you, Samson." He broke the cords, as a string of tow is broken when it touches the fire. So his strength was not known.
10Delilah said to Samson, "Look, you have mocked me, and told me lies: now please tell me with which you might be bound." 11He said to her, "If they only bind me with new ropes with which no work has been done, then shall I become weak, and be as another man." 12So Delilah took new ropes, and bound him therewith, and said to him, "The Philistines are on you, Samson." The ambush was waiting in the inner room. He broke them off his arms like a thread.
13Delilah said to Samson, "Until now, you have mocked me and told me lies. Tell me with what you might be bound." He said to her, "If you weave the seven braids on my head with the web and fasten them with the pin to the wall, then I will be weak as another man." 14And it came to pass when he was asleep, that Delilah took the seven braids on his head, and wove them with the web, and she fastened it with the pin, and said to him, "The Philistines are on you, Samson." He awakened out of his sleep, and plucked away the pin of the beam, and the web.
15She said to him, "How can you say, 'I love you,' when your heart is not with me? You have mocked me these three times, and have not told me where your great strength lies." 16It happened, when she pressed him daily with her words, and urged him, that his soul was troubled to death. 17He told her all his heart, and said to her, "No razor has ever 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 go from me, and I will become weak, and be like any other man."
18When Delilah saw that he had told her all his heart, she sent and called for the lords of the Philistines, saying, "Come up this once, for he has told me all his heart." Then the lords of the Philistines went up to her, and brought the money in their hands. 19She made him sleep on her knees; and she called for a man, and shaved off the seven locks of his head; and he began to weaken, and his strength went from him. 20She said, "The Philistines are upon you, Samson." He awoke out of his sleep, and said, "I will go out as at other times, and shake myself free." But he didn't know that the LORD had departed from him. 21The Philistines seized him, and gouged out his eyes. And they brought him down to Gaza, and bound him with bronze shackles, and he ground at the mill in the prison. 22However the hair of his head began to grow again after he was shaved.
23The lords of the Philistines gathered them together to offer a great sacrifice to their god Dagon, and to celebrate; for they said, "Our god has delivered Samson our enemy into our hand."
24When the people saw him, they praised their god; for they said, "Our god has delivered our enemy and the destroyer of our country, who has slain many of us, into our hand."
25And it happened, when their hearts were merry, that they said, "Call for Samson, that he may entertain us." So they called for Samson out of the prison; and he performed before them. And they were striking him. And they set him between the pillars; 26and Samson said to the boy who held him by the hand, "Allow me to feel the pillars on which the house rests, that I may lean on them." And the boy did so. 27Now the house was full of men and women; and all the lords of the Philistines were there. And there were on the roof about three thousand men and women watching while Samson performed.
28Samson called to the LORD, and said, "Lord GOD, please remember me, and please strengthen me only this once, God, that I may be at once avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes." 29Samson took hold of the two middle pillars on which the house rested, and leaned on them, the one with his right hand, and the other with his left. 30Samson said, "Let me die with the Philistines." He bowed himself with all his might; and the house fell on the lords, and on all the people who were in it. So the dead that he killed at his death were more than those who he killed in his life. 31Then his brothers and all the house of his father came down, and took him, and brought him up, and buried him between Zorah and Eshtaol in the burial site of Manoah his father. He judged Israel twenty years.