Samson Sets Fire To 300 Foxes
By James Donahue
Old Testament is filled with silly stories that do not make any sense. In fact, we have to wonder why they were included in
that so-called “holy” book.
just a light read through some of those ancient books eventually brings you to one or more of those nonsensical stories. Judges
15:4-5 is a good example.
“So he (Samson) 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
Why did Samson do such
a crazy thing? Remember Samson was known for his amazing strength. So we suppose capturing 300 foxes was something he was
capable of doing, although it seems to have been a ridiculous waste of time. If he wanted to burn up all the wheat and vineyards
and olive groves of the Philistines, why couldn’t he have just used one torch and set fire to everything? It seems to
have been an easier way to get the job done than physically capturing 300 foxes and then tying their tails together.
So why was Samson so angry that he would burn the Philistine’s
crops? It was because his father-in-law (who must have been a Philistine) gave Samson’s wife and child away to another
The story gets even stranger after
this. In line six we read that when Samson explained to the Philistines why he set fire to the foxes and burned their crops,
they retaliated by murdering Samson’s wife and father-in-law with fire. And this threw Samson into yet an even bigger
It was at this point that Samson
grabbed the infamous jawbone of an ass and started his wild killing spree. He used that bone and later another one like it
to slay over a thousand men.
this terrible story fit into the Biblical record? Somewhere in the midst of all of this, when the Philistines were surrounding
Samson and attempting to get his tied down and under control, he was reportedly filled with “the spirit of the Lord”
and given superhuman strength to break his cords and slay a thousand more.
The Old Testament God seemed to like the massive spilling of blood.