Judges 15

Samson beats the Philistines

1 Later, Samson went to visit his wife. The grain was ready to eat. No one had brought it in from the fields. Samson took a young goat with him. He said, ‘I am going into my wife's room’. But the girl's father stopped him.

2 He said, ‘I was so sure that you hated her. I have given her to your friend. Her young sister is more beautiful. Take her instead’.

3 Samson said, ‘This time you have given me a powerful reason to hurt the Philistines. I will punish them for their bad work’. 4 So he went out and caught 300 foxes. He tied the foxes in pairs by their tails. He tied a dry branch to each pair of tails. 5 He lit the branches. He made the foxes run through the fields of the Philistines. The grain was standing there. Some was ready to take away. He burnt all the grain, the vines and the olive trees.

6 The Philistines asked, ‘Who did this?’ People told them that it was Samson. They said, ‘Samson did it because the Timnite man gave Samson's wife to his friend.’

So the Philistines went and burned the man and his daughter to death. 7 Samson said to them, ‘Because you have done this, I will punish you. I will not stop until your punishment is finished’. 8 He fought them with great power. He killed many Philistines. Then he went to live in a hole in the rock of Etam.

9 The Philistines went and put their tents in Judah near Lehi. 10 The men of Judah asked, ‘Why have you come to fight us?’ ‘We have come to take Samson away,’ they replied. ‘We want him because he has hurt us’.

11 3,000 men of Judah went to the place where Samson was. They said, ‘You must know that the Philistines are our rulers. You are causing us trouble’.

He answered, ‘I only did to them as they did to me’.

12 They said to him, ‘We have come to tie you up. We must give you to the Philistines’.

Samson said, ‘Promise that you will not kill me’.

13 ‘We agree,’ they said, ‘We will only tie you up and give you to them. We will not kill you’. So they tied him up with two new ropes and led him away.

14 When they came near to Lehi, all the Philistines shouted. They came towards Samson. Then the Spirit of the Lord gave great power to him. The ropes on his arms seemed as weak as grass. The material tied round his hands fell off. 15 He found a new bone from a donkey's face. He took it and killed 1,000 men.

16 Then Samson said, ‘I have made donkeys of them with a donkey's bone. With a bone I have killed 1,000 men’.

17 After this he threw away the bone. The place was called ‘Ramath Lehi’ (the hill of a donkey's face bone).

18 Samson was very thirsty. He cried out to the Lord, ‘You have helped me to win a big fight. Do I have to die of thirst? Your enemies would come and take me’.

19 God made a hole in the ground near Lehi. Water came out of it. Samson drank from it and he became strong again. The name of this water was En Hakkore (water of the one who shouted); it is still in Lehi.

20 Samson led Israel for 20 years in the days of the Philistines.