Daily Devotional

by Larry Stockstill

Often we become so caught up in working for God that we fail to be refreshed by God. Samson killed a thousand men with a don-key's jawbone. What a wonderful feat! However, in spite of this accomplishment, he cried out, "Must I now die of thirst and fall into the hands of these pagan people?" (v. 18). In other words, Samson had worked hard for God, but now he needed refreshing.

You may be mightily used of God in deliverance and yet be perishing from spiritual thirst. A burned-out minister is worthless to the Lord, regardless of his ministerial abilities. But God will hear your cry, like He did Samson's, and open up a supernatural spring for you. Verse 19 says, "Samson was revived as he drank." The psalmist said, "He fills my life with good things. My youth is renewed like the eagle's!" (Psalm 103:5). Refreshing and renewal take place whenever you bless the Lord with all your soul.

Elijah killed the prophets of Baal and then was ready the next day to die and go to heaven. What is the secret of longevity in ministry and spiritual service? Lay down the "jawbone" every evening. Don't pick it up again the next day until you have been to the refreshing fountain of worship!

Judges 15:1-16:31

Samson’s Vengeance on the Philistines

15 Later on, at the time of wheat harvest,S Ge 30:14 SamsonS Jdg 13:24 took a young goatS Ge 38:17 and went to visit his wife. He said, “I’m going to my wife’s room.”Ge 29:21 But her father would not let him go in.

“I was so sure you hated her,” he said, “that I gave her to your companion.S Jdg 14:20 Isn’t her younger sister more attractive? Take her instead.”

Samson said to them, “This time I have a right to get even with the Philistines; I will really harm them.”So he went out and caught three hundred foxesSS 2:15 and tied them tail to tail in pairs. He then fastened a torchS Ge 15:17 to every pair of tails,lit the torchesS Ge 15:17 and let the foxes loose in the standing grain of the Philistines. He burned up the shocksEx 22:6; 2Sa 14:30-31 and standing grain, together with the vineyards and olive groves.

When the Philistines asked, “Who did this?” they were told, “Samson, the Timnite’s son-in-law, because his wife was given to his companion.S Jdg 14:20

So the Philistines went up and burned herS Ge 38:24 and her father to death.S Jdg 14:15Samson said to them, “Since you’ve acted like this, I swear that I won’t stop until I get my revenge on you.”He attacked them viciously and slaughtered many of them. Then he went down and stayed in a cave in the rockIsa 2:21 of Etam.ver 11

The Philistines went up and camped in Judah, spreading out near Lehi.ver 14, 17, 1910 The people of Judah asked, “Why have you come to fight us?”

“We have come to take Samson prisoner,” they answered, “to do to him as he did to us.”

11 Then three thousand men from Judah went down to the cave in the rock of Etam and said to Samson, “Don’t you realize that the Philistines are rulers over us?S Jdg 14:4; Ps 106:40-42 What have you done to us?”

He answered, “I merely did to them what they did to me.”

12 They said to him, “We’ve come to tie you up and hand you over to the Philistines.”

Samson said, “Swear to meS Ge 47:31 that you won’t kill me yourselves.”

13 “Agreed,” they answered. “We will only tie you up and hand you over to them. We will not kill you.” So they bound him with two new ropesJdg 16:11, 12 and led him up from the rock.14 As he approached Lehi,S ver 9 the Philistines came toward him shouting. The Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon him.S Jdg 3:10 The ropes on his arms became like charred flax,S Jos 2:6 and the bindings dropped from his hands.15 Finding a fresh jawbone of a donkey, he grabbed it and struck down a thousand men.S Lev 26:8

16 Then Samson said,

“With a donkey’s jawbone

I have made donkeys of them.Or made a heap or two; the Hebrew for donkey sounds like the Hebrew for heap.Jer 22:19

With a donkey’s jawbone

I have killed a thousand men.”

17 When he finished speaking, he threw away the jawbone; and the place was called Ramath Lehi.Ramath Lehi means jawbone hill.S ver 9

18 Because he was very thirsty, he cried out to the Lord,Jdg 16:28 “You have given your servant this great victory.S Dt 20:4 Must I now die of thirst and fall into the hands of the uncircumcised?”19 Then God opened up the hollow place in Lehi, and water came out of it. When Samson drank, his strength returned and he revived.Ge 45:27; 1Sa 30:12; Isa 40:29 So the springS Ex 17:6 was called En Hakkore,En Hakkore means caller’s spring. and it is still there in Lehi.

