Judges 15:1-20 Comments by Stephen Ricker
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With a Donkey's Jawbone
Comments for Study 14

Judges 15:1-20
Memory Verse: 15:16

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I. Three Hundred Foxes (15:1-8)

>1. What did Samson decide to do? (1)

* Judges 15:1 "Later on, at the time of wheat harvest, Samson took a young goat and went to visit his wife. He said, "I'm going to my wife's room." But her father would not let him go in."

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>What bad news did his father-in-law tell him? (2)

* Judges 15:2 ""I was so sure you thoroughly hated her," he said, "that I gave her to your friend. Isn't her younger sister more attractive? Take her instead."

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>Why might Samson's father-in-law do this?

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>2. How does Samson's statement tell us what he really intended? (3)

* Judges 15:3 "Samson said to them, "This time I have a right to get even with the Philistines; I will really harm them."

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>What did he do to inflict heavy damage on Israel's oppressors? (4-5)

* Judges 15:4-5 "So he went out and caught three hundred foxes and tied them tail to tail in pairs. He then fastened a torch to every pair of tails, lit the torches and let the foxes loose in the standing grain of the Philistines. He burned up the shocks and standing grain, together with the vineyards and olive groves."

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>Was Samson's actions just in the eyes of the Lord? (Heb. 11:32-40)

* Hebrews 11:32-40 "And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and the prophets, who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies. Women received back their dead, raised to life again. Others were tortured and refused to be released, so that they might gain a better resurrection. Some faced jeers and flogging, while still others were chained and put in prison. They were stoned; they were sawed in two; they were put to death by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated-- the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, and in caves and holes in the ground. These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.

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>3. What form of justice did the Philistines enact? (6)

* Judges 15:6 "When the Philistines asked, "Who did this?" they were told, "Samson, the Timnite's son-in-law, because his wife was given to his friend." So the Philistines went up and burned her and her father to death."

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>How did Samson use it to his cause? (7)

* Judges 15:7 "Samson said to them, "Since you've acted like this, I won't stop until I get my revenge on you."

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>Why did he need to stay in a cave? (8)

* Judges 15:8 "He attacked them viciously and slaughtered many of them. Then he went down and stayed in a cave in the rock of Etam."

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II. I Have Made Donkey's of Them (15:9-17)

>4. Why did the Philistines need to muster an army to capture Samson? (9)

* Judges 15:9 "The Philistines went up and camped in Judah, spreading out near Lehi."

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>How did the Jews respond? (10)

* Judges 15:10 "The men of Judah asked, "Why have you come to fight us?" "We have come to take Samson prisoner," they answered, "to do to him as he did to us."

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>5. Did his fellow Israelites appreciate what he was doing for them? (11)

* Judges 15:11 "Then three thousand men from Judah went down to the cave in the rock of Etam and said to Samson, "Don't you realize that the Philistines are rulers over us? What have you done to us?" He answered, "I merely did to them what they did to me."

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>What must have he felt like when they told him their intent? (12)

* Judges 15:12 "They said to him, "We've come to tie you up and hand you over to the Philistines." Samson said, "Swear to me that you won't kill me yourselves."

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>How did their betrayal foreshadow what happened to Jesus? (13; Acts 3:12-15)

* Judges 15:13 "Agreed," they answered. "We will only tie you up and hand you over to them. We will not kill you." So they bound him with two new ropes and led him up from the rock."

* Acts 3:12-15 "When Peter saw this, he said to them: "Men of Israel, why does this surprise you? Why do you stare at us as if by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk? The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus. You handed him over to be killed, and you disowned him before Pilate, though he had decided to let him go. You disowned the Holy and Righteous One and asked that a murderer be released to you. You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. We are witnesses of this."

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>6. How did the Lord bless Samson's faith? (14)

* Judges 15:14 "As he approached Lehi, the Philistines came toward him shouting. The Spirit of the LORD came upon him in power. The ropes on his arms became like charred flax, and the bindings dropped from his hands."

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>What miracle took place? (15-16)

* Judges 15:15-16 "Finding a fresh jawbone of a donkey, he grabbed it and struck down a thousand men. Then Samson said, "With a donkey's jawbone I have made donkeys of them. With a donkey's jawbone I have killed a thousand men."

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>How does his life of faith agree and differ from ours?

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III. Samson's Thirst (15:18-20)

>7. What can be learned about Samson's relationship with the Lord through verse 18?

* Judges 15:18 "Because he was very thirsty, he cried out to the LORD, "You have given your servant this great victory. Must I now die of thirst and fall into the hands of the uncircumcised?"

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>What kind of relationship do believer's in Jesus now have? (Eph. 1:3-10)

* Ephesians 1:3-10 "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will-- to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment--to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ."

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>How does our relationship with him grow? (John 6:53-57)

* John 6:53-57 "Jesus said to them, "I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him. Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me."

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>8. How did the Lord answer his prayer? (19)

* Judges 15:19 "Then God opened up the hollow place in Lehi, and water came out of it. When Samson drank, his strength returned and he revived. So the spring was called En Hakkore, and it is still there in Lehi."

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>What can be learned?

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>9. How can the Bible claim Samson lead Israel when they betrayed him to their enemies? (20)

* Judges 15:20 "Samson led Israel for twenty years in the days of the Philistines."

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