Matthew Poole Commentary - Judges 15:4 - 15:4

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Matthew Poole Commentary - Judges 15:4 - 15:4

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This Chapter Verse Commentaries:

There were great numbers of foxes in Canaan, as appears from Neh_4:3 Psa_63:10 Son_2:15 Lam_5:18 Eze_13:4. So that divers places there have their names from the foxes which abounded there; as Jos_15:28 19:42 1Sa_13:17. Add to this, that some learned men conceive that the Hebrew name schual is more general, and contains not only the foxes, but another sort of creature very like to them, called thoes, whereof there were so many, there, that sometimes two hundred of them have been met together in one company, its some who have lived in those parts have left upon record. But infidels are much scandalized at this history, and pretend it incredible that Samson should catch so many foxes together; so nice and delicate is the faith of these men in things concerning God and Scripture, that can devour things ten times more difficult and absurd, concerning the production of the world, and of men, &c. But there is no cause of wonder here, for any man that is tolerably wise; for it is not said that Samson caught them all, either at one time, or by his own hands; for being so eminent a person, and the judge of Israel, he might require assistance of as many persons as he pleased, and all his people would readily assist him; nor can it at all perplex any man’s reason or faith, if it be allowed that the God who made the world, and by his singular providence watched over Israel, and intended them deliverance at this time, could easily dispose things so that they might be taken. He chose to do this exploit, not by his brethren, whom he would preserve from the envy, and hatred, and mischief which that might have occasioned to them, but by brute creatures, thereby to add scorn and contempt to their calamity, and particularly by foxes; partly, because they were fittest for the purpose, being creatures very fearful of fire; and having such tails as the firebrands might most conveniently be tied to; and not going directly forward, trot crookedly and involvedly, whereby the fire was likely to be dispersed in more places.

Fire-brands; made of such matter as would quickly take fire, and keep it for a long time; which was easy to procure.

Between two tails, that the foxes might not make too much haste, nor run into their holes, but one of them might delay and stop another in his course, and so continue longer in the places where they were to do execution.