The Mighty Hero Defeated by a Philistine Woman
The Book of Judges reviews the fascinating period of the Israelites’ struggles against Canaanites and Philistines. Perhaps the most famous figure in that time frame is Samson. Born and raised in the Shephelah, he often desired women of the neighboring Philistines, to the dismay of his parents. Tragically, his third love affair would cost him his life. His first wife was a Philistine woman from Timna. To impress her he killed a lion, and afterwards pulled honey down from his corpse. He became infatuated by a Philistine prostitute in Gaza, and later uprooted the gates of the city and walked with them to Hebron. Finally, a Philistine woman called Delilah got him to confess his source of strength. She then snuggled with him until he fell asleep and cut his hair. In a vulnerable state, his eyes were poked out, and he was imprisoned in Gaza. Gradually, his hair grew back and when he was introduced to the temple of Dagon, he called for God to grant him his power one more time. Breaking the pillars of the temple, he caused the temple to collapse, killing him and his captors. From Tell Beth-Shemesh will will review the quest for sites relating to Samson’s biography – Tzorah and Esthaol, where he was born (and buried), Timna, and Sorek stream (where he met Delilah). Before moving on, we will play Tom Jones’s pop song, which presents Samson’s disillusionment of what Delilah had done to him.