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The Strongest Man

The Strongest Man

DO YOU know the name of the strongest man who ever lived? He is a judge named Samson. It is Jehovah who gives Samson his strength. Even before Samson is born, Jehovah tells his mother: ‘Soon you will have a son. He will take a lead in saving Israel from the Phi·lisʹtines.’

The Phi·lisʹtines are bad people who live in Caʹnaan. They have many fighting men, and they really hurt the Israelites. Once, when Samson is on his way to where the Phi·lisʹtines live, a big lion comes roaring out to meet him. But Samson kills the lion with only his bare hands. He also kills hundreds of bad Phi·lisʹtines.

Later Samson falls in love with a woman named De·liʹlah. The Phi·lisʹtine leaders promise that each of them will give De·liʹlah 1,100 pieces of silver if she tells them what makes Samson so strong. De·liʹlah wants all that money. She is not a true friend of Samson, or of God’s people. So she keeps asking Samson what it is that makes him so strong.

Finally, De·liʹlah gets Samson to tell her the secret of his strength. ‘My hair has never been cut,’ he says. ‘From the time that I was born, God chose me to be a special servant of his called a Nazʹi·rite. If my hair was cut, I would lose my strength.’

Well, when De·liʹlah learns this, she has Samson go to sleep on her lap. Then she calls a man to come in and cut his hair. When Samson wakes up, he has lost his strength. The Phi·lisʹtines then come in and capture him. They put out both his eyes, and make him their slave.

One day the Phi·lisʹtines have a big party to worship their god Dagon, and they bring Samson out of prison to make fun of him. In the meantime, Samson’s hair has grown again. Samson says to the boy who is leading him by the hand: ‘Let me touch the pillars that hold the building up.’ Then Samson prays to Jehovah for strength, and takes hold of the pillars. He cries out: ‘Let me die with the Phi·lisʹtines.’ There are 3,000 Phi·lisʹtines at the party, and when Samson bends himself against the pillars the building falls down and kills all these bad people.