Workers For Jesus Online Bible Study Table of Contents

About this Bible Study........The King James Version of the Bible is written in a beautiful form of the English language. It can be hard for modern English readers to understand.  In this study, you will find notes and summaries in brown just above the the verses from the Bible. We recommend that you read the notes and summaries first, and then read the verses in their KJV form. 

The Book of Judges

The Israelites moved into Canaan. They had wars with the groups of people who lived in Canaan. They won the wars, and most of the other groups of people died or left Canaan. But some of the other people continued to live in Canaan.

In the book of Joshua, the Israelites obeyed God. They did not worship the other people's false gods. But in the book of Judges, the Israelites do not always obey God. Sometimes they worship false gods. Then God punishes them. Other people come and have wars with the Israelites.

The Israelite judges were leaders. Many of them were leaders of the army. They led the Israelites to win in wars.  This book covers 350 years from the year 1390 B.C. to 1050 B.C.
There were 14 judges in these years.  Some of the judges were Deborah, Gideon, and Samson.

Bible Timeline
Here is a good timeline to see the book of Judges in the history of the Bible


Judges 13 - 15
The Philistines control the Israelites.
A special baby named Samson is born.
God makes Samson very strong.
Samson fights with the Philistines.


Judges 13

The Israelites become slaves again. They are controlled by the Philistines.

The Israelites started to sin again. God allowed them to become the slaves of the Philistines. They were slaves for 40 years.

[1] And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the LORD; and the LORD delivered them into the hand of the Philistines forty years.

An angel tells Manoah that his wife will have a special baby.

There was a man named Manoah. He was from the tribe of Dan. He lived in the area called Zorah.  Manoah was married, but his wife could not have children.
[2] And there was a certain man of Zorah, of the family of the Danites, whose name was Manoah; and his wife was barren, and bare not.

One of God's angels talked to Manoah's wife.  He told her that she would become pregnant and have a baby boy.

[3] And the angel of the LORD appeared unto the woman, and said unto her, Behold now, thou art barren, and bearest not: but thou shalt conceive, and bear a son.


Nazarites are people who are dedicated to the Lord. Any Israelite man or woman could make a special vow (promise) and become a Nazarite. A Nazarite should not drink any alcohol--no wine or beer. Nazarites could not drink vinegar. A Nazarite should not eat any grapes--no raisins, grape seeds, grape skins, or anything from the grapevine. Nazarites could not cut their hair.  To read more, please click here.

The angel told the woman to be careful. She should not drink anything like wine or alcohol. She should not eat unclean things. She will become pregnant and have a son.  The child will be a Nazarite. He should not cut his hair.  Her son will help make the Israelites free from the Philistines.
[4] Now therefore beware, I pray thee, and drink not wine nor strong drink, and eat not any unclean thing:
[5] For, lo, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and no rasor shall come on his head: for the child shall be a Nazarite unto God from the womb: and he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines.

Manoah's wife told him what happened. She told him that a man came from God and talked to her. She said he looked like an angel, and she was afraid.   She didn't ask the man where he came from. The man didn't tell her his name.
[6] Then the woman came and told her husband, saying, A man of God came unto me, and his countenance was like the countenance of an angel of God, very terrible: but I asked him not whence he was, neither told he me his name:

Manoah's wife said that the man from God told her that she will have a baby boy.  The man said she should not drink wine or alcohol while she is pregnant. She should not eat anything unclean.  Her son will be a Nazarite to God for his whole life.
[7] But he said unto me, Behold, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and now drink no wine nor strong drink, neither eat any unclean thing: for the child shall be a Nazarite to God from the womb to the day of his death.

Manoah prayed to God. He asked God to send the man back. He wanted the man to tell them what they should do with the baby.
[8] Then Manoah intreated the LORD, and said, O my Lord, let the man of God which thou didst send come again unto us, and teach us what we shall do unto the child that shall be born.

