13 The Israelites again did things that the Lord saw as evil, and he handed them over to the Philistines for forty years.
2 Now there was a certain man from Zorah, from the Danite clan, whose name was Manoah. His wife was unable to become pregnant and had not given birth to any children. 3 The Lord’s messenger appeared to the woman and said to her, “Even though you’ve been unable to become pregnant and haven’t given birth, you are now pregnant and will give birth to a son! 4 Now be careful not to drink wine or brandy or to eat anything that is ritually unclean, 5 because you are pregnant and will give birth to a son. Don’t allow a razor to shave his head, because the boy is going to be a nazirite for God from birth. He’ll be the one who begins Israel’s rescue from the power of the Philistines.”
6 Then the woman went and told her husband, “A man of God came to me, and he looked like God’s messenger—very scary! I didn’t ask him where he was from, and he didn’t tell me his name. 7 He said to me, ‘You are pregnant and will give birth to a son, so don’t drink wine or brandy or eat anything that is ritually unclean, because the boy is going to be a nazirite for God from birth until the day he dies.’”
8 Manoah asked the Lord, “Please, my Lord,” he said, “let the man of God whom you sent come back to us once more, so he can teach us how we should treat the boy who is to be born.”
9 God listened to Manoah, and God’s messenger came once more to the woman. She was sitting in the field, but her husband Manoah wasn’t with her. 10 So the woman hurriedly ran and informed her husband. She said to him, “The man who came to me the other day has just appeared to me.”
11 Manoah got up and followed his wife. He came to the man and said to him, “Are you the man who spoke to this woman?”
“I am,” he replied.
12 Manoah said, “Now when your words come true, what should be the rules for the boy and how he should act?”
13 The Lord’s messenger answered Manoah, “The woman should be careful to do everything that I told her. 14 She must not consume anything that comes from the grapevine, drink wine or brandy, or eat anything that is ritually unclean. She must be careful to do everything I have commanded her.”
15 Manoah said to the Lord’s messenger, “Please let us persuade you to stay so we can prepare a young goat for you.”
16 But the Lord’s messenger replied to Manoah, “If you persuaded me to stay, I wouldn’t eat your food. If you prepare an entirely burned offering, offer it to the Lord.” Indeed, Manoah didn’t know that he was the Lord’s messenger. 17 Manoah said to the Lord’s messenger, “What’s your name, so that we may honor you when your words come true?”
18 The Lord’s messenger responded to him, “Why do you ask my name? You couldn’t understand it.”
19 So Manoah took a young goat and a grain offering and offered them on a rock to the Lord. While Manoah and his wife were looking, an amazing thing happened: 20 as the flame from the altar went up toward the sky, the Lord’s messenger went up in the altar’s flame. When Manoah and his wife saw this, they fell facedown on the ground. 21 The Lord’s messenger didn’t reappear to Manoah or his wife, and Manoah then realized that it had been the Lord’s messenger. 22 Manoah said to his wife, “We are certainly going to die, because we’ve seen God!”
23 But his wife replied to him, “If the Lord wanted to kill us, he wouldn’t have accepted the entirely burned offering and grain offering from our hands. He wouldn’t have shown us all these things or told us all of this now.”
24 The woman gave birth to a son and named him Samson. The boy grew up, and the Lord blessed him. 25 The Lord’s spirit began to move him when he was in Mahaneh-dan, between Zorah and Eshtaol.
Samson’s marriage to a Philistine woman
14 Samson traveled down to Timnah. While he was in Timnah, a Philistine woman caught his eye. 2 He went back home and told his father and mother, “A Philistine woman in Timnah caught my eye; now get her for me as a wife!”
3 But his father and mother replied to him, “Is there no woman among your own relatives or among all our people that you have to go get a wife from the uncircumcised Philistines?”
Yet Samson said to his father, “Get her for me, because she’s the one I want!” 4 His father and mother didn’t know that the Lord was behind this. He was looking for an opening with the Philistines, because they were ruling over Israel at that time.
5 Then Samson traveled down to Timnah with his father and mother. When he came to the vineyards in Timnah, suddenly a lone young lion came roaring to meet him. 6 The Lord’s spirit rushed over him, and he tore the lion apart with his bare hands as one might tear apart a young goat. But he didn’t tell his father or mother what he had done. 7 Then he traveled down and talked with the woman; she was the one Samson wanted.
8 After a while, he came back again to marry her. He turned aside to look at the lion’s remains, and there was a swarm of bees with honey inside the lion’s skeleton. 9 He scooped the honey into his hands, eating it as he continued along. When he got to his father and mother, he gave some to them, and they ate it too. But he didn’t tell them that he had scooped the honey from the lion’s skeleton.
10 His father traveled down to the woman, and Samson put on a feast there, as was the custom for young men. 11 When the townspeople saw him, they selected thirty companions to be with him. 12 Then Samson said to them, “Let me tell you a riddle. If you can figure it out and tell me the answer within the seven days of the feast, I’ll give you thirty linen robes and thirty sets of clothes. 13 But if you can’t tell me the answer, then it’s you who have to give me thirty linen robes and thirty sets of clothes.”
So they replied to him, “Tell your riddle; let’s hear it.”
14 He said to them,
“Out of the eater there came something to eat.
Out of the strong there came something sweet.”
