"THE EXPLOITS OF ABIMELECH, JEPHTHAH & SAMSON!"
NOW WE'RE GOING TO HAVE THE THRILLING STORY OF JEPHTHAH & SAMSON. Here's a little preview: We see a picture of Samson & what became of him, as he fell in chains, because of his sins against the Lord. This is Chapter 17 in our Bible Story Book.
1. A PICTURE OF ABIMELECH. The crown, which was offered Gideon, was coveted by his own son Abimelech. His mother, the Canaanitish wife of Gideon, lived in Shechem, & through her influence, the treasury of Baal–berith was robbed to finance the ambitious Abimelech, in his desire to become a king.
HERE THEY ARE TRYING TO MAKE A KING, & not too particular about who they were going to make king.—Gideon's son, in this case‚ was not too good for the job!
2. THIS IS A PHOTO OF GERIZIM. Abimelech's first move was to hire a gang of ruffians, to visit his father's old home & put his 70 brothers to death. So Ophrah, which for 40 years had enjoyed peace & quiet‚ now witnessed this terrible shedding of innocent blood! Jotham alone made his escape, but all the other brothers were mercilessly put to death!
GOD'S BOOK THE BIBLE TELLS THE WHOLE STORY, not just the good parts! In life's general course‚ people report mostly what's good & seldom anything bad. You know they're lying & that it must not be—there must be a few bad things happen! God's Word tells the whole story; it tells all the truth & nothing but the truth! In the Word of God, a lot of bad things happened. God paints the picture just as black as it really is, to show you how bad man can be without Him & without being in His Will.
3. HERE'S THE CITY OF SHECHEM. Abimelech had reigned 3 years, when one Gaal instituted a rebellion against him. They fought at the gate of Shechem, but Abimelech was too much for this agitator, who made his escape from the city.
SOMEBODY TRIED TO REBEL, BUT ABIMELECH FINALLY TOOK THE CITY & UTTERLY DESTROYED IT! He sowed it with salt. It could never have any more grass or trees or flowers or shrubbery there, because he covered it with salt! There was, undoubtedly‚ plenty of salt in the region. Sodom & Gomorrah had been destroyed by the Lord & turned to salt.
4. THIS IS THE ROAD BETWEEN 2 HILLS. Abimelech had slaughtered his brothers, & now he had annihilated the very people who had made him king! His highway-men were sent to rob passersby, who travelled this road‚ leading between Mount Ebal & Gerizim.
THIS IS WHERE JOSHUA ONCE STOOD, WITH THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL, & READ THE LAW TO THEM, just before his death. Now, instead of a place of reading the Law & keeping it, it's a place of the breaking of it & highway robbery!
5. THE DEATH OF ABIMELECH. Now he goes to deal out death to the people of a neighbouring city‚ Thebez. He had practically taken Thebez when a woman dropped a millstone on his head, from the city wall. Served him right, didn't it!
HE GOT WHAT WAS COMING TO HIM! But rather than die at the hands of a woman, he demanded that one of his men thrust him through, & he died. He didn't want to have the disgrace of them saying he was killed by a woman, so he had one of his own men kill him.
6. THE MAP. Two other Judges follow: Tola of Shamir & Jair a Gildeadite; but there's no record of their activities left to us. Jephthah was also a Gileadite & resided in the land of Tob.
7. HERE WE SEE MOUNT GILEAD. It's very rough terrain on the tops of these mountains, where the Jews first lived with their Judges—largely in hiding & as a refuge from their enemies on all sides.
THEY LIVED IN THESE MOUNTAINS AS A PLACE OF REFUGE. They sowed their crops in the little valleys between‚ & managed to eke out an existence. Only in times of great peace, great power & conquerors like David did they spread out in the large valleys, the seacoastal area & the Jordan Valley—where they had lots more room.
IN THE MEANTIME, THE AMMONITES HAD BEEN PREYING UPON ISRAEL—as the Midianites had done in the days of Gideon. The Ammonites, remember, were sons of Ammon, one of the illegitimate children of Lot. Israel called on Jephthah now, a new Judge, to deliver them. They met him in the hills of Gilead.
THEY PROMISED THE LEADER THAT, IF SUCCESSFUL, HE SHOULD BE RULER over that section. Since Israel had no leader at all, they were happy to get any kind of leader they could find. In this case, they picked Jephthah.
8. HERE WE SEE AROER IN THE LAND OF AMMON. Jephthah was a very rough man: He was the head of a band, on the highway between Damascus & Egypt, doing a little highway robbing. Of course, he was only robbing strangers & enemies, not the Jews—kind of like the famous stories of Robin Hood—he only robbed the rich to feed the poor!
