Samson, at Gaza, escapes and carries away the gates of the city, 1-3. Delilah, corrupted by the Philistines, entices Samson, 4, 5. Three times she is deceived, 6-14. At last she overcomes him, 15-20. The Philistines take him and put out his eyes, 21. His strength renewing, he pulls down the house upon the Philistines and dies, 22-31.
1 Then Samson went to Gaza, and saw a harlot there and went in to her. 2 And it was told to the Gazites, saying, "Samson has come here." And they encompassed him and laid wait for him all night in the gate of the city, and were quiet all the night, saying, "In the morning when it is day we shall kill him." 3 And Samson lay until midnight, and at midnight he arose and took the doors of the gate of the city, with the two posts, and went away with them, bar and all, and put them upon his shoulders and carried them up to the top of a hill that is before Hebron.
4 And it came to pass afterward, that he loved a woman in the valley of Sorek, whose name was Delilah. 5 And the lords of the Philistines came to her, and said to her, "Entice him, and see in what his great strength lies, and by what means we may prevail against him so that we may bind him to afflict him. And we will each give you eleven hundred pieces of silver." 6 And Delilah said to Samson, "Tell me, I pray you, in what your great strength lies and with what you may be bound to afflict you." 7 And Samson said to her, "If they bind me with seven green cords that were never dried, then I shall be weak and be as another man." 8 Then the lords of the Philistines brought to her seven green cords which had not been dried, and she bound him with them. 9 (Now there were men lying in wait, abiding with her in the chamber.) And she said to him, "The Philistines are upon you, Samson." And he broke the cords as a thread of tow is broken when it touches the fire. So his strength was not known.
10 And Delilah said to Samson, "Behold, you have mocked me and told me lies. Now tell me, I pray you, with what you may be bound." 11 And he said to her, "If they bind me firmly with new ropes that were never used, then I shall be weak and be as another man." 12 Delilah therefore took new ropes and bound him with them, and said to him, "The Philistines are upon you, Samson." (And there were men lying in wait and abiding in the chamber.) And he broke them from off his arms like a thread.
13 And Delilah said to Samson, "Until now you have mocked me and told me lies. Tell me with what you may be bound." And he said to her, "If you weave the seven locks of my head with the web." 14 And she fastened it with the pin, and said to him, "The Philistines are upon you, Samson." And he awoke out of his sleep and went away with the pin of the beam and with the web.
15 And she 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 in what your great strength lies." 16 And it came to pass when she pressed him daily with her words and urged him so that his soul was vexed to death, 17 That he told her all his heart, and said to her, "There has not come a razor upon my head, for I have been a Nazarite to God from my birth. If I am shaved, then my strength will go from me, and I shall become weak and be like any other man."
18 And when 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 disclosed to me all his heart." Then the lords of the Philistines came up to her and brought money in their hand. 19 And she made him sleep upon her knees. And she called for a man, and she caused him to shave off the seven locks of his head. And she began to afflict him, and his strength went from him. 20 And she said, "The Philistines are upon you, Samson." And he awoke out of his sleep, and said, "I will go out as at other times before and shake myself." And he did not know that the LORD had departed from him. 21 But the Philistines took him and put out his eyes, and brought him down to Gaza and bound him with fetters of brass. And he ground in the prison-house. 22 However, the hair of his head began to grow back after he was shaved.
23 Then the lords of the Philistines assembled to offer a great sacrifice to Dagon their god and to rejoice, for they said, "Our god has delivered Samson our enemy into our hand."
24 And when the people saw him, they praised their god, for they said, "Our god has delivered into our hands our enemy and the destroyer of our country, who slew many of us."
25 And it came to pass, when their hearts were merry, that they said, "Call for Samson so that he may make us sport." And they called for Samson out of the prison-house, and he made them sport. And they set him between the pillars. 26 And Samson said to the lad who held him by the hand, "Allow me that I may feel the pillars upon which the house stands so that I may lean upon them." 27 Now the house was full of men and women. And all the lords of the Philistines were there. And there were upon the roof about three thousand men and women that beheld while Samson made sport.
28 And Samson called to the LORD, and said, "O Lord GOD, remember me, I pray you, and strengthen me, I pray you, only this once, O God, so that I may be at once avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes." 29 And Samson took hold of the two middle pillars upon which the house stood and on which it was supported, and laid hold of one with his right hand and the other with his left. 30 And Samson said, "Let me die with the Philistines." And he bowed himself with all his might, and the house fell upon the lords and upon all the people who were in it. So the dead which he slew at his death were more than those which he slew in his life. 31 Then his brothers and all the house of his father came down, took him, brought him up, and buried him between Zorah and Eshtaol in the burying-place of Manoah his father. And he judged Israel twenty years.
Matthew Henry Commentary - Judges, Chapter 16[➚]