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Samson and the Philistines

After a while Samson longed to see his wife again, so he went down to visit her and took with him a kid for a present. When he came to her father's house, her father said to Samson: "I thought you utterly hated her for what she had done, and I gave her to be the wife of another man. But her younger sister is here and fairer than she; take her I pray you, instead of the one you had chosen."

Samson was indeed very angry at this treatment, and went out into the fields and caught three hundred foxes, and tied blazing pieces of wood to their tails. Then he turned them loose, so that they ran into the standing corn of the Philistines, and burnt the corn and the shucks, and also the vineyards and the olive trees.

The Philistines saw the disaster to their crops and said: "Who has done this?" Some one answered them: "Samson, the son-in-law of the Timnite, has done this, because his wife has been given to another man." Whereupon the Philistines rushed upon the house of the Timnite and burnt the wife of Samson and her father with fire.

Samson was overcome with rage and grief when he heard what had been done, and being a man of mighty power, he smote the Philistines with a great slaughter, and then went to live on the top of a rock, named Etam.

The Philistines came up and pitched their camp in the land of Israel. The men of Israel said: "Why have you come up against us?" And the Philistines answered: "We have come up to bind Samson, and to do to him as he has done to us."

The three thousand men of Israel went to the rock of Etam, where Samson was living, and said to him: "Do you not know that the Philistines are rulers over us, and what is this that you have done, that they come here to bind you?"

Samson replied: "I but did to them what they did to me. I slew many of them for they burned my wife and her father and his house."

But the men of Israel were afraid of the Philistines and told Samson: "We have come to bind you and deliver you into the hands of the Philistines." And Samson let them bind him with two new cords and they brought him from the rock Etam and to the camp of the Philistines.

When the Philistines caught sight of Samson bound with cords they shouted with a great noise and rushed upon him. But Samson only waited until they came near, then he stretched forth his great arms and broke the cords that bound him as though they were flax that had been burnt with fire, and his limbs were free.

Then he found the jawbone of an ass, and put forth his hands and took it and slew a thousand men of the Philistines, until they were piled up heaps upon heaps. Then he threw away the jaw-bone out of his hands, and was thirsty and weak. Whereupon the Lord opened a spring, and water flowed abundantly, and Samson drank until his thirst was relieved and his strength came back to him.

Then Samson became a judge and judged Israel for twenty years in the days of the Philistines. Samson went down to a place named Gaza and went into a house there to spend the night. The Philistines lived in Gaza and some one told them: "Samson has come here and abideth the night in a certain house." Whereupon they surrounded the house, and lay in wait all night at the gate of the city saying: "In the morning when it is day, we shall kill him."

At midnight Samson arose, and pushing aside those who had surrounded his house, came to the gates of the city and found them closed and locked. But with his great strength he dragged up the posts of the gates and took the gates themselves upon his shoulders, bars and all, and carried them to the top of a hill afar off.