1 Once Shimshon went to Azza; there he met a whore and slept with her.
א וַיֵּלֶךְ שִׁמְשׁוֹן עַזָּתָה וַיַּרְא־שָׁם אִשָּׁה זוֹנָה וַיָּבֹא אֵלֶיהָ׃
2 The Gazites [learned] that Shimshon had come there, so they gathered and lay in ambush for him in the town gate the whole night; and all night long they kept whispering to each other, “When daylight comes, we’ll kill him.”
ב לַעַזָּתִים לֵאמֹר בָּא שִׁמְשׁוֹן הֵנָּה וַיָּסֹבּוּ וַיֶּאֶרְבוּ־לוֹ כָל־הַלַּיְלָה בְּשַׁעַר הָעִיר וַיִּתְחָרְשׁוּ כָל־הַלַּיְלָה לֵאמֹר עַד־אוֹר הַבֹּקֶר וַהֲרְגְנֻהוּ׃
3 But Shimshon lay in bed only till midnight. At midnight he got up, grasped the doors of the town gate together with the two gateposts, and pulled them out along with the bar. He placed them on his shoulders and carried them off to the top of the hill that is near Chevron.
4 After that, he fell in love with a woman in the Wadi Sorek, named Delilah.
ד וַיְהִי אַחֲרֵי־כֵן וַיֶּאֱהַב אִשָּׁה בְּנַחַל שֹׂרֵק וּשְׁמָהּ דְּלִילָה׃
5 The lords of the Philistines went up to her and said, “Coax him and find out what makes him so strong, and how we can overpower him, tie him up, and make him helpless; and we’ll each give you eleven hundred shekalim of silver.”
ה וַיַּעֲלוּ אֵלֶיהָ סַרְנֵי פְלִשְׁתִּים וַיֹּאמְרוּ לָהּ פַּתִּי אוֹתוֹ וּרְאִי בַּמֶּה כֹּחוֹ גָדוֹל וּבַמֶּה נוּכַל לוֹ וַאֲסַרְנֻהוּ לְעַנֹּתוֹ וַאֲנַחְנוּ נִתַּן־לָךְ אִישׁ אֶלֶף וּמֵאָה כָּסֶף׃
6 So Delilah said to Shimshon, “Tell me, what makes you so strong? And how could you be tied up and made helpless?”
ו וַתֹּאמֶר דְּלִילָה אֶל־שִׁמְשׁוֹן הַגִּידָה־נָּא לִי בַּמֶּה כֹּחֲךָ גָדוֹל וּבַמֶּה תֵאָסֵר לְעַנּוֹתֶךָ׃
7 Shimshon replied, “If I were to be tied with seven fresh tendons that had not been dried, I should become as weak as an ordinary man.”
8 So the lords of the Philistines brought up to her seven fresh tendons that had not been dried. She bound him with them,
ח וַיַּעֲלוּ־לָהּ סַרְנֵי פְלִשְׁתִּים שִׁבְעָה יְתָרִים לַחִים אֲשֶׁר לֹא־חֹרָבוּ וַתַּאַסְרֵהוּ בָּהֶם׃
9 while an ambush was waiting in her room. Then she called out to him, “Shimshon, the Philistines are upon you!” Whereat he pulled the tendons apart, as a strand of tow comes apart at the touch of fire. So the secret of his strength remained unknown.
10 Then Delilah said to Shimshon, “Oh, you deceived me; you lied to me! Do tell me now how you could be tied up.”
י וַתֹּאמֶר דְּלִילָה אֶל־שִׁמְשׁוֹן הִנֵּה הֵתַלְתָּ בִּי וַתְּדַבֵּר אֵלַי כְּזָבִים עַתָּה הַגִּידָה־נָּא לִי בַּמֶּה תֵּאָסֵר׃
11 He said, “If I were to be bound with new ropes that had never been used, I would become as weak as an ordinary man.”
יא וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלֶיהָ אִם־אָסוֹר יַאַסְרוּנִי בַּעֲבֹתִים חֲדָשִׁים אֲשֶׁר לֹא־נַעֲשָׂה בָהֶם מְלָאכָה וְחָלִיתִי וְהָיִיתִי כְּאַחַד הָאָדָם׃
13 Then Delilah said to Shimshon, “You have been deceiving me all along; you have been lying to me! Tell me, how could you be tied up?” He answered her, “If you weave seven locks of my head into the web.”
