Samson Serves as Judge
15 Later, during the wheat harvest, Samson went to visit his wife. He took a young goat along for her. He said, “I’m going to sleep with my wife in her bedroom.”
But her father would not let him go in. 2 Her father said, “I thought you hated her. So I gave her to your best man. Isn’t her younger sister better looking? Marry her instead!”
3 Samson said to him, “This time I won’t be guilty when I get even with the Philistines, even though I’m going to do something terrible to them.” 4 So Samson caught 300 foxes. He tied them together in pairs by their tails. Then he fastened a torch between their tails. 5 He set the torches on fire and released the foxes in the Philistines’ grain fields. So he set fire to all their grain, whether it was stacked or in the fields. Their olive orchards also caught on fire.
6 Some Philistines asked, “Who did this?”
They were told, “Samson! He’s the son-in-law of the man at Timnah. Samson did it because the man at Timnah took Samson’s wife and gave her to his best man.” So the Philistines burned Samson’s wife and her father to death.
7 Samson said to them, “If that’s how you’re going to act, I’ll get even with you before I stop.” 8 So he attacked them violently and slaughtered them. Then he went to live in a cave in the cliff at Etam.
9 The Philistines came, camped in Judah, and overran Lehi. 10 The men of Judah asked, “Why did you come to fight us?”
The Philistines answered, “We’ve come to tie up Samson and do to him what he did to us.”
11 So 3,000 men from Judah went to the cave in the cliff at Etam. They said to Samson, “Don’t you know that the Philistines rule us? Why have you done this to us?”
Samson replied, “I did to them what they did to me.”
12 So the men from Judah told him, “We’ve come to tie you up and hand you over to the Philistines.”
Samson said to them, “Swear to me that you won’t harm me yourselves.”
13 They told him, “We promise we’ll only tie you up and hand you over to them. We certainly won’t kill you.” So they tied him up with two new ropes and brought him back from the cliff.
14 When he came to Lehi, the Philistines met him with shouts of triumph. But the Ruach Yahweh came over him. The ropes on his arms became like strings burned in a fire, and those on his hands snapped.
15 Samson found the jawbone from a donkey that had just died. He picked it up and killed 1,000 men with it. 16 Then Samson said,
“With a jawbone from a donkey,
I’ve made two piles of them.
With a jawbone from a donkey,
I’ve killed a thousand men.”
17 When he finished saying this, he threw the jawbone away. He called that place Ramath Lehi [Jawbone Hill].
18 Samson was very thirsty. So he called out to Yahweh and said, “You have given me this great victory. But now I’ll die from thirst and fall into the power of godless men.”
19 So Elohim split open the hollow place at Lehi, and water gushed out. Samson drank some water. Then he was refreshed and revived. So he called the place En Hakkore [Spring of the One Who Calls Out]. It is still there at Lehi today.
20 Samson judged Israel for 20 years during the time of the Philistines.
16 Samson went to Gaza. There he saw a prostitute and slept with her. 2 The people of Gaza were told, “Samson’s here!” So they surrounded the place and waited all night at the city gate to ambush him. They were quiet all night. They thought, “We’ll kill him at dawn.”
3 But Samson was in bed with the prostitute only until midnight. Then he got up, took hold of the doors, door posts, and bar of the city gate and pulled them out. He carried them on his shoulders to the top of the hill facing Hebron.
Samson and Delilah
4 After leaving Gaza, he fell in love with a woman in the Sorek Valley. Her name was Delilah. 5 The Philistine rulers came to her and said, “Trick him, and find out what makes him so strong. Find out how we can overpower him. We want to tie him up in order to torture him. Each of us will give you 1,100 pieces of silver.”
6 So Delilah said to Samson, “Please tell me what makes you so strong. How can you be tied up so that someone could torture you?”
7 Samson told her, “If someone ties me up with seven new bowstrings that are not dried out, I will be like any other man.”
8 The Philistine rulers brought her seven new bowstrings that were not dried out. She tied Samson up with them. 9 Some men were hiding in the bedroom waiting for her to tie him up. Then she said to him, “Samson, the Philistines are attacking!” Samson snapped the bowstrings as a thread snaps when it touches fire. So no one found out why he was so strong.
