Samson

Samson, a member of the tribe of Dan, was one of the Judges of Israel. He Judged Israel for 20 years. Samson's mother received a visit from an angel, who told her she would give birth to an unusual son, a Nazirite, and not to cut his hair. Samson had great strength, he killed a lion with his bare hands, and later killed 1,000 Philistines with a jawbone of a donkey. He had romantic encounters with three Philistine women.

He fell in love with one of the women, Delilah. The five leaders of the Philistine nation went to Delilah, and demanded that she find out from Samson what made him so strong, so they could subdue him. She eventually found out it was because his hair had never been cut. While asleep, Samson's hair was cut off. Losing his strength, he was captured by the Philistines, who gouged out his eyes, and made him grind grain in prison.

Later, the Philistines stood Samson in the center of a temple during a celebration, his hair had now grown back. Samson was placed between the two main pillars of the temple. He asked God to strengthen him one more time "so that I may pay back the Philistines for the loss of at least one of my eyes." Then Samson pushed against the pillars with all his might. "Let me die with the Philistines," he prayed.

The temple crashed, killing more Philistines at the time of his death, than during his entire lifetime. His brothers brought him back home and buried him between Zorah and Eshtaol, where his father, Manoah was buried. The story of Samson is found in the Book of Judges, chapters 13-16. The name Samson means "Little Sun."


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