The Story of Samson

God had plans for his people. Listen to the story of Samson.

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Memory Verse

His parents did not know that this was from the Lord, who was seeking an occasion to confront the Philistines; for at that time they were ruling over Israel.

Judges 14:4​
Story Characters

Narrator
Angel
Manoah
Manoah's wife
Samson
Philistine
Philistine 2
Philistines
Wife to Be
Father-in-law
Delilah
Messenger
Servant
Soldier

Transcript

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NARRATOR

There came a time when the Israelites, God’s chosen people, had turned away from God. So God allowed the Philistines to rule over them, but God hadn’t  given up on his people. He still had plans for them. One day he sent an angel to a man named Menoah and his wife.

ANGEL

I’m here as a messenger of the Lord to tell you that you will become pregnant.

WIFE

But...but I am barren.

ANGEL

Your Lord can do miracles. But you must obey him.

MENOAH

If this is true--if God is giving us this child--how are we to raise him?

ANGEL

He must never drink fermented drink. Nor should he ever, ever cut his hair.

WIFE

We...we will make sure of that. Menoah...we are to have a child!

MENOAH

(awe)

And God is going to do great things through him.

NARRATOR

True to the Angel’s word, Menoah and his wife had a baby, and they named him Samson. He grew and was blessed by the Lord. As he became a man, he was known to be the strongest in the land.

SAMSON’S PARENTS’ HOME - YEARS LATER

Samson--now a man in his young twenties--comes in the door.

SAMSON

Mother, Father, I’m home!

WIFE

Hello, Samson! Dinner is on the table.

SAMSON

I have something I need you to do for me.

MENOAH

What is it, Son?

SAMSON

I met a girl. She’s very pretty.

MENOAH

Oh, no.

SAMSON

You must introduce me. I intend to marry her.

WIFE

Do we know her family?

SAMSON

Probably not. She’s...a...uh...Philistine.

MENOAH

Samson!

WIFE

A Philistine?

MENOAH

Can’t you choose a wife from our own people? One who honors our Lord?

SAMSON

I’ve already decided. She will be my wife.

NARRATOR

Samson’s parents didn’t want to do this, but he eventually convinced them. And the two were engaged to be married. One day, some time before the wedding, Samson was walking the fields, when a lion jumped out at him.

SAMSON

Ah...Father will be happy at how well the grain is growing... 

Lion roar.

SAMSON (CONT’D)

Ah! Beast...stop.

SAMSON (CONT’D)

(grunts) Get off...lion! I won’t be your lunch today.

Wrestles lion. Lion continues growling, Samson grunting.

SAMSON (CONT’D)

Take that! 

Lion roars in pain. Then whimpers.

SAMSON (CONT’D)

And I’ll make sure that you never attack another person again.

I have the strength to kill a lion. (beat) Imagine what else I could do. 

NARRATOR

Samson told no one that he had killed the lion. But a short time later, on his way to his wedding feast, he noticed that bees had built a honeycomb in the lion’s carcass. That gave him an idea. He went on to the feast, which in those days lasted for seven days.

PHILISTINE

Ah...the groom at his wedding feast. Never thought I’d be attending the wedding of an Israelite. Do you really think you’re good enough?

SAMSON

I am a man of great strength and intelligence. Worthy of a beautiful Philistine wife.

PHILISTINE

(laughs) You think you’re smart? Worthy?

SAMSON

Well, if you think you’re smarter than I am, perhaps you can solve a riddle.

PHILISTINE

I’m quite good with riddles.

SAMSON

Then might we attach a wager to it?

PHILISTINE

Certainly. That makes it even more fun.

SAMSON

If you can solve my riddle, I’ll give you 30 sets of clothes. But if you can’t, YOU will give ME the 30 sets of clothes.

PHILISTINE

I’ll take that wager. Now...what is this riddle?

SAMSON

Out of the eater, something to eat; out of the strong, something sweet.

PHILISTINE

Huh?

SAMSON

You have until the end of the wedding celebration to give me your answer.

NARRATOR

Now, of course Samson was talking about the honey in the body of the dead lion. But it was a tricky riddle. The Philistine talked with his friends, but they still couldn’t figure it out. So instead of coming up with an answer, they came up with a plan.

