1 After a while, in the time of wheat harvest, it happened that Samson visited his wife with a young goat. And he said, "Let me go in to my wife, into her room." But her father would not permit him to go in.
2 Her father said, "I really thought that you thoroughly hated her; therefore I gave her to your companion. Is not her younger sister better than she? Please, take her instead."
3 And Samson said to them, "This time I shall be blameless regarding the Philistines if I harm them!"
4 Then Samson went and caught three hundred foxes; and he took torches, turned the foxes tail to tail, and put a torch between each pair of tails.
5 When he had set the torches on fire, he let the foxes go into the standing grain of the Philistines, and burned up both the shocks and the standing grain, as well as the vineyards and olive groves.
6 Then the Philistines said, "Who has done this?" And they answered, "Samson, the son-in-law of the Timnite, because he has taken his wife and given her to his companion." So the Philistines came up and burned her and her father with fire.
7 Samson said to them, "Since you would do a thing like this, I will surely take revenge on you, and after that I will cease."
8 So he attacked them hip and thigh with a great slaughter; then he went down and dwelt in
the cleft of the rock of Etam.
Some people have a problem with Samson being married to a Philistine wife, as this seems to violate
God's commandments concerning Israelites intermarrying with Canaanites. But Samson was only
engaged to the Philistine woman, he was not yet married to her. Being betrothed to her would have
been as binding on both as if they were truly married, but the marriage was not considered to be
completed until it was consummated, which had not happened.
God here has created two occasions for Samson to wreak God's wrath on the Philistines in the fact
that his betrothed had been given to another, and the fact that the Philistines had murdered both his
betrothed and her father.
9 Now the Philistines went up, encamped in Judah, and deployed themselves against Lehi.
10 And the men of Judah said, "Why have you come up against us?" So they answered, "We have come up to arrest Samson, to do to him as he has done to us."
11 Then three thousand men of Judah went down to the cleft of the rock of Etam, and said to Samson, "Do you not know that the Philistines rule over us? What is this you have done to us?" And he said to them, "As they did to me, so I have done to them."
12 But they said to him, "We have come down to arrest you, that we may deliver you into the hand of the Philistines." Then Samson said to them, "Swear to me that you will not kill me yourselves."
13 So they spoke to him, saying, "No, but we will tie you securely and deliver you into their hand; but we will surely not kill you." And they bound him with two new ropes and brought him up from the rock.
14 When he came to Lehi, the Philistines came shouting against him. Then the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon him; and the ropes that were on his arms became like flax that is burned with fire, and his bonds broke loose from his hands.
15 He found a fresh jawbone of a donkey, reached out his hand and took it, and killed a thousand men with it.
16 Then Samson said: "With the jawbone of a donkey, heaps upon heaps, with the jawbone of a donkey I have slain a thousand men!"
17 And so it was, when he had finished speaking, that he threw the jawbone from his hand, and
called that place Ramath Lehi.
The men of Judah were afraid of the Philistines who had ruled over Israel for 40 years now. They
believed that the only recourse was to deliver Samson to the Philistines for justice. Note that they were
so afraid of his great strength that they used two new ropes to bind him, one for his hands, another for
"Ramath Lehi" means "lifting up (or wielding) of the jawbone"
Some find it hard to believe that a single man could kill 1,000 men with a jawbone. Bear in mind
though, a man skilled in hand-to-hand combat can use anything at hand as a weapon. That combined
with Samson's great strength makes this indeed believable.
18 Then he became very thirsty; so he cried out to 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 hand of the uncircumcised?"
19 So God split the hollow place that is in Lehi, and water came out, and he drank; and his spirit returned, and he revived. Therefore he called its name En Hakkore, which is in Lehi to this day.
20 And he judged Israel twenty years in the days of the Philistines.
We need to remember that God will provide for our needs and as long as we are doing His will, He will
take care of us.
"En Hakkore" meaning "fountain of the crier".