I’ve been reading through the Bible and making a kind of commentary on the whole thing as I go. Needless to say this has been a lengthy project!
A note from the NIV Study Bible on the Samson narrative–my current reading clued me in to something pretty interesting. I wonder how intentional this parallel might be. Here’s a note I put into my running Bible commentary:
“The NIV Study Bible (p. 380 note on 14:14) notes how this riddle could be foreshadowing Samson’s own fate- out of the eater (Samson), something to eat—Samson grinding grain after being blinded; out of the strong (Samson), something sweet—the joy of seeing their enemy cast down.”
What do you think? Is this parallel in the text? If so, is it intentional? What might we learn from its presences/lack thereof.
It’s a possibility, I suppose, although it doesn’t ring persuasive to me. It seems more likely we’re meant to take it face value, as Samson obliquely referring to his killing of the lion and subsequent eating of the honey from its corpse – that action violating the Nazirite vows. So I’ve always taken the riddle as one more indication of how Samson doesn’t take God’s prior claim on him seriously. He, literally, treats it like a game.
But the Spirit moves as the Spirit wills, so there’s nothing to rule the foreshadowing possibility out (especially given what literary artists the ancient Hebrew storytellers were — inspired in every sense of the word!)
Samson’s one of my favorite Bible stories, and the subject of the first sermon I ever preached, so this post really caught my eye!
Thanks for stopping by and commenting! I appreciate the insights you offer on the story, and the notion of Samson treating God’s setting him aside like a game is interesting. Thanks!
Samson is also one of my favorite stories. I’ve been very thoroughly re-reading it and hope to do so in Hebrew soon, though I’m super rusty in Hebrew. I have also been very slowly reading through a book focusing on Samson.
What’s the book? A rabbi friend of mine recommended a book of midrashim on the story a while back… “Lion’s Honey”… is that the one?
No. “The Structure of the Samson Cycle” by Jichan Kim. It is extremely dense so far (like 5 minutes per page dense). Good stuff though.
We always have to be careful of folks re-interpreting scripture. Sometimes they have hidden motives that lead to causing people to doubt God’s word. If you want to know the truth about the text you are reading I challenge you to live by the intent and letter of the Ten Commandments and then seek God’s guidance for your spiritual journey. Humans can err — both inadvertently and deliberately. God is your best guide. Best wishes, Nancy Dobson fo email@example.com
I’m not sure how this qualifies as a “re-interpretation” or why it might suggest that there are some hidden motives to doubt God’s word here. Indeed, it seems as though it is simply arguing for more layers of meaning in the text rather than rejecting its authority or anything of the sort.
I need to read more to intelligently interpret it =(