JEPHTHAH OFFERS PEACE TO AMMON, IF THEY WILL ACCEPT IT; but the Ammonites answer is war! Jephthah does not wait for an attack, but meets them in Ammon, on their own soil, passing through here on his way.
9. HERE WE SEE A TYPICAL HOME IN GILEAD. Jephthah made a very rash vow before setting out: He proposed that, if he were successful, he would sacrifice, to Jehovah, the first thing that came out of the door of his house when he came home—a very foolish vow to make! But sometimes people are foolish & make foolish promises which they can't keep; or if they keep it, results in great trouble & sorrow!
10. THE MAP. JEPHTHAH TOOK AROER & MINNITH & 20 OTHER CITIES, & UTTERLY DEFEATED THE AMMONITES! Notice the Ammonites over here, east of the Jordan. That's the section that Jephthah was conquering. He then returned to Mizpeh with flying banners—a conqueror & a victor! Mizpeh was located on this side of the Jordan.
11. HIS TRIUMPH WAS SADLY MARRED when the first living thing to approach him‚ out of the door of his house‚ was his only daughter, his beloved daughter! Undoubtedly, God let this thing happen as a lesson, not only to Jephthah, but to the people, against making very rash vows. Making vows unto the Lord is not necessarily taboo.
EVEN PAUL MADE A VOW & some people think it was a rather rash vow‚ because it eventually caused him to lose his head! He vowed to go back to Jerusalem & perform at the Temple there‚ as a result he was thrown into prison. He never did get out of prison after that, until finally his head was chopped off, by Nero in Rome. However, God used it for the preaching of the Gospel.
BUT IN THIS CASE, IT SEEMS LIKE THERE WASN'T MUCH USE TO THIS VOW, or what happened through it. The daughter‚ who was endowed with her father's bravery, when she was told of his vow‚ heroically submitted to the fate which had befallen her.
12. HERE WE SEE THE MAIDENS IN MOURNING FOR JEPHTHAH'S DAUGHTER. Judges 11:37–40. "And she said, Let the thing be done: Let me alone 2 months, that I may go up & down upon the mountains, & bewail my virginity"—bewailing the fact that she had never had a chance to marry & have children, to continue her line.
SHE BECAME THE VICTIM OF THE VOW MADE BY HER OWN FATHER! For a long time, the daughters of Israel mourned 4 days in each year in memory of this brave girl. The Scripture does not tell us that she was actually slain, but the implication is that she must have been. The fact that they mourned for 4 days every year in memory of her shows that she must have been slain! But the Scripture spares us the gruesome, gory details of that horrible event—as the result of a very foolish promise. So never be caught in such foolish promising!
13. WHAT RIVER DO YOU SUPPOSE THAT IS? THE JORDAN, which is‚ as usual, rather muddy looking. It's still beautiful to the people of that land, because water is so scarce & so precious! There seemed to have been a number of Ephraimites in Gilead, & the Ephraimites were from the Northern Tribes of Israel.
AFTER JEPHTHAH'S VICTORY, A DISPUTE AROSE in which he accused them of being slackers. They hadn't helped him in the battle against the Ammonites. The Ephraimites, in trying to escape across the Jordan to their Tribe, were slain in large numbers. Jephthah judged Israel for 6 years, & he died & was buried in Gilead. Now we have a better known Judge coming: Samson!
14. THE MAP. Judah in the south seems to have held aloof from the other tribes in the north. Notice the division between the Southern Kingdom & the Northern Kingdom was already beginning to develop long before the actual split, the official break, in the days of the kings.
ALREADY THERE WAS JEALOUS ENMITY BETWEEN THE TRIBES OF JUDAH & BENJAMIN, THAT JOINED FORMING THE SOUTHERN KINGDOM, & THOSE ON THE NORTH. There was a great deal of hard feeling between them. This battle between them, under Jephthah, didn't improve the situation any—bloodshed never helps peace!
THE PHILISTINES HAD PRACTICALLY ENSLAVED JUDAH, & it was time for some defensive move to be made. This move was made by a son of Dan, a big strong fellow by the name of Samson. He attracted the attention of the Philistines, first of all, in a very unusual & strange manner. Let's hear a little more about how Samson originated.
15. HERE WE SEE A PICTURE OF HIS FATHER, HIS MOTHER & THE ANGEL. A man of the name of Manoah lived at Zorah. An angel visited him here & informed him that a son should be born unto him, & that child should be a Nazarite unto God. That means one who made a sacred & holy vow to God, to be separate unto God for all of his life & to serve the Lord for all of his days. These Nazarites had a special little sidelock, a long curl. Nazarites still wear the long side curls, to this very day, in memory of Samson.
IT WAS PREDICTED THAT HE WOULD BE TEMPERATE IN ALL THINGS, & it turned out there was one thing he couldn't be temperate in!* The child Samson was born in Zorah, according to the Word of the Lord‚ by the angel. The child grew & the Lord blessed him. (* Women!)
