Judges 15:1-20, NLT
Samson’s Vengeance on the Philistines
1Later on, during the wheat harvest, Samson took a young goat as a present to his wife. He said, “I’m going into my wife’s room to sleep with her,” but her father wouldn’t let him in.
2“I truly thought you must hate her,” her father explained, “so I gave her in marriage to your best man. But look, her younger sister is even more beautiful than she is. Marry her instead.”
3Samson said, “This time I cannot be blamed for everything I am going to do to you Philistines.”
6“Who did this?” the Philistines demanded.
“Samson,” was the reply, “because his father-in-law from Timnah gave Samson’s wife to be married to his best man.” So the Philistines went and got the woman and her father and burned them to death.
7“Because you did this,” Samson vowed, “I won’t rest until I take my revenge on you!”
9The Philistines retaliated by setting up camp in Judah and spreading out near the town of Lehi.
The Philistines replied, “We’ve come to capture Samson. We’ve come to pay him back for what he did to us.”
11So 3,000 men of Judah went down to get Samson at the cave in the rock of Etam. They said to Samson, “Don’t you realize the Philistines rule over us? What are you doing to us?”
But Samson replied, “I only did to them what they did to me.”
12But the men of Judah told him, “We have come to tie you up and hand you over to the Philistines.”
“All right,” Samson said. “But promise that you won’t kill me yourselves.”
13“We will only tie you up and hand you over to the Philistines,” they replied. “We won’t kill you.” So they tied him up with two new ropes and brought him up from the rock.
14As Samson arrived at Lehi, the Philistines came shouting in triumph. But the Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon Samson, and he snapped the ropes on his arms as if they were burnt strands of flax, and they fell from his wrists.
“With the jawbone of a donkey,
I’ve piled them in heaps!
With the jawbone of a donkey,
I’ve killed a thousand men!”
17When he finished his boasting, he threw away the jawbone; and the place was named Jawbone Hill.*15:17 Hebrew Ramath-lehi.
18Samson was now very thirsty, and he cried out to the Lord, “You have accomplished this great victory by the strength of your servant. Must I now die of thirst and fall into the hands of these pagans?”
20Samson judged Israel for twenty years during the period when the Philistines dominated the land.