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Friday, March 7 2014

Judges 15: What Did Samson Do On Jawbone Hill?

"With the jawbone of an ass, heaps upon heaps"

The stage had been set for Samson's war with the Philistines (see Judges 13: Should Every Mother Be A Nazarite? and Judges 14: Samson's Riddle). Although the LORD (Who was and is Jesus Christ - see Genesis 1: In The Beginning Was The Word and The Kingdom Of The LORD God) brought it all about for a national purpose, the Judge that He raised up, this time, was driven, more than anything else, by personal animosity - they took his wife away from him.

"15:1 But it came to pass within a while after, in the time of wheat harvest, that Samson visited his wife with a kid; and he said, I will go in to my wife into the chamber. But her father would not suffer him to go in.

15:2 And her father said, I verily thought that thou hadst utterly hated her; therefore I gave her to thy companion: is not her younger sister fairer than she? take her, I pray thee, instead of her.

15:3 And Samson said concerning them, Now shall I be more blameless than the Philistines, though I do them a displeasure." (Judges 15:1=3 KJV)

Samson first responded with an act of arson through the dry fields of grain. The Philistine response to Samson's attack was to burn Samson's wife and her father. Amazingly, it was intended as an act of appeasement by the militarily-powerful Philistine nation to a single, very angry man - Samson. But "Samson said unto them, Though ye have done this, yet will I be avenged of you, and after that I will cease." He then attacked and "smote them hip and thigh with a great slaughter." The Philistine response was a full-scall invasion of Judah with the sole purpose of arresting Samson.

A Donkey

"15:4 And Samson went and caught three hundred foxes, and took firebrands, and turned tail to tail, and put a firebrand in the midst between two tails. 15:5 And when he had set the brands on fire, he let them go into the standing corn of the Philistines, and burnt up both the shocks, and also the standing corn, with the vineyards and olives.

15:6 Then the Philistines said, Who hath done this? And they answered, Samson, the son in law of the Timnite, because he had taken his wife, and given her to his companion.

And the Philistines came up, and burnt her and her father with fire. 15:7 And Samson said unto them, Though ye have done this, yet will I be avenged of you, and after that I will cease. 15:8 And he smote them hip and thigh with a great slaughter: and he went down and dwelt in the top of the rock Etam.

15:9 Then the Philistines went up, and pitched in Judah, and spread themselves in Lehi. 15:10 And the men of Judah said, Why are ye come up against us? And they answered, To bind Samson are we come up, to do to him as he hath done to us." (Judges 15:4-10 KJV)

The people of Judah (Samson was of the tribe of Dan i.e. Judges 13:2), or more specifically, an army force of "three thousand men," rather than defend their nation, agreed to surrender the man by whom the LORD was delivering them, from the Philistines, to the Philistines. So they took Samson and "they bound him with two new cords, and brought him up from the rock."

"15:11 Then three thousand men of Judah [see also Joshua 15: Judah's Homeland] went to the top of the rock Etam, and said to Samson, Knowest thou not that the Philistines are rulers over us? what is this that thou hast done unto us?

And he said unto them, As they did unto me, so have I done unto them.

15:12 And they said unto him, We are come down to bind thee, that we may deliver thee into the hand of the Philistines.

And Samson said unto them, Swear unto me, that ye will not fall upon me yourselves.

15:13 And they spake unto him, saying, No; but we will bind thee fast, and deliver thee into their hand: but surely we will not kill thee. And they bound him with two new cords, and brought him up from the rock." (Judges 15:11-13 KJV)

Despite their humble nature, from which they are often mocked and viewed with disrespect (although the Messiah certainly thought highly of them when He rode them in His triumphal entry into Jerusalem; see The Messiah's Triumphal Entry Into The Temple and The Ascent From Bethany), donkeys were valuable work animals that have served humans since very ancient times. Even after they died, they continued to serve mankind with products from their hides and bones.

After Samson was taken away by the Philistines, "the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon him, and the cords that were upon his arms became as flax that was burnt with fire, and his bands loosed from off his hands. And he found a new jawbone of an ass, and put forth his hand, and took it, and slew a thousand men therewith." Then "he cast away the jawbone out of his hand, and called that place Ramathlehi" - in Hebrew, Ramathlehi means jawbone hill.

