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Day 73 Day 74Day 75

Judges chapter 13

1
The Israelites again did what was evil in the LORD's sight, so the LORD handed them over to the Philistines 40 years.
2
There was a certain man from Zorah, from the family of Dan, whose name was Manoah; his wife was barren and had no children.
3
The Angel of the LORD appeared to the woman and said to her, "It is true that you are barren and have no children, but you will conceive and give birth to a son.
4
Now please be careful not to drink wine or other alcoholic beverages, or to eat anything unclean;
5
for indeed, you will conceive and give birth to a son. You must never cut his hair, because the boy will be a Nazirite to God from birth, and he will begin to save Israel from the power of the Philistines."
6
Then the woman went and told her husband, "A man of God came to me. He looked like the awe-inspiring Angel of God. I didn't ask Him where He came from, and He didn't tell me His name.
7
He said to me, 'You will conceive and give a birth to a son. Therefore, do not drink wine or other alcoholic beverages, and do not eat anything unclean, because the boy will be a Nazirite to God from birth until the day of his death.'"
8
Manoah prayed to the LORD and said, "Please Lord, let the man of God you sent come again to us and teach us what we should do for the boy who will be born."
9
God listened to Manoah, and the Angel of God came again to the woman. She was sitting in the field, and her husband Manoah was not with her.
10
The woman ran quickly to her husband and told him, "The man who came to me today has just come back!"
11
So Manoah got up and followed his wife. When he came to the man, he asked, "Are You the man who spoke to my wife?" "I am," He said.
12
Then Manoah asked, "When Your words come true, what will the boy's responsibilities and mission be?"
13
The Angel of the LORD answered Manoah, "Your wife needs to do everything I told her.
14
She must not eat anything that comes from the grapevine or drink wine or other alcoholic beverages. And she must not eat anything unclean. Your wife must do everything I have commanded her."
15
"Please stay here," Manoah told Him, "and we will prepare a young goat for You."
16
The Angel of the LORD said to him, "If I stay, I won't eat your food. But if you want to prepare a burnt offering, offer it to the LORD." For Manoah did not know He was the Angel of the LORD.
17
Then Manoah said to Him, "What is Your name, so that we may honor You when Your words come true?"
18
"Why do you ask My name," the Angel of the LORD asked him, "since it is wonderful."
19
Manoah took a young goat and a grain offering and offered them on a rock to the LORD, and He did a wonderful thing while Manoah and his wife were watching.
20
When the flame went up from the altar to the sky, the Angel of the LORD went up in its flame. When Manoah and his wife saw [this], they fell facedown on the ground.
21
The Angel of the LORD did not appear again to Manoah and his wife. Then Manoah realized that it was the Angel of the LORD.
22
"We're going to die," he said to his wife, "because we have seen God!"
23
But his wife said to him, "If the LORD had intended to kill us, He wouldn't have accepted the burnt offering and the grain offering from us, and He would not have shown us all these things or spoken to us now like this."
24
So the woman gave birth to a son and named him Samson. The boy grew, and the LORD blessed him.
25
Then the Spirit of the LORD began to direct him in the Camp of Dan, between Zorah and Eshtaol.

