Background to the bible story of Samson
The Bible story of Samson is found in the Book of Judges chapters 13 – 16. He was born in the time of the Judges of Israel.
Samson’s family belonged to the Tribe or State of Dan and lived in a place called Zorah. He was a very, very strong man because of the superpowers that God gave him.
However, Samson was naughty and this caused his downfall. In spite of this, God saved him from his enemies when they captured him at the end of his life.
Let’s learn more about Samson.
Samson was born at a time when Israel’s enemies attacked them
God was not pleased. He punished the Israelites by allowing the
Philistines to oppress them. The Philistines worshiped devils and were wicked and cruel.
They often attacked the Israelite villages. They would steal the
people’s possessions. They made everyone’s lives miserable.
However, God still loved the people of Israel. He had a plan to save them from their enemies. Samson was a part of God’s plan.
Let’s talk about the story of his birth.
One day, an Israelite woman called Mrs. Manoah was busy in the fields. God sent an angel to visit her. The Angel said:
“Do not drink any wine or eat anything unclean. You are about to become pregnant with a baby boy.
He will be a Nazarite, a person set apart to serve God. Do not cut his hair.”
Mrs. Manoah could hardly believe her ears. She was barren and unable to have children!
She hurried to see her husband, Mr. Manoah. With great excitement, she reported the visit to him:
“A Man of God came to me. His face was fearsome like an angel. He said that we will soon have a child!”
Mr. Manoah then prayed and asked God to send the Man of God to show them how to raise the child.
God answered Mr. Manoah’s prayer. One day, his wife was in the field when the Angel visited her. She ran quickly to get her husband who was elsewhere.
Mr. Manoah asked the Angel to tell him and his wife how to raise the child. The Angel repeated the instructions that he had previously given to Mrs. Manoah.
The Angel of God visited again and spoke to Mr. Manoah
Whenthe the Angel had finished speaking, Manoah asked for his name. The Angel refused to tell him because it was a secret.
The Angel gave permission for Mr. Manoah and his wife to give an offering to God. Mr. Manoah fetched a goat and sacrificed it on a stone altar to God.
Flames from the altar rose high in the air towards Heaven.
The Angel did something amazing as the flames rose to the sky. He entered the flames and ascended to Heaven as well.
Mr. and Mrs. Manoah suddenly realized that the Man of God was an Angel. They became very frightened and fell on their faces to the ground.
Mr. Manoah said to his wife, “we will surely die because we have seen God!”
Mrs. Manoah responded by reassuring her husband that God had sent them a good message and did not want them dead.
Samson was born and grew up with seven big locks of hair
Just as the Angel had prophesied, Manoah’s wife had a baby boy. She named him Samson, which means “like the sun.”
God remembered Samson and blessed him as he grew.
As Samson grew older, he became big and strong. His hair became thick, strong, and long because the Angel had told his mother not to cut it.
Samson wore his hair in seven big locks in order to carry around the weight. Although he was a Nazarite and set apart for God, Samson didn’t always obey Him.