And Samson went and caught three hundred foxes
Nor should this be thought at all incredible, since Canaan and Palestine abounded with foxes; hence several places therein had their names of Shual, which signifies a fox, ( Joshua 15:28 ) ( Joshua 19:3 Joshua 19:42 ) ( 1 Samuel 13:17 ) . A traveller F23 in those parts says that foxes swarm there, and that there are very great numbers of them in the hedges, and ruins of buildings: and these creatures were very pernicious to vines, and so may reasonably be thought to be about Timnath in great numbers, because of the vineyards there, ( Judges 14:5 ) ( Song of Solomon 2:15 ) , besides, there is no necessity of supposing that Samson took all these himself, he might employ others in catching them for him, nor that he took them at the same time, on one and the same day; he might be many days and weeks about it, and keep them up until he had got his number: to which may be added, there was a creature in those parts very much like a fox, called Thoes, which, as Bellonius F24 says, were about Caesarea and Palestina, and go two hundred in company; and so making use of proper means, which Samson was not unacquainted with, great numbers might be taken together; but, above all, it may be observed, that as this was under the direction of the divine Providence, God could easily cause such a number of creatures to be gathered together, and taken, as he ordered all the living creatures, as by an instinct, to come into the ark to Noah:
and he took fire brands;
or rather torches, made of oily and resinous matter, which were not easily extinguished:
and turned tail to tail;
took two foxes, and tied their tails together with a cord, giving them room enough to run about, as such creatures do, not forward, but in a crooked, flexuous manner, here and there:
and put a firebrand in the midst between two tails:
which torch seems to have been fastened to the cord with which the tails were tied; he did not put a firebrand or torch to the tail of every single fox, which then would have made its way to its own den, but between two, which could not enter into one hole, and would draw different ways, and stop each other, and so do greater damage to the fields and vineyards into which they came.
F23 Morrison's Voyage, l. 2. c. 31. apud Calmet in the word "Fox".
F24 L. 2. c. 11. apud Scheuchzer. Physic. Sacr. vol. 3. p. 476.