3 Samson said to them, “This time I have a right to get even with the Philistines; I will really harm them.” 4 So he went out and caught three hundred foxes and tied them tail to tail in pairs. He then fastened a torch to every pair of tails, 5 lit the torches and let the foxes loose in the standing grain of the Philistines. He burned up the shocks and standing grain, together with the vineyards and olive groves.
Christians who believe in the inerrancy of the Bible and therefore that almost every account is a true historical record end up in a straitjacket of silliness. Recently I had an encounter with an inerrantist and decided to press the point of how silly taking mythology as historical record can be.
The discussion I had was over the story of Samson tying 300 foxes’ tails together with a torch between each pair of tails. I asked the inerrantist if he believed that this story was a true historical account and really happened. He said yes. I asked what would be the logistics of such a venture? How were the foxes caught? Where were they housed prior to the tail tying adventure? What’s involved in holding the foxes to hold still during the tying procedure? And then how long would it take to attach the 150 torches between the tails and light them? Was the first still burning with the 150th was lit? And then how did he direct them to the “standing grain of the Philistines?” The inerrantist said he didn’t know the details but had no doubt it happened.
For a modern person in today’s high-tech society to believe this story as literal history seems to me to be incomprehensible. The lengths that believers will go to to maintain their beliefs can be truly astounding. As Robert M Price likes to say on The Bible Geek podcast, “Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to believe.”
UPDATE: darkmatter2525 just happened to release a cartoon of this fox tail-tying episode on youtube.