Good News Translation (GNB)

151Some time later Samson went to visit his wife during the wheat harvest and took her a young goat. He said to her father, “I want to go to my wife's room.”

But he wouldn't let him go in. 2He said to Samson, “I really thought that you hated her, so I gave her to your friend. But her younger sister is prettier, anyway. You can have her, instead.”

3Samson said, “This time I'm not going to be responsible for what I do to the Philistines!” 4So he went and caught 300 foxes. Two by two, he tied their tails together and put torches in the knots. 5Then he set fire to the torches and turned the foxes loose in the Philistine cornfields. In this way he burnt up not only the corn that had been harvested but also the corn that was still in the fields, and the olive orchards as well. 6When the Philistines asked who had done this, they learnt that Samson had done it because his father-in-law, a man from Timnah, had given Samson's wife to a friend of Samson's. So the Philistines went and burnt the woman to death and burnt down her father's house.15.6 burnt the womanhouse; or burnt the woman and her family to death.

7Samson told them, “So this is how you act! I swear that I won't stop until I pay you back!” 8He attacked them fiercely and killed many of them. Then he went and stayed in the cave in the cliff at Etam.

Samson Defeats the Philistines

9The Philistines came and made camp in Judah, and attacked the town of Lehi. 10The men of Judah asked them, “Why are you attacking us?”

They answered, “We came to take Samson prisoner and to treat him as he treated us.” 11So 3,000 men of Judah went to the cave in the cliff at Etam and said to Samson, “Don't you know that the Philistines are our rulers? What have you done to us?”

He answered, “I did to them just what they did to me.”

12They said, “We have come here to tie you up, so that we can hand you over to them.”

Samson said, “Give me your word that you won't kill me yourselves.”

13“All right,” they said, “we are only going to tie you up and hand you over to them. We won't kill you.” So they tied him up with two new ropes and brought him back from the cliff.

14When he got to Lehi, the Philistines came running towards him, shouting at him. Suddenly the power of the LORD made him strong, and he broke the ropes round his arms and hands as if they were burnt thread. 15Then he found the jawbone of a donkey that had recently died. He bent down and picked it up, and killed a thousand men with it. 16So Samson sang,

“With the jawbone of a donkey I killed a thousand men;

With the jawbone of a donkey I piled them up in piles.”15.16 piles: This word sounds like the Hebrew for “donkey”.

17After that, he threw the jawbone away. The place where this happened was named Ramath Lehi.15.17 Ramath Lehi: This name in Hebrew means “Jawbone Hill”.

18Then Samson became very thirsty, so he called to the LORD and said, “You gave me this great victory; am I now going to die of thirst and be captured by these heathen Philistines?” 19Then God opened a hollow place in the ground there at Lehi, and water came out of it. Samson drank it and began to feel much better. So the spring was named Hakkore;15.19 Hakkore: This name in Hebrew means “caller”. it is still there at Lehi.

20Samson led Israel for twenty years while the Philistines ruled the land.