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Samson (Hebrew: שִׁמְשׁוֹן, Modern Shimshon Tiberian Šimšôn, meaning "man of the sun", Meat Mutant "Sammy"); is the third last of the Judges of the ancient Israelites mentioned in the Hebrew Bible (chapters 13-16 in the Book of Judges).
Rabbinical literature identifies Samson with Bedan, a Judge mentioned by Samuel. However, the name "Bedan" is not found in the Book of Judges. As the name "Samson" is derived from the Hebrew word for the sun, it is said that Samson bore the name of God, who is called "a sun and shield" in Psalms. So Samson did as God did: he protected Israel and passed judgement on people.
In the Talmudic period, some seemed to have denied that Samson was a real person and was regarded by such individuals as purely mythological. This was viewed as heretical by the rabbis of the Talmud, and they attempted to refute this. They named Hazelelponi as his mother, "Mylittelponi" as his auntie, and "Nishyan" or "Nashyan" as his sister.
Samson is best known for a couple of things. He was given stupidly enormous supernatural strength by God so that he could whoop his enemies' arses, and perform supposedly heroic feats. Such a benevolent, compassionate God......Samson also had weaknesses though, which ultimately proved his downfall. That's right, he wasn't immune to syphillis.
Samson is listed in the "Hall of Faith" along with dudes such as Noah, Abraham, Joseph, Moses, David, Samuel and the prophets (Hebrews ch. 11) Thus, he is considered to be among those who "through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised ... whose weakness was turned to strength."
Context and BirthEdit
So Samson was supposed to have lived around the 12th century BCE, when God was punishing the Israelites, by letting the Philistines have their way with them. I think this is because after the deliverance effected by Jephte, the Israelites fell back into their evil ways. Just for a change in the Bible, The Angel of the Lord appeared to the Israelite Manoah (or Manue), and to his wife (they hadn't been able to conceive, probs because Manoah was not so much of a Man(oah) and was shooting balnks). The Angel proclaimed that the couple would soon have a son who will begin to rid the lovely Israelites from the horrible Philistines. The wife believed the Angel, but her husband wasn't around when the Angel appeared and for some strange reason was a little sceptical. Being nowhere near as gullible as most of the people seemed to be around that time in history, husby wanted the Angel to return, asking that he himself could also get the low down on the child that was going to be born to his wife. Coz, like, he was going to be it's father and all...playing footy with him, helping him with homework, maybe paying child support....just sayin' he might wanna be in on that conversation.
So (Joe/Emma), do you think God (out of the goodness of his all loving heart) just decided to give a barren couple an awesome child because they were sad and he thought they had suffered enough and deserved a break? Well, not quite.
You see, Omnipotent God put some conditions on this deal - seems only fair. I'm the creator and ruler of the fucking universe and you have worshipped me all your lives, but why should I give you a freebie? Pfft. So, The Angel of the Lord made sure that Manoah and his wife EARNED that embryo. It was stipulated that the mother and the child abstain from all alcohol, and that her promised child was not to shave or cut his hair. Seems totally reasonable. (As God): "I'm gonna put a little bit of skin on the end of his penis, which I want you to cut off, but whatever you do DON'T LET HIM CUT HIS HAIR"). You see, Samson was to be a "Nazirite" from birth. According to Wikipedia, In ancient Israel, those wanting to be especially dedicated to God for a while could take a nazarite vow, which included things like the aforementioned as well as other stipulations. Um, dedicated to God "for a while" - what is this, if I don't have a wine with dinner and don't cut my hair that day I can be dedicated to God? It's like a nano-nun I guess.
After the Angel of the Lord returned, Manoah prepared a sacrifice (seems to be the done thing back then - hopefully he won't do the same with his first born), but the Angel would only allow the sacrifice to be for God. He touched it with his magic rod, and it miraculously erupted into flames. I guess he had a "hot rod" (derp). The Angel of the Lord then ascended into the sky in the fire, and revealed that he had been God in angelic form, as the Angel of the Lord and "an" angel are two different things. HA - SUCKED IN MANOAH AND YOUR STUPID WIFE. YOU DIDN'T REALISE I WAS REALLY GOD, DID YOU? YOU'VE BEEN PUNK'D YOU STUPID MUTHA FUCKAS. HOPE YOU LIKE YOUR HAIRY ARSED FOETUS......
