[b-hebrew] Samson at Gaza - Judges 16:1

Dave Washburn dwashbur at nyx.net
Tue Aug 14 13:12:13 EDT 2007


That was me, actually, who mentioned the commentary, and I hope I made it
clear that I don't agree with that assessment.  One thing that I think
gives the HB narratives a ring of truth is the fact that the characters
are real people: flawed, fumbling, making mistakes, disobeying, being
dunderheads at times.  I have already given my view, that the work of
Samson against the Philistines sets up the narrative, heading toward the
books of Samuel, for the rise of the Davidic kingdom.  I don't really see
a "downward spiral" in leadership, especially considering that there was
probably some overlap in the terms of the various judges (see my paper
"The Chronology of Judges: Another Look", Bibliotheca Sacra, Oct. 1990).

On Tue, August 14, 2007 8:12 am, Jerry Shepherd wrote:
> Hi George
>
> I appreciate this slight corrective to your earlier post.  Perhaps
> "profligate" was too harsh a word to use in the commentary you referred
> to.  But, of course, he was no paragon of virtue either.  And I still
> think he is part of the picture that the author of Judges paints of
> deteriorating leadership, the "downward spiral."
>
> Blessings,
>
> Jerry
>
> Dr. Jerry E. Shepherd
> Associate Professor of Old Testament
> Taylor Seminary
> 11525 - 23 Avenue
> Edmonton, AB T6J 4T3
> CANADA
> Office: (780)431-5250
> Home: (780)434-1164
> Fax: (780)436-9416
> Email: jerry.shepherd at taylor-edu.ca
> Internet: http://www.taylor-edu.ca
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: b-hebrew-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
> [mailto:b-hebrew-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of George Athas
> Sent: Tuesday, August 14, 2007 12:41 AM
> To: b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
> Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Samson at Gaza - Judges 16:1
>
> The NT sees Samson as a 'hero of faith'. See Hebrews 11.32.
>
> My impression is that the Judges narrative paints Samson as a flawed
> character, but it does the same for others like Jephthah and Gideon. In
> that
> regard, these three judges, for whom we have extended narratives, are
> all in
> the same basket. I note that Hebrews 11.32 also mentions Gideon and
> Jephthah
> (and also Barak).
>
>
> Best Regards,
>
> GEORGE ATHAS
> Moore Theological College (Sydney)
> 1 King St, Newtown, NSW 2042, Australia
> Ph: (+61 2) 9577 9774
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: b-hebrew-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
> [mailto:b-hebrew-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of Calvin
> Lindstrom
> Sent: Tuesday, 14 August 2007 6:52 AM
> To: B Hebrew <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
> Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Samson at Gaza - Judges 16:1
> Importance: Low
>
>
> James Jordan has a very interesting commentary on Judges that goes
> against the typical Protestant and pietistic view.
>
> It is available at:
>
> http://www.entrewave.com/freebooks/docs/21ee_47e.htm
>
> Calvin Lindstrom
> Church of Christian Liberty
> Arlington Heights, IL
> www.christianliberty.com
>
>
>
>
> On Aug 13, 2007, at 3:21 PM, Dave Washburn wrote:
>
>>
>> On Mon, August 13, 2007 12:47 pm, Yigal Levin wrote:
>>> Dear Bruce,
>>>
>> [snip]
>>> Your comment about "Christendom paints Samson as a bad man" is
>>> interesting.
>>> How representative is that statement of different Christian
>>> denominations.
>> [snip]
>>
>> It's pretty thoroughly representative from what I've seen.  Most
>> Christian-based commentaries paint him as a failure in his mission,
>> and
>> see women as the cause of his downfall.  I disagree wholeheartedly,
>> and in
>> 1992 I presented a paper to the ETS annual meeting arguing that
>> Samson's
>> problem wasn't lust, but loneliness.  As for his mission, the
>> oracle his
>> father is said to have received said he would "begin to" deliver
>> Israel
>> from the Philistine oppression; I see this as setting things up for
>> the
>> rise of the davidic dynasty which ultimately (according to the
>> text) threw
>> off the Philistine yoke and established an independent kingdom.
>> Viewed in
>> this wider context, his mission wasn't a failure at all.
>>
>> However, I'm far from representative of the average Christian
>> commentator.
>>  It's much more common to see him described in terms such as "the
>> profligate judge" as one commentary put it.
>>
>>> ----- Original Message -----
>>> From: "Bruce Prince" <bruceprince at bigpond.com>
>>> To: "b-Hebrew List" <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
>>> Sent: Monday, August 13, 2007 10:18 PM
>>> Subject: [b-hebrew] Samson at Gaza - Judges 16:1
>>>
>>>
>>>> Folks
>>>>
>>>> Not being very good at understanding the intricate details of
>>>> Biblical
>>>> Hebrew, I'm wondering if you can help me understand what is going
>>>> on in
>>>> this
>>>> verse?
>>>>
>>>> Generally, Christendom paints Samson as a bad man, but I'm not
>>>> convinced.
>>>> Even whilst staying in Gaza, the power of the Lord was upon him
>>>> as he
>>>> heaved
>>>> those massive gates out of their foundation and up the hill. God's
>>>> purpose
>>>> for Samson was to rile the Philistines - a task he seemed
>>>> particularly
>>>> adapted to.
>>>>
>>>> Samson's reputation had gone before him to this city, and I'm
>>>> wondering
>>>> if
>>>> he was simply using the home of the harlot as a place of abode in
>>>> much
>>>> the
>>>> same way that the spies used Rahab's home in Jericho.
>>>>
>>>> Does the Hebrew of this verse undeniably state that Samson had
>>>> intercourse
>>>> with the harlot? Verse 3 states that he lay until midnight; it
>>>> doesn't
>>>> say
>>>> that he lay with her.
>>>>
>>>> I'd appreciate any views.
>>>>
>>>> Thanks
>>>>
>>>> Bruce Prince
>>>> Australia
>>>>
>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>> b-hebrew mailing list
>>>> b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
>>>> http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/b-hebrew
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
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>>>>
>>>>
>>>
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>>
>>
>> --
>> Dave Washburn
>> Why do it right when you can do it again?
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-- 
Dave Washburn
Why do it right when you can do it again?



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