20 Samson ledTraditionally judged Israel for twenty yearsJdg 16:31 in the days of the Philistines.

Samson and Delilah

16 One day SamsonS Jdg 13:24 went to Gaza,S Ge 10:19 where he saw a prostitute.S Ge 38:15 He went in to spend the night with her.The people of Gaza were told, “Samson is here!” So they surrounded the place and lay in wait for him all night at the city gate.S Jos 2:5 They made no move during the night, saying, “At dawn1Sa 19:11 we’ll kill him.”

But Samson lay there only until the middle of the night. Then he got up and took hold of the doors of the city gate, together with the two posts, and tore them loose, bar and all. He lifted them to his shoulders and carried them to the top of the hill that faces Hebron.S Jos 10:36

Some time later, he fell in loveS Ge 24:67; S 34:3 with a woman in the Valley of Sorek whose name was Delilah.ver 6The rulers of the PhilistinesS Jos 13:3 went to her and said, “See if you can lureS Ex 10:7; S Jdg 14:15 him into showing you the secret of his great strengthver 6, 15 and how we can overpower him so we may tie him up and subdue him. Each one of us will give you eleven hundred shekelsThat is, about 28 pounds or about 13 kilograms of silver.”ver 18

So Delilahver 4 said to Samson, “Tell me the secret of your great strength and how you can be tied up and subdued.”

Samson answered her, “If anyone ties me with seven fresh bowstrings that have not been dried, I’ll become as weak as any other man.”

Then the rulers of the Philistines brought her seven fresh bowstrings that had not been dried, and she tied him with them.With men hidden in the room,ver 12 she called to him, “Samson, the Philistines are upon you!”ver 14 But he snapped the bowstrings as easily as a piece of string snaps when it comes close to a flame. So the secret of his strength was not discovered.

10 Then Delilah said to Samson, “You have made a fool of me;ver 13 you lied to me. Come now, tell me how you can be tied.”

11 He said, “If anyone ties me securely with new ropesS Jdg 15:13 that have never been used, I’ll become as weak as any other man.”

12 So Delilah took new ropes and tied him with them. Then, with men hidden in the room, she called to him, “Samson, the Philistines are upon you!”ver 14 But he snapped the ropes off his arms as if they were threads.

13 Delilah then said to Samson, “All this time you have been making a fool of me and lying to me. Tell me how you can be tied.”

He replied, “If you weave the seven braids of my head into the fabric on the loom and tighten it with the pin, I’ll become as weak as any other man.” So while he was sleeping, Delilah took the seven braids of his head, wove them into the fabric14 andSome Septuagint manuscripts; Hebrew replied, “I can if you weave the seven braids of my head into the fabric on the loom.” 14 So she tightened it with the pin.

Again she called to him, “Samson, the Philistines are upon you!”ver 9, 20 He awoke from his sleep and pulled up the pin and the loom, with the fabric.

15 Then she said to him, “How can you say, ‘I love you,’Jdg 14:16 when you won’t confide in me? This is the third timeNu 24:10 you have made a fool of me and haven’t told me the secret of your great strength.S ver 516 With such nagging she prodded him day after day until he was sick to death of it.

17 So he told her everything.ver 18; Mic 7:5 “No razor has ever been used on my head,” he said, “because I have been a NaziriteS Nu 6:2 dedicated to God from my mother’s womb. If my head were shaved, my strength would leave me, and I would become as weak as any other man.”

18 When Delilah saw that he had told her everything, she sent word to the rulers of the PhilistinesS Jos 13:3; 1Sa 5:8, “Come back once more; he has told me everything.” So the rulers of the Philistines returned with the silver in their hands.ver 519 After putting him to sleep on her lap, she called for someone to shave off the seven braids of his hair, and so began to subdue him.Hebrew; some Septuagint manuscripts and he began to weaken And his strength left him.Pr 7:26-27

20 Then she called, “Samson, the Philistines are upon you!”S ver 14

He awoke from his sleep and thought, “I’ll go out as before and shake myself free.” But he did not know that the Lord had left him.Nu 14:42; Jos 7:12; 1Sa 16:14; 18:12; 28:15

21 Then the PhilistinesJer 47:1 seized him, gouged out his eyesS Nu 16:14 and took him down to Gaza.S Ge 10:19 Binding him with bronze shackles, they set him to grinding grainJob 31:10; Isa 47:2 in the prison.22 But the hair on his head began to grow again after it had been shaved.

The Death of Samson

23 Now the rulers of the Philistines assembled to offer a great sacrifice to Dagon1Sa 5:2; 1Ch 10:10 their god and to celebrate, saying, “Our god has delivered Samson, our enemy, into our hands.”

24 When the people saw him, they praised their god,Da 5:4 saying,

“Our god has delivered our enemy

into our hands,1Sa 31:9; 1Ch 10:9

the one who laid waste our land

and multiplied our slain.”