For three days they couldn’t tell the answer to the riddle. 15 On the fourth[a] day they said to Samson’s wife, “Seduce your husband so he’ll tell us the answer to the riddle, or else we’ll set fire to you and your household. Were we invited here just to become poor?”
16 So Samson’s wife cried on his shoulder and said, “You hate me! You don’t love me! You told a riddle to my people but didn’t tell me the answer.”
He replied to her, “Look, I haven’t even told the answer to my father and mother. Why should I tell it to you?” 17 But she cried on his shoulder for the rest of the seven days of the feast. Finally, on the seventh day, he told her the answer, for she had nagged him. And she told her people the answer to the riddle. 18 So on the seventh day, before the sun set, the townspeople said to him,
“What’s sweeter than honey?
What’s stronger than a lion?”
He replied to them,
“If you hadn’t plowed with my heifer,
you wouldn’t have figured out my riddle!”
19 Then the Lord’s spirit rushed over him, and he went down to Ashkelon. He killed thirty of their men, stripped them of their gear, and gave the sets of clothes to the ones who had told the answer to the riddle. In anger, he went back up to his father’s household. 20 And Samson’s wife married one of those who had been his companions.
- Judges 14:15 LXX, Syr; MT seventh
29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is the one about whom I said, ‘He who comes after me is really greater than me because he existed before me.’ 31 Even I didn’t recognize him, but I came baptizing with water so that he might be made known to Israel.” 32 John testified, “I saw the Spirit coming down from heaven like a dove, and it rested on him. 33 Even I didn’t recognize him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘The one on whom you see the Spirit coming down and resting is the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ 34 I have seen and testified that this one is God’s Son.”
Jesus calls disciples
35 The next day John was standing again with two of his disciples. 36 When he saw Jesus walking along he said, “Look! The Lamb of God!” 37 The two disciples heard what he said, and they followed Jesus.
38 When Jesus turned and saw them following, he asked, “What are you looking for?”
They said, “Rabbi (which is translated Teacher), where are you staying?”
39 He replied, “Come and see.” So they went and saw where he was staying, and they remained with him that day. It was about four o’clock in the afternoon.
40 One of the two disciples who heard what John said and followed Jesus was Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter. 41 He first found his own brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which is translated Christ[a] ). 42 He led him to Jesus.
Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon, son of John. You will be called Cephas” (which is translated Peter).
43 The next day Jesus wanted to go into Galilee, and he found Philip. Jesus said to him, “Follow me.” 44 Philip was from Bethsaida, the hometown of Andrew and Peter.
45 Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law and the Prophets: Jesus, Joseph’s son, from Nazareth.”
46 Nathanael responded, “Can anything from Nazareth be good?”
Philip said, “Come and see.”
47 Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said about him, “Here is a genuine Israelite in whom there is no deceit.”
48 Nathanael asked him, “How do you know me?”
Jesus answered, “Before Philip called you, I saw you under the fig tree.”
49 Nathanael replied, “Rabbi, you are God’s Son. You are the king of Israel.”
50 Jesus answered, “Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than these! 51 I assure you that you will see heaven open and God’s angels going up to heaven and down to earth on the Human One.”[b]
A prayer of an oppressed person, when weak and pouring out grief to the Lord.
102 Lord, hear my prayer!
Let my cry reach you!
2 Don’t hide your face from me
in my time of trouble!
Listen to me!
Answer me quickly as I cry out!
3 Because my days disappear like smoke,
my bones are burned up as if in an oven;
4 my heart is smashed like dried-up grass.
I even forget to eat my food
5 because of my intense groans.
My bones are protruding from my skin.
6 I’m like some wild owl—
like some screech owl in the desert.
7 I lie awake all night.
I’m all alone like a bird on a roof.
8 All day long my enemies make fun of me;
those who mock me curse using my name!
9 I’ve been eating ashes instead of bread.
I’ve been mixing tears into my drinks
10 because of your anger and wrath,
because you picked me up and threw me away.
11 My days are like a shadow soon gone.
I’m dried up like dead grass.
12 But you, Lord, rule forever!
Your fame lasts from one generation to the next!
13 You will stand up—
you’ll have compassion on Zion
because it is time to have mercy on her—
the time set for that has now come!
14 Your servants cherish Zion’s stones;
they show mercy even to her dirt.
15 The nations will honor the Lord’s name;
all the earth’s rulers will honor your glory
16 because the Lord will rebuild Zion;
he will be seen there in his glory.
17 God will turn to the prayer of the impoverished;
he won’t despise their prayers.
18 Let this be written down for the next generation
so that people not yet created will praise the Lord:
19 The Lord looked down from his holy summit,
surveyed the earth from heaven,
20 to hear the prisoners’ groans,
to set free those condemned to death,
21 that the Lord’s name may be declared in Zion
and his praise declared in Jerusalem,
22 when all people are gathered together—
all kingdoms—to serve the Lord.
23 God broke my strength in midstride,
cutting my days short.
24 I said, “My God, don’t take me away in the prime of life—
your years go on from one generation to the next!
25 You laid the earth’s foundations long ago;
the skies are your handiwork.
26 These things will pass away, but you will last.
All of these things will wear out like clothing;
you change them like clothes, and they pass on.
27 But you are the one!
Your years never end!
28 Let your servants’ children live safe;
let your servants’ descendants live secure in your presence.”
15 The naive believe anything,
but the prudent give thought to their steps.
16 The wise are careful and avoid evil,
but fools become excited and overconfident.