Wholesale Slaughter with the Jawbone of a donkey

The English Anglican evangelist George Whitefield was preaching at Moorfields fair in 1742. As he did so stones, dirt, rotten eggs and pieces of dead cat were thrown at him from the crowd. He vividly describes a group who were intent on putting an end to his preaching: ‘... … More

Self Pity

The cords that bound Samson were snapped and he grabbed a fresh jawbone of a donkey and made a wholesale slaughter of the Philistines (vv. 14-17). A fresh jawbone of a donkey would be heavier and less brittle and thus a more effective weapon than a jawbone that was old and dry. This great victory can be attributed to the Spirit of the Lord. The place where it happened was Ramath Lehi which probably means “the hill of the jawbone.” Thus the phrase translated I have made donkeys of them is often translated “heaps upon heaps” and interpreted to mean something like, “I have piled them in heaps”.

Samson was thirsty after his effort in the hot and dry climate (vv. 18-19). He was physically and emotionally exhausted. After a great personal victory, his attitude declined quickly into self-pity when he said, “Shall I die of thirst?” He cried to the Lord and God opened up the hollow place and water came. This place where Samson’s strength was restored was called “the spring of the caller.” Samson’s leadership over Israel, summarized at this point is also noted in 16:31. The 20 years, mentioned here would cover Samson’s adult life until his death in Gaza (v. 20).


Emotionally, we are most vulnerable after great achievements or when faced by real physical needs and it is easy to have a self-pity party. In these type of circumstances I want to be able to avoid the temptation to feel sorry for myself and to concentrate on keeping my attitude, actions and words focused on God instead of myself.

Judges 15:14-20 (English Standard Version)

When he came to Lehi, the Philistines came shouting to meet him. Then the Spirit of the LORD rushed upon him, and the ropes that were on his arms became as flax that has caught fire, and his bonds melted off his hands. And he found a fresh jawbone of a donkey, and put out his hand and took it, and with it he struck 1,000 men. And Samson said, "With the jawbone of a donkey, heaps upon heaps, with the jawbone of a donkey have I struck down a thousand men." As soon as he had finished speaking, he threw away the jawbone out of his hand. And that place was called Ramath-lehi. And he was very thirsty, and he called upon the LORD and said, "You have granted this great salvation by the hand of your servant, and shall I now die of thirst and fall into the hands of the uncircumcised?" And God split open the hollow place that is at Lehi, and water came out from it. And when he drank, his spirit returned, and he revived. Therefore the name of it was called En-hakkore; it is at Lehi to this day. And he judged Israel in the days of the Philistines twenty years.

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