1 June Judges 15:9-20

1 June. Samson kills a thousand Philistines with a donkey’s jawbone

“The Philistines went up and camped in the land of Judah, near a place named Lehi. The men of Judah asked them, ‘Why have you come here to fight us?’ They answered, ‘We have come to make Samson our prisoner, to pay him back for what he did to our people.'”

“Then 3,000 men of Judah went to the cave in the rock of Etam and said to Samson, ‘What have you done to us? Don’t you know that the Philistines rule over us?’ Samson answered, ‘I only paid them back for what they did to me.’”

“Then they said to him, ‘We have come to tie you up and to hand you over to the Philistines.’ Samson said to them, ‘Promise me you will not hurt me yourselves.’ The men from Judah said, ‘We agree. We will just tie you up and give you to the Philistines. We will not kill you.’”

“So they tied Samson with two new ropes and led him up from the cave in the rock. When Samson came to the place named Lehi, the Philistines came to meet him, shouting for joy.”

“Then the Spirit of the LORD entered Samson and gave him great power. The ropes on him weakened like burned strings and fell off his hands! Samson found the jawbone of a dead donkey, took it, and killed 1,000 men with it!”

“Then Samson said,

‘With a donkey’s jawbone

I made donkeys out of them.

With a donkey’s jawbone

I killed 1,000 men.’"

“When he finished speaking, he threw away the jawbone. So that place was named Ramath Lehi [meaning ‘Jawbone Hill’].”

“Samson was very thirsty, so he cried out to the LORD, ‘You gave me, your servant, this great victory. So do I have to die of thirst now? Do I have to be captured by people who are not circumcised [not Israelites]?’”

“Then God opened up a hole in the ground at Lehi, and water came out. When Samson drank, he felt better; he felt strong again. So he named that spring Caller’s Spring [En Hakkore], which is still in Lehi. Samson judged Israel for 20 years in the days of the Philistines.”

          (Judges 15:9-20)



After Samson’s wife was given to his friend, Samson exploded and slaughtered many of the Philistines, before escaping and hiding in a cave at the Rock of Etam. So, in pursuit of Samson, the Philistines attacked Lehi and threatened to destroy it unless the local Judaites handed Samson over to them.

Fearing for their lives, the men of Judah tied Samson up and planned to hand him over to their Philistine overlords; but Samson snapped the ropes and killed a thousand Philistines with the jawbone of a donkey. In commemoration of this slaughter, the place was called Ramath Lehi ('Jawbone Hill').

Samson then cried out to the LORD in thirst, and God provided a spring at Lehi - which was called ‘En Hakkore’ ('Caller's spring').

The theme of this passage, once again, is the glorification of revenge and the justification of violence. When they arrived at Lehi, the Philistines announced, ‘We have come to make Samson our prisoner, to pay him back for what he did to our people’. And Samson justified his actions to the Israelites by saying, ‘I only paid them back for what they did to me.'”

This Old Testament doctrine of ‘tit-for-tat’ revenge is why God sent his only Son to earth to advocate and live out what God’s amazing love for his people is really all about.

The photo (by Danny Lyulev) shows the rocky hill on which lie the remains of the abandoned Palestinian village of Beit Atab, near Zorah, thought to be the site of the "Rock of Etam".

You can read more about Samson @ https://www.thebiblejourney.org/biblejourney2/28-the-israelites-face-continuing-opposition/samson-challenges-the-philistines/

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