Full bible text
Judges 16 verses 21 to 31
21 ‘And the Philistines seized him and gouged out his eyes and brought him down to Gaza and bound him with bronze shackles. And he ground at the mill in the prison.22 But the hair of his head began to grow again after it had been shaved. 23 Now the lords of the Philistines gathered to offer a great sacrifice to Dagon their god and to rejoice, and they said, “Our god has given Samson our enemy into our hand.” 24 And when the people saw him, they praised their god. For they said, “Our god has given our enemy into our hand, the ravager of our country, who has killed many of us.”[b] 25 And when their hearts were merry, they said, “Call Samson, that he may entertain us.” So they called Samson out of the prison, and he entertained them. They made him stand between the pillars. 26 And Samson said to the young man who held him by the hand, “Let me feel the pillars on which the house rests, that I may lean against them.” 27 Now the house was full of men and women. All the lords of the Philistines were there, and on the roof there were about 3,000 men and women, who looked on while Samson entertained. 28 Then Samson called to the Lord and said, “O Lord God, please remember me and please strengthen me only this once, O God, that I may be avenged on the Philistines for my two eyes.” 29 And Samson grasped the two middle pillars on which the house rested, and he leaned his weight against them, his right hand on the one and his left hand on the other. 30 And Samson said, “Let me die with the Philistines.” Then he bowed with all his strength, and the house fell upon the lords and upon all the people who were in it. So the dead whom he killed at his death were more than those whom he had killed during his life. 31 Then his brothers and all his family came down and took him and brought him up and buried him between Zorah and Eshtaol in the tomb of Manoah his father. He had judged Israel twenty years’.
About this painting
Through Samson, the LORD began to deliver Israel from the Philistines. Judges 13 verse 5.
Samson's final battle with the Philistines takes place in Dagon's temple. When he dies under the collapsing temple, many Philistines die with him.
Only under King David is Israel completely delivered from the Philistines.
Because of Samson's sin, the Holy Spirit has left him, but despite the fact that Samson was often led by his own desires, the LORD does not abandon his people. This shows God's grace.
When Samson cries out to the LORD, He strengthens him once more. By his death, Samson works for redemption for Israel. This is reminiscent of Jesus, the great Son of David, who died vicariously for sin and thus obtained complete redemption through his death:
Mark 10 verse 45: ‘For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.’
Hebrews 2 verse 14: ‘Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil’, etc.
The Life of Samson gives a brief history of Israel:
- Even before he was born, God revealed to his parents that Samson was a Nazirite/consecrated one who would bring deliverance. Similarly, God had revealed to Abraham that from him would come a people who would be holy and would bring forth the great Deliverer/Messiah.
- Samson sinned again and again. Israel, too, was disobedient again and again and fell into sin and idolatry.
- Whenever Samson was bound, God brought deliverance. So also Israel was always delivered when it was oppressed by enemies, and cried upon the LORD.
When the measure of Samson's sins was full, God delivered him into the hands of his enemies. Similarly, Israel's sins led to the inevitable judgment: the captivity in exile
At the end of his life, Samson turned back to God. God heard him, and used him to testify of Him. So also Israel will one day be converted, and be used by God to glorify Him.
Some parallels with the life of Jesus:
- Samson's birth was announced by an angel, just like Jesus’. This created high expectations. Jesus lived up to the high expectation, Samson's behavior often disappointed.
- Samson was a Nazirite (consecrated to God), but violated Naziriteship several times. Jesus was the full Nazirite, who always lived completely devoted to God.
- Samson means: 'like the sun'. Christ is the "Sun of Righteousness."
- Samson killed a lion. Jesus overcame Satan, who "walks about like a roaring lion."
- Samson fought alone, without the help of fellow citizens. Jesus also accomplished the redemption alone.
- Samson was the object of ridicule and amusement of his enemies, as was Jesus.
- Samson died with his enemies, but Jesus died for his enemies, out of love.
Samson has lost his strength and has been captured by the Philistines. The Philistines honor their god Dagon for that fact in his temple, but in the end they will lose out with Dagon. Dagon is the god who looks like half man, half fish.