Page images
PDF
EPUB

GIDEON.

And it was so, when Gideon heard the telling of the dream, and the interpretation thereof, that he worshipped, and returned unto the host of Israel, and said, “ Arise ; for the Lord hath delivered into your hand the host of Midian.” And he divided the three hundred men into three companies, and he put a trumpet into every man's hand, with empty pitchers, and lamps within the pitchers. And he said unto them, “ Look on me, and, behold, when I come to the outside of the camp, it shall be, that, as I do, so shall ye do. When I blow with a trumpet, then blow ye the trumpets also on every side of all the camp, and say, “The sword of the Lord, and of Gideon.'” So Gideon, and the men that were with him, came unto the outside of the camp in the beginning of the middle watch; and they had but newly set the watch: and they blew the trumpets, and brake the pitchers that were in their hands, and held the lamps in their left hands, and the trumpets in their right hands to blow withal ; and they cried, “The sword of the Lord, and of Gideon.” And they stood every man in his place round about the camp; and all the host of the Midianites ran and cried, and fled.

The Story of Samson.

(From the 13th, 14th, 15th, and 16th Chapters of JUDGES.)

The children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord; and the Lord delivered them into the hand of the Philistines.

And there was a certain man, whose name was Manoah, who had a son, and he called his name Samson. And the angel of the Lord appeared unto his mother, and said “Behold, thou shalt let no razor come nigh his head; for the child shall be called a Nazarite from his birth ; and he shall begin to deliver Israel from the Philistines.

And the child grew, and the Lord blessed him.

And on a day, as he went by the way, behold a young lion roared against him, and the spirit of the Lord came mightily upon him, and he rent him as he would have rent a kid, and he had nothing in his hand.

And the Philistines vexed Samson, and he 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 in to the standing corn of the Philistines, and burnt up

[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]

both the shocks, and also the standing corn, with the vineyard and olives.

Then the Philistines sought for Samson to be avenged on him, and the men of Judah said to Samson, “Knowest thou not that the Philistines are rulers over us? what is that thou hast done unto us? And he said unto them, “As they did unto me, so have I done unto them.” 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.” 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.

And when they were come to the Philistines they 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. And he found a new jaw-bone of an ass, and took it, and slew a thousand men therewith.

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 Philistines ?” 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.

And Samson judged Israel in the days of the Philistines, forty years.

Then went Samson to Gaza; and it was told the Gazarites, and they lay in wait for him all night nigh unto the gate of the city, and were quiet all night, saying :, “In the morning, when it is day, we will 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 of the Philistines, 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 bundred pieces of silver.” And Delilah said unto 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.

[blocks in formation]

So his strength was not known. 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.” 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.” 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 break them from off his arms like a thread. 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." 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. 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. And it came to pass, when she pressed him daily with her words, and urged him so that his soul was vexed unto death; 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.” And when Delilah saw that he had told her all his heart, she sent and called for the lords of the

« PreviousContinue »