Judges 15
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Samson’s Revenge

1Later on, at the time of the wheat harvest, Samson took a young goat and went to visit his wife. “I want to go to my wife in her room,” he said. But her father would not let him enter.

2“I was sure that you thoroughly hated her,” said her father “so I gave her to one of the men who accompanied you. Is not her younger sister more beautiful than she? Please take her instead.”

3Samson said to them, “This time I will be blameless in doing harm to the Philistines.”

4Then Samson went out and caught three hundred foxes. And he took torches, turned the foxes tail-to-tail, and fastened a torch between each pair of tails. 5Then he lit the torches and released the foxes into the standing grain of the Philistines, burning up the piles of grain and the standing grain, as well as the vineyards and olive groves.

6“Who did this?” the Philistines demanded.

“It was Samson, the son-in-law of the Timnite,” they were told. “For his wife was given to his companion.”

So the Philistines went up and burned her and her father to death.

7And Samson told them, “Because you have done this, I will not rest until I have taken vengeance upon you.” 8And he struck them ruthlesslya with a great slaughter, and then went down and stayed in the cave at the rock of Etam.

9Then the Philistines went up, camped in Judah, and deployed themselves against Lehi.

10“Why have you attacked us?” said the men of Judah.

The Philistines replied, “We have come to arrest Samson and pay him back for what he has done to us.”

11In response, three thousand men of Judah went to the cave at the rock of Etam, and they asked Samson, “Do you not realize that the Philistines rule over us? What have you done to us?”

“I have done to them what they did to me,” he replied.

12But they said to him, “We have come down to arrest you and hand you over to the Philistines.”

Samson replied, “Swear to me that you will not kill me yourselves.”

13“No,” they answered, “we will not kill you, but we will tie you up securely and hand you over to them.” So they bound him with two new ropes and led him up from the rock.

14When Samson arrived in Lehi, the Philistines came out shouting against him. And the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon him. The ropes on his arms became like burnt flax, and the bonds broke loose from his hands. 15He found the fresh jawbone of a donkey, reached out his hand and took it, and struck down a thousand men. 16Then Samson said:

“With the jawbone of a donkey

I have piled them into heaps.b

With the jawbone of a donkey

I have slain a thousand men.”

17And when Samson had finished speaking, he cast the jawbone from his hand; and he named that place Ramath-lehi.c

18And being very thirsty, Samson cried out to the LORD, “You have accomplished this great deliverance through Your servant. Must I now die of thirst and fall into the hands of the uncircumcised?”

19So God opened up the hollow place in Lehi, and water came out of it. When Samson drank, his strength returned, and he was revived. That is why he named it En-hakkore,d and it remains in Lehi to this day.

20And Samson judged Israel for twenty years in the days of the Philistines.

Footnotes:

8 a Literally he struck them hip and thigh
16 b Or I have made them into donkeys
17 c Ramath-lehi means the hill of the jawbone
19 d En-hakkore means the spring of him who calls

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