May 13

Judges 16

1Now Samson went to Gaza, and there he saw a loose woman and went in to her.

2And it was said to the Gazites, Samson is here. So they went round, watching for him all day at the doorway of the town, but at night they kept quiet, saying, When daylight comes we will put him to death.

3And Samson was there till the middle of the night; then he got up, and took a grip on the doors of the town, pulling them up, together with their two supports and their locks, and put them on his back and took them up to the top of the hill in front of Hebron.

4Now after this, he was in love with a woman in the valley of Sorek, named Delilah.

5And the chiefs of the Philistines came up to her, and said to her, Make use of your power over him and see what is the secret of his great strength, and how we may get the better of him, and put bands on him, so that we may make him feeble; and every one of us will give you eleven hundred shekels of silver.

6So Delilah said to Samson, Make clear to me now what is the secret of your great strength, and how you may be put in bands and made feeble.

7And Samson said to her, If seven new bow-cords which have never been made dry are knotted round me, I will become feeble and will be like any other man.

8So the chiefs of the Philistines gave her seven new bow-cords which had never been made dry, and she had them tightly knotted round him.

9Now she had men waiting secretly in the inner room; and she said to him, The Philistines are on you, Samson. And the cords were broken by him as a twist of thread is broken when touched by a flame. So the secret of his strength did not come to light.

10Then Delilah said to Samson, See, you have been making sport of me with false words; now, say truly how may you be put in bands?

11And he said to her, If they only put round me new thick cords which have never been used, then I will become feeble and will be like any other man.

12So Delilah took new thick cords, knotting them tightly round him, and said to him, The Philistines are on you, Samson. And men were waiting secretly in the inner room. And the cords were broken off his arms like threads.

13Then Delilah said to Samson, Up to now you have made sport of me with false words; now say truly, how may you be put in bands? And he said to her, If you get the seven twists of my hair worked into the cloth you are making and fixed with the pin, I will become feeble and will be like any other man.

14So while he was sleeping she got the seven twists of his hair worked into her cloth and fixed with the pin, and said to him, The Philistines are on you, Samson. Then awaking from his sleep, he got up quickly, pulling up cloth and machine together.

15And she said to him, Why do you say you are my lover when your heart is not mine? Three times you have made sport of me, and have not made clear to me the secret of your great strength.

16So day after day she gave him no peace, for ever questioning him till his soul was troubled to death.

17And opening all his heart to her, he said to her, My head has never been touched by a blade, for I have been separate to God from the day of my birth: if my hair is cut off, then my strength will go from me and I will become feeble, and will be like any other man.

18And when Delilah saw that he had let her see into his heart, she sent word to the chiefs of the Philistines saying, Come up this time, for he has let out all his heart to me. Then the chiefs of the Philistines came to her, with the money in their hands.

19And she made him go to sleep on her knees; and she sent for a man and had his seven twists of hair cut off; and while it was being done he became feeble and his strength went from him.

20Then she said, The Philistines are on you, Samson. And awaking from his sleep, he said, I will go out as at other times, shaking myself free. But he was not conscious that the Lord had gone from him.

21So the Philistines took him and put out his eyes; then they took him down to Gaza, and, chaining him with bands of brass, put him to work crushing grain in the prison-house.

22But the growth of his hair was starting again after it had been cut off.

23And the chiefs of the Philistines came together to make a great offering to Dagon their god, and to be glad; for they said, Our god has given into our hands Samson our hater.

24And when the people saw him, they gave praise to their god; for they said, Our god has given into our hands the one who was fighting against us, who made our country waste, and who put great numbers of us to death.

25Now when their hearts were full of joy, they said, Send for Samson to make sport for us. And they sent for Samson out of the prison-house, and he made sport before them; and they put him between the pillars.

26And Samson said to the boy who took him by the hand, Let me put my hand on the pillars supporting the house, so that I may put my back against them.

27Now the house was full of men and women; and all the lords of the Philistines were there; and about three thousand men and women were on the roof, looking on while Samson made sport.

28And Samson, crying out to the Lord, said, O Lord God, do have me now in mind, and do make me strong only this once, O God, so that I may take one last payment from the Philistines for my two eyes.

29Then Samson put his arms round the two middle pillars supporting the house, putting his weight on them, on one with his right hand and on the other with his left.

30And Samson said, Let death overtake me with the Philistines. And he put out all his strength, and the house came down on the chiefs and on all the people who were in it. So the dead whom he sent to destruction by his death were more than all those on whom he had sent destruction in his life.

31Then his brothers and his father’s people came down and took him up and put his body to rest in the earth between Zorah and Eshtaol in the resting-place of Manoah his father. And he had been judge of Israel for twenty years.

Psalms 42

To the chief music-maker. Maschil. Of the sons of Korah.

1 Like the desire of the roe for the water-streams, so is my soul’s desire for you, O God.

2My soul is dry for need of God, the living God; when may I come and see the face of God?

3My tears have been my food day and night, while they keep saying to me, Where is your God?