God listened to Manoah. God sent the angel back. The angel went to Manoah's wife. She was out in the field, but Manoah was not with her.  She ran fast and and told Manoah that the man she saw before (the angel) was back.
[9] And God hearkened to the voice of Manoah; and the angel of God came again unto the woman as she sat in the field: but Manoah her husband was not with her.
[10] And the woman made haste, and ran, and shewed her husband, and said unto him, Behold, the man hath appeared unto me, that came unto me the other day.

Manoah got up and followed his wife. He talked to the man and asked if he was the same man who talked to his wife before.  The angel told him yes.
[11] And Manoah arose, and went after his wife, and came to the man, and said unto him, Art thou the man that spakest unto the woman? And he said, I am.

Manoah said that the angel's words would come true. Manoah asked the angel what they should do with the baby.

[12] And Manoah said, Now let thy words come to pass. How shall we order the child, and how shall we do unto him?

The angel said that they should remember what he told the wife before. She should not eat any unclean food. She should not eat any grapes or drink wine. She should not drink alcohol.
[13] And the angel of the LORD said unto Manoah, Of all that I said unto the woman let her beware.
[14] She may not eat of any thing that cometh of the vine, neither let her drink wine or strong drink, nor eat any unclean thing: all that I commanded her let her observe.

Manoah didn't know that the man was an angel.  He asked the man to stay, and they would cook a goat to eat. The angel said he would not eat. If Manoah wants to make a burnt offering, he should make the offering to God.
[15] And Manoah said unto the angel of the LORD, I pray thee, let us detain thee, until we shall have made ready a kid for thee.
[16] And the angel of the LORD said unto Manoah, Though thou detain me, I will not eat of thy bread: and if thou wilt offer a burnt offering, thou must offer it unto the LORD. For Manoah knew not that he was an angel of the LORD.

Manoah asked the man what his name was. He said that after everything comes true, they will honor him. The man asked Manoah why he wanted to know his name. The man said it is a secret.
[17] And Manoah said unto the angel of the LORD, What is thy name, that when thy sayings come to pass we may do thee honour?
[18] And the angel of the LORD said unto him, Why askest thou thus after my name, seeing it is secret?


"Angel Visits Manoah and His Wife"
From Treasures of the Bible (Joshua and Judges) 
From the
LaVista Church of Christ web site

Manoah got a baby goat. He made a burnt offering to God on a rock. When the fire started going up in the sky, the angel went up in the fire and disappeared. Manoah and his wife saw this happen. They fell down on the ground with their faces down. Then Manoah knew that the man was really an angel. 
[19] So Manoah took a kid with a meat offering, and offered it upon a rock unto the LORD: and the angel did wondrously; and Manoah and his wife looked on.
[20] For it came to pass, when the flame went up toward heaven from off the altar, that the angel of the LORD ascended in the flame of the altar. And Manoah and his wife looked on it, and fell on their faces to the ground.
[21] But the angel of the LORD did no more appear to Manoah and to his wife. Then Manoah knew that he was an angel of the LORD.

Manoah told his wife that they would probably die now because they had seen God. But his wife said that if God was going to kill them, He would not have accepted their offerings. Also, God would not have let them see this happen and God would not have told them about the baby coming.
[22] And Manoah said unto his wife, We shall surely die, because we have seen God.
[23] But his wife said unto him, If the LORD were pleased to kill us, he would not have received a burnt offering and a meat offering at our hands, neither would he have shewed us all these things, nor would as at this time have told us such things as these.


Samson is born, and God's spirit begins to make him strong.

Manoah's wife had a son. They named the baby Samson. Samson grew up, and God blessed Samson.

[24] And the woman bare a son, and called his name Samson: and the child grew, and the LORD blessed him.

Samson was part of the tribe of Dan. When Samson was in Dan's land between the cities of Zorah and Eshtaol, God's spirit began to make him strong.
[25] And the Spirit of the LORD began to move him at times in the camp of Dan between Zorah and Eshtaol.

Judges 14

Samson wants to marry a Philistine woman.

