Ark of the Covenant - Bible History Online
Bible History
Picture Study Bible with Maps and Background Information

Judges 15:20 So he judged Israel twenty years in the days of the Philistines.

< Judges 15:19
Judges 16:1 >


Questions Related to this Verse

Dynamically load content in Bootstrap Modal with AJAX

Select a Chapter

Judges 15 Images and Notes

Brief Summary: Samson, when he courted an alliance with the Philistines, did but seek an occasion against them, ch. 14:4 . Now here we have a further account of the occasions he took to weaken them, and to avenge, not his own, but Israel's quarrels, upon them. Everything here is surprising; if any thing be thought incredible, because impossible, it must be remembered that with God nothing is impossible, and it was by the Spirit of the Lord coming upon him that he was both directed to and strengthened for those unusual ways of making war. I. From the perfidiousness of his wife and her father, he took occasion to burn their corn (v. 1-5). II. From the Philistines' barbarous cruelty to his wife and her father, he took occasion to smite them with a great slaughter (v. 6-8). III. From the treachery of his countrymen, who delivered him bound to the Philistines, he took occasion to kill 1000 of them with the jaw-bone of an ass (v. 9-17). IV. From the distress he was then in for want of water, God took occasion to show him favour in a seasonable supply (v. 18-20).

Samson is denied his wife, He smites the Philistines. (1-8)
Samson kills a thousand of the Philistines with a jaw-bone. (9-17)
His distress from thirst. (18-20)

The Jordan
Painting of the Jordan by Chernetsov

Joshua 6:4 And seven priests shall bear before the ark seven trumpets of rams' horns: and the seventh day ye shall compass the city seven times, and the priests shall blow with the trumpets.


Philistine Captives Temple of Ramses III

Wall Relief with Philistines

The ancient Egyptian temples reveal what the Philistines looked like in the ancient world. In the sculptured scenes within the funerary temple of Ramses III at Medinet Habu, near Thebes in Upper Egypt, is an incredible bas relief portraying Philistine captives. Pharaoh had hired these warriors as mercenaries. Rameses III who reigned from 1198-1167 BC saw that the Canaanite area was being invaded and with the help of the Philistines he established peace, according to his own record. Later the Philistines rose to a powerful position in the region with five powerful cities, they flourished in the time of Samson and the judges, their supremacy might have been due to their formal acknowledgment of pharaohs authority. Within a couple centuries they disappeared from history.

Judges 15:20 - And he judged Israel in the days of the Philistines twenty years.


Ancient Philistine

Carved Head of a Philistine

This relief from the Temple of Rameses III reveals the head of an ancient Philistine. During the time of the Judges of Israel the Philistines are mentioned often. According to history the Philistines were very strong in the Maritime Plain along the coast south of Joppa around 1100 BC. The name Palestine was given to the land of Israel by the Roman Emperor Hadrian after he removed them from the whole area, and he used the name Palestina because of the ancient Philistines. The Hebrew tradition teaches that the Philistines were immigrants from the island of Caphtor (Crete) and many scholars believe they immigrated from Asia Minor.


Wiriting Instruments
Painted sketch of ancient writing instruments

Important Topics for Bible Study

Quick Reference Map
Map of the Route of the Exodus
Map of the Possible Route of the Exodus (Click to Enlarge)

Ancient Customs

Ancient People

the wilderness
the mount of God

Quick Reference Maps

The Exodus of the Hebrews

Mount Horeb

The Red Sea

Map of the Red Sea
Map of the Red Sea and Egypt (Click to Enlarge)

The Old Testament


Judges Resources

The Judges