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After Gideon died, the people of Israel began worshipping false gods once more. As a result, God allowed the Philistines to rule over them for 40 years. Manoah and his wife had no children. One day an angel appeared to Manoah’s wife and announced, ‘You will become pregnant and have a son. You must never cut his hair because he will be a Nazirite. He will be given to God from birth. He will begin the work of saving Israel from the power of the Philistines.’ <br/>When Manoah heard the news he prayed, ‘Teach us what we should do for the boy who will be born to us.’ <br/>The angel then appeared to them both. Manoah sacrificed a young goat on a rock and offered some grain as a gift to the Lord. The flames went up to the sky from the altar. As the fire burned, the angel of the Lord went up to heaven in the fire! <br/>As promised, God gave Manoah and his wife a son and they named him Samson. – Slide 1
Samson grew, and the Lord blessed him. He vowed to obey God and never cut his hair. One day he went to the Philistine city of Timnah and fell in love with a Philistine girl. His parents wanted him to marry a girl who loved God but Samson insisted he wanted to marry this girl who worshipped the false god Dagon. – Slide 2
On his way on his way to Timnah, Samson was attacked by a young lion. The Spirit of the Lord entered Samson with great power. Samson tore the lion apart with his bare hands. But Samson did not tell anyone what he had done. <br/>Several days later Samson went back to marry his Philistine bride. On his way he saw the body of the dead lion and found a swarm of bees in it. They had made some honey. Samson took some of the honey in his hands and walked along eating it. When he came to his parents, he gave some to them. – Slide 3
The custom was for the bridegroom to give a feast and the Philistines sent 30 men to the festivities. Samson told them, ‘Let me tell you a riddle. “Out of the eater comes something to eat. Out of the strong comes something sweet.” <br/>‘If you can solve the riddle during our 7 day feast, I will give you 30 linen shirts and changes of clothes. But if fail you must give me 30 linen shirts changes of clothes.’ <br/>The 30 men tried for three days to figure it out. Unable to solve the riddle they secretly went to Samson’s wife to find the answer.  <br/>For the rest of the feast Samson’s wife cried and sulked until Samson gave her the answer on the seventh day. <br/>She told the Philistine men who came to Samson and said, <br/>‘What is sweeter than honey? What is stronger than a lion?’ – Slide 4
Samson knew his wife had betrayed him. In anger, he went to the nearby Philistine stronghold of Ashkelon. He killed 30 Philistine men, took all their clothes and property and gave them to the men who had answered his riddle. Then he went home to his parents. The Philistines gave Samson's wife to the best man to marry. <br/>On hearing this news Samson went out and caught 300 foxes. Taking two foxes at a time he tied their tails together along with a torch. Samson lit the torches and let the foxes loose in the grainfields of the Philistines. Their crops were destroyed. – Slide 5
Samson went down and stayed in a cave in the rock of Etam. The Philistines camped in the land of Judah looking for Samson. Fearing for their lives, 3,000 men of Judah went to Samson’s cave and said, ‘What have you done to us? Don’t you know that the Philistines rule over us? We will not kill you. We will just tie you up and give you to the Philistines.’  <br/>They tied Samson with two new ropes and led him to a place named Lehi, where the Philistines had gathered. Then the Spirit of the Lord entered Samson and gave him great power. The ropes on him became weak like strings that had been burned. They fell off his hands! Samson found a jawbone of a donkey that had just died. He took it and killed 1,000 Philistine men with it! <br/>Samson was very thirsty and cried out to God for water. God opened up a hole in the ground at Lehi, and water came out. When Samson drank that water, he felt strong again. <br/>For the next 20 years Samson served as a judge in Israel. – Slide 6
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