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Who is Samson?
        (sunlike), son of Manoah, of the tribe of Dan, and for twenty years a judge of Israel. The circumstances attending the annunciation of his birth are remarkable. Jud 13:3-23. See Manoah. He was distinguished for his gigantic strength, and is the Hercules of the Hebrews. Contrary to the wishes of his parents, who were observers of the Law, Ex 34:16; Deut 7:3, he married a woman of Timnath. a Philistine city. On his way to that city he slew a lion, Jud 14:5-9, and afterward found in the carcass of the beast a swarm of bees, and he ate of the honey himself and took some to his parents. This occurrence gave rise to an enigma, which he propounded at his marriage-feast, promising a valuable present to any who would solve it within seven days, provided they would make a like present to him if they failed. Unable to solve the riddle themselves, they resorted to Samson's wife, who, by the most urgent entreaties, had obtained from him a solution of it. By cruel threats they extorted from her the secret, and told it to him. But he knew their treachery; and, though he kept his word and made them the present, it was at the expense of the lives of thirty of their countrymen. He also forsook his wife, who had been thus false to him. See Riddle. On returning to Timnath with a view to a reconciliation with his wife, he found she had married again, and he was not permitted to see her. He immediately caught three hundred foxes, and, fastening a firebrand to every pair of them, let them loose upon the fields and vineyards of the Philistines, and spread fire and desolation over the country. The Philistines, to be avenged, set fire to the house where Samson's wife lived, and she and her father were burnt in it. This wanton barbarity again drew upon them the vengeance of Samson, who came upon them and routed them with immense slaughter. Jud 15:1-8. He then took up his abode on the rock Etam, in the territory of Judah, whither the Philistines came to revenge themselves, laying waste the country on every side. Three thousand of the men of Judah remonstrated with Samson for thus exciting the resentment of the Philistines, and he consented that they should bind him and deliver him into their hands. This they did; but in the midst of their exultations he burst his bands and fell upon his enemies, putting a thousand of them to death and the residue to flight. Jud 15:9-19. It was on this occasion that he was miraculously supplied with water from a fountain opened on the spot - not in the jawbone with which he had slain the Philistines, but in the place where the bone was found and used. Jud 15:17, margin. His sensual nature betrayed him into an illicit connection with a woman in Gaza. His enemies meanwhile surrounded the place, expecting to kill him in the morning, but at midnight he arose and carried off the gates of the city. Jud 16:3. After this, Samson went to the valley of Sorek, where he attached himself to Delilah, a mercenary woman, by whom, after a variety of arts and stratagems, the secret of his great strength was discovered to lie in the preservation of his hair, for he was a Nazarite. Jud 16:17. The Philistines came upon him while he was asleep, removed his hair, bound him with fetters of brass, put out his eyes, carried him to Gaza, and threw him into prison. Having thus secured their formidable foe, the Philistine nobles assembled for a feast of joy, and, to add to their merriment, they proposed to have Samson brought. So a lad led him in and sat him down between the two main pillars of the house where the nobles and a multitude of people, both men and women, were assembled, besides three thousand persons upon the roofs of the cloisters around, beholding the cruel sport. Samson requested the lad who had charge of him to let him rest himself against the pillars on either side of him. This being granted, he prayed for strength, and, laying hold of the pillars, he bowed with all his might, carrying the pillars and the whole structure with him, and burying himself and the vast multitude within and around the courts in one common destruction. Samson is ranked with the heroes of the faithful. Heb 11:32-33. But we must, of course, not judge him from the standpoint of the N.T. He lived in the wild anarchical period of the Judges, when might was right, and he was just the man for that time.

Bibliography Information
Schaff, Philip, Dr. "Biblical Definition for 'samson' in Schaffs Bible Dictionary". - Schaff's

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