The Book of Judges

Chapter 15

Samson is denied his wife, 1, 2. He burns the Philistines' corn with foxes and firebrands, 3-5. His wife and her father are burnt by the Philistines, 6. Samson smites them hip and thigh, 7, 8. He is bound by the men of Judah and delivered to the Philistines, 9-13. He kills them with a jawbone, 14-17. God makes the fountain En-hakkore for him in Lehi, 18-20.

1 But it came to pass after a while, in the time of wheat-harvest, that Samson visited his wife with a kid, and he said, "I will go in to my wife into the chamber." But her father would not allow him to go in. 2 And her father said, "I truly thought that you had utterly hated her; therefore, I gave her to your companion. Is her younger sister not fairer than she is? Take her, I pray you, instead of her." 3 And Samson said concerning them, "Now I shall be more blameless than the Philistines, though I do them a displeasure." 4 And Samson went and caught three hundred foxes, and took fire-brands, turned tail to tail, and put a fire-brand in the midst between two tails. 5 And when he had set the brands on fire, he let them go into the standing grain of the Philistines and burnt up both the stacks and also the standing grain, with the vineyards and olives. 6 Then the Philistines said, "Who has done this?" And they answered, "Samson, the son-in-law of the Timnite, because he had taken his wife and given her to his companion." And the Philistines came up and burnt her and her father with fire. 7 And Samson said to them, "Though you have done this, yet I will be avenged of you, and after that I will cease." 8 And he smote them hip and thigh with a great slaughter. And he went down and dwelt in the cleft of the rock of Etam.

9 Then the Philistines went up and encamped in Judah, and spread themselves in Lehi. 10 And the men of Judah said, "Why have you come up against us?" And they answered, "We have come to bind Samson, to do to him as he has done to us." 11 Then three thousand men of Judah went to the cleft of the rock of Etam and said to Samson, "Do you not know that the Philistines are rulers over us? What is this that you have done to us?" And he said to them, "As they did to me, so I have done to them." 12 And they said to him, "We have come down to bind you so that we may deliver you into the hand of the Philistines." And Samson said to them, "Swear to me that you will not fall upon me yourselves." 13 And they spoke to him, saying, "No, but we will bind you firmly and deliver you into their hand. But surely we will not kill you." And they bound him with two new cords and brought him up from the rock.

14 And when he came to Lehi, the Philistines shouted against him. And the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon him, and the cords that were upon his arms became as flax that was burnt with fire, and the bonds dropped off his hands. 15 And he found a fresh jaw-bone of a donkey, and put forth his hand, took it, and slew a thousand men with it.

16 And Samson said, "With the jaw-bone of a donkey, heaps upon heaps, with the jaw of a donkey I have slain a thousand men."

17 And it came to pass when he had made an end of speaking, that he cast away the jaw-bone out of his hand and called that place Ramath-lehi. 18 And he was very thirsty and called on the LORD, and said, "You have given this great deliverance into the hand of your servant. And now shall I die by thirst and fall into the hand of the uncircumcised?" 19 But God cleaved a hollow place that was in the jaw, and water came out of it. And when he had drank, his spirit came back, and he revived. Therefore, he called its name, En-hakkore, which is in Lehi to this day. 20 And he judged Israel in the days of the Philistines, twenty years.


Matthew Henry Commentary - Judges, Chapter 15[➚]


[v.2] - Reference, Judges 14:20.

[v.4] - From Matthew Henry's Commentary: "Now the way Samson took to be revenged on them was by setting their corn-fields on fire, which would be a great weakening and impoverishing to the country, v. 4, 5. 1. The method he took to do it was very strange. He sent 150 couple of foxes, tied tail to tail, into the corn-fields; every couple had a stick of fire between their tails, with which, being terrified, they ran into the corn for shelter, and so set fire to it; thus the fire would break out in many places at the same time, and therefore could not be conquered, especially if this was done, as it is probable it was, in the night."

[v.14] - "dropped" - Literally, melted.