Daniel P. Barron

Judges 15

Thursday, May 5, 2022 

1 And it was after some days, in days of wheat harvest, so Samson visited his woman with a kid of goats. And he said, “Let me go in to my wife, to her room.” And her father did not permit him to go in. 2 And her father said, “Saying, I said, that hating you hate her, so I gave her to your companion. Is not her younger sister better than her? Please, let her be yours instead of her.”

3 And Samson said to them, “This time I am blameless from Philistines, when I deal with them bad.” 4 And he went and captured three hundred foxes. And he took torches and turned tail to tail. And he put one torch in the middle between two of the foxes. 5 And he set the torches on fire, and sent in standing grain of Philistines. And he burned from stacked grain and unto standing grain and unto vineyard and olive tree.

6 And Philistines said, “Who did this?” And they said, “Samson, the son in law of the Timnite, because he took his woman and gave her to his companion.” And Philistines went up and burned her and her father in the fire. 7 And Samson said to them, “Since you do as this, therefore I will take vengeance on you, and afterwards I will stop.” 8 And he struck them leg i upon thigh, ii a great slaughter, and went down and dwelt in a cleft of a rock iii of Etam. iv

9 And Philistines went up and camped in Judah and spread out in the Jaw. v 10 And the men of Judah said, “Why have you come up against us?” And they said, “We have come up to bind Samson, to do to him just as he did to us.” 11 And three thousand men from Judah went down to a cleft of a rock of Etam. And they said to Samson, “Do you not know that Philistines rule in us? So, what is this you are doing to us?” And he said to them, “Just as they did to me, so I did to them.” 12 And they said to him, “We have come down to bind you and to give you in hand of Philistines.” And Samson said to them, “Swear to me, lest you come against me yourselves.” 13 And they spoke to him saying, “No, for we will surely bind you and give you in their hand. We will surely not kill you.” And they bound him with two new ropes, and brought him up from the rock.

14 He was coming unto Jaw, and Philistines came to meet him shouting. And spirit of Yehvah rushed upon him, and the ropes that were on his arms were like flax that is burned in the fire; and his bonds melted vi from upon his hands. 15 And he found a fresh vii jaw of a donkey, and reached out his hand and took it, and he struck with it a thousand men. 16 And Samson said, “With the jaw of the donkey, a donkey, two donkeys, viii with the jaw of the donkey I have struck a thousand men.”

17 And it was, when he finished speaking, he threw the jaw from his hand, and called that place Jaw Height. ix 18 And he was very thirsty and called to Yehvah. And he said, “You gave in hand of your servant this great salvation, and now I will die in the thirst and fall in hand of the ones who have foreskin.” 19 And Gods, he split the mortar x that was in the Jaw, and water came out from it. And he drank, and his spirit returned, xi and he revived. And her name was therefore called, Spring of The Crying Out, xii which is in the Jaw unto this day. 20 And he judged Israel in days of Philistines twenty years.

Judges 14 - Judges 16

Translated by Darwin Fish. See original pdf. xiii

  1. שׁוֹק (shoq) “leg” DRA; TLV; “hip” NKJV, KJV, YLT – same word for “leg” (YLT) e.g. in Numbers 18:18 (“thigh” NKJV). ^
  2. שׁוֹק עַל־יָרֵךְ (shoq `al-yârêkh) “leg upon thigh” TLV; “hip and thigh” NKJV, KJV, YLT; “ruthlessly” NAS ^
  3. Hebrews 11:38 ^
  4. עֵיטָם (êytâm) “Etam” - found also in Judges 15:11; 1 Chronicles 4:3, 32; 2 Chronicles 11:6. ^
  5. בַּלֶּחִי (ballechiy) “in the Jaw” - NKJV “Lehi” which is a transliteration of the word for “jaw” לְחִי (lechiy) e.g. Job 41:2 or “cheek” e.g. 1 Kings 22:24 or “jawbone” e.g. Judges 15:15-17. ^
  6. יִּמַּסּוּ (yimmassu) “melted” CEB, Green, EHV, etc.; “broke loose” NKJV; “loosed” KJV; “dropped” NAS; “wasted” YLT – same root word as e.g. in Exodus 16:21 “melted” NKJV. ^
  7. טְרִיָּה (teriyyâh) “fresh” - this means that it wasn't necessarily just the jaw bone. Being fresh, it's possible the jaw still had flesh (meat) and skin on it. The term translated “jawbone,” לְחִי (lechiy), does not dictate bone, per se, but rather the jaw/cheek area (see above footnote). This chapter is the only place NKJV translates it “jawbone.” WYC translates it “cheek[bone].” ^
  8. חֲמוֹר חֲמֹרָחָים (chamor chamorâtâyim) “a donkey, two donkeys”; YLT “an ass upon asses”; EXB, NCV “I made donkeys out of them”; Green “a heap, two heaps”; NKJV “Heaps upon heaps” - the first word, חֲמוֹר (chamor), is the same exact word as the word for “donkey” (2x in this verse) in the phrase “jaw of a donkey.” The second word here is the dual (i.e. two) plural for “donkeys.” A word for “heap” phonetically close to the Hebrew word for “donkey” is חֹמֶר (chomer) e.g. Habakkuk 3:15; in plural form, חֳמָרִם [châmârim], Exodus 8:14(H10) 2x. ^
  9. רָמַח לֶחִי (râmat lechiy) “Jaw Height” - Green “Jawbone Height”; ISV “Jawbone Heights”; NKJV, etc. “Ramath Lehi” - for “Height” see footnote for Joshua 13:26. ^
  10. מַּכְחֵּשׁ (makhtêsh) “mortar”; NKJV, KJV, NAS, YLT “hollow place”; LXX “λάκκον” (lakkon) “pit” or “τραῦμα” (trauma) “wound” - this word for “mortar” can also be found in Proverbs 27:22 (“mortar” NKJV) & Zephaniah 1:11 (“Mortar” NAS). MW defines “mortar” as “a sturdy vessel in which material is pounded or rubbed with a pestle.” This fits Proverbs 27:22, and the possible imagery here as a hollow place in the rock. Some translations equate the “mortar” or “hollow place” with the jaw of the donkey. Thus, DRA has, “Lord opened a great tooth in the jaw of the ass”; GNV “God brake the cheek tooth, that was in the jaw”; JUB “God broke a tooth that was in the jaw”; WYC “Lord opened a wang tooth in the cheekbone of the ass.” Yet, end of vs 19 dictates a land location, “which is in the Jaw unto this day.” ^
  11. “spirit returned” - in Luke 8:55 where “her spirit returned” context is she was dead. See also James 2:26. 1 Kings 17 the child had “no breath left in him” (vs 17) and the “soul of the child returned” (1 Kings 17:22). ^
  12. עֵין הַקּוֹרֵא (`êyn haqqorê') “Spring of The Crying Out”; YLT “The fountain of him who is calling”; NKJV “En Hakkore.” ^
  13. Mirrored here^

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