OceanSide church of Christ

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Lesson #17


Twenty Years as A Judge (4)

Judges 15:1-20

Victor M. Eskew



I.             OPERATING OUR OF VENGEANCE (Judg. 15:1-8)


II.           OVERTHROWING THE ENEMY (Judg. 15:9-17)


A.     The Invasion of Judah (Judg. 15:9)


Then the Philistines went up, and pitched in Judah, and spread themselves in Lehi.


1.       The concern of the Philistines:  This is seen in the word “then.”

a.       The Philistines now see Samson as a formidable foe.

b.      What happened in Ashkelon was just a feud.  The burning of the crops and the savage attack on a multitude of men was viewed as nation against nation.

2.       The coming of the Philistines.

a.       They pitched in Judah.  Somehow they learned the approximate position of Samson.

b.      They spread themselves:

1)       To create a powerful presence that would intimidate Judah.

2)       To permeate as much territory as possible in order to have control.

3.       Two lessons:

a.       Our enemy, Satan, will attack when he feel threatened by us.

b.      The attacks of Satan will “spread themselves” in an effort to overwhelm and control us.


B.     The Inquiry by Judah (Judg. 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.


1.       Ignorance

a.       Judah’s question displays their ignorance about the exploits of Samson.  Their judge had fought the enemy, yet they knew it not.

b.      Lesson:  “And this ignorance is the worst ignorance man can ever experience.  It will, as in the case of Judah’s ignorance of Samson, cause folk to dishonor that which they ought to be honoring, to rebuke that which they ought to be revering, and to forsake that which they ought to be following” (Butler, 106).

2.       Information

c.       The Philistines told Judah why they were there, that is, to bind Samson.

a.       Notice that the circle of revenge continues:  “…as he hath done to us.”

b.      What was Judah to do?

1)       They could stand with Samson and possibly be slaughtered by the Philistines.

2)       They could side with the Philistines and turn Samson over to them.


C.     The Involvement of Judah (Judg. 15:11-13)

1.       The Confrontation of Samuel (Judg. 15:11)


Then three thousand men of Judah went up 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.



a.       The multitude of men

1)       The Israelites took three thousand men in order to confront and capture one man.

2)       Although the Israelites were ignorant of Samson’s fight with the Philistines, they were well aware of the strength of Samson.

3)       They did not intend for Samson to escape from them.

b.      The statement of submission

1)       The Israelites acknowledged that they were under submission to the Philistines.  “Knowest thou not that the Philistines are rulers over us?”

2)       Remember, they are confronting their judge.  This was supposed to be the man who would deliver them from oppression.

3)       These men have no intention of opposing their enemies.  Instead, they oppose the one who should have been their best friend.

4)       Lesson:  This happens many times in life.  Evil is accepted and the righteous are the ones who are opposed (Prov. 17:15; Mal. 2:17; 3:15).


He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just, even they both are an abomination to the Lord.


a)       Islam is applauded and Christianity is condemned.

b)      Criminals are protected and the police are ridiculed.

c)       Those who oppress with higher taxes and more regulations are supported and those who would free us from taxes and regulations are viewed as the enemy.

c.       The concern of cowards

1)       These men held Samson accountable as if he was the troubler of Israel.  “What is this that thou hast done unto us?”

2)       They should have applauded Samson.  They should have rallied behind him.  “But the men of Judah treated him as though he had done them a great disservice” (Butler, 107).

3)       Lesson:   How would each of us react if someone really caused the denominations in our community to become greatly disturbed due the exposure of their false doctrines?

d.      The voice of vengeance

1)       The circle of vengeance continues to go round and round.

2)       The Philistines were doing the things they were doing because of what Samson had done.  Samson had done the things he did because of what the Philistines had done to him.  “As they did unto me, so have I done unto them.”

3)       Lesson:  Getting even never makes for peace.  It only keeps the cycle of violence moving forward.