16:19 She made him go to sleep on her lap 1 and then called a man in to shave off 2 the seven braids of his hair. 3 She made him vulnerable 4 and his strength left him. 16:20 She said, “The Philistines are here, 5 Samson!” He woke up 6 and thought, 7 “I will do as I did before 8 and shake myself free.” But he did not realize that the Lord had left him. 16:21 The Philistines captured him and gouged out his eyes. They brought him down to Gaza and bound him in bronze chains. He became a grinder in the prison. 16:22 His hair 9 began to grow back after it had been shaved off.
16:23 The rulers of the Philistines gathered to offer a great sacrifice to Dagon their god and to celebrate. They said, “Our god has handed Samson, our enemy, over to us.” 16:24 When the people saw him, 10 they praised their god, saying, “Our god has handed our enemy over to us, the one who ruined our land and killed so many of us!” 11
16:25 When they really started celebrating, 12 they said, “Call for Samson so he can entertain us!” So they summoned Samson from the prison and he entertained them. 13 They made him stand between two pillars. 16:26 Samson said to the young man who held his hand, “Position me so I can touch the pillars that support the temple. 14 Then I can lean on them.” 16:27 Now the temple 15 was filled with men and women, and all the rulers of the Philistines were there. There were three thousand men and women on the roof watching Samson entertain. 16:28 Samson called to the Lord, “O Master, Lord, 16 remember me! Strengthen me just one more time, O God, so I can get swift revenge 17 against the Philistines for my two eyes!” 16:29 Samson took hold of the two middle pillars that supported the temple 18 and he leaned against them, with his right hand on one and his left hand on the other. 16:30 Samson said, “Let me die with the Philistines!” He pushed hard 19 and the temple collapsed on the rulers and all the people in it. He killed many more people in his death than he had killed during his life. 20
1 tn Heb “on her knees.” The expression is probably euphemistic for sexual intercourse. See HALOT 160-61 s.v. בֶּרֶךְ.
2 tn Heb “she called for a man and she shaved off.” The point seems to be that Delilah acted through the instrumentality of the man. See J. A. Soggin, Judges (OTL), 254.
3 tn Heb “head.” By metonymy the hair of his head is meant.
4 tn Heb “She began to humiliate him.” Rather than referring to some specific insulting action on Delilah’s part after Samson’s hair was shaved off, this statement probably means that she, through the devious actions just described, began the process of Samson’s humiliation which culminates in the following verses.
5 tn Heb “are upon you.”
6 tn The Hebrew adds, “from his sleep.” This has not been included in the translation for stylistic reasons.
7 tn Heb “and said.”
8 tn Heb “I will go out as before.”
9 tn Heb “the hair of his head.”
10 tn Most interpret this as a reference to Samson, but this seems premature, since v. 25 suggests he was not yet standing before them. Consequently some prefer to see this statement as displaced and move it to v. 25 (see C. F. Burney, Judges, 387). It seems more likely that the pronoun refers to an image of Dagon.
11 tn Heb “multiplied our dead.”
12 tn Heb “When their heart was good.”
13 tn Heb “before them.”
14 tn Heb “the pillars upon which the house is founded.”
15 tn Heb “house.”
16 tn The Hebrew has אֲדֹנָי יֱהֹוִה (’adonay yehovih, “Lord Yahweh”).
17 tn Heb “so I can get revenge with one act of vengeance.”
18 tn Heb “the pillars upon which the house was founded.”
19 tn Heb “he stretched out with strength.”
20 tn Heb “And the ones whom he killed in his death were many more than he killed in his life.”