PHILISTINE 2

We won’t be able to figure this out, but you could find out the answer. 

PHILISTINE

(irritated) How exactly am I supposed to do that?

PHILISTINE 2

Samson is betrothed to be married. That’s his weakness. His wife-to-be can find out the answer for us.

PHILISTINE

But even if he told her the answer, why would she tell us?

PHILISTINE 2

(with evil intentions) We’ll give her a reason to.

PHILISTINE

If you don’t find out for us, Little Miss, we’ll burn your father’s household. We will kill your whole family.

WIFE-TO-BE

But...but Samson’s never mentioned the riddle. I don’t know the answer! Please! I beg you...don’t hurt my family.

PHILISTINE

Well, then, you’d better find out the answer.

SAMSON

Darling, what’s wrong? You should be full of joy. This is a week of celebration.

WIFE-TO-BE

Oh, Samson, how can I celebrate when the man who is supposed to love me keeps secrets from me?

SAMSON

Secrets? What are you talking about?

WIFE-TO-BE

I heard about the riddle. The strong and sweet. But here I am, the woman you say you love, but you don’t tell me these things. You don’t really love me at all.

SAMSON

But I do love you. I promise you I do.

WIFE-TO-BE

If that’s true, then tell me the answer.

NARRATOR

It took a lot of persuading – Samson’s fiancée asked him every day that week! -- but eventually Samson gave in and told her the answer. She then immediately told the men he’d made the wager with.

PHILISTINE

Samson! It’s been quite the celebration this week.

SAMSON

Indeed. And it’s also the last day for you to solve my riddle. Have you brought me the 30 sets of clothes?

PHILISTINE

I come with something better. The answer to your riddle.

SAMSON

Oh?

PHILISTINE

What could be sweeter than honey? Or stronger than a lion? Surely, the answer must be honey in the body of a lion.

SAMSON

I...I...how?

PHILISTINE

If you could get those clothes delivered next week, that would be fine.

SAMSON

(growing angry) But...there’s no way...

PHILISTINE

Seems like you’re a bit of a bad loser, Samson.

SAMSON

(realizing) My wife-to-be. You got her to tell you, didn’t you? You lying cheat!

PHILISTINE

Perhaps, but one who has the right answer. Pay up, Samson.

SAMSON

(roars in anger)

NARRATOR

Samson was angry. In fact, he was so angry he went out and killed 30 men in town, and gave their clothes to the man who’d won the bet.

SAMSON

I’ve paid up what I owe. Now...where’s my wife?

FATHER-IN-LAW

Your wife?

SAMSON

My wife-to-be? Your daughter! You promised her to me. We’re getting married today!

FATHER-IN-LAW

I...I didn’t think you’d still want to marry her after what she did. I...I had her marry your best man instead.

SAMSON

What??!

NARRATOR

Throughout Samson’s life, he showed quite a temper. His strength was growing every day. He was by far the strongest man in the land. But his temper was growing right along with his strength. And this latest bit of news made him even angrier – so angry that he set fire to the fields of the Philistines, destroying their crops. But Samson didn’t learn his lesson from any of this. Soon he fell in love again...with another Philistine woman, named Delilah. And he married her.

DELILAH

I’m so happy, Samson.

SAMSON

So am I, Delilah.

NARRATOR

But soon, something very familiar developed. Just like to what happened with Samson’s first fiancée.

PHILISTINE

(secretive) Delilah, if you tell us what we have to do to make Samson lose his strength, we will each reward you with eleven-hundred pieces of silver. 

Other evil men agree/confirm.

DELILAH

(pleased, sly) Well...I’ll see what I can do.

NARRATOR

So she asked Samson. And he told her that if he was tied up with seven fresh bowstrings he would lose his superior strength. This wasn’t true, of course, but Delilah told the Philistine leaders, and while Samson slept, they tied him with the seven bowstrings.

PHILISTINE

(hushed, effort as tying)

There! The last one! Now...let’s see what happens. Delilah?

DELILAH

(faking) Samson. Oh, Samson, wake up! The Philistines are here!

