Judges 15:9 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Judges 15:9, NIV: The Philistines went up and camped in Judah, spreading out near Lehi.

Judges 15:9, ESV: Then the Philistines came up and encamped in Judah and made a raid on Lehi.

Judges 15:9, KJV: Then the Philistines went up, and pitched in Judah, and spread themselves in Lehi.

Judges 15:9, NASB: Then the Philistines went up and camped in Judah, and spread out in Lehi.

Judges 15:9, NLT: The Philistines retaliated by setting up camp in Judah and spreading out near the town of Lehi.

Judges 15:9, CSB: The Philistines went up, camped in Judah, and raided Lehi.

What does Judges 15:9 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

In a series of escalating acts of revenge, Samson has brutalized the Philistines in and around Timnah. They may or may not know that he killed thirty men in the fortified city of Ashkelon (Judges 14:19). They certainly know he burned the wheat crops and olive groves around the town of Timnah (Judges 15:5). They've experienced some unspecified, vicious retaliation since then (Judges 15:8).

Now the Philistine army has been called into action. That those sent are "encamped" implies a formal military operation. Their goal is to capture Samson and end him. They set up an army base in the territory of Judah near a place called Lehi. It's unclear if Lehi was a specific a town at that time or if the name was given later. The word Lehi means "jawbone," and a jawbone will feature heavily in what happens next (Judges 15:15).

Samson is hiding somewhere near the border between the territories of the tribes of Judah and Dan. It is the people of Judah, though, who find the Philistine army suddenly encamped to do battle against them.