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)

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