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Judges 15 Good News Translation (GNT)

15 Some time later Samson went to visit his wife during the wheat harvest and took her a young goat. He told her father, “I want to go to my wife's room.”

But he wouldn't let him go in. He told Samson, “I really thought that you hated her, so I gave her to your friend. But her younger sister is prettier, anyway. You can have her, instead.”

Samson said, “This time I'm not going to be responsible for what I do to the Philistines!” So he went and caught three hundred foxes. Two at a time, he tied their tails together and put torches in the knots. Then he set fire to the torches and turned the foxes loose in the Philistine wheat fields. In this way he burned up not only the wheat that had been harvested but also the wheat that was still in the fields. The olive orchards were also burned. When the Philistines asked who had done this, they learned that Samson had done it because his father-in-law, a man from Timnah, had given Samson's wife to a friend of Samson's. So the Philistines went and burned the woman to death and burned down her father's house.[a]

Samson told them, “So this is how you act! I swear that I won't stop until I pay you back!” He attacked them fiercely and killed many of them. Then he went and stayed in the cave in the cliff at Etam.

Samson Defeats the Philistines

The Philistines came and camped in Judah, and attacked the town of Lehi. 10 The men of Judah asked them, “Why are you attacking us?”

They answered, “We came to take Samson prisoner and to treat him as he treated us.” 11 So these three thousand men of Judah went to the cave in the cliff at Etam and said to Samson, “Don't you know that the Philistines are our rulers? What have you done to us?”

He answered, “I did to them just what they did to me.”

12 They told him, “We have come here to tie you up, so we can hand you over to them.”

Samson said, “Give me your word that you won't kill me yourselves.”

13 “All right,” they said, “we are only going to tie you up and hand you over to them. We won't kill you.” So they tied him up with two new ropes and brought him back from the cliff.

14 When he got to Lehi, the Philistines came running toward him, shouting at him. Suddenly the power of the Lord made him strong, and he broke the ropes around his arms and hands as if they were burnt thread. 15 Then he found a jawbone of a donkey that had recently died. He reached down and picked it up, and killed a thousand men with it. 16 So Samson sang,

“With the jawbone of a donkey I killed a thousand men;
With the jawbone of a donkey I piled them up in piles.”[b]

17 After that, he threw the jawbone away. The place where this happened was named Ramath Lehi.[c]

18 Then Samson became very thirsty, so he called to the Lord and said, “You gave me this great victory; am I now going to die of thirst and be captured by these heathen Philistines?” 19 Then God opened a hollow place in the ground there at Lehi, and water came out of it. Samson drank it and began to feel much better. So the spring was named Hakkore;[d] it is still there at Lehi.

20 Samson led Israel for twenty years while the Philistines ruled the land.

Footnotes:

  1. Judges 15:6 burned the woman … house; or burned the woman and her family to death.
  2. Judges 15:16 This word sounds like the Hebrew for “donkey.”
  3. Judges 15:17 This name in Hebrew means “Jawbone Hill.”
  4. Judges 15:19 This name in Hebrew means “caller.”
Good News Translation (GNT)

Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

Judges 15 New International Version (NIV)

Samson’s Vengeance on the Philistines

15 Later on, at the time of wheat harvest, Samson took a young goat and went to visit his wife. He said, “I’m going to my wife’s room.” But her father would not let him go in.

“I was so sure you hated her,” he said, “that I gave her to your companion. Isn’t her younger sister more attractive? Take her instead.”

Samson said to them, “This time I have a right to get even with the Philistines; I will really harm them.” So he went out and caught three hundred foxes and tied them tail to tail in pairs. He then fastened a torch to every pair of tails, lit the torches and let the foxes loose in the standing grain of the Philistines. He burned up the shocks and standing grain, together with the vineyards and olive groves.

When the Philistines asked, “Who did this?” they were told, “Samson, the Timnite’s son-in-law, because his wife was given to his companion.

So the Philistines went up and burned her and her father to death. Samson said to them, “Since you’ve acted like this, I swear that I won’t stop until I get my revenge on you.” He attacked them viciously and slaughtered many of them. Then he went down and stayed in a cave in the rock of Etam.

The Philistines went up and camped in Judah, spreading out near Lehi. 10 The people of Judah asked, “Why have you come to fight us?”

“We have come to take Samson prisoner,” they answered, “to do to him as he did to us.”

11 Then three thousand men from Judah went down to the cave in the rock of Etam and said to Samson, “Don’t you realize that the Philistines are rulers over us? What have you done to us?”

He answered, “I merely did to them what they did to me.”

12 They said to him, “We’ve come to tie you up and hand you over to the Philistines.”

Samson said, “Swear to me that you won’t kill me yourselves.”

13 “Agreed,” they answered. “We will only 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 up from the rock. 14 As he approached Lehi, the Philistines came toward him shouting. The Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon him. The ropes on his arms became like charred flax, and the bindings dropped from his hands. 15 Finding a fresh jawbone of a donkey, he grabbed it and struck down a thousand men.

16 Then Samson said,

“With a donkey’s jawbone
    I have made donkeys of them.[a]
With a donkey’s jawbone
    I have killed a thousand men.”

17 When he finished speaking, he threw away the jawbone; and the place was called Ramath Lehi.[b]

18 Because he was very thirsty, he cried out to the Lord, “You have given your servant this great victory. Must I now die of thirst and fall into the hands of the uncircumcised?” 19 Then God opened up the hollow place in Lehi, and water came out of it. When Samson drank, his strength returned and he revived. So the spring was called En Hakkore,[c] and it is still there in Lehi.

20 Samson led[d] Israel for twenty years in the days of the Philistines.

Footnotes:

  1. Judges 15:16 Or made a heap or two; the Hebrew for donkey sounds like the Hebrew for heap.
  2. Judges 15:17 Ramath Lehi means jawbone hill.
  3. Judges 15:19 En Hakkore means caller’s spring.
  4. Judges 15:20 Traditionally judged
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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