Samson went to the place called Timnath. He saw a woman there. She was one of the Philistines (enemies of the Israelites).
[1] And Samson went down to Timnath, and saw a woman in Timnath of the daughters of the Philistines.

Samson went home and talked to his parents.  He told them that he saw a woman in Timnath. He wanted to marry the woman. He asked his parents to help him marry her.
[2] And he came up, and told his father and his mother, and said, I have seen a woman in Timnath of the daughters of the Philistines: now therefore get her for me to wife.

Samson's parents were not happy. They asked him if he would like to marry an Israelite woman. The Philistines were enemies of the Israelites. They were not circumcised (male surgery) like the Israelites. Samson told his father that he really liked the Philistine woman and wanted to marry her.
[3] Then his father and his mother said unto him, Is there never a woman among the daughters of thy brethren, or among all my people, that thou goest to take a wife of the uncircumcised Philistines? And Samson said unto his father, Get her for me; for she pleaseth me well.

Samson's mother and father did not know, but this was God's plan. God was planning to use Samson's marriage for a war with the Philistines. At that time, the Philistines were in control of the Israelites. The Israelites were slaves.
[4] But his father and his mother knew not that it was of the LORD, that he sought an occasion against the Philistines: for at that time the Philistines had dominion over Israel.

Samson and his parents traveled to Timnath. When they were near the vineyards (garden of grapes), a young lion tried to attack them.  God's spirit was on Samson.  Samson tore the lion with his hands.  The lion was very big, but Samson tore it like it was a small goat.  But Samson did not tell his parents that he killed the lion.
[5] Then went Samson down, and his father and his mother, to Timnath, and came to the vineyards of Timnath: and, behold, a young lion roared against him.
[6] And the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon him, and he rent him as he would have rent a kid, and he had nothing in his hand: but he told not his father or his mother what he had done.

In Timnath, Samson talked to the Philistine woman. Samson liked her very much.
[7] And he went down, and talked with the woman; and she pleased Samson well.

Later, Samson was traveling back to Timnath to marry the woman. He stopped to see the dead body of the lion that he killed. Some bees had made a hive in the lion's body. The bees made honey.
[8] And after a time he returned to take her, and he turned aside to see the carcase of the lion: and, behold, there was a swarm of bees and honey in the carcase of the lion.

Samson got the honey out and ate some of it. Then he gave some of the honey to his mother and father.  They ate the honey, too. But Samson didn't tell them where he got it. His parents did not know that the honey came from the dead lion.
[9] And he took thereof in his hands, and went on eating, and came to his father and mother, and he gave them, and they did eat: but he told not them that he had taken the honey out of the carcase of the lion.


Samson makes a bet with some Philistine men.

Samson's father went to the woman's house to make plans for the wedding. Samson had a big dinner. This was the usual custom for young men to do when they got married. 30 Philistine men came to Samson's dinner, too.
[10] So his father went down unto the woman: and Samson made there a feast; for so used the young men to do.
[11] And it came to pass, when they saw him, that they brought thirty companions to be with him.

Samson made a bet with the 30 Philistine men.  He would tell them a riddle (trick question). If they guessed it right in 7 days, he would give them 30 shirts and 30 sets of clothing.  If they could not guess it, they will give him 30 shirts and 30 sets of clothing. The men agreed.
[12] And Samson said unto them, I will now put forth a riddle unto you: if ye can certainly declare it me within the seven days of the feast, and find it out, then I will give you thirty sheets and thirty change of garments:
[13] But if ye cannot declare it me, then shall ye give me thirty sheets and thirty change of garments. And they said unto him, Put forth thy riddle, that we may hear it.

This was Samson's riddle:   Meat came out of the eater, and sweetness came out of the strong one.  After 3 days, the men still did not know the answer.
[14] And he said unto them, Out of the eater came forth meat, and out of the strong came forth sweetness. And they could not in three days expound the riddle.

