Thoughts and Reflection
In today’s reading, we see that Samson is taken by his passions. He lets his desires and emotions rule him. Delilah asks him about the secret of his strength. He lies to her for the first three times. He finally tells her the truth and there was no reason to lie to her. It is not unusual for God to work through broken people like Samson.
We also see the story of Micah and the Levite. Michah sets up an idol shrine so he and his neighbors can worship it. He later finds a Levite but one that is a priest for hire.
How have you turned away from the Lord?
About This Project
For the year 2022, I decided that my New Year’s Resolution was to read the whole Bible following the Bible in the Year plan presented by Fr. Mike Schmitz. It is a big and bold undertaking. You can follow along by subscribing. Feel free to look at previous day’s post and comment. It’s something we can all learn from together!
1 Samson then went to Gaza and, seeing a prostitute there, went in to her.
2 The men of Gaza being told, ‘Samson has arrived,’ surrounded the place and kept watch for him the whole night at the town gate. All that night they were going to make no move, thinking, ‘Let us wait until daybreak, and then kill him.’
3 Till midnight, however, Samson stayed in bed, and then at midnight he got up, seized the doors of the town gate and the two posts as well; he tore them up, bar and all, hoisted them on to his shoulders and carried them to the top of the hill overlooking Hebron.
4 After this, he fell in love with a woman in the Vale of Sorek; she was called Delilah.
5 The Philistine chiefs visited her and said, ‘Cajole him and find out where his great strength comes from, and how we can master him, so that we can bind him and subdue him. In return we shall each give you eleven hundred silver shekels.’
6 Delilah said to Samson, ‘Please tell me where your great strength comes from, and what would be needed to bind and subdue you.’
7 Samson replied, ‘If I were bound with seven new bowstrings which had not yet been dried, I should lose my strength and become like any other man.’
8 The Philistine chiefs brought Delilah seven new bowstrings which had not yet been dried and she took them and bound him with them.
9 She had men concealed in her room, and she shouted, ‘The Philistines are on you, Samson!’ Then he snapped the bowstrings as a strand of tow snaps at a touch of the fire. So the secret of his strength remained unknown.
11 He replied, ‘If I were bound tightly with new ropes which have never been used, I should lose my strength and become like any other man.’
12 Delilah then took new ropes and bound him with them, and she shouted, ‘The Philistines are on you, Samson!’ She had men concealed in her room, but he snapped the ropes round his arms like thread.
13 Delilah then said to Samson, ‘Up to now you have been laughing at me and telling me lies. Tell me what would be needed to bind you.’ He replied, ‘If you wove the seven locks of my hair into the warp of a cloth and beat them together tight with the reed, I should lose my strength and become like any other man.’
14 She lulled him to sleep, then wove the seven locks of his hair into the warp, beat them together tight with the reed and shouted, ‘The Philistines are on you, Samson!’ He woke from his sleep and pulled out both reed and warp. So the secret of his strength remained unknown.
15 Delilah said to him, ‘How can you say that you love me, when your heart is not with me? Three times now you have laughed at me and have not told me where your great strength comes from.’
17 At last he confided everything to her; he said to her, ‘A razor has never touched my head, because I have been God’s nazirite from my mother’s womb. If my head were shorn, then my power would leave me and I should lose my strength and become like any other man.’
18 Delilah then realized that he had really confided in her; she sent for the Philistine princes with the message, ‘Come just once more: he has confided everything to me.’ And the Philistine chiefs came to her with the money in their hands.
20 She cried, ‘The Philistines are on you, Samson!’ He awoke from sleep, thinking, ‘I shall break free as I have done time after time and shake myself clear.’ But he did not know that Yahweh had left him.
24 And as soon as the people saw their god, they acclaimed him, shouting his praises: Into our hands our god has delivered Samson our enemy, the man who laid our country waste and killed so many of us.
