Last updated: July 23, 2017 at 13:02 pm

muscle photoThe story of Samson begins its narration in the Old Testament Book of Judges, Chapter 13.

Samson of the bible refers mostly to the son of Manoah, born during Israel’s captivitiy by Phillistine, and reputed to be the strongest mortal man in biblical history.

It is written that “Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord; and the Lord delivered them into the hand of the Phillistines”.

Nevertheless, God preordained to strike the Phillistines through Samson, who was to be born of an Israellite woman.

Samson’s mother was a barren woman before his birth, but the Angel of the Lord appeared to her and told her that she will conceive and bear a son, and that the Lord will be with the child. The Angel instructed the woman never to let a razor touch the head of Samson, since this is where his strength would lie.

Later, the Angel also appeared to Samson’s father, Manoah, and related the same story. Manoah, being so pleased, and not knowing that it was an Angel, offered to kill a goat and give the Angel to eat. But the Angel refused and said “you may offer a sacrifice to the Lord if you wish”. Monoah did so and was surprised to see the Angel ascend into the fire as the offering was being burnt.

He said to his wife “we shall surely die because we have seen the face of God”.

Nevertheless, the wife replied “God did not purpose to kill us….” And indeed, He didn’t. Samsom’s parents weren’t killed and soon after, a baby boy was born, and they called his name “Samson”.

Related: Face to Face Encounters With God in the Bible

The first show of physical strength performed by Samson was when a lion attacked him and he tore it in pieces with his bare hands. He would later kill one thousand Philistines with the jawbone of an ass; and go about similar rampages of destruction among the Philistines.

Delilah Betrays Samsom

Samson judged Israel for twenty years, but he met his end after he fell in love with a woman named Delilah. The Philistines offered Delilah large sums of money if she could discover “how to overcome” Samson; so she pestered him daily saying “if you love me, tell me the secret of your strength”.

For about three times, Samson lied to Delilah and her attempts to have him captured were overturned. But Delilah kept insisting and saying “you have mocked me these three times…how can you say you love me?”

Finally Samson revealed the secret to Delilah that his strength lies in his hair. As he slept on Delilah’s lap, she called a Philistine to shave off his hair. Then she called to Samson saying “the Philistines are upon you!”

Samson attempted to defend himself but his strength had left him. The Philistines bound him, and took him away. They blinded both eyes and put him to hard labor.

Then the Philistines threw a huge party, saying “our gods have delivered our enemy into our hands”. There were about 3000 people in the building where the merriment took place.

Samson asked a small boy to lead him to the two main pillars of the building, held on to them, and prayed “Lord, renew my strength one last time that I may die with these Philistines, and avenge myself for my eyes”.

Related: Suicides in the bible.

God answered his prayer and Samson pushed the pillars apart, causing the building to crumble and killing more people in his death than in his life. His parents retrieved his body and buried it.

Whether Delilah was killed in the final assault with the rest of the Philistines; or whether she was somewhere else at the time, the bible does not state.

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