On the 7th day, the men were mad at Samson's wife and family. They said they invited them to the dinner just so they could steal from them. They told Samson's wife to trick Samson. She should get the answer to the riddle. They said if she didn't get the answer, they will burn her and her family.
[15] And it came to pass on the seventh day, that they said unto Samson's wife, Entice thy husband, that he may declare unto us the riddle, lest we burn thee and thy father's house with fire: have ye called us to take that we have? is it not so?

Samson's wife went to him and cried. She said that Samson didn't love her. She said that he hated her. She said he asked the riddle, but he didn't tell her the answer.  He said that he hadn't even told his mother and father the answer. He asked why he should tell her the answer.
[16] And Samson's wife wept before him, and said, Thou dost but hate me, and lovest me not: thou hast put forth a riddle unto the children of my people, and hast not told it me. And he said unto her, Behold, I have not told it my father nor my mother, and shall I tell it thee?

Samson's wife had been crying and trying to get the answer for the 7 days of the dinner. Now on the 7th day, she pressured him even more. Finally, he told her the answer. Then she told the other Philistines.
[17] And she wept before him the seven days, while their feast lasted: and it came to pass on the seventh day, that he told her, because she lay sore upon him: and she told the riddle to the children of her people.

On the 7th day, before evening, the men answered Samson's riddle. They had the right answer. They knew the answer was honey and a lion. Samson knew that his wife told them the answer.  He told them that if she hadn't told them the answer, they would not have gotten the right answer.
[18] And the men of the city said unto him on the seventh day before the sun went down, What is sweeter than honey? and what is stronger than a lion? And he said unto them, If ye had not plowed with my heifer, ye had not found out my riddle.

God's power made Samson strong. He went to the city of Ashkelon. He killed 30 men and took their clothes. Then he gave the clothes to the 30 men in Timnath. They guessed the answer and won the bet. Samson was very angry. Then he went back to his father's home.
[19] And the Spirit of the LORD came upon him, and he went down to Ashkelon, and slew thirty men of them, and took their spoil, and gave change of garments unto them which expounded the riddle. And his anger was kindled, and he went up to his father's house.

Samson's father-in-law gave Samson's wife to another man. She married one of the 30 men at the dinner.
[20] But Samson's wife was given to his companion, whom he had used as his friend.

Judges 15

Samson uses foxes to burn the Philistines' farms.

Later, at harvest time, Samson went back to Timnath. He thought he was still married to the woman. He took a baby goat for a gift. He said that he wanted to go into the woman's bedroom. But the woman's father would not let him go in.

[1] But it came to pass within a while after, in the time of wheat harvest, that Samson visited his wife with a kid; and he said, I will go in to my wife into the chamber. But her father would not suffer him to go in.

Her father told Samson that he thought he hated the woman. So he let her marry one of the men at the dinner.  He said that the woman's younger sister was prettier than her. He wanted Samson to marry the younger sister.
[2] And her father said, I verily thought that thou hadst utterly hated her; therefore I gave her to thy companion: is not her younger sister fairer than she? take her, I pray thee, instead of her.

Samson planned to do something bad to the Philistines. He said it will not be his fault.
[3] And Samson said concerning them, Now shall I be more blameless than the Philistines, though I do them a displeasure.


A fox
Photo from

Samson caught 300 foxes. He tied 2 foxes together at their tails. There were 150 "teams" of foxes.  He put a torch (for fire) in each "knot" of tails.
[4] And Samson went and caught three hundred foxes, and took firebrands, and turned tail to tail, and put a firebrand in the midst between two tails.

Samson set the torches in the tails on fire. He let the foxes run into the corn on the Philistines' farms. The fire burned the corn that was still growing. The fire burned the corn that was already cut.  The fire burned the grapes and the olives on the farms.
[5] And when he had set the brands on fire, he let them go into the standing corn of the Philistines, and burnt up both the shocks, and also the standing corn, with the vineyards and olives.