25 While they were in high spirits,Jdg 9:27; 19:6, 9, 22; Ru 3:7; Est 1:10 they shouted, “Bring out Samson to entertain us.” So they called Samson out of the prison, and he performed for them.

When they stood him among the pillars,26 Samson said to the servant who held his hand, “Put me where I can feel the pillars that support the temple, so that I may lean against them.”27 Now the temple was crowded with men and women; all the rulers of the Philistines were there, and on the roofS Jos 2:8 were about three thousand men and women watching Samson perform.28 Then Samson prayed to the Lord,Jdg 15:18 “Sovereign Lord, remember me. Please, God, strengthen me just once more, and let me with one blow get revengeJer 15:15 on the Philistines for my two eyes.”29 Then Samson reached toward the two central pillars on which the temple stood. Bracing himself against them, his right hand on the one and his left hand on the other,30 Samson said, “Let me die with the Philistines!” Then he pushed with all his might, and down came the temple on the rulers and all the people in it. Thus he killed many more when he died than while he lived.

31 Then his brothers and his father’s whole family went down to get him. They brought him back and buried him between Zorah and Eshtaol in the tomb of ManoahS Jdg 13:2 his father. He had ledTraditionally judgedRu 1:1; 1Sa 4:18; 7:6 Israel twenty years.Jdg 15:20

Samson’s Vengeance on the Philistines

15 Later on, during the wheat harvest, Samson took a young goat as a present to his wife. He said, “I’m going into my wife’s room to sleep with her,” but her father wouldn’t let him in.

“I truly thought you must hate her,” her father explained, “so I gave her in marriage to your best man. But look, her younger sister is even more beautiful than she is. Marry her instead.”

Samson said, “This time I cannot be blamed for everything I am going to do to you Philistines.”Then he went out and caught 300 foxes. He tied their tails together in pairs, and he fastened a torch to each pair of tails.Then he lit the torches and let the foxes run through the grain fields of the Philistines. He burned all their grain to the ground, including the sheaves and the uncut grain. He also destroyed their vineyards and olive groves.

“Who did this?” the Philistines demanded.

“Samson,” was the reply, “because his father-in-law from Timnah gave Samson’s wife to be married to his best man.” So the Philistines went and got the woman and her father and burned them to death.

“Because you did this,” Samson vowed, “I won’t rest until I take my revenge on you!”So he attacked the Philistines with great fury and killed many of them. Then he went to live in a cave in the rock of Etam.

The Philistines retaliated by setting up camp in Judah and spreading out near the town of Lehi.10 The men of Judah asked the Philistines, “Why are you attacking us?”

The Philistines replied, “We’ve come to capture Samson. We’ve come to pay him back for what he did to us.”

11 So 3,000 men of Judah went down to get Samson at the cave in the rock of Etam. They said to Samson, “Don’t you realize the Philistines rule over us? What are you doing to us?”

But Samson replied, “I only did to them what they did to me.”

12 But the men of Judah told him, “We have come to tie you up and hand you over to the Philistines.”

“All right,” Samson said. “But promise that you won’t kill me yourselves.”

13 “We will only tie you up and hand you over to the Philistines,” they replied. “We won’t kill you.” So they tied him up with two new ropes and brought him up from the rock.

14 As Samson arrived at Lehi, the Philistines came shouting in triumph. But the Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon Samson, and he snapped the ropes on his arms as if they were burnt strands of flax, and they fell from his wrists.15 Then he found the jawbone of a recently killed donkey. He picked it up and killed 1,000 Philistines with it.16 Then Samson said,

“With the jawbone of a donkey,

I’ve piled them in heaps!

With the jawbone of a donkey,

I’ve killed a thousand men!”

17 When he finished his boasting, he threw away the jawbone; and the place was named Jawbone Hill.Hebrew Ramath-lehi.

18 Samson was now very thirsty, and he cried out to the Lord, “You have accomplished this great victory by the strength of your servant. Must I now die of thirst and fall into the hands of these pagans?”19 So God caused water to gush out of a hollow in the ground at Lehi, and Samson was revived as he drank. Then he named that place “The Spring of the One Who Cried Out,”Hebrew En-hakkore. and it is still in Lehi to this day.

20 Samson judged Israel for twenty years during the period when the Philistines dominated the land.

Samson Carries Away Gaza’s Gates

16 One day Samson went to the Philistine town of Gaza and spent the night with a prostitute.Word soon spreadAs in Greek and Syriac versions and Latin Vulgate; Hebrew lacks Word soon spread. that Samson was there, so the men of Gaza gathered together and waited all night at the town gates. They kept quiet during the night, saying to themselves, “When the light of morning comes, we will kill him.”

