Samson's Women: Jesus' Relationships with the World, Israel, the Church

The purpose for reading Samson’s story as an allegory is to better understand Jesus and His relationship with us. But before delving into the details, I must explain that the basic premise and purpose of is to show that “The whole Bible is about Jesus.” Colossians chapter 1, says that the world was created by Jesus, through Jesus, and for Jesus (Colossians 1:16-20). That being said, it was Jesus in the garden with Adam and Eve (Genesis 3:8); it was Jesus that wrestled with Jacob (Genesis 32:24-28); it was Jesus that talked with Abraham and Sarah (Genesis 18:1); and it was Jesus in the burning bush with Moses (Exodus 3:2). After His resurrection, Jesus was walking with two men on the road to Emmaus and He explained that the entire Old Testament was about Him (Luke 24:25-27). Shortly after that, He told His disciples basically the same thing (Luke 24:44-45). Samson is an allegorical picture of Jesus.

There are two common practices throughout the Old Testament allegories. Women represent how people relate to God. The relationship is shown both through the meanings of their names and through their actions. The names of places describe the major themes or events in the story. A clear example of this comes from Galatians chapter 4 where we are told that mans’ relationship to God is either through Hagar or through Sarah. (The two women present a contrast: Hagar is a foreigner to Israel and considered a slave. Sarah means princess or queen –being or royalty.) They represent the two covenants. The first woman describes living as a slave to legalism. The other describes living a life based on faith and free from the law.

There are three women in the story of Samson. All were Philistines –Israel’s enemy who had been ruling over her for some time. Each of the women portray one of the three divisions of mankind –all initially enemies of God– and how they relate to God. Based on the allegory, the timeframe begins with Jesus introduction to the respective people and ends with Judgment Day.

The first is a woman that he has chosen to marry; she is from Timnah which means the allotted (or chosen) place. The name of the place foreshadows the fact that Jesus was predestined to come to live in His humanity to bring reconciliation between God and man. She represents the relationship between mankind and God. Her story begins with Jesus desiring and pursuing her –that’s equivalent to His pursuing mankind since the fall in the Garden of Eden. It ends with a description of what she became –the great city of Babylon– and her final destruction.

The second woman’s story is contained in just three verses. She is a prostitute from the town of Gaza –which means fierce enemy. She is indicative of the hostility that Jesus encountered when He came to His own people and they rejected Him. Her story ends with the city gates –the only thing that separated it from the rest of the world– taken up onto a nearby hill. It is a picture of the law –that which made the Jews separate from the world– being taken away from them. Jesus carried its punishment up on the hill and was crucified.

The third woman is Delilah. She is from the Valley of Sorek which means the valley of the true (or choice) vine. Even with all of her betrayals, she is Samson’s true love –representing the Bride of Christ. She is the ultimate cause of His death. He was displayed and mocked in a religious forum and died a crushing death for the sins of the people. I hope you will decide to read the whole story and find out more about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Samson’s Wife Explains Jesus’ Relationship with the World

The first human being, Adam, was created in the image of God. Eve was created from him and for him –to be his wife, companion, and soul-mate for eternity. Satan enticed Eve to do the same thing he had done –to attempt to be like God –to be the one who decides what was best for herself and those around her. By eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, she chose to be independent rather than live by a trust dependency. As far as she was concerned, she then became the supreme source of determining what was good and what was bad.

Adam had a choice to make when Eve ate that fruit. He could have stayed in the garden with God, letting her go without him. Or he could be cast out of the garden in and remain with the one that he cherished. After all, she was created specifically to meet his particular needs. When the punishment was pronounced –even before the sin– it was Adam who was told. . . Let me repeat that. It was Adam who was told that the punishment was death for displacing God as the supreme authority. So Adam’s punishment was death (Genesis 2:15-17). But Eve’s punishment was having trouble giving new life (Genesis 3:16). (Please read the story of Adam to better understand the whole story.)

The last Adam, Jesus (1 Corinthians 15:45-49), also has a soul-mate. Out of all of creation He chose mankind to be His Eve –intended to become His bride at the great wedding feast of the Lamb (Matthew 22:1-3, Revelation 19:7-9). But like Eve, each one of us have tried to become God by choosing what is best for us in our own eyes (Judges 17:6). Yet, this Adam, the One that created us in His own image and for His own purpose, chose death –separation from His Father; the worst of all punishments. He chose death so that His Eve, is left with only one thing to do. It’s to chose whether or not to accept the new life (a new birth) that He offers. In this section you will see hints (after all, it’s an allegory, a parable) of what began in the garden and concludes on Judgment Day.

Sadly, not everyone chooses life. For them, His death on the cross and resurrection from the dead are foolishness. What a gift –eternally being with the one who cherishes us above everything else– to be discarded like garbage. It certainly shows our fallen nature. –Just like Eve, we all think we know better than God!

Samson and the Prostitute Describes Jesus and Israel

In this allegory –using Samson to tell more about Jesus– it might be tempting to try to use the wife to describe Israel’s relationship to God. After all, there are many Old Testament references to Israel as God’s wife.

There are two reasons for it not to be Israel. First, Samson’s father wanted his son to find a wife within his own nationality. But Samson insisted that he had fallen in love with a foreign woman and wanted her to be his wife. The foreigners were always referred to as the gentiles or nations –never Israel.

Secondly, Israel was known for her adultery and God’s divorce from her (Jeremiah 3:8, Hosea 9:1). I must add here that God is always seeking her to return to Him through a trusting faith relationship (Jeremiah 3:14-15). It’s in Judges chapter 16 that Samson is seen with the prostitute. Let’s continue with the story.

Samson and Delilah Show Jesus with His Bride the Church

Although this seems to be a sordid story filled with conflict, betrayal and murder. It depicts what our Lord Jesus went through to transform us into the bride who is without blemish or stain. No doubt you have read that passage in (Ephesians 5:21-33) which is typically used to lay guilt on husbands –and even more on wives– by specifying the perfect relationship and how it is based on submission. Yet that passage yields a marvelous insight at the end where Paul reveals that the husband-wife description is fully realized with Christ as the Husband and Us as His bride.

In regard to murder, who was it that caused His death? Weren’t we Christians the ones who benefited from that death and therefore the reason for His crucifixion? Who was it that betrayed Him? Haven’t each one of us, like Peter, denied Him? And who was the conflict fought for –the one between life and death –good and evil? Wasn’t it all for us?

Samson’s life ended as the love of his life, Delilah, prodded him to tell the answer to his riddle. He was blinded, bound and led away; humiliated in a public display; and killed in a in a religious forum. With his death he put an end to that temple and its false worship. It’s a picture of the death that Jesus endured –He was crushed for our iniquities (Isaiah 53:5).