The Philistines asked who burned their farms. The people said it was Samson, the son-in-law of the man in Timnath. They said Samson did this because the man let Samson's wife marry another man. The Philistines took Samson's wife and her father and burned them with fire.
[6] Then the Philistines said, Who hath done this? And they answered, Samson, the son in law of the Timnite, because he had taken his wife, and given her to his companion. And the Philistines came up, and burnt her and her father with fire.

Samson found out what happened to his wife and his father-in-law.  He said he will take revenge on them (get even with them).  He won't rest until he finishes this.
[7] And Samson said unto them, Though ye have done this, yet will I be avenged of you, and after that I will cease.

Samson killed many of the Philistines. Then he went and stayed at the rock or cave called Etam.
[8] And he smote them hip and thigh with a great slaughter: and he went down and dwelt in the top of the rock Etam.


Samson uses a donkey's bone to kill many Philistines.

The Philistines went to the land of the tribe of Judah. They camped at the place called Lehi.
[9] Then the Philistines went up, and pitched in Judah, and spread themselves in Lehi.

The men in Judah asked the Philistines why they were there. They said they were there to get Samson. They wanted to kill him because he killed many Philistines.
[10] And the men of Judah said, 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.

3,000 men from the tribe of Judah went to see Samson at the rock (cave) called Etam.  They talked to Samson. They said that the Philistines are in control of the Israelites.  They asked Samson what he did to the Philistines. Samson said he did the same as they did to him.
[11] Then three thousand men of Judah went to the top of the rock Etam, and said to Samson, Knowest thou not that the Philistines are rulers over us? what is this that thou hast done unto us? And he said unto them, As they did unto me, so have I done unto them.

The men of Judah said they will tie up Samson.  They will give him to the Philistines.  Samson wanted them to promise that they wouldn't kill him themselves.
[12] And they said unto him, We are come down to bind thee, that we may deliver thee into the hand of the Philistines. And Samson said unto them, Swear unto me, that ye will not fall upon me yourselves.

The men of Judah said they will tie him up and give him to the Philistines. But they won't kill him. Then they tied him up and brought him up out of the cave.

[13] And they spake unto him, saying, No; but we will bind thee fast, and deliver thee into their hand: but surely we will not kill thee. And they bound him with two new cords, and brought him up from the rock.

The men of Judah took him to the Philistines. When they got to the Philistines' camp at Lehi, the Philistines yelled at Samson.  Then God's Spirit was on Samson. He was very strong. He broke the ropes that tied him. He broke the ropes easy like they were flax (plants) burned with fire. Then he was free again.
[14] And when he came unto Lehi, the Philistines shouted against him: and the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon him, and the cords that were upon his arms became as flax that was burnt with fire, and his bands loosed from off his hands.


"Samson Slays the Philistines"
By Julius Schnor

Samson found the jawbone from a donkey that recently died. He hit the Philistine men with the bone. He killed 1,000 men with the jawbone.
[15] And he found a new jawbone of an ass, and put forth his hand, and took it, and slew a thousand men therewith.

Samson made a little poem or song. He said that he killed 1,000 men with the bone from a donkey. He said he killed many men and put them in piles.
[16] And Samson said, With the jawbone of an ass, heaps upon heaps, with the jaw of an ass have I slain a thousand men.

When Samson finished his song, he threw the bone away.  He named the place Ramath-lehi. That means "hill of the jawbone".
[17] And it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking, that he cast away the jawbone out of his hand, and called that place Ramath-lehi.



Samson was very thirsty. He talked to God. He said that God helped him fight the Philistines. Now he asked God if he will die of thirst and then the Philistines will capture him.
[18] 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?

People who study the Bible have different opinions about this verse. Some people think the water came out of the jawbone.  Other people think it came out of the rock that was under the jawbone.

God made water come out of the jawbone (or from the rock).  Samson drank the water. Then he felt strong again. He named the place En-hakkore. When this book of the Bible was written, this place was still there.
[19] 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 En-hakkore, which is in Lehi unto this day.

Samson was Israel's leader for 20 years.

[20] And he judged Israel in the days of the Philistines twenty years.


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