Judges Chapter 15 |
1Some time later, in the season of the wheat harvest, Samson came to visit his wife, bringing a kid as a gift. He said, “Let me go into the chamber to my wife.” But her father would not let him go in. 2“I was sure,” said her father, “that you had taken a dislike to her, so I gave her to your wedding companion. But her younger sister is more beautiful than she; let her become your wife instead.” 3Thereupon Samson declared, “Now the Philistines can have no claim against me for the harm I shall do them.”
4Samson went and caught three hundred foxes. He took torches and, turning [the foxes] tail to tail, he placed a torch between each pair of tails. 5He lit the torches and turned [the foxes] loose among the standing grain of the Philistines, setting fire to stacked grain, standing grain, vineyards, [and] olive trees.
6The Philistines asked, “Who did this?” And they were told, “It was Samson, the son-in-law of the Timnite, who took Samson’s wife and gave her to his wedding companion.” Thereupon the Philistines came up and put her and her father to the fire. 7Samson said to them, “If that is how you act, I will not rest until I have taken revenge on you.” 8He gave them a sound and thorough thrashing. Then he went down and stayed in the cave of the rock of Etam.
9The Philistines came up, pitched camp in Judah and spread out over Lehi. 10The men of Judah asked, “Why have you come up against us?” They answered, “We have come to take Samson prisoner, and to do to him as he did to us.” 11Thereupon three thousand men of Judah went down to the cave of the rock of Etam, and they said to Samson, “You knew that the Philistines rule over us; why have you done this to us?” He replied, “As they did to me, so I did to them.” 12“We have come down,” they told him, “to take you prisoner and to hand you over to the Philistines.” “But swear to me,” said Samson to them, “that you yourselves will not attack me.” 13“We won’t,” they replied. “We will only take you prisoner and hand you over to them; we will not slay you.” So they bound him with two new ropes and brought him up from the rock.
14When he reached Lehi, the Philistines came shouting to meet him. Thereupon the spirit of the Lord gripped him, and the ropes on his arms became like flax that catches fire; the bonds melted off his hands.
15He came upon a fresh jawbone of an ass and he picked it up; and with it he killed a thousand men.
16Then Samson said:
“With the jaw of an ass,
Mass upon mass!
With the jaw of an ass
I have slain a thousand men.”
17As he finished speaking, he threw the jawbone away; hence that place was called Ramath-lehi.
18He was very thirsty and he called to the Lord, “You Yourself have granted this great victory through Your servant; and must I now die of thirst and fall into the hands of the uncircumcised?” 19So God split open the hollow which is at Lehi, and the water gushed out of it; he drank, regained his strength, and revived. That is why it is called to this day “En-hakkore of Lehi.”
20He led Israel in the days of the Philistines for twenty years.