Judges 15:14 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Judges 15:14, NIV: As he approached Lehi, the Philistines came toward him shouting. The Spirit of the LORD came powerfully upon him. The ropes on his arms became like charred flax, and the bindings dropped from his hands.

Judges 15:14, ESV: 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.

Judges 15:14, KJV: And when he came unto Lehi, the Philistines shouted against him: and the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon him, and the cords that were upon his arms became as flax that was burnt with fire, and his bands loosed from off his hands.

Judges 15:14, NASB: When he came to Lehi, the Philistines shouted as they met him. And the Spirit of the LORD rushed upon him so that the ropes that were on his arms were like flax that has burned with fire, and his restraints dropped from his hands.

Judges 15:14, NLT: As Samson arrived at Lehi, the Philistines came shouting in triumph. But the Spirit of the LORD came powerfully upon Samson, and he snapped the ropes on his arms as if they were burnt strands of flax, and they fell from his wrists.

Judges 15:14, CSB: When he came to Lehi, the Philistines came to meet him shouting. The Spirit of the Lord came powerfully on him, and the ropes that were on his arms and wrists became like burnt flax and fell off.

What does Judges 15:14 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The men of Judah have negotiated a surrender, of sorts, from Samson (Judges 15:9–13). After agreeing not to attack him, they tied his hands with brand new, strong ropes. They have brought him up from his hideout to the place called Lehi. There, the Philistine army is waiting to take him into custody. After his arrest, he will presumably be killed in retribution for his attacks on their people (Judges 15:5, 8). The Philistines are so eager to get their hands on Samson that they approach him with shouts. These might be taunts, cries of victory, or simple intimidation.

Once again, though, the Spirit of the Lord empowers Samson. This has happened before, once when Samson was attacked by a lion (Judges 14:5–6) and again when he attacked and killed thirty Philistines in the fortified city of Ashkelon (Judges 14:19). Each time, God gave Samson ferocious physical power. The first sign of this empowerment is the ease with which Samson snaps the new ropes arounds his hands. They "melt" off like charred threads. Instead of meekly submitting to his hated enemies, Samson apparently charges forward, grabbing the nearest improvised weapon and attacking (Judges 15:15).