The strange biography of Samson


  • Yair Zakovitch Hebrew University of Jerusalem


Bible, Old Testament -- Criticism, interpretation, Jewish, Samson, Bible, Judges, Monotheism, Myth in the Old Testament


The biblical story of the life of Samson hides much from the reader&&the Book of Judges has deleted from the story elements that were deemed improper for the book’s placement among the Holy Scriptures. In this article, the author shows how the Bible transforms Samson from a mythological hero, the son of a god, to a mere mortal whose extraordinary strength came through the spirit of God that rested with him so long as he kept his Nazirite vows. The biblical storyteller could not prevent the story of Samson from entering into the biblical corpus since it was a tale of tremendous popularity. He thus told it in such a way as to bring it closer to his monotheistic beliefs and world-view. In its ‘biblical’ form the story does not bring honor to the figure of Samson, and so his placement as the last of the judges in the Book of Judges prepares the reader for the establishment of the institution of kingship, in the Book of Samuel.



How to Cite

Zakovitch, Y. (2003). The strange biography of Samson. Nordisk judaistik/Scandinavian Jewish Studies, 24(1-2), 19–36.