Judges 16:1-31 Comments by Stephen Ricker
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Samson's Fall and Return
Comments for Study 15

Judges 16:1-31
Memory Verse: 16:30

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I. Samson Resists Temptation (16:1-12)

>1. What was Gaza and why did Samson go there? (1)

* Judges 16:1 "One day Samson went to Gaza, where he saw a prostitute. He went in to spend the night with her."

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>What did his enemies believe? (2)

* Judges 16:2 "The people of Gaza were told, "Samson is here!" So they surrounded the place and lay in wait for him all night at the city gate. They made no move during the night, saying, "At dawn we'll kill him."

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>When he left what did he do with the city gates? (3)

* Judges 16:3 "But Samson lay there only until the middle of the night. Then he got up and took hold of the doors of the city gate, together with the two posts, and tore them loose, bar and all. He lifted them to his shoulders and carried them to the top of the hill that faces Hebron."

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>Why might he put them on the hill that faces Hebron?

* "Hebron" -Hebron is a place name and personal name meaning association or league. It was a major city in the hill country of Judah about nineteen miles south of Jerusalem and fifteen miles west of the Dead Sea. The region is over 3,000 feet above sea level. The surrounding area has an abundant water supply, and its rich soil is excellent for agriculture. According to archaeological research the site has been occupied almost continuously since about 3300 B.C.

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>2. What did his love for a Philistine lead to? (4-5)

* Judges 16:4-5 "Some time later, he fell in love with a woman in the Valley of Sorek whose name was Delilah. The rulers of the Philistines went to her and said, "See if you can lure him into showing you the secret of his great strength and how we can overpower him so we may tie him up and subdue him. Each one of us will give you eleven hundred shekels of silver."

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>How did Samson resist Delilah's trap? (6-9)

* Judges 16:6-9 "So Delilah said to Samson, "Tell me the secret of your great strength and how you can be tied up and subdued." Samson answered her, "If anyone ties me with seven fresh thongs that have not been dried, I'll become as weak as any other man." Then the rulers of the Philistines brought her seven fresh thongs that had not been dried, and she tied him with them. With men hidden in the room, she called to him, "Samson, the Philistines are upon you!" But he snapped the thongs as easily as a piece of string snaps when it comes close to a flame. So the secret of his strength was not discovered."

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>Did Samson plan this as in earlier situations?

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>3. How did Delilah try to trick him again? (10-11)

* Judges 16:10-11 "Then Delilah said to Samson, "You have made a fool of me; you lied to me. Come now, tell me how you can be tied. "He said, "If anyone ties me securely with new ropes that have never been used, I'll become as weak as any other man.""

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>Was she successful? (12)

* Judges 16:12 "So Delilah took new ropes and tied him with them. Then, with men hidden in the room, she called to him, "Samson, the Philistines are upon you!" But he snapped the ropes off his arms as if they were threads."

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>Was Samson wise for staying with her? (Pro. 6:23-28)

* Proverbs 6:23-28 "For these commands are a lamp, this teaching is a light, and the corrections of discipline are the way to life, keeping you from the immoral woman, from the smooth tongue of the wayward wife. Do not lust in your heart after her beauty or let her captivate you with her eyes, for the prostitute reduces you to a loaf of bread, and the adulteress preys upon your very life. Can a man scoop fire into his lap without his clothes being burned? Can a man walk on hot coals without his feet being scorched?"

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II. Samson Falls to Temptation (16:13-22)

>4. Was her third attempt to trap him successful? (13-14)

* Judges 16:13-14 "Delilah then said to Samson, "Until now, you have been making a fool of me and lying to me. Tell me how you can be tied." He replied, "If you weave the seven braids of my head into the fabric [on the loom] and tighten it with the pin, I'll become as weak as any other man." So while he was sleeping, Delilah took the seven braids of his head, wove them into the fabric and tightened it with the pin. Again she called to him, "Samson, the Philistines are upon you!" He awoke from his sleep and pulled up the pin and the loom, with the fabric."

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>What should he have realized by now?

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>5. Did Samson and Delilah love each other as they told each other? (15)

* Judges 16:15 "Then she said to him, "How can you say, 'I love you,' when you won't confide in me? This is the third time you have made a fool of me and haven't told me the secret of your great strength."

