Samson + Women = Disaster

“Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.” – Proverbs 13:20

The third theme in Samson’s life is women. He appears to be a man obsessed with them, longing for a satisfying relationship, but so sexually unhinged, emotionally unhappy, and spiritually unhealthy that he never has a loving romantic relationship. A Bible dictionary says, “The narrative concerning Samson revolves around his interaction with three women: a Philistine woman in Timnah, whom Samson marries (Judges 14:1-2, 15:1); a prostitute at Gaza (Judges 16:1); and the Philistine agent Delilah (Judges 16:4).” (1)

The life story of Samson is dominated by women. The first woman in his life is his mother who, when Jesus shows up at their house announcing Samson’s birth (Judges 13), is far more discerning than her dopey husband. A Bible dictionary says:

Samson’s involvement with each of three women leads to a conflict with the Philistines. However, since God’s purpose for Samson was to use him to deliver Israel from the dominion of the Philistines, this weakness was the primary means through which God fulfilled His purpose. This is explicitly stated in reference to Samson’s marriage in Judges 14:4 (ESV): “And his father and mother did not know that it was from the Lord, for he was seeking an opportunity against the Philistines.”

While the harlot of Gaza receives little attention, both Samson’s Timnite wife and Delilah play significant parts in the narrative. Their dealings with Samson demonstrate extensive “thematic parallels[.]” … Both women are coerced by the Philistines to extract a secret from Samson. Both women question Samson’s love and pester him until he gives in to their demands. In both instances, the answer leads to Samson’s capture by the Philistines. Samson prays, and Yahweh answers. (2)

In tomorrow’s devo, we will look at the fourth and final theme in the complicated life of Samson. 

Samson allowed unhealthy women into his life. Have you allowed any unhealthy people into yours and are there any boundaries you need to enforce or relationships you need to end so you can remain a healthy person? 

1.    Rob Fleenor, “Samson the Judge, Critical Issues,” op. cit.

2.    Jay Todd, “Samson the Judge,” op. cit.

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