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Old Testament Notes

Samson and Delilah


            Samson and Delilah. Samson is a hero from the book of Judges, a man with incredible physical strength, different episodes from his legend are reflected in painting, the fight with the lion is one of the most popular ones.
            When he became old enough, Samson wanted to marry a Philistine woman, his parents protested, but at last agreed to prepare a wedding feast. At his wedding Samson challenged the guests to answer his riddle “Out of the eater came something to eat. Out of the strong comes something sweet’ (The Book of Judges 14:14). The riddle was about the lion, which Samson had killed and later saw how bees made their hive in his carcass and produced honey. The guests solved the riddle having threatened the bride into wheedling the secret out of Samson. Furious with his new wife's betrayal Samson left her. When he cooled down and returned he found out that she was married off to another man. After this scandal Samson became the most furious enemy of the Philistines and never missed a chance to take revenge.
To defeat him, his enemies sent a beautiful woman to him, Delilah, who managed to find out the secret of his strength: it was in his long thick hair. When he had fallen asleep she cut off his locks and delivered him to the enemies. They promptly gouged out his eyes. But Samson’s hair grew again, and he managed to avenge himself.
See: Lucas Cranach the Elder Samson Vanquishing the Lion.
Anthony van Dyck Samson and Dalilah.
Rembrandt. The Blinding of Samson, Samson Betrayed by Delilah, Samson Putting Forth His Riddles at the Wedding Feast, Samson Accusing His Father-in-Law.

Manoah is Samson’s father. His wife was barren for a long time, then an angel announced to her that she would give birth to a son (The Book of Judges 13:3) and the child revealed would help set Israel free from the Philistines. Manoah and his wife burned offerings to God and the angel ascended in the flames from the sacrifice.
See: Rembrandt. Sacrifice of Manoah.
 

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