But Samson stayed in bed only until midnight. Then he got up, took hold of the doors of the town gate, including the two posts, and lifted them up, bar and all. He put them on his shoulders and carried them all the way to the top of the hill across from Hebron.

Samson and Delilah

Some time later Samson fell in love with a woman named Delilah, who lived in the valley of Sorek.The rulers of the Philistines went to her and said, “Entice Samson to tell you what makes him so strong and how he can be overpowered and tied up securely. Then each of us will give you 1,100 piecesHebrew 1,100 [shekels], about 28 pounds or 12.5 kilograms in weight. of silver.”

So Delilah said to Samson, “Please tell me what makes you so strong and what it would take to tie you up securely.”

Samson replied, “If I were tied up with seven new bowstrings that have not yet been dried, I would become as weak as anyone else.”

So the Philistine rulers brought Delilah seven new bowstrings, and she tied Samson up with them.She had hidden some men in one of the inner rooms of her house, and she cried out, “Samson! The Philistines have come to capture you!” But Samson snapped the bowstrings as a piece of string snaps when it is burned by a fire. So the secret of his strength was not discovered.

10 Afterward Delilah said to him, “You’ve been making fun of me and telling me lies! Now please tell me how you can be tied up securely.”

11 Samson replied, “If I were tied up with brand-new ropes that had never been used, I would become as weak as anyone else.”

12 So Delilah took new ropes and tied him up with them. The men were hiding in the inner room as before, and again Delilah cried out, “Samson! The Philistines have come to capture you!” But again Samson snapped the ropes from his arms as if they were thread.

13 Then Delilah said, “You’ve been making fun of me and telling me lies! Now tell me how you can be tied up securely.”

Samson replied, “If you were to weave the seven braids of my hair into the fabric on your loom and tighten it with the loom shuttle, I would become as weak as anyone else.”

So while he slept, Delilah wove the seven braids of his hair into the fabric.14 Then she tightened it with the loom shuttle.As in Greek version and Latin Vulgate; Hebrew lacks I would become as weak as anyone else. / So while he slept, Delilah wove the seven braids of his hair into the fabric. 14 Then she tightened it with the loom shuttle. Again she cried out, “Samson! The Philistines have come to capture you!” But Samson woke up, pulled back the loom shuttle, and yanked his hair away from the loom and the fabric.

15 Then Delilah pouted, “How can you tell me, ‘I love you,’ when you don’t share your secrets with me? You’ve made fun of me three times now, and you still haven’t told me what makes you so strong!”16 She tormented him with her nagging day after day until he was sick to death of it.

17 Finally, Samson shared his secret with her. “My hair has never been cut,” he confessed, “for I was dedicated to God as a Nazirite from birth. If my head were shaved, my strength would leave me, and I would become as weak as anyone else.”

18 Delilah realized he had finally told her the truth, so she sent for the Philistine rulers. “Come back one more time,” she said, “for he has finally told me his secret.” So the Philistine rulers returned with the money in their hands.19 Delilah lulled Samson to sleep with his head in her lap, and then she called in a man to shave off the seven locks of his hair. In this way she began to bring him down,Or she began to torment him. Greek version reads He began to grow weak. and his strength left him.

20 Then she cried out, “Samson! The Philistines have come to capture you!”

When he woke up, he thought, “I will do as before and shake myself free.” But he didn’t realize the Lord had left him.

21 So the Philistines captured him and gouged out his eyes. They took him to Gaza, where he was bound with bronze chains and forced to grind grain in the prison.

22 But before long, his hair began to grow back.

Samson’s Final Victory

23 The Philistine rulers held a great festival, offering sacrifices and praising their god, Dagon. They said, “Our god has given us victory over our enemy Samson!”

24 When the people saw him, they praised their god, saying, “Our god has delivered our enemy to us! The one who killed so many of us is now in our power!”

25 Half drunk by now, the people demanded, “Bring out Samson so he can amuse us!” So he was brought from the prison to amuse them, and they had him stand between the pillars supporting the roof.

26 Samson said to the young servant who was leading him by the hand, “Place my hands against the pillars that hold up the temple. I want to rest against them.”27 Now the temple was completely filled with people. All the Philistine rulers were there, and there were about 3,000 men and women on the roof who were watching as Samson amused them.

28 Then Samson prayed to the Lord, “Sovereign Lord, remember me again. O God, please strengthen me just one more time. With one blow let me pay back the Philistines for the loss of my two eyes.”29 Then Samson put his hands on the two center pillars that held up the temple. Pushing against them with both hands,30 he prayed, “Let me die with the Philistines.” And the temple crashed down on the Philistine rulers and all the people. So he killed more people when he died than he had during his entire lifetime.

