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The Many Faces of Samson

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Chapter Summary

This chapter discusses how multifaceted Samson's character is. The chapter begins with Samson as fool, and with Ackerman, who locates Samson's folly in his rashness. 'Hero' is a term often used to describe Samson, though there is disagreement over what type of hero he is. The biblical tale takes an instrumental view in presenting Samson as God's agent with a God-given mission. The chapter discusses what makes 'freedom fighter' particularly applicable to Samson is the nature of his resistance to Philistine rule over Israel. Joseph Jeter says bluntly, in a book about preaching from the book of Judges, 'Samson was a terrorist. Comic and tragic, hero and fool, Samson is a man of contradictions, who combines opposites. The two roles the biblical text assigns to him, Nazirite and judge, are two faces of Samson. His character is hard to pin down.

Keywords: freedom fighter; God's agent; Israel; Nazirite; Samson's character; terrorist



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