15.1-5 the foxes. Time had passed and the anger of Samson had waned. To reconcile with his wife he takes a gift and goes to see her. This altercation is to be the launchpad of one of his most heroic feats. His father in law has given his wife to another so Samson seeks revenge. Whether he caught jackals (which run in groups) or foxes (which are solitary), it is an amazing feat. These animals are numerous in Palestine and are mentioned several places in the scriptures. Probably at nightfall Samson sends these animals with fire tied to their tails into the Shefala of Philistia. The Shefala is the plain of Philistia where their corn was grown and was on the border of Dan and Judah. This was a fertile plain where much corn was grown. The fire spread to the vineyards and olive groves. The Philistines were getting some of the same medicine they had doled out to Israel. It is apropos that Samson’s wife revealed the riddle to avoid being burned with fire, and she ultimately ends up suffering that exact judgment at the hands of her countrymen. So often the thing we give up to appease unrighteousness, comes back to be our defeat.

15.6-20 This event gave birth to an even greater heroic event. The angry Philistines seek to kill Samson and he has a running battle with them and defeats them. Samson is unique as a judge in that he is never a general or leads an army. The other judges mostly led armies. He could not lead men any more than he could control his own desires. Samson flees to a fortified place called the rock of Etam. It is here in the place of the falcon or hawk (etam), that Samson’s most famous victory occurs. Judah sends 3,000 men to seek the cause of the problem and they leave Samson to fight alone. Judah sells him out to save themselves. Judah binds him and delivers Samson to the Philistines. It is of note that Samson was not recognized by his own brethren as a deliverer. The refrain of Samson in verse 16 concerning heap upon heaps indicates a running battle of sorts. It appears the Philistines began to flee and Samson pursued and left more than one heap of dead enemies. It has been debated if it was a literal 1000 men or if this number represents a great multitude. The word is used over 500 times and almost universally means a literal number. The law of Hermeneutics would dictate if it can be literal, it is literal. This jawbone today would be enshrined in a museum somewhere, but Samson casts it away. The power was not in the bone but rather in the benevolence of the Lord. He names the place Enhakhore the fountain of one calling. He is still listed as judging Israel 20 years and is listed in Hebrews 11 as a hero of faith, even though he was a lone wolf judge.

Thanks for reading today…

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