Manoah thought he was going to die, as it had been said that no-one can live after seeing God. However, his wife soon convinced him that if God had planned to kill them, he would never have revealed such things to them to begin with. But she also strongly encouraged her husby to keep praying his arse off and to regularly make sacrificial offerings to God just in case he was having a bad day. In due time the son, Samson, was born, and reared according to the rules that God insisted upon.
Samson is Lame
Anyway, poor Samson was supposedly lame in both feet (I guess from carrying the weight of his massive deltoids). But, when the spirit of God came upon him he could step with one stride from Zorah to Eshtaol (I can't find out how far that is), while the hairs of his head arose and clashed against one another so that they could be heard for a like distance. Now THAT is fierce hair. According to Jewish legend, Samson's shoulders were sixty cubits wide. Now, a cubit is about 46 cm, so that means Samson's shoulders would have been almost 30 metres or 90 feet wide. That is one ripped mutha fucka, and one extremely painful birth for Manoah's nameless wife. Although, suprise suprise, many talmudic commentaries explain that this is not to be taken literally, for a person that size could not live normally in society. No shit, Sherlochhh. Rather it means he had the ability to carry a burden 60 cubits wide on his shoulders. That sounds much more realistic. Ah, gotta love the way that it's fine to interpret religious BS any way that suits your purpose. Samson was said to be so strong that he could lift two mountains and rub them together like two clods of earth, yet his superhuman strength, just like Goliath's, eventually brought about his downfall.
Samson Meets a Girl and Kills Some Dudes
When he became a young adult, Samson left to see the cities of the Philistines: Philistinotropolis, Philistinetown and Philistinadelphia. While there, Samson fell in love with a Philistine woman that he decided to marry, despite the objections of his parents. Oh, and I kind of hope that the fiancee was in on the "decide to marry" decision too. As usual, God is being a dick, and doesn't let on that the intended marriage is actually part of his plan to strike at the Philistines. Yeah, when Christians talk about how sacred marriage is and what an abomination it would be to let two people with the same sex chromosomes who are deeply in love and committed to each other to marry, just remember that God set Samson's marriage up as a way to kick the arse of people he didn't like. Seems a marriage for THAT reason is perfectly OK. Screw you, Christians.
What do you think happens next? Maybe he gets all nervous about proposing, maybe there's an engagement party....Oh, you're WAAAYYY off. On the way to ask for the woman's hand in marriage, Samson is attacked by an Asiatic Lion. He simply grabs it and rips it to pieces, as he channels the spirit of God thus being divinely empowered. According to Wikipedia (again), "This so profoundly affects Samson that he keeps it to himself as a secret." Wait.....what? Something changes your fucking life and your response is "I'd better not tell anyone about this...." That's retarded. BTW, I just Googled "Samson's secret" (hoping to find the bible verse regarding this) and instead found an ad for a herbal hair growth tonic - lol. Having just disintegrated a lion with the touch of his left pinkie, Samson calmly continues on to his potential Philistine's fiancee's house, and wins her hand in marriage. I wonder if he did the whole "Baby, I just dismembered a lion with one hand - imagine what I could do to your pussy with my other hand.....".
OMG, this is so random. So on his way to his wedding, Samson notices that bees have nested in the carcass of the lion and have made honey (INSERT NIC CAGE "THE BEES" AUDIO CLIP HERE). He eats a handful of the honey and gives some to his parents. Advice from a chick, Samson, you should have taken some honey to your new wife and spun some bullshit about "honey" and "sweetness" - much more likely to get you into her pants than some macho self aggrandising BS about dismembering a lion with your thumbs.
Fast forward to the wedding-feast (after all we all go to weddings solely for the free food and grog at the reception.....right?). Samson suggests he tell a riddle to his thirty Philistine groomsmen: if they can solve it, he will give them thirty pieces of fine linen and garments. Seems as though Samson has inhereited being a dick from his real dad, God.