31 Later his brothers and other relatives went down to get his body. They took him back home and buried him between Zorah and Eshtaol, where his father, Manoah, was buried. Samson had judged Israel for twenty years.

15 But it came to pass within a while after, in the time of wheat harvest, that Samson visited his wife with a kid; and he said, I will go in to my wife into the chamber. But her father would not suffer him to go in.

And her father said, I verily thought that thou hadst utterly hated her; therefore I gave her to thy companion: is not her younger sister fairer than she? take her, I pray thee, instead of her.

And Samson said concerning them, Now shall I be more blameless than the Philistines, though I do them a displeasure.

And Samson went and caught three hundred foxes, and took firebrands, and turned tail to tail, and put a firebrand in the midst between two tails.

And when he had set the brands on fire, he let them go into the standing corn of the Philistines, and burnt up both the shocks, and also the standing corn, with the vineyards and olives.

Then the Philistines said, Who hath done this? And they answered, Samson, the son in law of the Timnite, because he had taken his wife, and given her to his companion. And the Philistines came up, and burnt her and her father with fire.

And Samson said unto them, Though ye have done this, yet will I be avenged of you, and after that I will cease.

And he smote them hip and thigh with a great slaughter: and he went down and dwelt in the top of the rock Etam.

Then the Philistines went up, and pitched in Judah, and spread themselves in Lehi.

10 And the men of Judah said, Why are ye come up against us? And they answered, To bind Samson are we come up, to do to him as he hath done to us.

11 Then three thousand men of Judah went to the top of the rock Etam, and said to Samson, Knowest thou not that the Philistines are rulers over us? what is this that thou hast done unto us? And he said unto them, As they did unto me, so have I done unto them.

12 And they said unto him, We are come down to bind thee, that we may deliver thee into the hand of the Philistines. And Samson said unto them, Swear unto me, that ye will not fall upon me yourselves.

13 And they spake unto him, saying, No; but we will bind thee fast, and deliver thee into their hand: but surely we will not kill thee. And they bound him with two new cords, and brought him up from the rock.

14 And when he came unto Lehi, the Philistines shouted against him: and the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon him, and the cords that were upon his arms became as flax that was burnt with fire, and his bands loosed from off his hands.

15 And he found a new jawbone of an ass, and put forth his hand, and took it, and slew a thousand men therewith.

16 And Samson said, With the jawbone of an ass, heaps upon heaps, with the jaw of an ass have I slain a thousand men.

17 And it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking, that he cast away the jawbone out of his hand, and called that place Ramathlehi.

18 And he was sore athirst, and called on the Lord, and said, Thou hast given this great deliverance into the hand of thy servant: and now shall I die for thirst, and fall into the hand of the uncircumcised?

19 But God clave an hollow place that was in the jaw, and there came water thereout; and when he had drunk, his spirit came again, and he revived: wherefore he called the name thereof Enhakkore, which is in Lehi unto this day.

20 And he judged Israel in the days of the Philistines twenty years.

16 Then went Samson to Gaza, and saw there an harlot, and went in unto her.

And it was told the Gazites, saying, Samson is come hither. And they compassed him in, 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.

And Samson lay till midnight, and arose at midnight, and took the doors of the gate of the city, and 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 an hill that is before Hebron.

And it came to pass afterward, that he loved a woman in the valley of Sorek, whose name was Delilah.

And the lords of the Philistines came up unto her, and said unto her, Entice him, and see wherein his great strength lieth, and by what means we may prevail against him, that we may bind him to afflict him; and we will give thee every one of us eleven hundred pieces of silver.

And Delilah said to Samson, Tell me, I pray thee, wherein thy great strength lieth, and wherewith thou mightest be bound to afflict thee.

And Samson said unto her, If they bind me with seven green withs that were never dried, then shall I be weak, and be as another man.

Then the lords of the Philistines brought up to her seven green withs which had not been dried, and she bound him with them.

Now there were men lying in wait, abiding with her in the chamber. And she said unto him, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And he brake the withs, as a thread of tow is broken when it toucheth the fire. So his strength was not known.

10 And Delilah said unto Samson, Behold, thou hast mocked me, and told me lies: now tell me, I pray thee, wherewith thou mightest be bound.

11 And he said unto her, If they bind me fast with new ropes that never were occupied, then shall I be weak, and be as another man.

12 Delilah therefore took new ropes, and bound him therewith, and said unto him, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And there were liers in wait abiding in the chamber. And he brake them from off his arms like a thread.

