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A. The Judgeship of Jephthah (11:29-12:7)

1. Jephthah’s vow and victory over the children of Ammon (11:29-33)

a. Vow: if given victory, will offer as burnt offering whatsoever comes to meet him out of his house.

b. Victory: children of Ammon subdued and defeated from Aroer to Minnith.

2. Jephthah sadly carries out vow – offers unto Jehovah his daughter (11:34-40)

a. Daughter willingly submits, but is allowed to go with companions and bewail her virginity for two months.

b. Jephthah does with her according to his vow, and she knew not a man.

c. Four days a year set aside for daughters of Israel to celebrate (lament) the daughter of Jephthah.

3. Jephthah defeats complaining Ephraim (12:1-6)

a. Ephraim complains that they were not called to battle the children of Ammon- threatens to burn Jephthah’s house.

b. Jephthah reminds them of their lack of help when he called them.

c. Battle between Gileadites and Ephraim ensues at fords of the Jordan River.

(1). “Shibboleth” – “ear of corn, and a stream” becomes password – Ephraim could only pronounce it “Sibboleth”

(2). 42,000 of Ephraim fall in battle.

4. Jephthah dies and is buried in one of the cities of Gilead (12:7).


B. The Judgeship of Ibzan (12:8-10)

1. Of Bethlehem – buried there.

2. Had thirty sons and daughters

a. Sent thirty daughters abroad and brought in thirty daughters for his sons.

3. Judged Israel seven years

C. The Judgeship of Elon (12:11-12)

1. Of Zebulun

2. Judged Israel ten years

3. Died and buried in Aijalon in land of Zebulun.

D. The Judgeship of Abdon (12:13-15)

1. Of Pirathon in Ephraim

2. Had forty sons and thirty grandsons – rode on seventy ass colts.

3. Judged Israel eight years

4. Died and was buried in Pirathon in the land of Ephraim


1. What happened to Jephthah that made him ready to go to war?

2. The battle with the children of Ammon was fought (a) on the west side of the Jordan, (b) on the east side of the Jordan. or (c) on the Jordan River?

3. What did Jephthah promise God if He would give victory to Israel against the children of Ammon?  


4. What caused Jephthah to be made low after returning from victory over the children of Ammon?   

5. What was the daughter’s attitude toward Jephthah’s vow?

6. What did Jephthah do to carry out his vow before God?

7. How was Jephthah’s daughter remembered by the daughters of Israel?  

8. Why was Ephraim complaining to Jephthah?

 Was their complaint justified?

9. Why did the Gileadites smite Ephraim?

10. How was Ephraim detected for lying?

11. How many of Ephraim died during the battle with the Gileadites?

12. Jephthah judged Israel _______________ years.

13. Match the judges with their homes:

 (a)  Ibzan                         (1)   Zebulun

 (b)  Jephthah                    (2)  Bethlehem

 (c)  Elon                           (3)  Mizpah

 (d)  Abdon                        (4)  Pirathon (Ephraim)             

14. What do you think the conditions were like in Israel the next 25 years following the death of Jephthah?



A. Israel’s evil brings them under the oppression of the Philistines for forty years (13:1)

B. The birth of Samson (13:2-25)

1. The angel of Jehovah announces the birth and conditions for the wife of Manoah to meet (13:2-7).

a. The child shall be a Nazirite unto Jehovah from the womb to the day of his death – no razor shall come on his head.

b. Mother is not to eat of the vine which includes wine or strong drink, nor eat any unclean thing.

c. Child will begin to save Israel from the Philistines.

2. Manoah prays to God for the return of the angel of Jehovah (13:8-14).

a. Desire of parents to be taught concerning what should be done to the ordering of the child.

b. The angel appears again to Manoah’s wife in answer to prayer.

3. Manoah seeks to be hospitable to the angel of Jehovah and sees a wondrous act involving the angel (13:15-23)

a. Angel instructs Manoah to use the goat for a burnt -offering to Jehovah instead of a hospitable meal.

b. Angel ascends in the flame of the altar

c. Manoah’s wife reasons with Manoah concerning why they will not die for seeing the glory of Jehovah.

4. Samson is born – Spirit begins to move him in Mahanehdan (13:24-25)

C. Samson’s marriage and riddle (14:1-20)

           1. Samson asks parents to obtain woman of Timnah to be his wife.

           2. Samson kills lion with his bare hands.

3. Later, he returns to see swarm of bees and honey in the carcass of the lion, and eats the honey and gives it to his parents to eat.

4. Incident with lion forms basis for a riddle during a seven day feast: “Out of the eater comes forth food, and out of the strong came forth sweetness”.

a. Prize for solving riddle: thirty inner and outer garments.

5. Men use Samson’s wife to find out the answer to the riddle.

6. Samson smites thirty men of Ashkelon, and takes their apparel to give to those who solved the riddle.

7. Samson’s wife given to one of the companions at the feast.

D. Samson burns the fields of the Philistines with 300 foxes (15:1-5)

E. Samson revenges the death of his wife with great slaughter (15:6-8)

F. Samson kills 1,000 men with the jawbone of an ass (15:9-20).

G. Samson takes the doors of the gate of the city of Gaza and carries them on his shoulders to the top a mountain (16:1-3).

H. Samson and Delilah (16:4-20)

1. Philistines offer Delilah 1,000 pieces of silver for the secret to Samson’s great strength.

2. Samson mocks Delilah three times before telling the secret of his strength:  his long hair.

I. Samson imprisoned and dies gloriously (16:21-31)

1. Samson’s eyes are put out and he grinds grain at the mill stone in the   prison house.

2. During sacrifice to god Dagon, Samson pulls down pillars of house where worshippers were gathered and kills about 3,000 men and women.

3. Samson’s body buried between Zorah and Eshtaol  –  He judged Israel 20 years.




1. Samson was of what tribe?  

2. What did the angel of Jehovah reveal to Samson’s mother concerning:

a. her immediate responsibilities concerning the child to be born


b Samson

3. What did the angel say his name was?

How did he show it?

4. Whom did Samson marry?

5. What did Samson do when a lion roared against him?

6. What is the answer to the riddle Samson gave to the Philistines?

7. How did the Philistines find out the answer to the riddle?

8. How did Samson provide the prize for solving the riddle?

9. What did the father of Samson’s wife do?

Why did he do it?

10. Why did Samson retaliate with a slaughter of the Philistines?

11. Why did the men of Judah come to Samson?

12. What did Samson do when he came to Lehi?

13. What kindness did God show Samson at Lehi?

14. Why did Samson come to Gaza?

15. Samson left Gaza with what?

16. What three answers did Samson give to Delilah as to the source of his strength?

17. What happened to Samson after he was finally captured?

18. Why could you describe Samson as a man of faith?

19. What was glorious about Samson’s death?

20. How long did Samson judge Israel?

21. After studying Samson’s life, what about him can you imitate in order to please God?