Three thousand men of Judah went down to the cave in the cliff of Etam and said to Samson, “Do you not know that the Philistines rule over us? Why have you done this to us?” He said to them, “I have only done to them what they have done to me.”
When he arrived in Lehi, the Philistines shouted as they approached him. But the Lord’s spirit empowered 1 him. The ropes around his arms were like flax dissolving in 2 fire, and they 3 melted away from his hands.
The rulers of the Philistines went up to visit her and said to her, “Trick him! Find out what makes him so strong and how we can subdue him and humiliate 1 him. Each one of us will give you eleven hundred silver pieces.”
They hid 1 in the bedroom and then she said to him, “The Philistines are here, 2 Samson!” He snapped the bowstrings as easily as a thread of yarn snaps when it is put close to fire. 3 The secret of his strength was not discovered. 4
When the army 1 came back to the camp, the elders of Israel said, “Why did the Lord let us be defeated today by 2 the Philistines? Let’s take with us the ark of the covenant of the Lord from Shiloh. When it is with us, it will save us 3 from the hand of our enemies.
So they assembled 1 all the leaders of the Philistines and asked, “What should we do with the ark of the God of Israel?” They replied, “The ark of the God of Israel should be moved to Gath.” So they moved the ark of the God of Israel.
They inquired, “What is the guilt offering that we should send to him?” They replied, “The Philistine leaders number five. So send five gold sores and five gold mice, for it is the same plague that has afflicted both you and your leaders.
The gold mice corresponded in number to all the Philistine cities of the five leaders, from the fortified cities to hamlet villages, to greater Abel, 1 where they positioned the ark of the Lord until this very day in the field of Joshua who was from Beth Shemesh.
Samuel said to all the people of Israel, “If you are really turning to the Lord with all your hearts, remove from among you the foreign gods and the images of Ashtoreth. 1 Give your hearts to the Lord and serve only him. Then he will deliver you 2 from the hand of the Philistines.”
“At this time tomorrow I will send to you a man from the land of Benjamin. You must consecrate 1 him as a leader over my people Israel. He will save my people from the hand of the Philistines. For I have looked with favor on my people. Their cry has reached me!”
Afterward you will go to Gibeah of God, where there are Philistine officials. 1 When you enter the town, you will meet a company of prophets coming down from the high place. They will have harps, tambourines, flutes, and lyres, and they will be prophesying.
After Saul had secured his royal position over Israel, he fought against all their 1 enemies on all sides – the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, the kings of Zobah, and the Philistines. In every direction that he turned he was victorious. 2
Goliath 1 stood and called to Israel’s troops, 2 “Why do you come out to prepare for battle? Am I not the Philistine, and are you not the servants of Saul? Choose 3 for yourselves a man so he may come down 4 to me!
1 Then Saul said to David, “Here’s my oldest daughter, Merab. I want to give her to you in marriage. Only be a brave warrior 2 for me and fight the battles of the Lord.” For Saul thought, “There’s no need for me to raise my hand against him. Let it be the hand of the Philistines!”
Saul said, “I will give her to him so that she may become a snare to him and the hand of the Philistines may be against him.” So Saul said to David, “Today is the second time for you to become my son-in-law.” 1
when David, along with his men, went out 1 and struck down two hundred Philistine men. David brought their foreskins and presented all of them to the king so he could become the king’s son-in-law. Saul then gave him his daughter Michal in marriage.
He risked his life 1 when he struck down the Philistine and the Lord gave all Israel a great victory. When you saw it, you were happy. So why would you sin against innocent blood by putting David to death for no reason?”
The priest replied, “The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom you struck down in the valley of Elah, is wrapped in a garment behind the ephod. If you wish, take it for yourself. Other than that, there’s nothing here.” David said, “There’s nothing like it! Give it to me!”
David thought to himself, 1 “One of these days I’m going to be swept away by the hand of Saul! There is nothing better for me than to escape to the land of the Philistines. Then Saul will despair of searching for me through all the territory of Israel and I will escape from his hand.”
Neither man nor woman would David leave alive so as to bring them back to Gath. He was thinking, “This way they can’t tell on us, saying, ‘This is what David did.’” Such was his practice the entire time 1 that he lived in the country of the Philistines.