The riddle is a veiled account of his second encounter with the lion (at which only he was present): "Out of the eater, something to eat; out of the strong, something sweet".
OK so wait - Samson chooses to give his groomsmen a riddle they have no hope of solving because they have no knowledge of the event it is referring to. Why? Maybe because he's a major arsehole and just fucks with people's heads for shits and giggles (just like his real dad).
The Philistine groomsmen are, surprisingly, infuriated by the riddle. Because they are stumped, they tell Samson's new wife that they will burn her and her father's household if she does not discover the answer to the riddle and share it with them. Seems fair. As his bride is weeping uncontrollably, fearing for her life, not wanting to die, wanting to save her family, scared shitless of being burned alive yaddah yaddah yaddah, Samson sighs heavily, does a whipped gesture while rolling his eyes (whip sound), and tells her the solution. His new beloved bride then runs hell for leather over to the thirty groomsmen and spills the beans to them ASAP. As you would.
Before sunset on the seventh day they said to him,
"What is sweeter than honey?
and what is stronger than a lion?"
Samson said to them,
"If you had not plowed with my heifer,
you would not have solved my riddle."
He flies into a rage and kills thirty Philistines of Ashkelon for their garments, which he gives his thirty groomsmen.
OK, I need to stop for a few questions and comments.
I'm confused: weren't his groomsmen Philistines, so who are these other Philistines he kills to give their clothes to his Philistine groomsmen?
Judges 14:19 Then the Spirit of the LORD came powerfully upon him. He went down to Ashkelon, struck down thirty of their men, stripped them of everything and gave their clothes to those who had explained the riddle. Burning with anger, he returned to his father's home.
And....., is Samson referring to his brand new wife as a heifer? A woman trying to save her and her family's lives from a horrendous death because her brand new husband is just being a total dick is his groomsmen "plowing his heifer?" Fuck me.
Still in a rage (this seems to be a problem for Samson), he returns to his new bride's father's house and finds out that she has been given to another man as wife.
Really - did her family have some concerns about Samson being the best husband for their daughter? I wonder why.........
Her father refuses to allow him to see her and wishes to give Samson the younger sister. Apparently she's pretty hot, has big boobs, and won't go all PMS on Samson's arse when she and her family are threatened with being burned alive because of a totally fucked up situation he orchestrated.
For a change, Samson is angry (see a counsellor, dude). Because he's pissed off that he lost his wife because he was a total arsehole, he attaches torches to the tails of three hundred foxes, leaving the panicked, agonized, tortured totally innocent animals to run through the fields of the Philistines, screaming in agony and burning whatever lies in their path.
INSERT SOUND CLIP OF HAPPY MUSIC HERE.
So let me recap so I understand......Samson (an amazingly powerful dude with long hair) proposes to a chick. She says yes. On the way to the wedding, he dismembers a lion with one hand. At the wedding, he gives his groomsmen a riddle they could never solve. They threaten to burn his new wife and her family alive if they don't get the answer. After begging and pleading, Samson tells his new wife the answer and she tells the groomsmen. He refers to her as a "heifer". He finds out that she's now been betrothed to someone else, so he gets really pissed off and sets hundreds of foxes on fire and lets them loose on the Philistine's property to burn everything in sight.
Have I missed anything?
The Philistines find out why Samson burned their crops and, they burn Samson's wife and father-in-law to death. As you do. In revenge, Samson slaughters many more Philistines, smiting them "hip and thigh".
Here's the Bible verse:
Judges (15:8-9). He smote them hip and thigh with a great slaughter: and he went down and dwelt in the top of the rock Etam.
I have no idea what that means, but it sounds very, very suss to me. "Hip and thigh", "went down", "eat 'em"...... Oral history indeed.
Samson takes refuge in a cave (wuss) in the rock of Etam (as opposed to the rock of "EAT IT"). Then an army of Philistines demands that 3,000 men of Judah deliver Samson to them after they tie him up with two new ropes. Samson says "Yeah, do it.....DO IT" (coz secretly Samson is totes into S&M, and is really getting off on the thought of being tied up by guys that could have their way with him, in any way, at any moment,.....). Anyway, they are about to hand him over to the Philistines when he breaks free (out of a feeling of obligation, not the feeling in his pants).
