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Where Did Samson's Strength Come From?

By Edited Aug 5, 2016 0 0
Anthonis Van Dyck 052
Credit: Wikimedia Commons Image

Everyone knows the story of Samson. He was a man of colossal strength who slew enemies by the score, but his strength would vanish if his hair was ever cut. He kept this secret all his life, but he told the beautiful Delilah and she betrayed his Achilles Heel to the Philistines. Samson was captured, blinded, and made mock of by his enemies in their temple for many years. His hair grew back though, and his Lord granted him his strength to collapse the huge structure atop the Philistines, slaying hundreds if not thousands. Thus he went out like a hero should; as a total badass.

There is a lot to take away from Samson's story (which is in the book of Judges if you're curious), but there are still questions left unanswered. Questions like; why the hell was Samson so strong? What did his hair have to do with anything? Why was he the only one given such phenomenal strength if the Philistines had occupied the Jews' territory and they needed to drive them out?

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Let's Begin At The Beginning

The saga of Samson began before he was ever born. According to Judges his father Manoah prayed to god that he and his wife would conceive a child, even though his wife (who is never named, by the by) was barren. God heard this prayer and decided to grant this man and woman a son, and he even granted them the honor of placing the holy spirit inside this child if they would follow his orders. The conditions, laid down by an angel who visited the couple pre-conception, were that from this time forth they must never partake of fermented drink or similar fruits (neither could Samson, by the by), and no razor could touch their son's hair. Neither he nor they would be allowed to eat or touch unclean things. These banned activities would make Samson a Nazirite starting in his mother's womb, and obedience to these restrictions represented his obedience to god.

Like any smart parents they obliged the lord, and were soon given one of the most famous sons in the Old Testament.

Let The Rampage Begin!

Credit: MorgueFile Image

Anyone familiar with Samson's adventures after he was born knows blood and death followed in his wake. From the story of him tearing a lion apart with his bare hands when he was a child, to the killing of entire towns, to his infamous death spree with a donkey's jawbone, to his final efforts to collapse the Philistine temple and to kill a huge number of his enemies, Samson was an unstoppable force of destruction. Not only that but he spent a great deal of time with women who were not of his nation or his faith, and he participated in a lot of activities considered unseemly for a Danite man. So why did he get to keep his strength despite all of these vices and the out-and-out ignoring of half a dozen of the ten commandments?

Because Samson didn't break the vow he'd made to god. As long as he kept up his end of the bargain (not cutting his hair, not touching unclean things, and not eating or drinking prohibited foods) then god kept up his end. That's why no matter who Samson killed or how brash and disrespectful he was (or who he laid with) his strength wasn't stripped from him until his hair was cut. It's also why his strength came back when his enemies allowed his locks to grow long again, a mistake they paid for with their lives.



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  1. "Was Samson's Strength Really In His Hair?." Bible-Christian. 25/01/2015 <Web >
  2. "Why Did Samson Believe That His Strength Was In His Hair?." Scriptures Say. 25/01/2015 <Web >

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