וַיְהִי מִיָּמִים בִּימֵי קְצִיר־חִטִּים וַיִּפְקֹד שִׁמְשׁוֹן אֶת־אִשְׁתּוֹ בִּגְדִי עִזִּים וַיֹּאמֶר אָבֹאָה אֶל־אִשְׁתִּי 15:1
הֶחָדְרָה וְלֹא־נְתָנוֹ אָבִיהָ לָבוֹא׃
Judg. 15:1 And it was after a while in the days of the wheat harvest, that Samson visited his wife with a young goat, and he said, “I will go in to my wife to the chamber.” But her father would not permit him to go in.
וַיֹּאמֶר אָבִיהָ אָמֹר אָמַרְתִּי כִּי־שָׂנֹא שְׂנֵאתָהּ וָאֶתְּנֶנָּה לְמֵרֵעֶךָ הֲלֹא אֲחֹתָהּ הַקְּטַנָּה טוֹבָה מִמֶּנָּה 15:2
תְּהִי־נָא לְךָ תַּחְתֶּיהָ׃
Judg. 15:2 And her father said, “I surely thought that you utterly hated her so I gave her to your companion. Is not her younger sister fairer than she? Let her be for you, I pray you, instead of her.
וַיֹּאמֶר לָהֶם שִׁמְשׁוֹן נִקֵּיתִי הַפַּעַם מִפְּלִשְׁתִּים כִּי־עֹשֶׂה אֲנִי עִמָּם רָעָה׃ 15:3
Judg. 15:3 And Samson said to them, “I am more blameless than the Philistines this time when I will be doing mischief against them.”
There might have been others present during this time beside Samson and his father-in-law, but I suspect that Samson was not speaking this aloud to them. The possibility exists, however, that he was speaking another riddle.
וַיֵּלֶךְ שִׁמְשׁוֹן וַיִּלְכֹּד שְׁלֹשׁ־מֵאוֹת שׁוּעָלִים וַיִּקַּח לַפִּדִים וַיֶּפֶן זָנָב אֶל־זָנָב וַיָּשֶׂם לַפִּיד אֶחָד בֵּין־שְׁנֵי 15:4
Judg. 15:4 And Samson went and caught three hundred foxes, and he took torches, and he turned tail to tail, and put one torch between two of the tails in the middle.
וַיַּבְעֶר־אֵשׁ בַּלַּפִּידִים וַיְשַׁלַּח בְּקָמוֹת פְּלִשְׁתִּים וַיַּבְעֵר מִגָּדִישׁ וְעַד־קָמָה וְעַד־כֶּרֶם זָיִת׃ 15:5
Judg. 15:5 Then he set a fire on the torches, and sent into the standing corn of the Philistines, and the stacks burned as well as the standing corn and also the yards of olives.
It seems that the foxes were still alive. When their tails were set afire, they panicked and ran in all directions into the fields.
וַיֹּאמְרוּ פְלִשְׁתִּים מִי עָשָׂה זֹאת וַיֹּאמְרוּ שִׁמְשׁוֹן חֲתַן הַתִּמְנִי כִּי לָקַח אֶת־אִשְׁתּוֹ וַיִּתְּנָהּ לְמֵרֵעֵהוּ 15:6
וַיַּעֲלוּ פְלִשְׁתִּים וַיִּשְׂרְפוּ אוֹתָהּ וְאֶת־אָבִיהָ בָּאֵש׃ׁ
Judg. 15:6 Then the Philistines said, “Who has done this?” And they said, “Samson, son-in-law of the Timnite, because he took his wife and gave her to his friend.” So the Philistines went up and burned her and her father with fire.
וַיֹּאמֶר לָהֶם שִׁמְשׁוֹן אִם־תַּעֲשׂוּן כָּזֹאת כִּי אִם־נִקַּמְתִּי בָכֶם וְאַחַר אֶחְדָּל׃ 15:7
Judg. 15:7 And Samson said to them, “Seeing you can do like this; then surely I have been punished because of you, and hereafter I will rest.”
וַיַּךְ אוֹתָם שׁוֹק עַל־יָרֵךְ מַכָּה גְדוֹלָה וַיֵּרֶד וַיֵּשֶׁב בִּסְעִיף סֶלַע עֵיטָם׃ 15:8
Judg. 15:8 Then he smote them leg on thigh in a great slaughter; then he went down and dwelled in the cleft of the rock of Etam.”
וַיַּעֲלוּ פְלִשְׁתִּים וַיַּחֲנוּ בִּיהוּדָה וַיִּנָּטְשׁוּ בַּלֶּחִי׃ 15:9
Judg. 15:9 Then the Philistines came up and camped in Judah and spread themselves throughout Lehi.
וַיֹּאמְרוּ אִישׁ יְהוּדָה לָמָה עֲלִיתֶם עָלֵינוּ וַיֹּאמְרוּ לֶאֱסוֹר אֶת־שִׁמְשׁוֹן עָלִינוּ לַעֲשׂוֹת לוֹ כַּאֲשֶׁר 15:10
Judg. 15:10 And the men of Judah said, “Why have you come up upon us?” And they said, “We have come up to put Samson in bonds, to do to him as he has done to us.”