10 Delilah told Samson, “Look, you’re making fun of me by telling me lies. Now, tell me how you can be tied up.”
11 Samson told her, “If someone ties me up tightly with new ropes that have never been used, I will be like any other man.”
12 So Delilah took some new ropes and tied him up with them. Then she said to him, “Samson, the Philistines are attacking!” Some men were in her bedroom waiting to ambush him. But Samson tore the ropes off his arms as though they were strings.
13 Delilah told Samson, “You’re still making fun of me by telling me lies. Tell me how you can be tied up.”
Samson replied, “Just weave the seven braids of my hair with the other threads in the loom.”
14 So Delilah tied his braids to the loom shuttle. Then she said to him, “Samson, the Philistines are attacking!” But Samson woke up and tore his braids and the threads out of the loom shuttle.
15 Delilah said to Samson, “How can you say that you love me when your heart isn’t mine? You’ve made fun of me three times now, but you still haven’t told me what makes you so strong.”
16 Every day she made his life miserable with her questions. She pestered him until he wished he were dead. 17 Finally, he told her the truth. He told her, “Because I’m a Nazirite, no one has ever cut the hair on my head. I was dedicated to Elohim before I was born. If my hair is ever shaved off, my strength will leave me. Then I’ll be like any other man.”
18 When Delilah realized that he had told her everything, she sent a message to the Philistine rulers, “Come here once more.” (She did this because Samson had told her everything.) So the Philistine rulers arrived with the money in their hands.
19 Delilah put Samson to sleep on her lap. She called for a man to shave off his seven braids. Then she began to torture him because his strength had left him. 20 She said, “Samson, the Philistines are attacking!” Samson woke up. He thought, “I’ll get out of this as usual and shake myself free.” (He didn’t realize that Yahweh had left him.) 21 The Philistines grabbed him. They poked out his eyes and took him to the prison in Gaza. They tied him up with double chains and made him grind grain in the mill there.
22 But his hair started to grow back as soon as it was shaved off.
23 Now, the Philistine rulers gathered together to offer a great sacrifice to their god Dagon and to celebrate. They said, “Our god handed Samson, our enemy, over to us.” 24 When the people saw him, they praised their god. They said,
“Our god gave our enemy,
destroyer of our land
and killer of so many,
into our very hand!”
25 When all the Philistines were enjoying themselves, they said, “Call Samson in to entertain us.”
Samson was called from the prison, and he made them laugh. They made him stand between two columns. 26 Samson told the young man who was leading him by the hand, “Let me rest. Let me touch the columns on which the building stands so that I can lean against them.” 27 The building was filled with people. All the Philistine rulers were there. On the roof there were about three thousand men and women who watched Samson entertain them.
28 Then Samson called to Yahweh, “Adonay Yahweh, please remember me! Elohim, give me strength just one more time! Let me get even with the Philistines for at least one of my two eyes.” 29 Samson felt the two middle columns on which the building stood. With his right hand on one column and his left on the other, he pushed hard against them. 30 “Let me die with the Philistines,” he said. With that, he pushed with all his might, and the building fell on the rulers and everyone in it. So he killed more Philistines when he died than he had when he was alive.
31 Then his relatives and his father’s whole family went to Gaza. They took Samson and buried him between Zorah and Eshtaol in the tomb of his father Manoah.
Samson had judged Israel for 20 years.
Jesus Changes Water into Wine
2 Three days later a wedding took place in the city of Cana in Galilee. Yeshua’s mother was there. 2 Yeshua and his disciples had been invited too.
3 When the wine was gone, Yeshua’s mother said to him, “They’re out of wine.”
4 Yeshua said to her, “Why did you come to me? My time has not yet come.”
5 His mother told the servers, “Do whatever he tells you.”
6 Six stone water jars were there. They were used for Jewish purification rituals. Each jar held 18 to 27 gallons.
7 Yeshua told the servers, “Fill the jars with water.” The servers filled the jars to the brim. 8 Yeshua said to them, “Pour some, and take it to the person in charge.” The servers did as they were told.
