Judges 15:9-17 New International Version

Samson Defeats the Philistines at Lehi

9  The Philistines went up and camped in Judah, spreading out near Lehi. 10  The people of Judah asked, "Why have you come to fight us?" "We have come to take Samson prisoner," they answered, "to do to him as he did to us." 11  Then three thousand men from Judah went down to the cave in the rock of Etam and said to Samson, "Don't you realize that the Philistines are rulers over us? What have you done to us?" He answered, "I merely did to them what they did to me." 12  They said to him, "We've come to tie you up and hand you over to the Philistines." Samson said, "Swear to me that you won't kill me yourselves." 13  "Agreed," they answered. "We will only tie you up and hand you over to them. We will not kill you." So they bound him with two new ropes and led him up from the rock. 14  As he approached Lehi, the Philistines came toward him shouting. The Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon him. The ropes on his arms became like charred flax, and the bindings dropped from his hands. 15  Finding a fresh jawbone of a donkey, he grabbed it and struck down a thousand men. 16  Then Samson said, "With a donkey's jawbone I have made donkeys of them.[1]With a donkey's jawbone I have killed a thousand men." 17  When he finished speaking, he threw away the jawbone; and the place was called Ramath Lehi.[2]


[1] 15:16 Or "made a heap or two" ; the Hebrew for "donkey" sounds like the Hebrew for "heap."

[2] 15:17 "Ramath Lehi" means "jawbone hill."

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