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>What shows her lack of love and respect for him? (16)

* Judges 16:16 "With such nagging she prodded him day after day until he was tired to death."

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>What is love? (1 John 4:7-12; and 1 Cor. 13:4-7)

* 1 John 4:7-12 "Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us."

* 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres."

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>6. What could Samson finally not resist to do? (17)

* Judges 16:17 "So he told her everything. "No razor has ever been used on my head," he said, "because I have been a Nazirite set apart to God since birth. If my head were shaved, my strength would leave me, and I would become as weak as any other man."

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>How did Delilah know he was telling the truth? (18-19)

* Judges 16:18-19 "When Delilah saw that he had told her everything, she sent word to the rulers of the Philistines, "Come back once more; he has told me everything." So the rulers of the Philistines returned with the silver in their hands. Having put him to sleep on her lap, she called a man to shave off the seven braids of his hair, and so began to subdue him. And his strength left him."

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>What did Samson forget about the true source of his strength? (20)

* Judges 16:20 "Then she called, "Samson, the Philistines are upon you!" He awoke from his sleep and thought, "I'll go out as before and shake myself free." But he did not know that the LORD had left him."

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>What was the result? (21-22)

* Judges 16:21-22 "Then the Philistines seized him, gouged out his eyes and took him down to Gaza. Binding him with bronze shackles, they set him to grinding in the prison. But the hair on his head began to grow again after it had been shaved."

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III. Samson's Death (16:23-31)

>7. What did the Philistines not understand? (23-24)

* Judges 16:23-24 "Now the rulers of the Philistines assembled to offer a great sacrifice to Dagon their god and to celebrate, saying, "Our god has delivered Samson, our enemy, into our hands. When the people saw him, they praised their god, saying, "Our god has delivered our enemy into our hands, the one who laid waste our land and multiplied our slain."

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>Why is it that those who do not know the Lord Jesus stay in such darkness? (Rom. 2:8; and 2 Timothy 3:1-9; Titus 1:10-16)

* Romans 2:8 "But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger."

* 2 Timothy 3:1-9 "But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God-- having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them. They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over weak-willed women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, always learning but never able to acknowledge the truth. Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these men oppose the truth--men of depraved minds, who, as far as the faith is concerned, are rejected. But they will not get very far because, as in the case of those men, their folly will be clear to everyone."

* Titus 1:10-16 "For there are many rebellious people, mere talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision group. They must be silenced, because they are ruining whole households by teaching things they ought not to teach--and that for the sake of dishonest gain. Even one of their own prophets has said, "Cretans are always liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons." This testimony is true. Therefore, rebuke them sharply, so that they will be sound in the faith and will pay no attention to Jewish myths or to the commands of those who reject the truth. To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted. They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good."

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>8. What were the Philistines to blind to see about the source of Samson's strength? (25)

* Judges 16:25 "While they were in high spirits, they shouted, "Bring out Samson to entertain us." So they called Samson out of the prison, and he performed for them. When they stood him among the pillars,"

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>What did he tell the servant to do? (26)

* Judges 16:26 "Samson said to the servant who held his hand, "Put me where I can feel the pillars that support the temple, so that I may lean against them."

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>Why? (27)

* Judges 16:27 "Now the temple was crowded with men and women; all the rulers of the Philistines were there, and on the roof were about three thousand men and women watching Samson perform."

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>9. What can we learn about Samson from his prayer? (28)

* Judges 16:28 "Then Samson prayed to the LORD, "O Sovereign LORD, remember me. O God, please strengthen me just once more, and let me with one blow get revenge on the Philistines for my two eyes."

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>How did he act in faith? (29)

* Judges 16:29 "Then Samson reached toward the two central pillars on which the temple stood. Bracing himself against them, his right hand on the one and his left hand on the other,"

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>What does his claim "Let me die with the Philistines!" tell us? (30)

* Judges 16:30 "Samson said, "Let me die with the Philistines!" Then he pushed with all his might, and down came the temple on the rulers and all the people in it. Thus he killed many more when he died than while he lived."

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>10. Where was he buried? (31)

* Judges 16:31 "Then his brothers and his father's whole family went down to get him. They brought him back and buried him between Zorah and Eshtaol in the tomb of Manoah his father. He had led Israel twenty years."

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>What can be learned about the Lord through Samson's sacrificial death?

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