Judges 15 – “Samson Takes Revenge”

Hebrew-English Text
I. Summary
Samson burns the Philistine fields when he is denied access to his wife. After being handed over to the Philistines, Samson kills 1,000 of them with a jawbone.

II. Photo
Samson takes revenge on the Philistines: “Samson 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. He 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.” (vv 4-5)

III. Important Verses
1-3: Some 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.  “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.” Thereupon Samson declared, “Now the Philistines can have no claim against me for the harm I shall do them.”
4-5: Samson 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. He 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.
14-15: When 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. He came upon a fresh jawbone of an ass and he picked it up; and with it he killed a thousand men.

IV. Outline
1-3. Samson isn’t allowed to see his wife
4-8. Samson takes revenge on the Philistines
9-13. The Judeans hand Samson over to the Philistines
14-17. Samson kills 1,000 Philistines with a jawbone
18-19. God performs a miracle for Samson
20. Summary statement

V. Comment
No comment today. Stay tuned.

VI. Works Used
(see “Commentaries” page)
Trent C. Butler, “Judges” (Word Biblical Commentary vol. 8; Nashville: Nelson, 2009).
Collins, John J. “Introduction to the Hebrew Bible,” Word Biblical Commentary vol. 15 (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2004).
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