13 And Delilah said unto Samson, Hitherto thou hast mocked me, and told me lies: tell me wherewith thou mightest be bound. And he said unto her, If thou weavest the seven locks of my head with the web.

14 And she fastened it with the pin, and said unto him, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And he awaked out of his sleep, and went away with the pin of the beam, and with the web.

15 And she said unto him, How canst thou say, I love thee, when thine heart is not with me? thou hast mocked me these three times, and hast not told me wherein thy great strength lieth.

16 And it came to pass, when she pressed him daily with her words, and urged him, so that his soul was vexed unto death;

17 That he told her all his heart, and said unto her, There hath not come a razor upon mine head; for I have been a Nazarite unto God from my mother's womb: if I be shaven, 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 hath shewed me all his heart. Then the lords of the Philistines came up unto 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 be upon thee, Samson. And he awoke out of his sleep, and said, I will go out as at other times before, and shake myself. And he wist not that the Lord was 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 did grind in the prison house.

22 Howbeit the hair of his head began to grow again after he was shaven.

23 Then the lords of the Philistines gathered them together for to offer a great sacrifice unto Dagon their god, and to rejoice: for they said, Our god hath delivered Samson our enemy into our hand.

24 And when the people saw him, they praised their god: for they said, Our god hath delivered into our hands our enemy, and the destroyer of our country, which slew many of us.

25 And it came to pass, when their hearts were merry, that they said, Call for Samson, 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 unto the lad that held him by the hand, Suffer me that I may feel the pillars whereupon the house standeth, 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 unto the Lord, and said, O Lord God, remember me, I pray thee, and strengthen me, I pray thee, only this once, O God, 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 borne up, of the one with his right hand, and of 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 that were therein. So the dead which he slew at his death were more than they which he slew in his life.

31 Then his brethren 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 buryingplace of Manoah his father. And he judged Israel twenty years.

John 2:1-25

Jesus Changes Water Into Wine

On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee.Jn 4:46; 21:2 Jesus’ motherS Mt 12:46 was there,and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding.When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.”

“Woman,The Greek for Woman does not denote any disrespect.Jn 19:26 why do you involve me?”S Mt 8:29 Jesus replied. “My hourS Mt 26:18 has not yet come.”

His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”Ge 41:55

Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing,Mk 7:3, 4; Jn 3:25 each holding from twenty to thirty gallons.Or from about 75 to about 115 liters

Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim.

Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.”

They did so,and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine.Jn 4:46 He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside10 and said, “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.”

11 What Jesus did here in Cana of Galilee was the first of the signsver 23; Mt 12:38; Jn 3:2; S 4:48; 6:2, 14, 26, 30; 12:37; 20:30 through which he revealed his glory;Jn 1:14 and his disciples believed in him.Ex 14:31

12 After this he went down to CapernaumS Mt 4:13 with his motherS Mt 12:46 and brothersS Mt 12:46 and his disciples. There they stayed for a few days.

Jesus Clears the Temple Courts2:14-16pp — Mt 21:12, 13; Mk 11:15-17; Lk 19:45, 46

13 When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover,S Jn 11:55 Jesus went up to Jerusalem.Dt 16:1-6; Lk 2:4114 In the temple courts he found people selling cattle, sheep and doves,Lev 1:14; Dt 14:26 and others sitting at tables exchanging money.Dt 14:2515 So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables.16 To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father’s houseLk 2:49 into a market!”17 His disciples remembered that it is written: “Zeal for your house will consume me.”Psalm 69:9Ps 69:9

18 The JewsS Jn 1:19 then responded to him, “What signS ver 11 can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?”S Mt 12:38

19 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.”S Mt 16:21; 26:61; 27:40; Mk 14:58; 15:29; Ac 6:14

20 They replied, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?”21 But the temple he had spoken of was his body.1Co 6:1922 After he was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had said.Lk 24:5-8; Jn 12:16; 14:26 Then they believed the scripturePs 16:10; S Lk 24:27 and the words that Jesus had spoken.

23 Now while he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Festival,ver 13 many people saw the signsS ver 11 he was performing and believedS Jn 3:15 in his name.Or in him24 But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all people.25 He did not need any testimony about mankind,Isa 11:3 for he knew what was in each person.Dt 31:21; 1Ki 8:39; S Mt 9:4; Jn 6:61, 64; 13:11

The Wedding at Cana

The next dayGreek On the third day; see 1:35, 43. there was a wedding celebration in the village of Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there,and Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the celebration.The wine supply ran out during the festivities, so Jesus’ mother told him, “They have no more wine.”

“Dear woman, that’s not our problem,” Jesus replied. “My time has not yet come.”

