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SAMSON - AN ABSURD EVIL TALE

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The Bible, purporting to have been authored by God, tell us the story of the saviour figure and superhero Samson. Page 165 of Why I Became an Atheist (John Loftus, Prometheus Books, New York, 2008) outlines Holman's disclosures that the Bible story of Samson is riddled with ridiculous nonsense. The Bible says that Samson killed a thousand soldiers by himself in battle. He would have needed speed faster than lightning to do that. Holman said that fifty or more arrows would have been fired at him at once and he would have needed to run at an impossible speed to avoid them. And the Bible says Samson had no weapon but the jawbone of an ass against these men. The jawbone would be in bits after hitting a few armoured men and the speed alone would have shattered it. And what did Samson need it for when he had his superman fists?
 
Judges 13 records the appearance of an angel (or God himself v22) to the barren wife of Manoah, to announce to her the future birth of a son. “Behold, you shall become pregnant and bear a son. No razor shall come upon his head, for the child shall be a Nazirite to God from birth” (13:5). “Behold, you shall become pregnant and bear a son, and now drink no wine or strong drink and eat nothing unclean, for the child shall be a Nazirite to God from birth to the day of his death” (13:7). The law was that a Nazarite could not drink alcohol or have his hair cut (Numbers 6). When the baby came along she called him Samson.

Samson killed a lion with his bare hands and ripped it to shreds and contrary to the angel’s prediction he ate honey that was made by bees that made their abode in the carcass (Judges 14:8,9). This honey was unclean food. Also, when Samson ripped up the beast it would have been dead and the angel said he would be a Nazarite forever meaning that he would not defile himself by touching a dead body.

Samson married a Philistine woman named Delilah. God miraculously gave Samson the supernatural strength of the superhero variety but cutting his hair would take it away. Samson foolishly confided in Delilah that if his hair were cut he would lose the charism of strength given to him by God’s spirit, even though she had already attempted twice to betray him to her countrymen, the Philistines who were his most bitter enemies. Accordingly, she had his hair cut when he was fast asleep and handed him over to them and they gouged his eyes out. Samson knew what Delilah’s motives were, yet he gave in to her nagging and told her his bizarre secret – he might as well have cut his hair himself! Consequently, he lost strength and was now no longer a Nazarite.  The angel’s prophecy was false. Since God is all knowing and all-powerful it is impossible that he couldn’t predict the future (Deuteronomy 18).

Bible believers say that the angel only commanded that Samson be a Nazirite from birth to death and was not making a prediction. If he was then he was commanding that she make her son a Nazarite from birth to death for the baby was not born yet. You can’t become a Nazirite from birth any more than you can become a nun from birth. It is a matter of choice. Thus the angel is unlikely to be commanding. He is predicting. No angel would command Samson and his mother not to give Samson a haircut when there were lots of ways he could have had some cut. And the message of the angel is worded like prophecy and there is no hint that it is a mere command.

The idea of the Philistines or Delilah not being able to stab Samson to death while he slept is preposterous. They were going to kill him and he was dangerous so he would have been killed. Like Jesus, Samson is a myth or an exaggeration. When a book contains revelations from God and angels and contains myth that shows that its prophecies cannot be trusted.