Posts Tagged ‘Samson’


We now enter the story of probably the most famous Judge. That being Samson, and of course, this bring with it the story of Delilah (Judges 13-16). It is a familiar story, following the cycle we have seen in Judges. The nation drifts, and needs to be brought back on track, although this reads more of a super hero or spy epic (or a pulpy hybrid). It has been the subject of movies and comics, I love what Grant Morrison did with the character in All-Star Superman (worth the read of the whole series):

Image result for Samson from superman

Now many would put aside the story of Samson as just fantastical. A baby born, while the mother abstained from vice, and his hair not be cut would be…well…a superman for his times. The goal being from conception to death that Samson would be a Nazirite, and what is a Nazirite? They are ones that are “consecrated” or “seperated” as prescribed in the Torah book of Numbers (6:2-21). This is the life being laid out for Samson before he was even born, talk about long-term planning or imagine legacy parenting of the wealthy.

Samson did not have a say in his destiny, but it was a destiny to save his people. To guide the way, to show a different path. Now the story itself is a back and forth covert tale, much like 2018’s The Kingfisher Secret about the subterfuge of Cold War era politics, and the USSR laying the work for a 2016 presidential sleeper agent (if nothing else the Trump White House has re-invigorated spy fiction). I can see Samson being this type of agent as he seeks out a bride from the enemy, to be able to move against them, that is the Philistines.

 When he came to Lehi, the Philistines came shouting against him. Then the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon him; and the ropes that were on his arms became like flax that is burned with fire, and his bonds [f]broke loose from his hands. 15 He found a fresh jawbone of a donkey, reached out his hand and took it, and killed a thousand men with it. 16 Then Samson said:

“With the jawbone of a donkey,
Heaps upon heaps,
With the jawbone of a donkey
I have slain a thousand men!”

17 And so it was, when he had finished speaking, that he threw the jawbone from his hand, and called that place [g]Ramath Lehi.

-Judges 15:14-17

After his victory, this Nazirite actually becomes a metaphor for the nation. He loses his way, not some may say it is a spoil of victory and some fantastical non-sense that someone would do this. But he goes to Delilah, a sex trade worker, and yes a spy. Now for those who think that this can be implausible, I remind Canadians under the Diefenbaker government of Gerda Munsinger and Deputy Minister of Defense Pierre Sevigny

Munsinger was an East German sex trade worker, and a spy, yes the Justice Minister said there had not been a security breach. Let’s be honest though in heater politics of the Cold War, and the cycle of Minority governments of Diefenbaker and Pearson would one openly and transparently admit this without spelling the end of their party? A crass joke of the time speaks volumes to what was “known but not proven”:

Gerda Munsinger took one screw and the whole cabinet fell apart.

Still think that Delilah is not a spy? And I do not believe she was coerced or forced, she was working Samson like one works an asset in a bad 1950’s spy novel. She got the national secret of the Kryptonite to beat the Superman after nights of passion and playing. Almost an ancient re-enactment of the Maxine Bernie 2008 security breach in Prime Minister Harper’s Government when Bernier left classified files at his girlfriend’s house.

This is the shell game like stakes the Philistines and Israel were playing, with the two key players being Samson and Delilah. A Cold War or War of Terror match set, dancing around mutually assured destruction. Unlike Gorbachev and Reagan though, there was no freeze and wall coming down.

Okay, there was walls that came down, but mutually assured destruction was not escaped for Samson and the Philistines on the path they had set.

What a story. Also though a time of reflection as we enter election cycles in Alberta and Canada. Who are we? Who do we want to be? Let the answers to these questions guide your heart. Do not get caught in the cycle of mutually assured destruction. Do not play games for power and esteem as Delilah and Samson, but keep to the core of what life is about.

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Judges, part of the Deuteronic history of books within the Hebrew Bible includes Joshua, 1 & 2 Samuel, Deuteronomy and was first put to papyrus around 550 CE during the Babylonian Exile. It is more than just the (in)famous tale of Samson and his hair, but includes many other judges from Deborah (ah the war hammer) to Gideon. The stories cover the time period between the end of Joshua and the establishment of the Kingdom in the books of Samuel. It, as with other Deuteronic history stories, ties the hearer back to the covenant made with the Holy Mystery. Now, the modern reader has to remember that Deuteronomy was “discovered” in the newly re-established temple under Ezra, it was a refined look of the whole Torah (Pentateuch) and gave us the redacted 10 Commandments that shifted the No God command from no God before me, to NO GOD but me.

Judges is in this vein reminding the hearer of times when the covenant was discarded. Like a 1930’s pulp magazine or a Harlequin Romance Novel, there is a plug and play formula for these stories:

Related imageIt is not a unique cycle in the course of lifespan development. Think of our own journey in adolescences with our parents or mentors. Those times we would attempt to step out of the protection of the safe place for us (for some the home, others had other places).

The book of Judges breaks it down to sin language, but truly it is attempting assertion of self, and knowing what options are available. In the world of problem solving I would call it a POP strategy. The people come to a crossroads/problem. They look at options, they pick an option, and move forward with the Plan (P.O.P=Problem, Option, Plan). What happens though is that the option chosen is not healthy for the individual or the community, they run back to the source and plead for help in the conundrum, a judge rises and aids the solution. Metaphysically this is the interior castle moments when we know we have pooched it, we turn back to the divine within, with help of our mentors (like in adolescence when you would work out a P.O.P. unofficially with a parent or trusted adult). In our teens, my brother and I termed it the walk of shame, going back to Dad or Mum after our plan blew up in our faces, to let them know they were right and needing to get back on track. That is the judge (not like the Judges Moses commissioned, rather they are spirit guides or in some cases, like super heroes).

The new plan is laid out, followed through, and the nation/person is back on track.

In the point in time in history the stories were used to show how to avoid another exile, and what had led to exiles. For a personal reflection as we journey through it will be looking at our own times of disconnect and exile. Those times when we have fed the wrong wolf inside us, and the darkness is a bit stronger, what this means for our own personal judges being raised up to guide us back into our light and true self.

For the P.O.P. stratagem awaits…what are your options?