9 The person in charge tasted the water that had become wine. He didn’t know where it had come from, although the servers who had poured the water knew. The person in charge called the groom 10 and said to him, “Everyone serves the best wine first. When people are drunk, the host serves cheap wine. But you have saved the best wine for now.”
11 Cana in Galilee was the place where Yeshua began to perform miracles. He made his glory public there, and his disciples believed in him.
12 After this, Yeshua, his mother, brothers, and disciples went to the city of Capernaum and stayed there for a few days.
Jesus Throws Merchants and Moneychangers out of the Temple Courtyard
13 The Jewish Passover was near, so Yeshua went to Jerusalem. 14 He found those who were selling cattle, sheep, and pigeons in the temple courtyard. He also found moneychangers sitting there. 15 He made a whip from small ropes and threw everyone with their sheep and cattle out of the temple courtyard. He dumped the moneychangers’ coins and knocked over their tables.
16 He told those who sold pigeons, “Pick up this stuff, and get it out of here! Stop making my Father’s house a marketplace!”
17 His disciples remembered that Scripture said, “Devotion for your house will consume me.”
18 The Jews reacted by asking Yeshua, “What miracle can you show us to justify what you’re doing?”
19 Yeshua replied, “Tear down this temple, and I’ll rebuild it in three days.”
20 The Jews said, “It took forty-six years to build this temple. Do you really think you’re going to rebuild it in three days?”
21 But the temple Yeshua spoke about was his own body. 22 After he came back to life, his disciples remembered that he had said this. So they believed the Scripture and this statement that Yeshua had made.
23 While Yeshua was in Jerusalem at the Passover festival, many people believed in him because they saw the miracles that he performed. 24 Yeshua, however, was wary of these believers. He understood people 25 and didn’t need anyone to tell him about human nature. He knew what people were really like.
1 Praise Yahweh, my soul!
Praise his holy name, all that is within me.
2 Praise Yahweh, my soul,
and never forget all the good he has done:
3 He is the one who forgives all your sins,
the one who heals all your diseases,
4 the one who rescues your life from the pit,
the one who crowns you with mercy and compassion,
5 the one who fills your life with blessings
so that you become young again like an eagle.
6 Yahweh does what is right and fair
for all who are oppressed.
7 He let Moses know his ways.
He let the Israelites know the things he had done.
8 Yahweh is compassionate, merciful, patient,
and always ready to forgive.
9 He will not always accuse us of wrong
or be angry with us forever.
10 He has not treated us as we deserve for our sins
or paid us back for our wrongs.
11 As high as the heavens are above the earth—
that is how vast his mercy is toward those who fear him.
12 As far as the east is from the west—
that is how far he has removed our rebellious acts from himself.
13 As a father has compassion for his children,
so Yahweh has compassion for those who fear him.
14 He certainly knows what we are made of.
He bears in mind that we are dust.
15 Human life is as short-lived as grass.
It blossoms like a flower in the field.
16 When the wind blows over the flower, it disappears,
and there is no longer any sign of it.
17 But from everlasting to everlasting,
Yahweh’s mercy is on those who fear him.
His righteousness belongs
to their children and grandchildren,
18 to those who are faithful to his promise,[a]
to those who remember to follow his guiding principles.
19 Yahweh has set his throne in heaven.
His kingdom rules everything.
20 Praise Yahweh, all his angels,
you mighty beings who carry out his orders
and are ready to obey his spoken orders.
21 Praise Yahweh, all his armies,
his servants who carry out his will.
22 Praise Yahweh, all his creatures
in all the places of his empire.
Praise Yahweh, my soul!
- Psalm 103:18 Or “covenant.”
17 A short-tempered person acts stupidly,
and a person who plots evil is hated.
18 Gullible people are gifted with stupidity,
but sensible people are crowned with knowledge.
19 Evil people will bow to good people.
Wicked people will bow at the gates of a righteous person.