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the Week of Proper 7 / Ordinary 12
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Bible Commentaries
Judges 15

Layman's Bible CommentaryLayman's Bible Commentary

Verses 1-8

Samson’s Return and Revenge (15:1-8)

Samson relented and sought to return to his erstwhile wife. As was customary in such a form of marriage, he took with him the present of a kid, only to discover that his bride had already been given to another man. The father attempted to placate Samson by offering him his younger daughter and thereby acknowledging his error. Samson, however, was not satisfied. His method of revenge was to let loose in the grainfields three hundred foxes with burning firebrands attached to the tails of each pair. The resulting destruction of the Philistine grain crop led the Philistines to avenge themselves by burning Samson’s wife and her father. Samson now carried the fierce vendetta further by slaughtering yet other Philistines. He then fled and hid in a cleft of rock somewhere near his home.

Verses 9-20

Samson and the Philistines at Lehi (15:9-20)

Samson had taken refuge on the borders of Judah, and thither the Philistines pursued him, threatening the Judahites if Samson was not handed over. The story implies that the men of Judah were secretly on his side, but that they were under no tribal obligation to him since he was a Danite. They went in strength to secure his submission — a testimony to Samson’s reputation — and the hero gave himself up without resistance. The Judahites bound him and delivered him over to his enemies at Lehi, whither the raiding Philistines had come. The name "Lehi" is here used in anticipation, since evidently this name was the result of Samson’s exploit. The Spirit of the Lord came on Samson with power; he burst his bonds and slew the Philistines with the jawbone of an ass, an exploit paralleled in the story of Shamgar (Judges 3:31) and of Shamnah (2 Samuel 23:11-12). We note that the latter slaying also took place at Lehi. Samson’s effort left him exhausted, and, in response to his prayer, the Lord caused a spring to issue forth by cleaving a hollow stone (compare Moses and Israel in the wilderness, Exodus 17).

Bibliographical Information
"Commentary on Judges 15". "Layman's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/lbc/judges-15.html.
 
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