In the time of the Judges, before the children of Israel had a king to rule over them, Jephthah was a mighty warrior.

His brothers threw him out of the family because his mom was from another country and had done some bad things. You can’t have anything from our Dad, they said.





So Jephthah went to another place to live. He was a strong warrior and gathered many warriors to him.

When another country made war with the children of Israel they were afraid to fight. So they called for the mighty warrior Jephthah who was their brother.  They said, Come back! Fight this battle for us. If you do, we’ll let you be our leader. We promise.

Jephthah said, Do you really promise? They said, God is watching and will tell true if we do not keep our promise to you.

Then the men from the other country lied and said that the land was theirs. But Jephthah proved it was a lie. But the men still wouldn’t go home.

They planned to fight and take the land that God gave the children of Israel.

Don't you keep what your god gives you, Jephthah asked them? We will keep what the Lord our God has given us.




The Spirit of the Lord came on Jephthah and he won a very great battle.


After this, one of Israel’s families got angry with Jephthah and said, Why didn’t you call us to fight with you in this great battle?

Jephthah said, We were having big trouble with them and I called you but you didn’t come. Then Jepthah fought with the angry brothers too, and won.

After a long time and some other judges, the children of Israel did bad again in God’s eyes so the Lord God gave them into the hands of the Philistines for 40 years.



When it was time, the angel of the Lord appeared to a woman who couldn’t have children and told her she was going to have a son who would start to save Israel from the Philistines.


He told her the child would be special to God from the very start and not to let him drink wine or cut his hair or eat unclean food because he was set apart as special to God all his life.

When the woman asked God, the angel came back to them while she was sitting out in the field and told all these things to her husband too.

Then the husband said, Please stay while I make food for you. The angel said, I will not eat if you keep me here. I will offer the food up to God.





Then the man, Manoah, asked, What is your name so that we can honor you when these things happen?




The angel said, Why do you ask my name? It is wonderful.

So Manoah offered the food on a rock to the Lord and the Lord did amazing things and went up to heaven in the smoke rising from the offering.


They realized it was God Himself that had been with them and they fell on their faces to the ground, honoring Him.




Manoah said, We are sure to die! We have seen God.


But His wife answered, If God wanted to kill us, would He have showed us all these things?






When it was time, the woman had a son and called his name Samson. The child grew up and God blessed him.


And the Spirit of God moved Samson to do things to help the nation of Israel.