Judges 15

Chapter 15

Samson’s Revenge on the Philistines. 1 Later on, during the wheat harvest, Samson visited his wife, bringing her a kid goat. He said, “I am going in to my wife’s room,” but her father would not let him go in. 2 The father said, “I was so sure that you hated her that I gave her to your friend. Her younger sister is prettier than she is. Please, take her instead.” 3 But Samson said to them, “It is no longer my fault if I harm the Philistines.”

4 Samson went out and caught three hundred foxes. He tied them together, tail to tail. He then fastened a torch between each pair of tails. 5 He set the torches on fire and let them go into the Philistine’s standing grain. It burned up both the standing grain and the stacks of grain, as well as the vineyards and the olive orchards.

6 When the Philistines asked, “Who did this,” they were told, “It was Samson, the son-in-law of the Timnite. He did it because they took his wife and gave her to his friend.” The Philistines therefore went and burned her and her father to death. 7 Samson said to them, “Because you have done this, I will never stop getting my vengeance on you.” 8 He struck them ruthlessly, slaughtering many of them. He then went down and dwelt in a fissure of the rock of Etam.

9 The Philistines went up and camped in Judah, spreading out near Lehi. 10 The Judahites asked, “Why have you come to fight against us?” They answered, “To take Samson prisoner so that we can do to him what he did to us.” 11 Three thousand men from Judah went down to the fissure of the rock of Etam and said to Samson, “Did you not know that the Philistines are ruling over us? What have you done to us?” He answered, “I just did to them what they did to me.” 12 They said to him, “We have come to take you prisoner and to deliver you over to the Philistines.” He said to them, “Swear to me that you will not kill me yourselves.” 13 They said, “No, but we will tie you up and hand you over to them. We will not kill you.” So they bound him with two new ropes and led him away from the rock.

14 As he approached Lehi, the Philistines came toward him shouting. The Spirit of the Lord rushed upon him. The ropes that were around his arms became like charred flax, and the binding fell off of his hands.

15 He found a fresh jawbone of a donkey, and he reached out and took it in his hand. He then killed one thousand men with it. 16 Samson said,

“With the jawbone of a donkey,
I have piled them up;
with the jawbone of a donkey,
I have killed a thousand men.”

17 When he finished speaking, he dropped the jawbone from out of his hand. The name of that place is Ramath-lehi.

18 Now he was very thirsty, so he called out to the Lord, “You have given this great victory through the hand of your servant. Must I now die of thirst and fall into the hands of the uncircumcised?”[a] 19 God split open a hollow place in Lehi, and water came out. When he drank it, his strength returned and his spirit was revived. The spring is called En-hakkore, and it is still in Lehi today. 20 Samson was a judge over Israel for forty years during the days of the Philistines.


  1. Judges 15:18 Samson acknowledges that the Lord is the source of his strength, and the victory belongs to God.

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