Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Samson's Revenge (Judges 14-15)

Hey, Samson, you look exhausted. Why are you so tired?
You would be tired too if you had just killed a thousand Philistines with the jawbone of an ass. But, hee, hee, I made donkeys of them.
That is an amazing feat. But Samson, what drove you to do such a thing?
It was clearly self-preservation. An army of Philistines approached three thousand of my own countrymen and persuaded them to hand me over. They would have killed me.
But Samson, it is an unusual thing for an army to pursue just one man. What made you so "wanted" in their eyes.
I was hiding from them because I had accomplished a great slaughter of their men down in Timnah.
Samson, so much killing! Why did you kill those men?
For good reason! They had burned down the house of my father-in-law with him and my wife inside. They deserved what they received.
Perhaps they did. But why would they burn down that house.
I suppose it was because of the fires set by the foxes tails tied together with torches, 300 hundred in all. What a success! It burned their standing grain and their shocks of grain and their olive groves and their vineyards.
And probably not a few foxes as well. I must say that was a clever and cruel deed. Why did you go to all that trouble.
I wanted to show them that they couldn't treat me lightly. My father-in-law gave my wife away as wife of one of my friends.
Well why would he do such a thing, in light of the family agreement and community celebration and all?
Maybe it was because I left angry and in haste after I had killed thirty men and stolen their garments. I guess he thought that I hated her.
Why were you so angry?
Well, it's a long story, but I lost a bet. I was sure it was a no-lose situation. They could never have figured out the riddle that I proposed. But they threatened my wife with burning if she did not draw the secret out of me. And finally, I gave in.
So Samson, these two chapters of revenge and retaliation all started with a riddle, with a bet? 
They deserved it.
So how's that working out for you? 
Everything's fine. I think my troubles are over.
(Read Judges 16)

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