Samson now has to find a way to alleviate some of his lack of S&M action frustration, He thinks carefully about this. "Should I just tie my wrists together and jack off? Should I just fantasize about the whole rope thing and get my jollies from that?" Then he decides that's not enough to satisfy his needs. Instead, he slays one thousand Philistines by using the jawbone of an ass, Freud, you have permission to go nuts on this story.
JOE - YOU WANNA DO A FREUD ANAL-ISYS? Maybe in stuffy apologist guy voice? Ems thinks you would do an epic job on this. DO IT JOEY.
At the conclusion of Judges 15 it is said that "Samson led Israel for twenty years in the days of the Philistines". Well, good for you, kinky control freak misogynistic xenophobic long haired hippy with an anger control problem. Seems like you're winning at life (sigh................)
Moving on, sometime later, Samson goes to Gaza, where he stays at a harlot's house. I wonder what or who he was doing there? What about his beloved fiancee? I guess maybe Samson is the kinda guy who just wants trophy girlfriends/wives to boost his ego and reputation as a bad arse......just an out there theory on my part. I'm sure deep down he's a snag. But I love this summary of this situation from About.com's "Christianity" page:
"When he reached manhood, Samson's lusts overtook him. He married a Philistine woman, from the pagan conquerors of Israel. That led to a confrontation, and Samson started killing Philistines. On one occasion, he took up the jawbone of a donkey and killed 1,000 men.
Instead of honoring his vow to God, Samson found a prostitute."
It's written just like it's an everyday thing......lol
And as another religious website put it: "Sex is the bane of many a man and Sampson didn’t resist its pull. He frequented harlots and seemed bent on following the destructive pulls of his flesh." lol
So his enemies wait at the gate of the city to ambush him, but he rips the gate to shreds and carries it to "the hill that is in front of Hebron". Seriously, Samson is a non-green Hulk (he may be radio active though, given all that angel/heaven shit that went down before he was born). Oh, and did I mention he was born in Russia? I can't remember where it was.....Tunguska, Chernobyl......somewhere like that.
Samson (Sammy) has some really big muscles, but unfortunately keeps thinking with his (probably little/Leighton size) dick.
Sammy falls in love with a woman called, surprise surprise, Delilah, at the Brook of Sorek. FIND OUT MORE ABOUT DELILAH.
The Philistines approached Delilah and bribed her (with 1,100 silver coins each) to try to find the secret of Samson's strength. Samson, not wanting to reveal the secret, teases her (seriously, this guy is a major arsehole), telling her that he will lose his strength should he be bound with fresh bowstrings.
I think that's a metaphor.....Sammy, enough with the tying up and binding imagery dude.
Delilah, not being an idiot, binds him with bow strings while he sleeps, but when he wakes up he snaps the strings.
OK, I'm confused now....it seems Samson is just a lying, manipulative arsehole with big muscles.
What lessons are we supposed to learn from this?
Ems: Oh wait, this explains 99% of the men I have met in my life. Were they taught that this was how to be an awesome man or that Samson was a role model in school or what? Maybe - makes sense regarding how they behave now.
Anyway, Delilah persists, and he tells her he can be bound with new ropes (sigh...) So she ties him up with new ropes while he sleeps, and he snaps them, too.
Man, this is soooo S&M, I can hardly read it. Is this 50 Shades of Samson or what??????? (BTW, I have not read 50 SOG, and will not). No need to. I get all my S&M sexual titillation from the bible.
Delilah asks again, and Sammy says he can be bound if his locks are woven together.
Delilah: "Wha....? I gotta braid yourhair now? I just spent an hour braiding my own hair to turn you on............ God damn.....
After a few wines, she clumsily weaves them together, but he undoes them when he wakes.
Yeah Sammy, setting the woman that you love up to humiliate herself over and over in front of you is a sure fire way to establish a relationship.
Ems: Unfortunately, I can tell you that this still happens. Some guys seem to thinks that "tricking" women into believing or doing something that they present as genuine is like getting a fish to take a bait. Except that women are not fish, and, speaking for myself, I do not expect to be duped or mislead by someone as a default. If someone chooses to lie to me and manipulate me, that's their bad. I might fall for it, but that's my sad/mad, not my bad.
