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Judges: Samson - part 2

The secret of Samson's strength is revealed.
Contributed by Wong Chim Yuen
One day Samson went to the Philistine city of Gaza and spent the night with a prostitute. Word soon spread that he had been seen in the city and many lay in wait all night at the city gate to capture him if he tried to leave. <br/>‘In the morning,’ they thought, ‘when there is enough light, we’ll find him and kill him.’ <br/>Samson stayed in bed with the girl until midnight, then went out to the city gates and lifted them, with the two gateposts, right out of the ground. He put them on his shoulders and carried them to the top of the mountain across from Hebron! – Slide 1
Later on he fell in love with a Philistine girl named Delilah in the valley of Sorek. The leaders of the Philistine nation offered her eleven hundred pieces of silver if she could find the secret of his strength so they could overpower him. <br/>So Delilah begged Samson to tell her his secret. <br/>Samson replied, ‘If I were tied with seven raw-leather bowstrings, I would become as weak as anyone else.” <br/>While Samson slept, some men hid in the next room while Delilah tied Samson with seven bowstrings. <br/>She then woke him shouting, ‘Samson! The Philistines are here!’ <br/>Samson snapped the bowstrings like cotton thread and so his secret was not discovered. <br/>The same happened later when she bound him with new ropes as he slept. Samson broke the ropes from his arms like spiderwebs! – Slide 2
‘You have mocked me again and told me more lies!’ Delilah complained. ‘Now tell me how you can really be captured.’ <br/>‘Well,’ he said, ‘if you weave my hair into your loom … !’ <br/>So while he slept, she did just that but when the Philistines burst in he pulled his hair out and broke the loom. <br/>Delilah continued to nag Samson to tell her the secret of his strength. Finally Samson gave in. ‘My hair has never been cut,’ he confessed, ‘for I’ve been a Nazirite to God since before my birth. If my hair were cut, my superhuman strength would leave me.’ <br/>Delilah then lulled him to sleep with his head in her lap, and the Philistines cut off his hair.  <br/>When Samson woke up he had no strength. – Slide 3
So the Philistines captured him, gouged out his eyes and took him to Gaza, where he was bound with bronze chains and made to grind grain in the prison.  But before long his hair began to grow again. – Slide 4
The Philistine leaders declared a great festival to celebrate the capture of Samson. <br/>‘Our god has delivered our enemy Samson to us!’ they gloated as they saw him there in chains. ‘The scourge of our nation who killed so many of us is now in our power!’ Half-drunk by now, the people demanded, ‘Bring out Samson so we can have some fun with him!’ – Slide 5
Samson was brought from the prison and made to stand at the centre of the temple, between the two pillars supporting the roof. Samson said to the boy who was leading him by the hand, ‘Place my hands against the two pillars. I want to rest against them.’ <br/>The temple was full with 3,000 people and the five Philistine leaders. <br/>Samson prayed to the Lord and said, ‘O Lord Jehovah, remember me again. Please strengthen me one more time, so that I may pay back the Philistines for the loss of at least one of my eyes.’ <br/>Then Samson pushed against the pillars with all his might. <br/>The temple crashed down upon the Philistine leaders and all the people. So those he killed at the moment of his death were more than those he had killed during his entire lifetime. – Slide 6
Slide 7