Samson’s Revenge
1Later on, during the wheat harvest,15:1 Gn 30:14; Ex 34:22; 1Sm 6:13; 12:17 Samson took a young goat as a gift and visited 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 you hated her,” her father said, “so I gave her to one of the men who accompanied you. Isn’t her younger sister more beautiful than she is? Why not take her instead?”
3Samson said to them, “This time I will be blameless15:3 Nm 5:19,28,31; 1Sm 26:9; Jr 2:35 when I harm the Philistines.”
4So he went out and caught three hundred foxes.15:4 Neh 4:3; Ps 63:10; Sg 2:15; Lm 5:18; Ezk 13:4 He took torches, turned the foxes tail-to-tail, and put a torch between each pair of tails.
5Then he ignited the torches and released the foxes into the standing grain of the Philistines. He burned the piles of grain and the standing grain as well as the vineyards and olive groves.15:5 Ex 22:6
6Then the Philistines asked, “Who did this?”
They were told, “It was Samson, the Timnite’s son-in-law, because he took Samson’s wife and gave her to his companion.” So the Philistines went to her and her father and burned them to death.
7Then Samson told them, “Because you did this, I swear that I won’t rest until I have taken vengeance on you.”
8He tore them limb from limb15:8 Lit He struck them hip and thigh with a great slaughter and then went down and stayed in the cave at the rock of Etam.
9The Philistines went up, camped in Judah, and raided Lehi.
10So the men of Judah said, “Why have you attacked us?”
They replied, “We have come to tie Samson up and pay him back for what he did to us.”
11Then three thousand men of Judah went to the cave at the rock of Etam, and they asked Samson, “Don’t you realize that the Philistines rule us?15:11 Lv 26:25; Dt 28:43; Jdg 13:1; 14:4; Ps 106:40–42 What have you done to us?”
“I have done to them what they did to me,” he answered.15:11 Lit answered them
12They said to him, “We’ve come to tie you up and hand you over to the Philistines.”
Then Samson told them, “Swear to me that you yourselves won’t kill me.”
13“No,” they said,15:13 Lit said to him “we won’t kill you, but we will tie you up securely and hand you over to them.” So they tied him up with two new ropes15:13 Jdg 16:11–12 and led him away from the rock.
14When he came to Lehi, the Philistines came to meet him shouting. The Spirit of the Lord came powerfully on him, and the ropes that were on his arms and wrists became like burnt flax and fell off.
15He found a fresh jawbone of a donkey, reached out his hand, took it, and killed a thousand men with it.
16Then Samson said:
With the jawbone of a donkey
I have piled them in heaps.
With the jawbone of a donkey
I have killed a thousand men.
17When he finished speaking, he threw away the jawbone and named that place Jawbone Hill.15:17 Hb Ramath-lehi
18He became very thirsty and called out to the Lord, “You have accomplished this great victory through your servant. Must I now die of thirst and fall into the hands of the uncircumcised?”
19So God split a hollow place in the ground at Lehi, and water came out of it. After Samson drank, his strength returned, and he revived.15:19 Gn 45:27; 1Kg 17:22; 2Kg 13:21; Is 38:16,21; Ezk 37:3,14 That is why he named it Hakkore Spring,15:19 = Spring of the One Who Cried Out which is still in Lehi today.
20And he judged Israel twenty years in the days of the Philistines.