Sunday Quote

Sunday Quote!- Samson as Israel

webb-judgesEvery Sunday, I will share a quote from something I’ve been reading. The hope is for you, dear reader, to share your thoughts on the quote and related issues and perhaps pick up some reading material along the way!

Samson as Israel

I finished reading the Samson narrative (Judged 13-16) after going through it in detail over the last several months. I found Barry Webb’s summary statement regarding Samson to be profound and deeply moving:

[B]eneath all the surface chaos, and the mad careering here and there of the wild-man hero, there is a steady building toward a predetermined climax of profound theological significance. For Samson is not just Samson; he is also Israel. His is separated from other men, but he longs to be like them, just as Israel is separated from other nations, but is continually drawn to them. He goes after foreign women, as Israel goes after foreign gods. He suffers for his willfulness, as Israel does for its. And in his extremity he cries out to Yahweh, as Israel has repeatedly done. But now it is Samson alone who does so; he is remnant Israel; Israel reduced to a single man. (416-417)

After this summary statement, Webb goes on to place this in canonical perspective and analyze other perspectives of Samson. The commentary is worth the purchase for these sections alone, but the whole thing is phenomenal. I highly recommend that you, dear readers, take the time to read the Bible alongside a solid commentary sometime.


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Barry Webb, The Book of Judges (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm B. Eerdmans, 2012).




About J.W. Wartick

J.W. Wartick is a Lutheran, feminist, Christ-follower. A Science Fiction snob, Bonhoeffer fan, Paleontology fanboy and RPG nerd.


7 thoughts on “Sunday Quote!- Samson as Israel

  1. Reblogged this on Talmidimblogging and commented:
    Amen and Amen J.W.!

    Posted by Vincent S Artale Jr | August 16, 2015, 7:20 AM
  2. I have a clarifying question: do you think that Samson was the only faithful man in Israel?

    Posted by Elihu | August 16, 2015, 9:23 AM
  3. Reblogged this on James' Ramblings.

    Posted by jamesbradfordpate | August 16, 2015, 2:39 PM
  4. I like Webb’s quote. I’d be curious to know how he applies that typology to Samson’s fate. Because in the end, of course, Samson is destroyed along with his enemies. I’d be wary of any typology that suggested ethnic Israel, like Samson, must die to fulfill its vocation. But it’s an interesting typology all the same, and I’d have to read the whole thing for myself, as you suggest, to know how edifying I’d find it.

    It also reminds me of the way Barth treats Jesus as faithful Israel in one man. I think there’s a long tradition of playing Samson and Jesus off each other in typological ways; does Webb go on to contrast Samson with Christ?

    Interesting quote; thanks for sharing it.

    Posted by Michael Poteet | August 16, 2015, 10:55 PM
  5. Thanks for this! I’ll be sure to pick up a copy as well. We should talk more Samson some time!

    Posted by Luis Serrano | August 20, 2015, 3:12 PM

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