יג וַתֹּאמֶר דְּלִילָה אֶל־שִׁמְשׁוֹן עַד־הֵנָּה הֵתַלְתָּ בִּי וַתְּדַבֵּר אֵלַי כְּזָבִים הַגִּידָה לִּי בַּמֶּה תֵּאָסֵר וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלֶיהָ אִם־תַּאַרְגִי אֶת־שֶׁבַע מַחְלְפוֹת רֹאשִׁי עִם־הַמַּסָּכֶת׃
15 Then she said to him, “How can you say you love me, when you don’t confide in me? This makes three times that you’ve deceived me and haven’t told me what makes you so strong.”
טו וַתֹּאמֶר אֵלָיו אֵיךְ תֹּאמַר אֲהַבְתִּיךְ וְלִבְּךָ אֵין אִתִּי זֶה שָׁלֹשׁ פְּעָמִים הֵתַלְתָּ בִּי וְלֹא־הִגַּדְתָּ לִּי בַּמֶּה כֹּחֲךָ גָדוֹל׃
16 Finally, after she had nagged him and pressed him constantly, he was wearied to death
טז וַיְהִי כִּי־הֵצִיקָה לּוֹ בִדְבָרֶיהָ כָּל־הַיָּמִים וַתְּאַלֲצֵהוּ וַתִּקְצַר נַפְשׁוֹ לָמוּת׃
17 and he confided everything to her. He said to her, “No razor has ever touched my head, for I have been a nazirite to Hashem since I was in my mother’s womb. If my hair were cut, my strength would leave me and I should become as weak as an ordinary man.”
יז וַיַּגֶּד־לָהּ אֶת־כָּל־לִבּוֹ וַיֹּאמֶר לָהּ מוֹרָה לֹא־עָלָה עַל־רֹאשִׁי כִּי־נְזִיר אֱלֹהִים אֲנִי מִבֶּטֶן אִמִּי אִם־גֻּלַּחְתִּי וְסָר מִמֶּנִּי כֹחִי וְחָלִיתִי וְהָיִיתִי כְּכָל־הָאָדָם׃
18 Sensing that he had confided everything to her, Delilah sent for the lords of the Philistines, with this message: “Come up once more, for he has confided everything to me.” And the lords of the Philistines came up and brought the money with them.
יח וַתֵּרֶא דְלִילָה כִּי־הִגִּיד לָהּ אֶת־כָּל־לִבּוֹ וַתִּשְׁלַח וַתִּקְרָא לְסַרְנֵי פְלִשְׁתִּים לֵאמֹר עֲלוּ הַפַּעַם כִּי־הִגִּיד לה [לִי] אֶת־כָּל־לִבּוֹ וְעָלוּ אֵלֶיהָ סַרְנֵי פְלִשְׁתִּים וַיַּעֲלוּ הַכֶּסֶף בְּיָדָם׃
19 She lulled him to sleep on her lap. Then she called in a man, and she had him cut off the seven locks of his head; thus she weakened him and made him helpless: his strength slipped away from him.
יט וַתְּיַשְּׁנֵהוּ עַל־בִּרְכֶּיהָ וַתִּקְרָא לָאִישׁ וַתְּגַלַּח אֶת־שֶׁבַע מַחְלְפוֹת רֹאשׁוֹ וַתָּחֶל לְעַנּוֹתוֹ וַיָּסַר כֹּחוֹ מֵעָלָיו׃
20 She cried, “Shimshon, the Philistines are upon you!” And he awoke from his sleep, thinking he would break loose and shake himself free as he had the other times. For he did not know that Hashem had departed from him.
21 The Philistines seized him and gouged out his eyes. They brought him down to Azza and shackled him in bronze fetters, and he became a mill slave in the prison.
כא וַיֹּאחֲזוּהוּ פְלִשְׁתִּים וַיְנַקְּרוּ אֶת־עֵינָיו וַיּוֹרִידוּ אוֹתוֹ עַזָּתָה וַיַּאַסְרוּהוּ בַּנְחֻשְׁתַּיִם וַיְהִי טוֹחֵן בְּבֵית האסירים [הָאֲסוּרִים׃]
22 After his hair was cut off, it began to grow back.
כב וַיָּחֶל שְׂעַר־רֹאשׁוֹ לְצַמֵּחַ כַּאֲשֶׁר גֻּלָּח׃
כג וְסַרְנֵי פְלִשְׁתִּים נֶאֱסְפוּ לִזְבֹּחַ זֶבַח־גָּדוֹל לְדָגוֹן אֱלֹהֵיהֶם וּלְשִׂמְחָה וַיֹּאמְרוּ נָתַן אֱלֹהֵינוּ בְּיָדֵנוּ אֵת שִׁמְשׁוֹן אוֹיְבֵינוּ׃
24 When the people saw him, they sang praises to their god, chanting, “Our god has delivered into our hands The enemy who devastated our land, And who slew so many of us.”