But his mother told the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”

Standing nearby were six stone water jars, used for Jewish ceremonial washing. Each could hold twenty to thirty gallons.Greek 2 or 3 measures [75 to 113 liters].Jesus told the servants, “Fill the jars with water.” When the jars had been filled,he said, “Now dip some out, and take it to the master of ceremonies.” So the servants followed his instructions.

When the master of ceremonies tasted the water that was now wine, not knowing where it had come from (though, of course, the servants knew), he called the bridegroom over.10 “A host always serves the best wine first,” he said. “Then, when everyone has had a lot to drink, he brings out the less expensive wine. But you have kept the best until now!”

11 This miraculous sign at Cana in Galilee was the first time Jesus revealed his glory. And his disciples believed in him.

12 After the wedding he went to Capernaum for a few days with his mother, his brothers, and his disciples.

Jesus Clears the Temple

13 It was nearly time for the Jewish Passover celebration, so Jesus went to Jerusalem.14 In the Temple area he saw merchants selling cattle, sheep, and doves for sacrifices; he also saw dealers at tables exchanging foreign money.15 Jesus made a whip from some ropes and chased them all out of the Temple. He drove out the sheep and cattle, scattered the money changers’ coins over the floor, and turned over their tables.16 Then, going over to the people who sold doves, he told them, “Get these things out of here. Stop turning my Father’s house into a marketplace!”

17 Then his disciples remembered this prophecy from the Scriptures: “Passion for God’s house will consume me.”Or “Concern for God’s house will be my undoing.” Ps 69:9.

18 But the Jewish leaders demanded, “What are you doing? If God gave you authority to do this, show us a miraculous sign to prove it.”

19 “All right,” Jesus replied. “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”

20 “What!” they exclaimed. “It has taken forty-six years to build this Temple, and you can rebuild it in three days?”21 But when Jesus said “this temple,” he meant his own body.22 After he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered he had said this, and they believed both the Scriptures and what Jesus had said.

Jesus and Nicodemus

23 Because of the miraculous signs Jesus did in Jerusalem at the Passover celebration, many began to trust in him.24 But Jesus didn’t trust them, because he knew all about people.25 No one needed to tell him about human nature, for he knew what was in each person’s heart.

And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there:

And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage.

And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine.

Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come.

His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it.

And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece.

Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim.

And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it.

When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom,

10 And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now.

11 This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him.

12 After this he went down to Capernaum, he, and his mother, and his brethren, and his disciples: and they continued there not many days.

13 And the Jews' passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.

14 And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting:

15 And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers' money, and overthrew the tables;

16 And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father's house an house of merchandise.

17 And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.

18 Then answered the Jews and said unto him, What sign shewest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these things?

19 Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.

20 Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days?

21 But he spake of the temple of his body.

22 When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said.

23 Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did.

24 But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men,

25 And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man.

Psalm 103:1-22

Psalm 103

Of David.

Praise the Lord,Ps 28:6 my soul;Ps 104:1

all my inmost being, praise his holy name.S Ps 30:4

Praise the Lord,Ps 106:1; 117:1 my soul,

and forget notS Dt 6:12; Ps 77:11 all his benefits—

who forgives all your sinsS Ex 34:7

and healsS Ex 15:26; Col 3:13; 1Pe 2:24; 1Jn 1:9 all your diseases,

who redeems your lifePs 34:22; 56:13; Isa 43:1 from the pit

and crowns you with love and compassion,S Ps 8:5; 23:6

who satisfiesS Ps 90:14; S 104:28 your desires with good things

so that your youth is renewedJob 33:25; Ps 119:25, 93; 2Co 4:16 like the eagle’s.S Ex 19:4

The Lord works righteousnessPs 9:8; 65:5; Isa 9:7

and justice for all the oppressed.S Ps 74:21; S Lk 4:19

He made knownPs 99:7; 147:19 his waysS Ex 33:13 to Moses,

his deedsPs 106:22 to the people of Israel:

The Lord is compassionate and gracious,S Ex 22:27; S Ps 86:15; Mic 7:18-19; Jas 5:11

slow to anger, abounding in love.

He will not always accuse,

nor will he harbor his anger forever;Ps 30:5; 79:5; Isa 57:16; Jer 3:5, 12; Mic 7:18

10 he does not treat us as our sins deserveS Ezr 9:13; Ro 6:23

or repay us according to our iniquities.

11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,

so great is his lovePs 13:5; 57:10; 100:5; 106:45; 117:2; La 3:22; Eph 3:18 for those who fear him;S 2Ch 6:31

12 as far as the east is from the west,

so far has he removed our transgressionsS 2Sa 12:13; Ro 4:7; Eph 2:5 from us.

