15:15 He happened to see 1 a solid 2 jawbone of a donkey. He grabbed it 3 and struck down 4 a thousand men. 15:16 Samson then said,
“With the jawbone of a donkey
I have left them in heaps; 5
with the jawbone of a donkey
I have struck down a thousand men!”
1 tn Heb “he found.”
2 tn Heb “fresh,” i.e., not decayed and brittle.
3 tn Heb “he reached out his hand and took it.”
4 tn The Hebrew text adds “with it.” This has not been included in the translation for stylistic reasons.
5 tn The precise meaning of the second half of the line (חֲמוֹר חֲמֹרָתָיִם, khamor khamoratayim) is uncertain. The present translation assumes that the phrase means, “a heap, two heaps” and refers to the heaps of corpses littering the battlefield. Other options include: (a) “I have made donkeys of them” (cf. NIV; see C. F. Burney, Judges, 373, for a discussion of this view, which understands a denominative verb from the noun “donkey”); (b) “I have thoroughly skinned them” (see HALOT 330 s.v. IV cj. חמר, which appeals to an Arabic cognate for support); (c) “I have stormed mightily against them,” which assumes the verb חָמַר (khamar, “to ferment; to foam; to boil up”).
6 tn Heb “from his hand.”
7 sn The name Ramath Lehi means “Height of the Jawbone.”