|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
15:9-17 Sin dispirits men, it hides from their eyes the things that belong to their peace. The Israelites blamed Samson for what he had done against the Philistines, as if he had done them a great injury. Thus our Lord Jesus did many good works, and for those the Jews were ready to stone him. When the Spirit of the Lord came upon Samson, his cords were loosed: where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty, and those are free indeed who are thus set free. Thus Christ triumphed over the powers of darkness that shouted against him, as if they had him in their power. Samson made great destruction among the Philistines. To take the bone of an ass for this, was to do wonders by the foolish things of the world, that the excellency of the power might be of God, not of man. This victory was not in the weapon, was not in the arm; but it was in the Spirit of God, which moved the weapon by the arm. We can do all things through Him that strengtheneth us. Seest thou a poor Christian, who is enabled to overcome a temptation by weak, feeble counsel, there is the Philistine vanquished by a sorry jaw-bone.
Verse 9. - Went up, i.e. from their own country in the Shephelah to the hill country of Judah. As Samson had avenged his wrongs on the whole Philistine people, so they now came up to Judah to take vengeance for Samson's injuries. In Lehi, or, rather, hal-Lehi, the Lehi, the place afterwards so called, as related in vers. 17 and 20 (see Judges 7:25, note). Lehi has been identified by some with Tell-el-Lekhiyeh, four miles above Beer-sheba; and by others with Beit-Likiyeh, in the Wady Suleiman, two miles below the upper Beth-heron, and so within easy distance of Timnath and other places mentioned in the history of Samson. But no certainty can at present be arrived at.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Then the Philistines went up,.... From Palestine, which lay low on the shore of the Mediterranean sea:
and pitched in Judah; in the laud of Judea, which lay higher, particularly in the tribe of Judah, whither they came with an army, and encamped there:
and spread themselves in Lehi; their forces were so many, that they extended a considerable way, and particularly reached to Lehi, that is, which was afterwards so called; for it has its name by anticipation from the jaw bone, which it signifies, with which Samson slew many in this place, as after related.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
Jud 15:9-13. He Is Bound by the Men of Judah, and Delivered to the Philistines.
9-17. Then the Philistines went up—to the high land of Judah.
and spread themselves in Lehi—now El-Lekieh, abounding with limestone cliffs; the sides of which are perforated with caves. The object of the Philistines in this expedition was to apprehend Samson, in revenge for the great slaughter he had committed on their people. With a view of freeing his own countrymen from all danger from the infuriated Philistines, he allowed himself to be bound and surrendered a fettered prisoner into their power. Exulting with joy at the near prospect of riddance from so formidable an enemy, they went to meet him. But he exerted his superhuman strength, and finding a new (or moist) jawbone of an ass, he laid hold of it, and with no other weapon, slew a thousand men at a place which he called Ramath-lehi—that is, "the hill of the jawbone."
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