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Zorah, from the Hebrew word pronounced tsor-aw, meaning hornet, was a town about 8 miles west of Jerusalem. After the Israelites settled in their promised land in the time of Joshua, Zorah was included in the tribal territory of Dan. Perhaps the most well-known native of Zorah was Samson.

"The spirit of the LORD began to move him at times in the camp of Dan between Zorah and Eshtaol"

Zorah was included within the original tribal territory of Dan (they later took it upon themselves to take more territory, in the far north around the city of Leshem, which they renamed Dan).


"19:40 And the seventh lot came out for the tribe of the children of Dan according to their families.

19:41 And the coast of their inheritance was Zorah, and Eshtaol, and Irshemesh, 19:42 And Shaalabbin, and Ajalon, and Jethlah, 19:43 And Elon, and Thimnathah, and Ekron, 19:44 And Eltekeh, and Gibbethon, and Baalath, 19:45 And Jehud, and Beneberak, and Gathrimmon, 19:46 And Mejarkon, and Rakkon, with the border before Japho.

19:47 And the coast of the children of Dan went out too little for them: therefore the children of Dan went up to fight against Leshem, and took it, and smote it with the edge of the sword, and possessed it, and dwelt therein, and called Leshem, Dan, after the name of Dan their father.

19:48 This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Dan according to their families, these cities with their villages." (Joshua 19:40-48 KJV)

When the people of Israel (or later Israel and Judah) became corrupt, The Lord permitted their enemies to defeat them. It was at such a time, when the Israelites were being subjected by the Philistines, that Samson was born in Zorah. Samson's birth was made to happen by The Lord for the purpose that "he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines."

"13:1 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.

13:2 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. 13:3 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. 13:4 Now therefore beware, I pray thee, and drink not wine nor strong drink, and eat not any unclean thing: 13:5 For, lo, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and no razor 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." (Judges 13:1-5 KJV)

As spoken by The Lord, Samson was born in due time and "the spirit of the LORD began to move him."

"13:24 And the woman bare a son, and called his name Samson: and the child grew, and the LORD blessed him. 13:25 And the spirit of the LORD began to move him at times in the camp of Dan between Zorah and Eshtaol." (Judges 13:24-25 KJV)

Samson's capture and blinding by the Philistines (see notes for Judges 16) is one of the most well-known events of Bible History. After his death, Samson returned home "between Zorah and Eshtaol in the buryingplace of Manoah his father."


"16:27 Now the house was full of men and women; and all the lords of the Philistines were there; and there were upon the roof about three thousand men and women, that beheld while Samson made sport. 16:28 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. 16:29 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. 16:30 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.

16:31 Then his brethren and all the house of his father came down, and took him, and brought him up, and buried him between Zorah and Eshtaol in the buryingplace of Manoah his father. And he judged Israel twenty years." (Judges 16:27-31 KJV)

After The Division Of Israel, Rehoboam of Judah (see The Southern Kingdom) fortified Zorah and other towns in the area as a defense against Israel (see The Northern Kingdom).

"11:5 And Rehoboam [see also Kings of Israel and Judah and Israelite Dynasties] dwelt in Jerusalem, and built cities for defence in Judah.

11:6 He built even Bethlehem, and Etam, and Tekoa, 11:7 And Bethzur, and Shoco, and Adullam, 11:8 And Gath, and Mareshah, and Ziph, 11:9 And Adoraim, and Lachish, and Azekah, 11:10 And Zorah, and Aijalon, and Hebron, which are in Judah and in Benjamin fenced cities. 11:11 And he fortified the strong holds, and put captains in them, and store of victual, and of oil and wine. 11:12 And in every several city he put shields and spears, and made them exceeding strong, having Judah and Benjamin on his side." (2 Chronicles 11:5-12 KJV)

Fact Finder: Samson was "a Nazarite unto God from the womb" (Judges 13:5 KJV). What was a Nazarite?
See Nazirites

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