כד וַיִּרְאוּ אֹתוֹ הָעָם וַיְהַלְלוּ אֶת־אֱלֹהֵיהֶם כִּי אָמְרוּ נָתַן אֱלֹהֵינוּ בְיָדֵנוּ אֶת־אוֹיְבֵנוּ וְאֵת מַחֲרִיב אַרְצֵנוּ וַאֲשֶׁר הִרְבָּה אֶת־חֲלָלֵינוּ׃
26 And Shimshon said to the boy who was leading him by the hand, “Let go of me and let me feel the pillars that the temple rests upon, that I may lean on them.”
כו וַיֹּאמֶר שִׁמְשׁוֹן אֶל־הַנַּעַר הַמַּחֲזִיק בְּיָדוֹ הַנִּיחָה אוֹתִי והימשני [וַהֲמִשֵׁנִי] אֶת־הָעַמֻּדִים אֲשֶׁר הַבַּיִת נָכוֹן עֲלֵיהֶם וְאֶשָּׁעֵן עֲלֵיהֶם׃
כז וְהַבַּיִת מָלֵא הָאֲנָשִׁים וְהַנָּשִׁים וְשָׁמָּה כֹּל סַרְנֵי פְלִשְׁתִּים וְעַל־הַגָּג כִּשְׁלֹשֶׁת אֲלָפִים אִישׁ וְאִשָּׁה הָרֹאִים בִּשְׂחוֹק שִׁמְשׁוֹן׃
29 He embraced the two middle pillars that the temple rested upon, one with his right arm and one with his left, and leaned against them;
כט וַיִּלְפֹּת שִׁמְשׁוֹן אֶת־שְׁנֵי עַמּוּדֵי הַתָּוֶךְ אֲשֶׁר הַבַּיִת נָכוֹן עֲלֵיהֶם וַיִּסָּמֵךְ עֲלֵיהֶם אֶחָד בִּימִינוֹ וְאֶחָד בִּשְׂמֹאלוֹ׃
30 Shimshon cried, “Let me die with the Philistines!” and he pulled with all his might. The temple came crashing down on the lords and on all the people in it. Those who were slain by him as he died outnumbered those who had been slain by him when he lived.
va-YO-mer shim-SHON ta-MOT naf-SHEE im p’-lish-TEEM va-YAYT b’-KHO-akh va-yi-POL ha-BA-yit al ha-s’-ra-NEEM v’-al kol ha-AM a-sher BO va-yih-YU ha-may-TEEM a-SHER hay-MEET b’-mo-TO ra-BEEM may-a-SHER hay-MEET b’-kha-YAV
ל וַיֹּאמֶר שִׁמְשׁוֹן תָּמוֹת נַפְשִׁי עִם־פְּלִשְׁתִּים וַיֵּט בְּכֹחַ וַיִּפֹּל הַבַּיִת עַל־הַסְּרָנִים וְעַל־כָּל־הָעָם אֲשֶׁר־בּוֹ וַיִּהְיוּ הַמֵּתִים אֲשֶׁר הֵמִית בְּמוֹתוֹ רַבִּים מֵאֲשֶׁר הֵמִית בְּחַיָּיו׃
Shimshon’s prayer to die among his Philistine oppressors, taking his own life for the sake of his people, is one of the most stirring scenes in the Bible. Shimshon has served as a model for soldiers of Israel who have been willing to give up their lives to save the Jewish people. A moving modern example is the story of Major Ro’i Klein, who, during the Second Lebanon War in 2006, jumped on a grenade, shielding his comrades from the explosion with his own body. Dying with the holy words of Shema Yisrael (שמע ישראל), “Hear O Israel, Hashem is Our God, Hashem is One” on his lips, Ro’i Klein sacrificed his life to save other soldiers who were fighting for Eretz Yisrael.1 comment