Judges 15

1At the time of the wheat harvest, Samson went to visit his wife. He took a young goat with him as a gift. He said, “I am going to my wife’s room.” But her father would not let Samson go in. 2Her father said to Samson, “I thought you hated her. So I let her marry the best man at the wedding. Her younger sister is more beautiful. Take her younger sister.” 3But Samson said to him, “Now I have a good reason to hurt you Philistine people. No one will blame me now.” 4So Samson went out and caught 300 foxes. He took two foxes at a time and tied their tails together to make pairs. Then he tied a torch between the tails of each pair of foxes. 5Samson lit the torches that were between the foxes’ tails. Then he let the foxes run through the grain fields of the Philistine people. In this way, he burned up the plants growing in their fields and the stacks of grain they had cut. He also burned up their fields of grapes and their olive trees. 6The Philistine people asked, “Who did this?” Someone told them, “Samson, the son-in-law of the man from Timnah, did this. He did this because his father-in-law gave Samson’s wife to the best man at his wedding.” So the Philistine people burned Samson’s wife and her father to death. 7Then Samson said to the Philistine people, “You did this bad thing to me. So now I will do bad things to you. Then I will be finished with you!” 8Then Samson attacked the Philistine people. He killed many of them. Then he went and stayed in a cave. The cave was in a place named the Rock of Etam. 9Then the Philistine people went to the land of Judah. They stopped near a place named Lehi. Their army camped there ˻and prepared for war˼. 10The men of the family group of Judah asked them, “Why have you Philistine people come here to fight us?” They answered, “We have come to get Samson. We want to make him our prisoner. We want to punish him for the things he did to our people.” 11Then 3000 men from the family group of Judah went to Samson. They went to the cave near the Rock of Etam. They said to him, “What have you done to us? Don’t you know that the Philistine people rule over us?” Samson answered, “I only punished them for the things they did to me.” 12Then they said to Samson, “We have come to tie you up. We will give you to the Philistine people.” Samson said to the men from Judah, “Promise me that you yourselves will not hurt me.” 13The men from Judah said, “We agree. We will just tie you up and give you to the Philistine people. We promise that we will not kill you.” So they tied Samson with two new ropes. They led him up from the cave in the rock. 14When Samson came to the place called Lehi, the Philistine people came to meet him. They were shouting from joy. Then the Spirit of the Lord came on Samson with great power. ˻Samson broke the ropes.˼ The ropes seemed weak like burnt strings. The ropes fell off his arms as if they had melted. 15Samson found a jawbone of a donkey that had died. He took the jawbone and killed 1,000 Philistine men with it. 16Then Samson said, With a donkey’s jawbone I killed 1,000 men! With a donkey’s jawbone I piled them into a tall pile. 17When Samson finished speaking, he threw the jawbone down. So that place was named Ramath Lehi. 18Samson was very thirsty. So he cried to the Lord. He said, “I am your servant. You gave me this great victory. Please don’t let me die from thirst now! Please don’t let me be captured by men who are not even circumcised!” 19There is a hole in the ground at Lehi. God made that hole crack open, and water came out. Samson drank that water and felt better. He felt strong again. So he named that water spring En Hakkore. It is still there in the city of Lehi today. 20So Samson was a judge for the people of Israel for 20 years. That was during the time of the Philistine people.

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