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The Defeat and Death of Samson

INTRODUCTION: In Samson, we see a strange mixture of great strength and great weakness. He has great physical strength, but he has a terrible weakness in his desire for women. He has already gotten into much trouble because of the woman from Timnath. This chapter has him being taken by two other women and finally losing his strength, his sight (the eyes that got him into so much trouble) and his life.

His life is a riddle—much like the riddle that he tells to his companions. His riddle tells of a lion (a symbol of great strength) and honey (a symbol of great sweetness – see Proverbs 25:16, 27). In the end, the lion is beaten by the honey. Samson’s strength is destroyed by his lust after the so-called sweet things of the flesh. He chooses “to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season” (Hebrews 11:25), but finds that lust “bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death” (James 1:15).

  1. SAMSON VISITS A HARLOT (Judges 16:1-3)
    1. He Visits a Harlot in Gaza (Judges 16:1).
      1. Gaza is a stronghold of the Philistines.
      2. Samson goes in unto the harlot.
    2. He Is Trapped by the Men of Gaza (Judges 16:2).
      1. The Gazites learn of Samsons arrival.
      2. They compass him in, and lay wait for him through the night.
      3. They determine to kill him in the morning.
    3. He Escapes with the Gates of the City (Judges 16:3).
      1. Samson arises before morning.
      2. He takes the doors of the gate, and the two posts, and goes away with them.
      3. He carries the gate from Gaza to the top of a hill just before Hebron. Note: This trip would have been nearly forty miles.
  2. SAMSON LOVES DELILAH (Judges 16:4-14)
    1. He Loves a Woman Named Delilah (Judges 16:4).
    2. She Is Offered Great Wealth to Betray Him (Judges 16:5).
      1. The lords desire to know the object of Samsons great strength.
      2. They offer her eleven hundred pieces of silver each.
    3. The First Answer: Seven Green Withs (Judges 16:6-9)
      1. Delilah asks the question (Judges 16:6).
      2. Samson answers (Judges 16:7).
        1. If they bind him with seven green withs that have never been dried, then he will be as another man.
        2. Withs must be some type of a plant stalk that would be pliable enough to bind a man. The term green signifies that they still had life in them.
      3. The Philistines make their move (Judges 16:8-9).
      4. Samson breaks free from the withs (Judges 16:9).
        1. She cries out to Samson that the Philistines are upon him.
        2. He breaks the withs as a thread of tow when it touches the fire.
    4. The Second Answer: New Ropes (Judges 16:10-12)
      1. Delilah asks Samson again (Judges 16:10).
      2. Samson responds (Judges 16:11).
        1. If they bind him with new ropes that never were occupied
        2. Then shall he be weak and be as another man
      3. Delilah and the Philistines make their move (Judges 16:12).
      4. Samson breaks free (Judges 16:12).
    5. The Third Answer: Hair Woven in a Web (Judges 16:13-14)
      1. Delilah asks for the third time (Judges 16:13).
      2. Samson responds (Judges 16:13).
        1. If they weave seven locks of his head with the web
        2. Then he will be weak
      3. The Philistines make their move, but Samson breaks free (Judges 16:14).
  3. SAMSON LOSES HIS STRENGTH (Judges 16:15-21)
    1. Delilahs Persistence Weakens Samson (Judges 16:15-17).
      1. Delilah presses for an answer (Judges 16:15-16).
        1. Delilah pulls an old trick on Samson (Judges 16:15).
          1. His first wife: Thou dost but hate me, and lovest me not (Judges 14:16).
          2. Delilah: How canst thou say, I love thee, when thine heart is not with me?
        2. Delilah remains persistent (Judges 16:16).
          1. She presses him daily with her words.
          2. She urges him, so that his soul is vexed unto death.
      2. Samson tells her the truth (Judges 16:17).
        1. He tells her all his heart.
        2. He tells her that if he be shaven, then his strength will depart.
    2. Delilah Betrays Him to the Philistines (Judges 16:18-20).
      1. She is certain that she now knows the source of his strength (Judges 16:18).
      2. She is certain that she now knows the source of his strength (Judges 16:18).
      3. He rises up, but does not know that his strength is gone (Judges 16:20).
    3. Samson is Blinded and Imprisoned (Judges 16:21).
      1. The Philistines put out his eyes.
      2. They bring him down to Gaza.
      3. They bind him with fetters of brass.
  4. SAMSON TAKES HIS LIFE (Judges 16:22-31)
    1. Samsons Hair Begins to Grow (Judges 16:22).
    2. The Philistines Offer a Sacrifice to Dagon (Judges 16:23-24).
      1. They offer a sacrifice to Dagon for delivering up Samson (Judges 16:23).
      2. When they see Samson, they offer up praise to Dagon (Judges 16:24).
    3. The People Make Sport of Samson (Judges 16:25-27).
      1. He is brought out for sport (Judges 16:25).
      2. He asks to be leaned against pillars that support the house (Judges 16:26).
      3. The place is full of people (Judges 16:27).
        1. It is full of men, women, and the lords of the Philistines.
        2. There are about three thousand men and women on the roof.
    4. Samson Destroys Himself and the Philistines (Judges 16:28-31).
      1. He calls upon God for strength (Judges 16:28).
      2. He breaks away two pillars upon which the house stood (Judges 16:29-30).
      3. He kills more in his death than he does in his life (Judges 16:30).
      4. His brethren come to gather his body and bury him (Judges 16:31).

CONCLUSION: God uses Samson to “begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines” (Judges 13:5), but Samson does not get to stay around for the final victory. How about you? What would hinder you from completing what God would have you do?