1Some time later when the wheat was being harvested, Samson went to pay his wife a visit, taking with him a young goat as a present. “I want to go to my wife in her bedroom,” he said when he arrived, but her father would not let him go in.
2“I thought you must totally hate her, so I gave her to your best man,” he told Samson. “But her younger sister is even more attractive—why don't you marry her instead?”
3“This time I can't be blamed for the trouble I'm going to cause the Philistines,” Samson declared.
4He went and caught three hundred foxes and tied their tails together, two by two.
5He attached a torch to each of the tied tails and set them on fire. Then he let them loose in the grain fields of the Philistines, setting fire to all the grain, harvested and unharvested, as well as the vineyards and olive groves.
6“Who did this?” the Philistines asked. “It was Samson, the son-in-law of the man from Timnah,” they were told. “That man gave Samson's wife to Samson's best man.” So the Philistines went and burned her and her father to death.
7Samson told them, “If this is the way you're going to act, then I won't stop until I take my revenge on you!”
8He attacked them violently, killing them, and then left to go and live in a cave at the rock of Etam.
9So the Philistine army came and camped in Judah, drawn up for battle near Lehi.
10The people of Judah asked, “Why have you invaded us?” “We've come to capture Samson, to do to him what he's done to us!” they replied.
11Three thousand men of Judah went to the cave at the rock of Etam and asked Samson, “Don't you understand that the Philistines rule over us? What do you think you're doing to us?” “I only did what they did to me,” he replied.
12“Well, we've come to take you prisoner and hand you over to the Philistines,” they told him. “Just swear to me that you're not going to kill me yourselves,” Samson answered.
13“No, we won't,” they assured him. “We'll only tie you up and hand you over to the Philistines. We certainly aren't going to kill you!” They tied him using two new ropes and led him up from the rock.
14When Samson got close to Lehi, the Philistines ran towards him, shouting at him. But the Spirit of the Lord swept over him, and the ropes tying his arms together became as weak as burnt flax, and his hands broke free.
15He grabbed the fresh jawbone of a donkey, using it to kill a thousand Philistines.
16Then Samson declared, “With a donkey's jawbone I have piled the dead into heaps. With a donkey's jawbone I have killed a thousand men.”
17After Samson had finished his speech, he threw away the jawbone, and he named the place Hill of the Jawbone.
18He was now extremely thirsty, and he Samson called out to the Lord, saying, “You have achieved this amazing victory through your servant, but now do I have to die of thirst and be captured by the heathen?”
19So God split open a rock seam in Lehi, and water came out of it. Samson drank and his strength returned—he felt much better. That's why he named it the Spring of the Caller, and it's still there in Lehi to this very day.
20Samson led Israel as judge for twenty years during the time of the Philistines.