4Let my soul be overflowing with grief when these things come back to my mind, how I went in company to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with the song of those who were keeping the feast.

5Why are you crushed down, O my soul? and why are you troubled in me? put your hope in God; for I will again give him praise who is my help and my God.

6My soul is crushed down in me, so I will keep you in mind; from the land of Jordan and of the Hermons, from the hill Mizar.

7Deep is sounding to deep at the noise of your waterfalls; all your waves have gone rolling over me.

8But the Lord will send his mercy in the daytime, and in the night his song will be with me, a prayer to the God of my life.

9I will say to God my Rock, Why have you let me go from your memory? why do I go in sorrow because of the attacks of my haters?

10The cruel words of my haters are like a crushing of my bones; when they say to me every day, Where is your God?

11Why are you crushed down, O my soul? and why are you troubled in me? put your hope in God; for I will again give him praise who is my help and my God.

Acts 21:1-36

1And after parting from them, we put out to sea and came straight to Cos, and the day after to Rhodes, and from there to Patara:

2And as there was a ship going to Phoenicia, we went in it.

3And when we had come in view of Cyprus, going past it on our left, we went on to Syria, and came to land at Tyre: for there the goods which were in the ship had to be taken out.

4And meeting the disciples we were there for seven days: and they gave Paul orders through the Spirit not to go up to Jerusalem.

5And when these days came to an end, we went on our journey; and they all, with their wives and children, came with us on our way till we were out of the town: and after going on our knees in prayer by the sea,

6We said our last words to one another, and got into the ship, and they went back to their houses.

7And journeying by ship from Tyre we came to Ptolemais; and there we had talk with the brothers and were with them for one day.

8And on the day after, we went away and came to Caesarea, where we were guests in the house of Philip, the preacher, who was one of the seven.

9And he had four daughters, virgins, who were prophets.

10And while we were waiting there for some days, a certain prophet, named Agabus, came down from Judaea.

11And he came to us, and took the band of Paul’s clothing, and putting it round his feet and hands, said, The Holy Spirit says these words, So will the Jews do to the man who is the owner of this band, and they will give him up into the hands of the Gentiles.

12And hearing these things, we and those who were living in that place made request to him not to go to Jerusalem.

13Then Paul said, What are you doing, weeping and wounding my heart? for I am ready, not only to be a prisoner, but to be put to death at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.

14And as he might not be moved we did no more, saying, Let the purpose of God be done.

15And after these days we got ready and went up to Jerusalem.

16And some of the disciples from Caesarea went with us, taking a certain Mnason of Cyprus, one of the early disciples, in whose house we were to be living.

17And when we came to Jerusalem, the brothers were pleased to see us.

18And on the day after, Paul went with us to James, and all the rulers of the church were present.

19And when he had said how glad he was to see them, he gave them a detailed account of the things which God had done through his work among the Gentiles.

20And hearing it, they gave praise to God; and they said to him, You see, brother, what thousands there are among the Jews, who have the faith; and they all have a great respect for the law:

21And they have had news of you, how you have been teaching all the Jews among the Gentiles to give up the law of Moses, and not to give circumcision to their children, and not to keep the old rules.

22What then is the position? They will certainly get news that you have come.

23Do this, then, which we say to you: We have four men who have taken an oath;

24Go with these, and make yourself clean with them, and make the necessary payments for them, so that they may be free from their oath: and everyone will see that the statements made about you are not true, but that you put yourself under rule, and keep the law.

25But as to the Gentiles who have the faith, we sent a letter, giving our decision that they were to keep themselves from offerings made to false gods, and from blood, and from the flesh of animals put to death in ways against the law, and from the evil desires of the body.

26Then Paul took the men, and on the day after, making himself clean with them, he went into the Temple, giving out the statement that the days necessary for making them clean were complete, till the offering was made for every one of them.

27And when the seven days were almost ended, the Jews from Asia, seeing him in the Temple, got the people together and put their hands on him,

28Crying out, Men of Israel, come to our help: this is the man who is teaching all men everywhere against the people and the law and this place: and in addition, he has taken Greeks into the Temple, and made this holy place unclean.

29For they had seen him before in the town with Trophimus of Ephesus, and had the idea that Paul had taken him with him into the Temple.

30And all the town was moved, and the people came running together and put their hands on Paul, pulling him out of the Temple: and then the doors were shut.

31And while they were attempting to put him to death, news came to the chief captain of the band that all Jerusalem was out of control.

32And straight away he took some armed men and went quickly down to them: and the Jews, seeing them, gave no more blows to Paul.

33Then the chief captain came near and took him, and gave orders for him to be put in chains, questioning them as to who he was and what he had done.

34And some said one thing and some another, among the people: and as he was not able to get a knowledge of the facts because of the noise, he gave orders for Paul to be taken into the army building.

35And when he came on to the steps, he was lifted up by the armed men, because of the force of the people;

36For a great mass of people came after them, crying out, Away with him!

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