SAMSON

(groggy at first) What? Where? Why are my arms... (efforts, as breaking) Who tied me up?

PHILISTINE 2

He’s free! The cords didn’t hold him!

SAMSON

(roars) How dare you! I’ll make you pay for this!

NARRATOR

Three more times Delilah begged Samson to tell her the secret of his strength. Each time the same thing happened: he would lied to her, she then told the Philistine rulers, they tried to capture him, and Samson again proved his strength. Until finally one day...

DELILAH

(weepy, whiney) How can you say, ‘I love you,’ when you won’t tell me the truth? Over and over, you’ve made a fool of me and haven’t told me the secret of your great strength. Yet we’re married, and I can’t know your secrets--

SAMSON

Fine! Stop, woman! (beat) I’ll tell you.

DELILAH

(stops crying, skeptical) The truth?

SAMSON

It’s my hair. No razor has ever been used on my head because I have been a Nazirite dedicated to God from my mother’s womb. If my head were shaved, my strength would leave me, and I would become as weak as any other man.

DELILAH

And that is the real reason for your strength?

SAMSON

Yes, it is. Now, will you stop nagging me? Let me rest. 

Delilah opens door. Town noises can be heard.

DELILAH

(To Samson) Alright. I’ll be gone for a little while. (To herself) It’s time to collect my reward and tell our leaders that I know everything now. (beat) Everything.

DELILAH

(faux alarm) Samson! Samson! Oh no! The Philistines are here!

SAMSON

Again! Woman! Just leave me be!

EVIL MAN

Get him, men!

They tackle him. Samson tries to fight them off.

DELILAH

They’re....they’re tying you up. Fight back!

SAMSON

(struggling) I...I can’t! (efforts) My strength...it’s gone!

NARRATOR

The Philistines had finally done it. They had shaved Samson’s head, and the Lord had removed his blessing. Samson’s arrogance had caused him to break his oath to the Lord. The Philistines enslaved Samson, tying him up and mocking him. They gouged out his eyes so he could no longer see. Sometime later, thousands of the wealthiest and most powerful Philistines gathered for a feast. And the people called out to see Samson, so they could mock the man who used to be so strong.

SOLDIER

Bring him this way. He can stand here where everyone can see him.

YOUNG SERVANT

Come this way, Samson.

SAMSON

I’m coming. Can you lead me between the pillars? I could just rest against them.

YOUNG SERVANT

Why not? Here, put out your hand – there. You’re between the main pillars of the temple now.

SOLDIER

Remember when you were strong? When people feared you?

SAMSON

Yes. I remember.

SOLDIER

(Announcing) Samson ruined our crops and killed our people. He was our enemy, but our god helped us capture him. 

NARRATOR

But what the people didn’t notice was that in his time of captivity, Samson’s hair had begun to grow again.

SAMSON

(praying quietly) Please remember me, Lord God. Please, God, make me strong just one more time. Let me pay the Philistines back for what they did to my two eyes. Let me do it with only one blow. Samson reaches toward the two pillars that were in the middle of the temple. He leans hard against them.

SOLDIER

Look at him! Leaning his weight against the pillars. He can barely stand on his own.

YOUNG SERVANT

What...I think some pieces from the ceiling are falling...

SOLDIER

It’s Samson! He’s pushing against the pillars!

Bigger pieces start to fall. Crowd begins to panic

SOLDIER

Stop him! He’ll bring the whole place down.

SAMSON

(shouting) God, help me! (grunt of effort) Let me die with the Philistines!

YOUNG SERVANT

Nooo! People scream. Pillars collapse. Roof caves in. Rubble everywhere. Then...silence.

NARRATOR

Samson died that day, along with thousands of the Philistines. The Bible tells us that Samson killed more of his enemies on that day than he had during the whole rest of his life. Samson served God for 20 years, but in his pride and arrogance, he disobeyed the Lord. He was humbled and broken--but at the end, he turned back to God, and God used him to accomplish his purposes.

If you would like read more about Samson and how God worked through people like Deborah, Gideon and others, check out to book of Judges in the Old Testament part of your Bible.

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