Judges 15:12 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Judges 15:12, NIV: They said to him, 'We've come to tie you up and hand you over to the Philistines.' Samson said, 'Swear to me that you won't kill me yourselves.'

Judges 15:12, ESV: And they said to him, “We have come down to bind you, that we may give you into the hands of the Philistines.” And Samson said to them, “Swear to me that you will not attack me yourselves.”

Judges 15:12, KJV: And they said unto him, We are come down to bind thee, that we may deliver thee into the hand of the Philistines. And Samson said unto them, Swear unto me, that ye will not fall upon me yourselves.

Judges 15:12, NASB: Then they said to him, 'We have come down to bind you so that we may hand you over to the Philistines.' And Samson said to them, 'Swear to me that you will not kill me.'

Judges 15:12, NLT: But the men of Judah told him, 'We have come to tie you up and hand you over to the Philistines.' 'All right,' Samson said. 'But promise that you won't kill me yourselves.'

Judges 15:12, CSB: They said to him, "We've come to tie you up and hand you over to the Philistines."Then Samson told them, "Swear to me that you yourselves won't kill me."

What does Judges 15:12 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The men of Judah understood the threat from the Philistines. If they did not manage to capture Samson and hand him over, the Philistines would attack their people. This was a moment of decision: to kneel or stand before their oppressors. The men of Judah didn't think twice. They would not fight. They would give Samson to the Philistines, and they tell him so: We have come to tie you up and hand you over (Judges 15:9–11).

Samson seems prepared to fight his own countrymen but doesn't want to. He will agree to be tied up only if they promise not to harm him themselves. He makes them swear that once he is bound, they will not attack. Given that Samson likely has a reputation for mayhem (Judges 14:19; 15:5, 8), it makes sense that his fellow Israelites would want to avoid fighting him.