1 Later on, at the time of the wheat harvest, Samson took a young goat and went to visit his wife. “I want to go to my wife in her room,” he said. But her father would not let him enter.
2 “I was sure that you thoroughly hated her,” said her father, “so I gave her to one of the men who accompanied you. Is not her younger sister more beautiful than she? Please take her instead.”
3 Samson said to them, “This time I will be blameless in doing harm to the Philistines.”
4 Then Samson went out and caught three hundred foxes. And he took torches, turned the foxes tail-to-tail, and fastened a torch between each pair of tails. 5 Then he lit the torches and released the foxes into the standing grain of the Philistines, burning up the piles of grain and the standing grain, as well as the vineyards and olive groves.
6 “Who did this?” the Philistines demanded.
“It was Samson, the son-in-law of the Timnite,” they were told. “For his wife was given to his companion.”
So the Philistines went up and burned her and her father to death.
7 And Samson told them, “Because you have done this, I will not rest until I have taken vengeance upon you.” 8 And he struck them ruthlessly a with a great slaughter, and then went down and stayed in the cave at the rock of Etam.
10 “Why have you attacked us?” said the men of Judah.
The Philistines replied, “We have come to arrest Samson and pay him back for what he has done to us.”
11 In response, three thousand men of Judah went to the cave at the rock of Etam, and they asked Samson, “Do you not realize that the Philistines rule over us? What have you done to us?”
“I have done to them what they did to me,” he replied.
12 But they said to him, “We have come down to arrest you and hand you over to the Philistines.”
Samson replied, “Swear to me that you will not kill me yourselves.”
13 “No,” they answered, “we will not kill you, but we will tie you up securely and hand you over to them.” So they bound him with two new ropes and led him up from the rock.
14 When Samson arrived in Lehi, the Philistines came out shouting against him. And the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon him. The ropes on his arms became like burnt flax, and the bonds broke loose from his hands. 15 He found the fresh jawbone of a donkey, reached out his hand and took it, and struck down a thousand men. 16 Then Samson said:
“With the jawbone of a donkey
I have piled them into heaps. c
With the jawbone of a donkey
I have slain a thousand men.”
18 And being very thirsty, Samson cried out to the LORD, “You have accomplished this great deliverance through Your servant. Must I now die of thirst and fall into the hands of the uncircumcised?”
19 So God opened up the hollow place in Lehi, and water came out of it. When Samson drank, his strength returned, and he was revived. That is why he named it En-hakkore, e and it remains in Lehi to this day.
20 And Samson judged Israel for twenty years in the days of the Philistines.
8 a Literally he struck them hip and thigh
9 b Literally and spread out in Lehi
16 c Or I have made them into donkeys
17 d Ramath-lehi means the hill of the jawbone .
19 e En-hakkore means the spring of him who calls .