July 9, 2019: Day 73 – Judges 15

It seems like even though Samson was judging the Israelites the Philistines were still masters over  them, as we read in vs.11.  We also read that in the last chapter, 14:4.  So Samson decides  that he wants to be with his wife again, you  know the one that he gave to his companion in 14:20 and when he gets to where he expects to find her the father of the bride says that she is with his companion.  Why don't you just settle on her sister, after all, her sister is pretty as well.  So the father of his wife refuses to allow Samson in to see his daughter. Well, what do you do when you are angry?  Everyone has their own version of blowing off steam, and Samson's version is to tie the tails of foxes together and light them on fire so that they would run through the fields of the Philistines.  As a result all of their wheat, grapes, and olives trees would be burned to the ground.   So Samson goes and burns off steam and of course those very sensitive Philistines become angry and they ask why Samson did this.  They found out about the father-in-law thing so they end up  burning and killing his father-in-law and apparently the woman who was still Samson's wife.  Finally, Samson says, when I kill Philistines people will say that it is not a random act of violence, but rather that I was justified because they killed my wife, even if I had given my wife away to my companion. The Philistines come  looking for  Samson who happens to be in the cleft of a rock.  Remember who else was in the cleft of a rock?  Look at I Kings 19 for an answer as well as Exodus 33:22.  The Israelites come up and plead with him because the Philistines are about to slaughter them for what Samson had done.  Okay, bring me down to see the Philistines.  They do, and he slaughters them instead.  As a result, Israel had peace for 40 years.  Actually it doesn't say that, like it says with all the other judges. It just gives a non-committal fact that Samson judged Israel for 20 years.  No value judgment there.  Samson, like just about all of our biblical characters, is complex and messy.  Things are about to get messier.
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