Judges chapter 14

1
Samson went down to Timnah and saw a young Philistine woman there.
2
He went back and told his father and his mother: "I have seen a young Philistine woman in Timnah. Now get her for me as a wife."
3
But his father and mother said to him, "Can't you find a young woman among your relatives or among any of our people? Must you go to the uncircumcised Philistines for a wife?" But Samson told his father, "Get her for me, because I want her."
4
Now his father and mother did not know this was from the LORD, who was seeking an occasion against the Philistines. At that time, the Philistines were ruling over Israel.
5
Samson went down to Timnah with his father and mother and came to the vineyards of Timnah. Suddenly a young lion came roaring at him,
6
the Spirit of the LORD took control of him, and he tore the lion apart with his bare hands as he might have torn a young goat. But he did not tell his father or mother what he had done.
7
Then he went and spoke to the woman, because Samson wanted her.
8
After some time, when he returned to get her, he left [the road] to see the lion's carcass, and there was a swarm of bees with honey in the carcass.
9
He scooped [some honey] into his hands and ate [it] as he went along. When he returned to his father and mother, he gave [some] to them and they ate [it]. But he did not tell them that he had scooped the honey from the lion's carcass.
10
His father went [to visit] the woman, and Samson prepared a feast there, as young men were accustomed to do.
11
When the Philistines saw him, they brought 30 men to accompany him.
12
"Let me tell you a riddle," Samson said to them. "If you can explain it to me during the seven days of the feast and figure it out, I will give you 30 linen garments and 30 changes of clothes.
13
But if you can't explain it to me, you must give me 30 linen garments and 30 changes of clothes." "Tell us your riddle," they replied. "Let's hear it."
14
So he said to them: Out of the eater came something to eat, and out of the strong came something sweet. After three days, they were unable to explain the riddle.
15
On the fourth day they said to Samson's wife, "Persuade your husband to explain the riddle to us, or we will burn you and your father's household to death. Did you invite us here to rob us?"
16
So Samson's wife came to him, weeping, and said, "You hate me and don't love me! You told my people the riddle, but haven't explained it to me." "Look," he said, "I haven't even explained it to my father or mother, so [why] should I explain it to you?"
17
She wept the whole seven days of the feast, and at last, on the seventh day, he explained it to her, because she had nagged him so much. Then she explained it to her people.
18
On the seventh day before sunset, the men of the city said to him: What is sweeter than honey? What is stronger than a lion? So he said to them: If you hadn't plowed with my young cow, you wouldn't know my riddle now!
19
The Spirit of the LORD took control of him, and he went down to Ashkelon and killed 30 of their men. He stripped them and gave their clothes to those who had explained the riddle. In a rage, Samson returned to his father's house,
20
and his wife was given to one of the men who had accompanied him.

Judges chapter 15

1
Later on, during the wheat harvest, Samson [took] a young goat [as a gift] and visited his wife. "I want to go to my wife in her room," he said. But her father would not let him enter.
2
"I was sure you hated her," her father said, "so I gave her to one of the men who accompanied you. Isn't her younger sister more beautiful than she is? Why not take her instead?"
3
Samson said to them, "This time I won't be responsible when I harm the Philistines."
4
So he went out and caught 300 foxes. He took torches, turned the foxes tail-to-tail, and put a torch between each pair of tails.
5
Then he ignited the torches and released the foxes into the standing grain of the Philistines. He burned up the piles of grain and the standing grain as well as the vineyards and olive groves.
6
Then the Philistines asked, "Who did this?" They were told, "[It was] Samson, the Timnite's son-in-law, because he has taken Samson's wife and given her to another man." So the Philistines went to her and her father and burned [them] to death.
7
Then Samson told them, "Because you did this, I swear that I won't rest until I have taken vengeance on you."
8
He tore them limb from limb with a great slaughter, and he went down and stayed in the cave at the rock of Etam.
9
The Philistines went up, camped in Judah, and raided Lehi.
10
So the men of Judah said, "Why have you attacked us?" They replied, "We have come to arrest Samson and pay him back for what he did to us."
11
Then 3,000 men of Judah went to the cave at the rock of Etam, and they asked Samson, "Don't you realize that the Philistines rule over us? What have you done to us?" "I have done to them what they did to me," he answered.
12
They said to him, "We've come to arrest you and hand you over to the Philistines." Then Samson told them, "Swear to me that you yourselves won't kill me."
13
"No," they said, "we won't kill you, but we will tie you up securely and hand you over to them." So they tied him up with two new ropes and led him away from the rock.
14
When he came to Lehi, the Philistines came to meet him shouting. The Spirit of the LORD took control of him, and the ropes that were on his arms became like burnt flax and his bonds fell off his wrists.
15
He found a fresh jawbone of a donkey, reached out his hand, took it, and killed 1,000 men with it.
16
Then Samson said: With the jawbone of a donkey I have piled them in a heap. With the jawbone of a donkey I have killed 1,000 men.
17
When he finished speaking, he threw away the jawbone and named that place Ramath-lehi.
18
He became very thirsty and called out to the LORD: "You have accomplished this great victory through Your servant. Must I now die of thirst and fall into the hands of the uncircumcised?"
19
So God split a hollow place [in the ground] at Lehi, and water came out of it. After Samson drank, his strength returned, and he revived. That is why he named it En-hakkore, which is in Lehi to this day.
20
And he judged Israel 20 years in the days of the Philistines.