Conflicts between Samson and the Philistines.
VERSE 1. But after a while, in the time of wheat harvest, Samson visited his wife with a young goat. He said, “I will go in to my wife’s room.” But her father wouldn’t allow him to go in.
in the time of wheat harvest. That is, May.
my wife. Samson is not aware that his girlfriend is married to someone else.
her father wouldn’t allow him to go in. Delilah is an adult woman. But apparently she still lives with her parents. And apparently her father decides who she can socialize with.
VERSE 2. Her father said, “I most certainly thought that you utterly hated her; therefore I gave her to your companion. Isn’t her younger sister more beautiful than she? Please, take her instead.”
Isn’t her younger sister more beautiful. They see women as objects whose value is determined merely based on physical attractiveness.
VERSE 3. Samson said to them, “This time I will be blameless in the case of the Philistines when I harm them.”
VERSE 4. Samson went and caught three hundred foxes, and took torches, and turned tail to tail, and put a torch in the middle between every two tails.
caught three hundred. This is quite an achievement.
foxes. The Hebrew word can also mean jackals.
VERSE 5. When he had set the torches on fire, he let them go into the standing grain of the Philistines, and burned up both the shocks and the standing grain, and also the olive groves.
VERSE 6. Then the Philistines said, “Who has done this?” They said, “Samson, the son-in-law of the Timnite, because he has taken his wife and given her to his companion.” The Philistines came up, and burned her and her father with fire.
burned her and her father with fire. Due to Samson’s action, his girlfriend and her family are murdered.
VERSE 7. Samson said to them, “If you behave like this, surely I will take revenge on you, and after that I will cease.”
VERSE 8. He struck them hip and thigh with a great slaughter; and he went down and lived in the cave in Etam’s rock.
with a great slaughter. Some translations say “viciously.” Literally, it means “leg on thigh.” It is a metaphor from wrestling for a ferocious attack.
lived in the cave. Samson becomes a cave-dweller.
VERSE 9. Then the Philistines went up, encamped in Judah, and spread themselves in Lehi.
VERSE 10. The men of Judah said, “Why have you come up against us?” They said, “We have come up to bind Samson, to do to him as he has done to us.”
VERSE 11. Then three thousand men of Judah went down to the cave in Etam’s rock, and said to Samson, “Don’t you know that the Philistines are rulers over us? What then is this that you have done to us?” He said to them, “As they did to me, so I have done to them.”
three thousand men of Judah. This is a formidable confrontation.
the Philistines are rulers over us. Apparently these men of Judah want to preserve the status quo.
VERSE 12. They said to him, “We have come down to bind you, that we may deliver you into the hand of the Philistines.” Samson said to them, “Swear to me that you will not attack me yourselves.”
VERSE 13. They spoke to him, saying, “No, but we will bind you securely and deliver you into their hands; but surely we will not kill you.” They bound him with two new ropes, and brought him up from the rock.
VERSE 14. When he came to Lehi, the Philistines shouted as they met him. Then the LORD’s Spirit came mightily on him, and the ropes that were on his arms became as flax that was burned with fire; and his bands dropped from off his hands.
VERSE 15. He found a fresh jawbone of a donkey, put out his hand, took it, and struck a thousand men with it.
put out his hand. This gives the impression that the bone flew into Samson’s outstretched hand.
Like the hammer flying into the outstretched hand of Thor in the movies by Marvel.
VERSE 16. Samson said, “With the jawbone of a donkey, heaps on heaps; with the jawbone of a donkey I have struck a thousand men.”
heaps on heaps. The Hebrew word is khamor. It can mean either “donkey” or “heap.”
So the phrase “heaps on heaps” can also mean “I have made donkeys of them.” It is often interpreted to mean “I have piled them in heaps.”
VERSE 17. When he had finished speaking, he threw the jawbone out of his hand; and that place was called Ramath Lehi.
Ramath. This Hebrew word means “hill.”
Lehi. This Hebrew word means “jawbone.”
VERSE 18. He was very thirsty, and called on the LORD and said, “You have given this great deliverance by the hand of your servant; and now shall I die of thirst, and fall into the hands of the uncircumcised?”
now shall I die of thirst. After his mighty victory, this is a strange complaint.
VERSE 19. But God split the hollow place that is in Lehi, and water came out of it. When he had drunk, his spirit came again, and he revived. Therefore its name was called En Hakkore, which is in Lehi, to this day.
He judged Israel twenty years. Those years are roughly 1069 to 1049 BC.
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.