OceanSide church of Christ

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Lesson #18


Twenty Years as A Judge (5)

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)

B.     The Inquiry by Judah (Judg. 15:10)

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

1.       The confrontation of Samson (Judg. 15:11)

2.       The capture of Samson (Judg. 15:12-13)

a.       The purpose (Judg. 15:12a)


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


1)       This involves irony for sure.  Israel desires to bind the one who is supposed to deliver them.

2)       In addition, they want to hand him into the hands of their enemies.

b.      The plea (Judg. 15:12b)


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


1)       Samson wants Israel to promise him that they will not kill him.

2)       Why did he have such a desire?

a)       Perhaps he knew that had they tried to kill him a bloody battle with his brethren would have ensued.

b)      This threat of the Philistines may have enraged Samson’s heart against them again.  He may have greatly desired to be put among his enemies again.  He had already won two victories over them.

c.       The promise (Judg. 15:13a)


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…


1)       Most likely the Israelites wanted no trouble.

2)       If this was all Samson was asking of them, it was easy for them to promise.

3)       These cowards got exactly what they desired:  “peace” with their enemies and the removal of one, they believed, had caused them trouble.

4)       Lesson:  This is often the reaction of members of the church and leaderships to difficulty.  They get rid of the man of God and desire “peace” with their enemies.

d.      The prisoner (Judg. 15:13b)


And they bound him with two new cords, and brought him up from the rock.


1)       Those who know the story of Samson can almost laugh as they see Samson tied with cords.

2)       Later, we will see that the cords of the Israelites and the cords of the Philistines cannot hold his powerful man.

3)       “All this passivity raises the impression that Samson is almost enjoying this, taking strange, bitter, convoluted pleasure from the whole affair” (Grossman, 96).

4)       “Samson’s action here, unlike much of his previous conduct, was very commendable” (Butler, 109).  Butler sees wisdom in Samson’s decision.

a)       “First, it avoided a bloody fight between him and men of his own nation” (Butler, 109).

b)      “Second, it gave him an advantage in attacking the evil Philistines” (Butler, 109).

c)       “Third, smiting the Philistines without having a major conflict with his own nation…would make it easier to gain support of his people” (Butler, 109).

5)       The men of Judah were still guilty of two crimes.

a)       An accomplice to a crime is guilty of the crime.  The men of Judah were accomplices with the Philistines.

b)      They endeavored to maintain peace with the enemy by one of the worse possible means, namely, by betraying a brother (Butler, 110).

6)       Lesson:  A comparison between Samson and Christ in this betrayal.


Samson                                                                  Christ


1.       Samson willingly suffered shame and                       1.  Jesus willingly suffered shame and re-

reproach at the hands of his brethren to                       proach from the hands of his brethren to

be their deliverer.                                                       be their savior.


2.       One man, Samson, was delivered to the                  2.  One man, Jesus, was delivered to the

Philistines, a foreign power, and oppres-                       Romans, a foreign power, and oppressive

sive ruler.                                                                    empire (Matt. 27:1-2).


3.       The Israelites professed that the only ruler               3.  The Jew acknowledged that they, too, had

of their land was the Philistines.                                   one king, Caesar (John 19:15).


4.       Israel did not kill Samson themselves, but               4.   The Jews did not kill Jesus themselves, but

delivered him to the Philistines to be killed.                            delivered Him to the Romans to be killed.


D.    Intrusion by Samson (Judg. 15:14-17)

1.       Shout of the Philistines (Judg. 15:14a)


And when he came unto Lehi, the Philistines shouted against him…


a.       Lehi was a city in Judah.  It means “cheek” or “jaw.”

b.      Perhaps the Israelites had agreed to meet the Philistines here for the transfer of Samson.

c.       Seeing Samson bound and delivered into their hands, the Philistines cried out against him.

2.       Spirit of power (Judg. 15:14b)


…and the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon him, and the cords that were upon his arms became as flax that was burned with fire, and he bonds loosed from off  his hands.


a.       This is the fourth time we read of the Spirit coming upon Samson (Jdg. 13:25; 14:6, 19).

b.      Each time, power is given to this servant of God.

c.       Flax was the thread used to make linen garments.  When it was burned, it was easily broken.

d.      Samson snapped the ropes with which he was bound with ease.

e.       Two points:

1)       Samson was no longer bound.  He was free.

2)       Can you imagine the fear that came upon the Philistines when they saw Samson’s hands free from the ropes?

f.     Lesson:  “In regards to our Savior Jesus Christ, He willingly submitted to bonds and was delivered up to death.  But death could not keep Him bound, for God ‘loosed’ Him (Acts 2:24) by his Spirit (Rom. 8:11), and He arose from the grave triumphant over all His foes” (Butler, 112).


3.       Strike against Philistia (Judg. 15:15-17)

a.       Samson’s baton (Judg. 15:15a)


And He found a new jawbone of an ass, and put forth his hand, and took it…


1)       Samson always fights with organic weapons:  his hands, foxes, and now the jawbone of a donkey.

2)       Samson’s use of the jawbone once again brought him into violation of the Law of Moses (Lev. 11:1-8, esp. v. 8).


Of their flesh shall ye not eat, and their carcase shall ye not touch; they are unclean to you.