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Synopsis. Samson is a Biblical figure who appears in the Book of Judges, 13-16. He was an Israelite who followed the proscriptions of Nazirite life, which included not drinking nor trimming his locks. A man of tremendous strength, his power was sapped after his lover Delilah cut his hair


Samson’s Birth

The details of Samson’s birth already signify him as a mythical figure. Chapter 13 of Judges tells the story of Manoah and his wife, who is barren. One day, an angel of God appears to Manoah’s wife promising that she will bear a son. But this comes with a warning: She cannot contaminate her body with any alcohol, because her child will be a nazirite — dedicated to God from birth. She also learns that her son will save the Israelites from the Philistines.

Samson’s destiny, and his connection to the Philistines, is explicitly laid out by God even before he is born. The idea of God granting a child in order to dedicate that child to save the Israelites foreshadows a famous birth that appears in the first book of Samuel. There, the prophet Samuel is born to a previously barren woman, and he is dedicated from a young age to serve in the Temple. (Samuel I, 1