From the days of Deborah and Barak and after, Israel triumphed over the Canaanites, and the word of God was fullfilled that Israel should subdue the people of the Land and possess it. For the people of the Land could no more resist Israel after Sisera and Jabin were destroyed, and Israel began to take full possession of the Promised Land. But again Israel did evil in the sight of God and so He sent the Midianites and the Moabites and the Ammonites to contend with them. Yet when the children of Israel repented and once again returned to God, He sent them judges and deliverers to free them from the power of their enemies. So He sent them Gideon and Jephthah, and they delivered them.

But Israel again turned from JHVH and He brought the Philistines from Crete to the Land to harass Israel and to oppress them.

The Philistines were of the Sea Peoples, and they came to the Land and settled on the south coast and in the NEGEV, and they called their coast NEGEV HAKREYTI, the Cretan Southland, and the inhabitants of the Land called them PELISHTIM, "Strangers". And JHVH allowed the Philistines to establish their princedoms in their Pentapolis, that is, Gaza, Ashkelon, Ashdod, Gath, and Ekron. They also spread out along the SHEFALAH and in the NEGEV.

And they left off speaking their Aegean speech and began to speak the language of the people of the Land, and they called their gods by the names of the Canaanite language, - DAGAN and ASHTORET and BA'AL-ZEVUV. And they were governed by their princes, the five SERANIM of the five cities.

And God delivered His People into their hands because His People had turned away from Him. And Israel was under the hand of the Philistines for 40 years.

Then the children of Israel cried out to JHVH to save them, so He sent them Samson, to judge them and to begin the deliverance of Israel from the power of the Philistines.

Samson was a Nazarite from his birth; he was devoted to JHVH. He did not touch wine and he did not cut his hair according to the Nazarite vow. God's spirit was upon him because of his vow, and in his vow lay his great strength. So long as Samson kept his Nazarite vow - not to drink wine and to leave his hair untouched, God's strong power dwelt in him. So Samson judged Israel for twenty years and the Philistines were in fear of him because of his strength.

After this time, Samson took a lover to himself whose name was Delilah, a vain and mercenary woman who was his undoing. Some said that God Himself joined Samson and Delilah to effect the downfall of the Philistines.

Now Delilah's reputation was known among the SERANIM of the Pentapolis. So they enticed her with fifty five pieces of silver that she might disclose the secret of his strength to them so that they might subdue him, because Samson gave them no peace in that he harrassed them constantly.

So Delilah brought him into her house and excited him with her femininity. Then they disrobed and they acted on their desire. Samson called upon his strength which was inexhaustable. In the place of his circumcision, he was well endowed, and he entered his lover again and again because his passion had been aroused so that his mind became consumed with her. Delilah feigned pleasure but her own mind was consumed with the thought of the wealth that would soon be hers. Nonetheless she disimulated pleasure before him to cause his heart to swell with pride in his masculinity so that he forgot everything but that with which he was currently engaged. So he fullfilled himself with pleasure many times that night.

When it was near morning, and he continued still, Delilah said to him, "My lord, you know how I love you. I have shown you this night. Yet now I am not as you are. I am spent for I do not have your mighty strength." Samson smiled in his pride, believing in her love and loving her for all the pleasure that she had given him. Then he said to her, "You know how I have been blessed by God with much power. There is no man in Israel or Philistia that can stand before me. Tell me now what is your desire and I shall fullfill it."

So she said to him, "My lord, these many times I have asked you to tell me the secret of your strength, and you have not told me. If you do love me truly, tell me now. For have I not shown you more love than even twenty women?" And he smiled and believed her for JHVH had let his mind be deceived by her because he forgot JHVH his God.

Then he said to her, "Delilah, I am a Nazarite from birth, and I have been vowed by my father and my mother that no razor shall touch my head. Therein lies my strength. So long as I keep my vow before JHVH, His spirit imbues me with His strength." Then she smiled and said, "Now truly do I know that you love me for you have told me the thing I most wished to know about you."

Then she bade him drink a lover's toast with him and sleep in her arms. So his passion and his love for her made him forget JHVH and his Nazarite vow, and he drank wine with her. Soon he slept soundly in her bosom. Then she arose and shaved the hair from his head, and God's Spirit left him because he had become defiled.

So Delilah called the Philistines and they came for him. They put him in chains and took him to Gaza and there they put out his eyes, the eyes with which he had looked with lust upon a woman who betrayed him. And all Israel wept that their judge had so fallen. And they cried to God for deliverance. And the SERANIM brought their wives to Samson in the prison that he might inseminate them so that they would have strong children from him, but he refused. Then he repented before JHVH in his darkness, and He had compassion on him, and forgave him and caused his hair to grow once again, and unbeknown to the Philistines, his strength returned.

Now it happened upon their holiday that the Philistines made a great feast to DAGAN in his temple in Gaza. And the SERANIM of the Pentapolis came there with all their royal train, their wives, and their families, to pay homage to DAGAN because they said that DAGAN was mightier than YHWH and had delivered Samson to them. And Delilah also came to their temple that day to receive their praise for being the instrument of DAGAN.

When Samson discovered the occaision for their rejoicing, he prayed to his God that he might bring glory to Him and exact vengence upon the Philistines all in one day, and God granted his prayer.

So the Philistines brought Samson out to mock him in front of the SERANIM and in front of their god, and they tied him to the two main supporting pillars of their temple, and they shouted out to him, "Where is your God now Samson; call out to Him that He may deliver you." And they beat him and spat upon him and they ridiculed him and the God of Israel.

In all of this, Samson remained silent, and he smiled.

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