Samson and Delilah by Simon Brown.
When we were children many of us heard of famous bible stories like Samson and Delilah who you may recall was the Israelite hero who had strength granted by God. Samson was granted supernatural strength in order to combat his enemies and perform heroic feats such as wrestling a lion slaying an entire army with only a jawbone of a donkey and destroying a blasphemous temple
With stories like this it is easy to believe it is just a fairy tale like Father Christmas coming down the chimney to surprise us with wonderful presents. Not until we grow up we then discover there is no evidence about Father Christmas and then realise our parents tricked us in to believing in a fairy tale. However when we start to seek we then start to find.
We now find archaeology has been found to support yet another biblical story—Most of the events of Samson’s life took place in the Sorek Valley near Beit Shemesh.Israel.
Recent excavations have shown thriving cities and villages here from the Middle Bronze Age through the Iron II period and the buildings contained fragments of numerous pottery storage vessels.
Ancient remains of the city where we believe Samson, Judge of Israel, lived.
All the places in the Bible like Zorah and Eshtaol where Samson's mother prophesied his birth and Samson grew up and wanted to marry a Philistine girl from Timnah have been found including Excavations of Beth Shemesh and the Sorek Valley. It is near this area where he killed the lion.
His last girlfriend Delilah also lived somewhere near here.
But what about Samson's fate, what can cause such a mighty man with great strength to fall, have his eyes torn out; and become a slave, weak ,blind helpless, mocked and shamed at a Philistine stronghold?
By UCG Portland Mini Study Archaeology supports the story of Samson and Philistine temple http://www.ucgpdx.org/popups/gn0701b.php?lnk=1
Critics, of course, have doubted the story and called it a myth. They have argued that a Philistine temple would not have had two central pillars supporting the roof since this wasn't a typical architectural design of Middle Eastern temples.
Archaeologist Bryant Wood explains the significance of the discoveries:
“Two Philistine temples have been uncovered by archaeologist…Both temples share a unique design—the roof was supported by two central pillars!
“The pillars were made of wood and rested on stone support bases. With the pillars being about six feet apart a strong man could dislodge them from their stone bases and bring the entire roof crashing down. The archaeological findings match the Biblical story perfectly and attest to the plausibility of the account…
“The Bible writer knew his facts. He knew that Philistine temples were supported by two pillars and that this was how Samson pulled the temple down. The report is that of an eye-witness, again demonstrating that indeed the Bible is the world’s most accurate textbook” (“Samson and the Temple of Dagon.” Bible and Spade, 1974, pp. 53-54). By UCG Portland Mini Study Archaeology. This full article is on there website ucg.org
Permission for this article was granted to Simon Brown by Peter Eddington Media and Communications Services
If this story of Samson is true for some one who was so famous then why cant we find his grave? As after his death, we are told Samson's family recovers his body from the rubble and buries him.
Just off the motorway that leads to Jerusalem and Tel Aviv is a road that runs through the Jewish National Fund (JNF)’s President’s Forest. This beautiful area is studded with eye-catching sculptures and serene picnic areas. As you continue through the road comes into the land and country of the famous Samson as told in Judges 13. Located in this area is the burly champion’s birth and burial “between Zor’a and Eshta’ol” (Judges 13:24). This book tells of Samson's mother - the woman who gave birth to the strong young boy. Samson grew and the LORD blessed him; and whilst he was in Mahaneh Dan (between Zorah and Eshtaol), the Spirit of the LORD began to stir him.
Here is the tragic hero’s burial place. Here you can see the white-washed, blue-domed traditional tomb of Samson and that of his father Manoah.
Samson is the third to last of the Judges of the ancient Israelites mentioned in the Hebrew Bible (Book of Judges, chapters 13 to 16).
Samson was used by God to humble the Philistines and was granted supernatural strength by God in order to combat his enemies and perform heroic feats such as wrestling a lion, slaying an entire army with only a jawbone of an ass and destroying a blasphemous temple. Samson is the only man mentioned in the Bible with extraordinary strength and with this strength came many passions he could not easily keep under control. Samson had a fatal weakness for women and it was this flaw that would prove to be his downfall. Samson fell in love with Delilah, a woman from the Valley of Sorek; his eventual demise. During the course of their relationship, The Philistines approached Delilah and enticed her with 1100 silver coins to try to find the secret of Samson's strength.
Using her powers of seduction and deception, Delilah persistently wore down Samson with her repeated requests. Eventually, Samson told Delilah that he will lose his strength with the loss of his hair. After hearing this, Delilah called for a servant to shave Samson's seven locks.
Samson and Delilah, Lucas Cranach the Elder
As this broke the Nazarite Oath, God left Samson and he was captured by the Philistine who stabbed out his eyes with their swords.
After being blinded, Samson was taken to Gaza, imprisoned, and put to work grinding grain.
One day, the Philistine leaders assembled in a temple for a religious sacrifice to Dagon, one of their most important deities, for having delivered Samson into their hands. They summoned Samson so that people could gather on the roof to watch. Once inside the temple, Samson, his hair having grown long again, asked the servant who is leading him to the temple's central pillars if he may lean against them (referring to the pillars).
Then Samson prayed to God, "remember me, I pray thee, and strengthen me, I pray thee, only this once, O God, that I may be at once avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes" (Judges) Then Samson said, “Let me die with the Philistines!” (Judges 16:30) His prayers were answered. God gave him the strength to pull the two pillars together and down came the temple on the rulers and all the people in it. Thus, “he killed many more as he died than while he lived" (Judges 16:30). After his death, Samson's family recovered his body from the rubble and buries him here the tomb of his father Manoah.
Were Samson's eyes taken out because they caused him to sin so often?
What is the lesson of this story?
What did Jesus say in Matthew 5:29?If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.
Samson may have lost his eyes but after his repentance God saved his soul. Samson’s legacy lives on.
With Thanks and References From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samson
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