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The Kebra Nagast, by E.A.W. Budge, [1922], at


And behold, the seed of Samson reigned over the Philistines. And Samson was of the seed of Dan, [one] of the twelve sons of Jacob, and he was the son of a handmaiden of Jacob; and we will inform you how this Samson came into being. The Angel of the Lord appeared to the mother of Samson and said unto her, "Keep thyself from all pollution, and company with no man except thy husband, for he who shall be born of thee shall be a Nazarite, holy to the Lord, and he shall be the deliverer of Israel from the hand of the Philistines." And then she brought forth Samson. And again the Angel appeared unto her and said unto her, "Thou shalt not let a razor go upon his head, and he shall neither eat flesh nor [drink] wine, and he shall marry no strange woman but only a woman of his own kin and from the house of his father." And how God gave him strength ye have heard in the Book of Judges. 1 But he transgressed the commandment of God, and came and married a daughter of the uncircumcised Philistines. And because of this God was wroth, and He delivered him into the hands of men of the uncircumcised Philistines, and they blinded his eyes, and they made him act the buffoon in the house of their king. And he pulled the roof down upon them, and slew seven hundred thousand of them, and during his life he slew seven hundred thousand of them with iron, and stone, and [his] staff, and the jaw-bone of an ass. For their number was as that of the locusts, until he released Israel from the service of the Philistines.

And then Dalîlâ (Delilah) conceived by Samson, and whilst she was with child Samson died with the Philistines; and Delilah brought forth a son and she called

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his name "Menahem," which is, being interpreted, "Seed of the strong man." Now Delilah was the sister of Maksâbâ, the wife of the King of the Philistines, and when Samson slew the King of the Philistines in the house with his people and his household, and he died with him, Delilah went to her sister Maksâbâ, the Queen of the Philistines. Now both women were beautiful, and they had no children, but both had conceived; Maksâbâ had been with child six months by Ḳwôlâsôn, the King of the Philistines, and Delilah had been with child four months by Samson; and the husbands of both were dead. And the two women loved each other exceedingly. And their love for each other was not like the love of sisters, but like that of the mother for the child, and of the child for the mother; even so was their love. And they lived together. And the dominion over those who were left of the slaughter [made] by Samson in the house of the king was in the hands of Maksâbâ, for none of the mighty men of war of the kingdom of the Philistines were left, and therefore Maksâbâ ruled over those that were left. And they spake unto her morning and evening, saying, "We have no other king except thyself, and except that one that shall go forth from thy belly. If our Lord Dâgôn will do a favour unto us that which is in thy belly shall be a son, who shall reverence our god Dâgôn and shall reign over us. And if it be a daughter we will make her to reign over us, so that thy name and the name of Ḳwôlâsôn our lord shall be your memorial over us."

And then Maksâbâ brought forth a man-child and all the men of the Philistines rejoiced, and they did homage to her and sang, saying, "Dâgôn and Bêl have honoured her and loved Maksâbâ, and the seed of Ḳwôlâsôn is found again from Maksâbâ." And Delilah also bore a son, and the two women brought up the children in great state and dignity. And when the children were

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five years old they ate and played together before them, and the mothers made garments of costly stuff for them, and [set] daggers above their loins, and chains on their necks. And the people seated the son of Maksâbâ on the throne of his father, and made him king over the Philistines.


137:1 See chapters xv, xvi.

Next: 81. How the son of Samson slew the son of the King of the Philistines