"15:14 And when he came unto Lehi, the Philistines shouted against him: and the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon him, and the cords that were upon his arms became as flax that was burnt with fire, and his bands loosed from off his hands. 15:15 And he found a new jawbone of an ass, and put forth his hand, and took it, and slew a thousand men therewith.

15:16 And Samson said, With the jawbone of an ass, heaps upon heaps, with the jaw of an ass have I slain a thousand men.

15:17 And it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking, that he cast away the jawbone out of his hand, and called that place Ramathlehi." (Judges 15:14-17 KJV)

The LORD then provided Samson with a miraculous supply of water. As we will cover in our next chapter study, Samson's service to the LORD was not yet complete - there was yet a matter with a certain woman named Delilah.

"15:18 And he was sore athirst, and called on the LORD, and said, Thou hast given this great deliverance into the hand of thy servant: and now shall I die for thirst, and fall into the hand of the uncircumcised? 15:19 But God clave an hollow place that was in the jaw, and there came water thereout; and when he had drunk, his spirit came again, and he revived: wherefore he called the name thereof Enhakkore, which is in Lehi unto this day.

15:20 And he judged Israel in the days of the Philistines twenty years." (Judges 15:18-20 KJV)

Fact Finder: After the era of the Judges, did King David also battle the Philistines as Samson did?
See Samson And Goliath, Yesterday And Today

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This Day In History, March 7

322 BC: The Greek philosopher Aristotle died. He was a teacher of Alexander the Great (see A History Of Jerusalem: Greeks, Ptolemies, Seleucids and The Prophet Daniel: The Ram and The He Goat).

161: Emperor Antoninus Pius died and was succeeded by his adopted sons Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus.

Constantine with Sol Invictus 321: The inventor of today's "Sunday": Emperor Constantine I decreed that the Babylonian/Roman Dies Solis Invicti ("Sun day") was to be the official day of rest of the Roman Empire (see Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy and Why Observe The True Sabbath?; also A History Of Jerusalem: Constantine and Muhammad).

1080: Pope Gregory VII deposed King Henry IV of Germany in a dispute over the selection of bishops (see Emperors and Popes and The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation).

1793: France declared war on Spain.

1799: Napoleon Bonaparte captured Jaffa in "Palestine" (see also The Joppa Lessons Of Jonah And Peter).

1814: Napoleon, with 37,000 troops, defeated 90,000 Prussians the Battle of Craonne in France.

1821: The Austrians with a force of 80,000, trying to restore Ferdinand IV to the throne of Naples, heavily defeated a force of 12,000 Neapolitans under Pepe at the Battle of Rieti.

1876: Alexander Graham Bell received a patent for the telephone.

1906: Finland became the first democratic country to give women the right to vote.

1912: Roald Amundsen announced the discovery of the South Pole.

1912: French aviator Henri Seimet flew non-stop from London to Paris in 3 hours.

1918: The Bolsheviks renamed themselves as the Russian Communist Party.

1926: The first transatlantic telephone call, London to New York.

1935: The Saar was incorporated into Germany.

1936: Nazi Germany violated the Treaty of Versailles by reoccupying the Rhineland (on borders of Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg and France). Under the treaty, the region was to remain under control of the allied nations for 5 to 15 years after the end of WW1, with Germany forbidden to militarize the area, but the last allied troops, the French, withdrew in 1930 (see Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion and The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation).

1942: The British evacuated Rangoon, after completing all essential demolition. The Japanese entered the city the next day.

1965: Police in Selma, Alabama used clubs and whips against 600 civil rights demonstrators.

1979: Voyager 1 arrived at Jupiter.

1986: Divers located the mostly-intact crew cabin of the Challenger space shuttle on the ocean floor.

1989: Iran broke off diplomatic relations with Britain over Salman Rushdie's novel "Satanic Verses."

2007: The British House of Commons voted to make the upper chamber, the House of Lords, fully elected.


Copyright © Wayne Blank