וַיֵּרְדוּ שְׁלֹשֶׁת אֲלָפִים אִישׁ מִיהוּדָה אֶל־סְעִיף סֶלַע עֵיטָם וַיֹּאמְרוּ לְשִׁמְשׁוֹן הֲלֹא יָדַעְתָּ כִּי־מֹשְׁלִים 15:11
בָּנוּ פְּלִשְׁתִּים וּמַה־זֹּאת עָשִׂיתָ לָּנוּ וַיֹּאמֶר לָהֶם כַּאֲשֶׁר עָשׂוּ לִי כֵּן עָשִׂיתִי לָהֶם׃
Judg. 15:11 Then three thousand men went down from Judah to the cleft of the rock of Etam and they said to Samson, “Did you not know that the Philistines are ruling over us? Then what is this you have done to us?” And he said to them, “As they did to me, so I did to them.”
וַיֹּאמְרוּ לוֹ לֶאֱסָרְךָ יָרַדְנוּ לְתִתְּךָ בְּיַד־פְּלִשְׁתִּים וַיֹּאמֶר לָהֶם שִׁמְשׁוֹן הִשָּׁבְעוּ לִי פֶּן־תִּפְגְּעוּן בִּי 15:12
Judg. 15:12 And they said to him, “We have come down to bind you, to deliver you into the hand of the Philistines.” And Samson said to them, “Will you swear to me that you will not fall upon me yourselves?”
וַיֹּאמְרוּ לוֹ לֵאמֹר לֹא כִּי־אָסֹר נֶאֱסָרְךָ וּנְתַנּוּךָ בְיָדָם וְהָמֵת לֹא נְמִיתֶךָ וַיַּאַסְרֻהוּ בִּשְׁנַיִם עֲבֹתִים 15:13
חֲדָשִׁים וַיַּעֲלוּהוּ מִן־הַסָּלַע׃
Judg. 15:13 And they answered to him saying, “We will not, but we will bind you fast and deliver you into their hand, and surely we will not kill you.” And they bound him with two new ropes and they brought him up from the rock.
הוּא־בָא עַד־לֶחִי וּפְלִשְׁתִּים הֵרִיעוּ לִקְרָאתוֹ וַתִּצְלַח עָלָיו רוּחַ יְהוָה וַתִּהְיֶינָה הָעֲבֹתִים אֲשֶׁר עַל־ 15:14
זְרוֹעוֹתָיו כַּפִּשְׁתִּים אֲשֶׁר בָּעֲרוּ בָאֵשׁ וַיִּמַּסּוּ אֱסוּרָיו מֵעַל יָדָיו׃
Judg. 15:14 He came as far as Lehi and the Philistines shouted meeting him, and the spirit of the Lord came mightily upon him, and the ropes that were on his arms became like flax that were consumed by fire, and his bindings melted from off his hands.
וַיִּמְצָא לְחִי־חֲמוֹר טְרִיָּה וַיִּשְׁלַח יָדוֹ וַיִּקָּחֶהָ וַיַּךְ־בָּהּ אֶלֶף אִישׁ׃ 15:15
Judg. 15:15 And he found a fresh jawbone of an ass, and he shot forth his hand and took it, and smote a thousand men with it.
וַיֹּאמֶר שִׁמְשׁוֹן בִּלְחִי הַחֲמוֹר חֲמוֹר חֲמֹרָתָיִם בִּלְחִי הַחֲמוֹר הִכֵּיתִי אֶלֶף אִישׁ׃ 15:16
Judg. 15:16 And Samson said,
“With the jawbone of an ass,
A heap of heaps,
With the jawbone of an ass
Have I smitten a thousand men.
וַיְהִי כְּכַלֹּתוֹ לְדַבֵּר וַיַּשְׁלֵךְ הַלְּחִי מִיָּדוֹ וַיִּקְרָא לַמָּקוֹם הַהוּא רָמַת לֶחִי׃ 15:17
Judg. 15:17 And it was at his ending speaking that he cast away the jawbone from his hand. And was given to that place the name Ramath-lehi.
The name Ramath-lehi can mean “height of a jawbone.”
וַיִּצְמָא מְאֹד וַיִּקְרָא אֶל־יְהוָה וַיֹּאמַר אַתָּה נָתַתָּ בְיַד־עַבְדְּךָ אֶת־הַתְּשׁוּעָה הַגְּדֹלָה הַזֹּאת וְעַתָּה 15:18
אָמוּת בַּצָּמָא וְנָפַלְתִּי בְּיַד הָעֲרֵלִים׃
Judg. 15:18 And he was very thirsty, so he called to the Lord and said, “You have given this great deliverance by the hand of your servant, but now I shall die by thirst and fall into the hand of the uncircumcised.”
וַיִּבְקַע אֱלֹהִים אֶת־הַמַּכְתֵּשׁ אֲשֶׁר־בַּלֶּחִי וַיֵּצְאוּ מִמֶּנּוּ מַיִם וַיֵּשְׁתְּ וַתָּשָׁב רוּחוֹ וַיֶּחִי עַל־כֵּן קָרָא 15:19
שְׁמָהּ עֵין הַקּוֹרֵא אֲשֶׁר בַּלֶּחִי עַד הַיּוֹם הַזֶּה׃
Judg. 15:18 Then God opened the hollow that is in Lehi and there came out water from it, and he drank and his spirit came back and he was revived. Therefore he called its name En-hakkore, which is in Lehi until this day.
The name En-hakkore can mean “the spring of a caller.”
וַיִּשְׁפֹּט אֶת־יִשְׂרָאֵל בִּימֵי פְלִשְׁתִּים עֶשְׂרִים שָׁנָה׃ 15:20
Judg. 15:20 And he judged Israel in the days of the Philistines twenty years.