Eventually Samson tells Delilah that he will lose his strength if he loses of his hair, coz it's always a good idea to tell someone the one thing they can do to totally fuck you over. I did read an opinion that he spilled the beans coz Delilah was nagging him so much (as women always do). Delilah thinks "ker ching!", lulls Smaon to sleep and calls for a servant to shave Samson's seven locks. Since that breaks the Nazirite oath, loving, benevolent God leaves him, and Samson is captured by the Philistines, who blind him by gouging out his eyes. Man, talk about a bad hair day. Samson was also thought to be a randy, rebellious bugger. It is said that his eyes were gouged out because he had "followed them" too often - perv. But, aparently, he piously refrained from taking the name of God in vain. So I guess he just exclaimed "That's a fine piece of ass" and not "God Damn that's a fine piece of ass." After being blinded, Samson is brought to Gaza, imprisoned, and put to work grinding grain, by feel, I guess. This was supposed to have been uber humiliating because grinding grain was supposedly women's work. Now THAT'S what makes this punishment really burn.
According to another illuminating quote from About.com's Christianity section: "No doubt, as he sat in prison, eyeless and zapped of strength, Samson felt like a failure".
According to the biblical narrative, Samson died when he grasped two pillars of the Temple of Dagon (who, ironically was a fertility god associated with grain lol), and "bowed himself with all his might" (Judges 16:30, KJV).
So here's how that went down. 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 summon Samson so that people can gather on the roof to watch, because I guess watching sacrifices was what you did for fun before TV was invented. Once inside the temple, Samson, his hair having grown long again, asked the servant who was leading him if he could lean against the temple's central pillars (which he can't see, but somehow knows are there.....)..
Samson thinks "If I'm going to hell, I'm taking you all with me". "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 16:28)". "Samson said, 'Let me die with the Philistines!' (Judges 16:30). He either pulled the two central pillars of the temple together or pushed them apart. Subsequently, the temple collapsed on the rulers and all the people in it. As written in Judges (16:30) "Thus he killed many more as he died than while he lived."
When he pulled down the temple of Dagon and killed himself and the Philistines apparently the temple fell backward, so that he was not totally crushed. Samson's family recovered his body from the rubble and buried him near the tomb of his father Manoah. Samson is believed by Jews and Christians to have been buried in Tel Tzora in Israel overlooking the Sorek valley. There reside two large gravestones of Samson and his father.
Did Samson really exist?
So, did Samson really exist? Academics have interpreted Samson as a demi-god (like Hercules) enfolded into Jewish religious lore, or as an archetypical folklore hero, among others. He has also been interpreted him as a solar deity, and the name Delilah may also involve a wordplay as the Hebrew word for night is 'layla', which "consumes" the day. Samson bears many similar traits to the Greek Herakles (and Hercules), who himself is partially inspired by the mesopotamian Enkidu tale: Herakles and Samson both battled a Lion bare handed, they both had a favorite primitive blunt weapon (a club for the first, an ass's jaw for the latter), and they were both betrayed by a woman which led them to their ultimate fate. Both heroes, champion of their respective people, die by their own hand: Herakles ends his life on a pyre (ew) while Samson makes the Philistine temple collapse upon himself and his enemies.
These views are disputed by traditional and conservative biblical scholars who consider Samson to be a literal historical figure (with 9 ft wide shoulders). Some biblical scholars suggest that Samson's home tribe of Dan might have been related to the Philistines themselves. "Dan" might be another name for the tribe of Sea Peoples otherwise known as the Denyen, Danuna, or Danaans. If so, then Samson's origin might be entirely Aegean. These speculations are in stark contrast to the historical depictions expressed in the Bible and are therefore mutually exclusive.
Some argue that the biblical story of Samson is so specific about time and place that Samson was undoubtedly a real person. In contrast, James King West finds that Samson stories have, in contrast to much of Judges, a
n "almost total lack of a religious or moral tone". Huh, strange to find something like that in the Bible.....