13 As a father has compassionMal 3:17; 1Jn 3:1 on his children,

so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;

14 for he knows how we are formed,Ps 119:73; 139:13-15; Isa 29:16

he remembers that we are dust.S Ge 2:7; S Ps 146:4

15 The life of mortals is like grass,Ps 37:2; 90:5; 102:11; Isa 40:6

they flourish like a flowerS Job 14:2; Jas 1:10 of the field;

16 the wind blowsIsa 40:7; Hag 1:9 over it and it is gone,

and its placeS Job 7:8 remembers it no more.

17 But from everlasting to everlasting

the Lord’s love is with those who fear him,

and his righteousness with their children’s childrenS Ge 48:11; S Ezr 9:12

18 with those who keep his covenantS Dt 29:9

and rememberPs 119:52 to obey his precepts.S Nu 15:40; Jn 14:15

19 The Lord has established his thronePs 47:8; 80:1; 113:5 in heaven,

and his kingdom rulesPs 22:28; 66:7; Da 4:17 over all.

20 Praise the Lord,Ps 28:6 you his angels,S Ne 9:6; Lk 2:13; Heb 1:14

you mighty onesS Ps 29:1 who do his bidding,Ps 107:25; 135:7; 148:8

who obey his word.

21 Praise the Lord, all his heavenly hosts,S 1Ki 22:19

you his servantsS Ne 7:73 who do his will.

22 Praise the Lord, all his worksPs 19:1; 67:3; 145:10; 150:6

everywhere in his dominion.

Praise the Lord, my soul.ver 1; Ps 104:1

Psalm 103

A psalm of David.

Let all that I am praise the Lord;

with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name.

Let all that I am praise the Lord;

may I never forget the good things he does for me.

He forgives all my sins

and heals all my diseases.

He redeems me from death

and crowns me with love and tender mercies.

He fills my life with good things.

My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!

The Lord gives righteousness

and justice to all who are treated unfairly.

He revealed his character to Moses

and his deeds to the people of Israel.

The Lord is compassionate and merciful,

slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.

He will not constantly accuse us,

nor remain angry forever.

10 He does not punish us for all our sins;

he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve.

11 For his unfailing love toward those who fear him

is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth.

12 He has removed our sins as far from us

as the east is from the west.

13 The Lord is like a father to his children,

tender and compassionate to those who fear him.

14 For he knows how weak we are;

he remembers we are only dust.

15 Our days on earth are like grass;

like wildflowers, we bloom and die.

16 The wind blows, and we are gone—

as though we had never been here.

17 But the love of the Lord remains forever

with those who fear him.

His salvation extends to the children’s children

18 of those who are faithful to his covenant,

of those who obey his commandments!

19 The Lord has made the heavens his throne;

from there he rules over everything.

20 Praise the Lord, you angels,

you mighty ones who carry out his plans,

listening for each of his commands.

21 Yes, praise the Lord, you armies of angels

who serve him and do his will!

22 Praise the Lord, everything he has created,

everything in all his kingdom.

Let all that I am praise the Lord.

103 Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:

Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;

Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;

Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's.

The Lord executeth righteousness and judgment for all that are oppressed.

He made known his ways unto Moses, his acts unto the children of Israel.

The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.

He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever.

10 He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.

11 For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.

12 As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.

13 Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him.

14 For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.

15 As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth.

16 For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more.

17 But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children's children;

18 To such as keep his covenant, and to those that remember his commandments to do them.

19 The Lord hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all.

20 Bless the Lord, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word.

21 Bless ye the Lord, all ye his hosts; ye ministers of his, that do his pleasure.

22 Bless the Lord, all his works in all places of his dominion: bless the Lord, O my soul.

Proverbs 14:17-19

17 A quick-tempered personS 2Ki 5:12 does foolish things,ver 29; Pr 15:18; 16:28; 26:21; 28:25; 29:22

and the one who devises evil schemes is hated.S Est 5:9

18 The simple inherit folly,

but the prudent are crowned with knowledge.

19 Evildoers will bow down in the presence of the good,

and the wicked at the gates of the righteous.Pr 11:29

17 Short-tempered people do foolish things,

and schemers are hated.

18 Simpletons are clothed with foolishness,Or inherit foolishness.

but the prudent are crowned with knowledge.

19 Evil people will bow before good people;

the wicked will bow at the gates of the godly.

17 He that is soon angry dealeth foolishly: and a man of wicked devices is hated.

18 The simple inherit folly: but the prudent are crowned with knowledge.

19 The evil bow before the good; and the wicked at the gates of the righteous.

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