Sunday, September 16, 2012

Samson

This Hercules of the Bible has intrigued me ever since I heard about him from my father when I was a little boy.  I remember being awed by his immense physical strength – slaying a lion with his bare hands, and defeating an army of one thousand men with just the jawbone of an ass.  Samson eventually loses all his strength after breaking the Nazirite vow three different times by touching an animal’s unsanctified dead carcass, drinking wine, and cutting his hair.  (By the way, I think I could be a good Nazirite.  I don’t enjoy touching dead animals.  I don’t drink alcohol.  And I don’t like cutting my hair.  Now if I could just get my hands on some super strength.)

Samson encapsulates the Jewish people and their relationship with God - their struggle of making and breaking covenants.  But what strikes me most about Samson is how he dies.  So dramatic.  Samson loses everything because he loses his relationship with God.  He stands blinded, shackled and powerless between pillars, before a mocking crowd of Philistines.  And at his most vulnerable moment he appeals to God for one last favor, asking Him to “remember me.”  God grants His spirit back to Samson, and in a he-man moment (“I have the power!”), Samson pulls down the pillars, destroying everyone, including himself.  Why God considered it right to allow Samson to kill everyone is beyond me, nonetheless it still makes for an epic ending.  


(Narrative found in the book of Judges chapters 13-16.)


12 comments:

  1. I could easily see a fictional character based on Samson.

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  2. A great story Aguilar.
    Every now and again, the film Samson and Delilah 1949 starring Hedy Lamarr and Victor Mature is shown on television, I always watch it.

    I've also just found out that someone has uploaded the full movie to YouTube.
    Here's the link
    Samson and Delilah

    Great, I can now watch it as often as I like.

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    1. thanks for the link! i've been wanting hollywood to remake that movie. seems like special effects could make it real cool.

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  3. I haven't read in to so much about Samson aside from the killing of the lion. I think I might have heard about defeating the army, but I didn't know about the jawbone of an ass part. That's a really dramatic ending. There are some really cool and interesting stories in the Bible and it is amazing to see the power having faith can give people.

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  4. I was always intrigued by the story of Samson, and I did see that Samson and Delilah movie once or twice when I was little. If my memory is vaguely correct, the Philistines are portrayed (in the movie) to be so mean, you don't mind Samson killing them all at the end. It was more traumatic as a kid to understand why the hero Samson had to die as well. Anyway, very interesting article.

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  5. You offer an eloquent interpretation of the story of Sampson.

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  6. Great post. i think the reggae singer Johnny Clarke sings about Sampson on his Rockers Time Now album. If I remember correctly he call him a Natty dread. Worth searching out.

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    1. cool! i'll have to check him out. i've heard bob marley reference natty dread and samson as well.

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