300 Foxes

So Samson went and caught 300 foxes and took torches. And he turned them tail to tail and put a torch between each pair of tails. And when he had set fire to the torches, he let the foxes go into the standing grain of the Philistines and set fire to the stacked grain and the standing grain, as well as the olive orchards.

(Judges 15:4-5) ESV

It would take a lot of work to catch 300 foxes. How many could one catch on a good day? 3? 4? We should consider that assembling 300 foxes was months of work.

Artistic impression of the event, where Samson tied the foxes together by their tails and affixed burning torches, appear to show the foxes waiting patiently for Samson to burn them alive while causing widespread devastation.

Samson wanted to talk, but no one wanted to listen. Either that or he wanted to die. He was past caring, so he was on a mission to make the biggest impact that he possibly could.

Let’s consider the possibility that the foxes were wild animals that Samson either caught or raised or a combination of both. Was Samson farming foxes? This may have been years in the making. This was meticulously premeditated attack on the Philistines which would leave them no where else to go but right back to Samson.

And then what happened? If 150 pairs of foxes with burning tails were released in total panic, then they would have spread out in random directions. The radius of destruction around Samson could have been measured in miles. The devastation would have been extensive such that nothing, no fields or structures, may have survived without damage.

Still, no one had the guts to take him out. Samson had to make it so that they didn’t have a choice.


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