Samson’s Prayer

Samson was the last of the judges of the ancient Israelites mentioned in the Book of Judges in the Hebrew Bible and one of the last of the leaders who “judged” Israel before the institution of the monarchy. He is sometimes considered to be an Israelite version of the popular Near Eastern folk hero also embodied by the Sumerian Enkidu and the Greek Heracles.

The biblical account states that Samson was a Nazirite, and that he was given immense strength to aid him against his enemies and allow him to perform superhuman feats, including slaying a lion with his bare hands and massacring an entire army of Philistines using only the jawbone of a donkey. However, if Samson’s long hair was cut, then his Nazirite vow would be violated and he would lose his strength.

Alleged site of Samson's tomb in the Zorah (Tzora) forest

Alleged site of Samson’s tomb in the Zorah (Tzora) forest

Famous Samson’s Prayer

New International Version

Then Samson prayed to the LORD, “Sovereign LORD, remember me. Please, God, strengthen me just once more, and let me with one blow get revenge on the Philistines for my two eyes.”

New Living Translation

Then Samson prayed to the LORD, “Sovereign LORD, remember me again. O God, please strengthen me just one more time. With one blow let me pay back the Philistines for the loss of my two eyes.”

English Standard Version

Then Samson called to the LORD and said, “O Lord GOD, please remember me and please strengthen me only this once, O God, that I may be avenged on the Philistines for my two eyes.”

Berean Study Bible

Then Samson called out to the LORD: “O Lord GOD, please remember me. Strengthen me, O God, just once more, so that with one vengeful blow I may pay back the Philistines for my two eyes.”

King James Bible

And Samson called unto the LORD, and said, O Lord GOD, remember me, I pray thee, and strengthen me, I pray thee, only this once, O God, that I may be at once avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes.

New King James Version

Then Samson called to the LORD, saying, “O Lord GOD, remember me, I pray! Strengthen me, I pray, just this once, O God, that I may with one blow take vengeance on the Philistines for my two eyes!”

New American Standard Bible

Then Samson called to the LORD and said, “Lord GOD, please remember me and please strengthen me just this time, O God, that I may at once take vengeance on the Philistines for my two eyes.”

Samson Slays a Thousand Men with the Jawbone of a Donkey (c. 1896–1902) by James Tissot

Samson Slays a Thousand Men with the Jawbone of a Donkey (c. 1896–1902) by James Tissot

Samson’s Story

Samson had angered the Philistines to such a degree that they were enraged against the people of Judah. The men of Judah asked the Philistines, “Why are ye come up against us? And they answered, to bind Samson are we come up, to do to him as he hath done to us.” (Judges 15:10) So the men of Judah bound Samson to deliver him into the hands of the Philistines in order to save their own lives. The Spirit of the Lord came upon Samson when the Philistines came after him and he broke the bands that were around him and slew a thousand of the Philistines with a jawbone. (Judges 15:15) He was thirsty after his dramatic success and could find no water to drink, so he called out to the Lord.

Samson’s Prayer

“And he was sore athirst, and called on the LORD, and said, Thou hast given this great deliverance into the hand of thy servant: and now shall I die for thirst, and fall into the hand of the uncircumcised?” (Judges 15:18)

God’s Answer to Samson

“But God clave an hollow place that was in the jaw, and there came water thereout; and when he had drunk, his spirit came again, and he revived: wherefore he called the name thereof Enhakkore, which is in Lehi unto this day.” (Judges 15:19)

A second prayer of Samson

Later, after being deceived by Delilah, Samson was taken into custody by the Philistines. They were now able to subdue him because he had lost his strength after his hair was cut off and they took out his eyes. During the Philistines celebration, which included at least three thousand people, they brought Samson out of the prison and tied him between two pillars and made sport of him. Samson then prayed unto to Lord.

Samson’s Prayer

“And Samson called unto the LORD, and said, O Lord GOD, remember me, I pray thee, and strengthen me, I pray thee, only this once, O God, that I may be at once avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes.” (Judges 16:28)

God’s answer to Samson

“And Samson took hold of the two middle pillars upon which the house stood, and on which it was borne up, of the one with his right hand, and of the other with his left. And Samson said, Let me die with the Philistines. And he bowed himself with all his might; and the house fell upon the lords, and upon all the people that were therein. So the dead which he slew at his death were more than they which he slew in his life.” (Judges 16:29-30)

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