25 And as their hearts were full of joy, they shouted, ‘Summon Samson out to amuse us.’ So Samson was summoned from prison, and he performed feats in front of them; then he was put to stand between the pillars.
30 and he shouted, ‘Let me die with the Philistines!’ He then heaved with all his might, and the building fell on the chiefs and on all the people there. Those whom he brought to their death by his death outnumbered those whom he had done to death during his life.
31 His brothers and the whole of his father’s family came down and carried him away. They took him back and buried him between Zorah and Eshtaol in the tomb of Manoah his father. He had judged Israel for twenty years.
1 In the highlands of Ephraim there was a man called Micayehu.
2 He said to his mother, ‘The eleven hundred silver shekels which were taken from you and concerning which you uttered a curse, having said in my hearing . . . Look, I have got that silver. I was the one who took it.’ His mother said, ‘May Yahweh bless my boy!’
3 He gave the eleven hundred shekels back to his mother, who said, ‘I have indeed vowed to give this silver to Yahweh for my son, to have a statue carved and an idol cast in metal, but now I should like to give it back to you.’ He, however, returned the money to his mother.
9 Micah asked him, ‘Where do you come from?’ The other replied, ‘I am a Levite from Bethlehem in Judah. I am travelling, and am going to settle wherever I can find a home.’
11 The Levite agreed to remain in the man’s house, and the young man became like one of his sons to him.
1 In those days there was no king in Israel. Now in those days the tribe of Dan was in search of a territory to live in, for until then no territory had fallen to them among the tribes of Israel.
2 From their clan the Danites sent five brave men from Zorah and Eshtaol to reconnoitre the country and explore it. They said to them, ‘Go and explore the country.’ The five men came to the highlands of Ephraim, as far as Micah’s house, and spent the night there.
5 They replied, ‘Then consult God, so that we may know whether the journey we are on will lead to success.’
7 The five men then left and, arriving at Laish, saw that the people living there had an untroubled existence, according to the customs of the Sidonians, peaceful and trusting, that there was no lack or shortage of any sort in the territory, that they were a long way away from the Sidonians and that they had no contact with the Aramaeans.
9 they said, ‘Up! we must go against them, since we have looked at the country and it is excellent, though you take no action! Waste no time in setting out and taking possession of the country.
14 The five men who had been to reconnoitre the country then spoke to their brothers. ‘Do you know’, they said, ‘that in these houses there is an ephod, some domestic images, a carved statue and an idol cast in metal? So now work out what you have got to do!
17 the five who had been to reconnoitre the country went on into the house and took the carved statue, the ephod, the domestic images and the idol cast in metal; meanwhile the priest remained at the threshold of the gate with the six hundred men equipped for war.
19 ‘Be quiet,’ they replied. ‘Put your hand over your mouth and come with us, and become our father and priest. Are you better off as domestic priest to one man, or as priest to a tribe and clan in Israel?’
20 The priest was delighted; he took the ephod, the domestic images and the carved statue, and went off among the people.
23 As they shouted after the Danites, the latter, turning about, said to Micah, ‘What is the matter with you, that you are shouting like this?’
24 He replied, ‘You have taken away my god, which I have had made, and the priest as well. You are going away, and what have I got left? And now you ask me, “What is the matter?” ‘
25 The Danites said, ‘Let us hear no more from you, or quick-tempered men may set about you, and this might cost you your life and the lives of your family!’
28 There was no one to come to the rescue, since it was a long way from Sidon and had no contact with the Aramaeans. It lay in the valley running towards Beth-Rehob. They rebuilt the town and settled in it
29 and called it Dan, from the name of Dan their ancestor who had been born to Israel; originally, however, the town had been called Laish.
30 The Danites erected the carved statue for themselves. Jonathan son of Gershom, son of Moses, and his sons after him were priests for the tribe of Dan till the day when the inhabitants of the country were carried away into exile.
7 Sing to Yahweh in thanksgiving, play the harp for our God.
11 his pleasure is in those who fear him, in those who hope in his faithful love.