INCIDENTALLY, ANGELS DON'T NECESSARILY HAVE WINGS, but the artists pictured them as such. They figure that just because they flew, that they must have had wings. Well, you don't have to have wings to fly under God's power! The cherubims had wings & some of the creatures in God's Scripture had wings, but it doesn't say that the angels had wings!
16. HERE YOU SEE SAMSON DOING A LITTLE COURTING—ONE OF HIS MANY LOVE AFFAIRS! There is nothing said of Samson until he becomes a young man & has a love affair. Timnath lies a short distance from Zorah, & there lived a Philistine lady, with whom Samson fell desperately in love! It was much against his parents wishes; however, he won their consent & he married the Philistine girl.
17. HERE'S THE VALLEY OF SOREK. A little rivulet called Sorek finds its source near Zorah. It flows on past Timnath & empties into the Mediterranean, just below the city of Joppa‚ where now stands Tel Aviv nearby.
THIS WAS PHILISTINE COUNTRY, the land of the famous 5 Lords of the Philistines. They were a very high culture, very civilised. The Tribes of Israel were kind of savage, in comparison, living kind of rough up in the hills.
THIS FELLOW SAMSON WAS REALLY SAVAGE! He did some pretty rough things sometimes & was a really big, powerful, husky he-man! He must have passed down this little valley very often, on his way to see the lady of his love at Timnath.
18. UPON ONE OCCASION, WHEN HE WAS COMING DOWN THE VALLEY, HE ENCOUNTERED A LION. When it roared at him, he sprang upon it & slew it with his own hands! Single-handed‚ with his bare hands, he killed that lion! They had lions in the land of Israel, & they still have lions‚ believe it or not‚ in the mountains of Israel.
AFTER A TIME, HE CHANCED TO PASS THE PLACE AGAIN. A swarm of bees had settled in the carcass of the animal & had built a honeycomb there, & Samson fed upon the honey. He tells a riddle about it later on.
19. HERE'S A WEDDING PARTY. At Samson's wedding, there were 30 male guests. These 30 nobles were Lords of the Philistines. He made a feast which lasted 7 days, which is a common thing in those countries, even to this day. Not just one little wedding reception with a little slice of cake afterwards & a little punch!
THEY REALLY LIVED IT UP, THEY WHOOPED IT UP FOR 7 DAYS! You could really have a big time, in those days, at a wedding! In the east Jordan district, the customs have changed little. Most of these are Moslems or Mohammedans celebrating here.
20. AT ONE OF THESE WEDDING FEASTS, amongst the Arabs‚ the men do not eat with the women. In fact, the women normally take no part whatsoever. The men eat first of all from one common bowl. They use their fingers to feed themselves, & if there is anything left, the women can have it.
21. HERE THEY ARE IN ONE OF THEIR FAMOUS DANCES. A whole number hold hands & keep step to the music of the reed pipe‚ on which no tune is ever repeated, except by rarest accident. They often continue this dance for many hours, until one by one they fall exhausted!
22. HERE'S A PART OF A SWORD DANCE. The more talented guests put on this special sword dance. It takes a great deal of skill, unless you want to get yourself split wide open!
23. THEY ALSO HAVE A HORSE RACE AT THEIR BIG CELEBRATIONS, such as a wedding feast. Great excitement is displayed! The Arabs, in these modern days, are very proud of their very swift & beautiful Arabian steeds!
24. AFTER THE CELEBRATION IS ALL OVER, THE DAY IS GENERALLY CLOSED BY A CHAT AROUND THE CAMPFIRE. They love stories, particularly mythical & ghost stories. They rarely indulge in jokes; most of their stories are pretty serious. One of their favourites, around the campfire, is riddles—a guessing game, to see who can guess the answer to the riddle.
25. SAMSON AT HIS WEDDING. It was not strange for him to propound a riddle. He offered a very original riddle, nobody had ever given this riddle before—because it concerned the lion he'd slain. It was as follows: "Out of the eater came forth meat, & out of the strong came forth sweetness."
SOME OF THESE PICTURES ARE A LITTLE ODD, because the ancient mediaeval artists‚ who painted them & portrayed them, must have copied some of the nobility of their own day, though they put some Egyptian architecture around them. Remember, they are just artists' imaginations, so they don't necessarily represent the exact true events.
HE EMPHASISED HIS RIDDLE BY OFFERING A WAGER OF 30 SUITS OF CLOTHES, 30 changes of raiment—not business suits like we wear today, but the kind they wore in those days. If they didn't answer his riddle, they had to pay him 30 suits of clothes. If they did answer his riddle, he had to give them 30 suits of clothes. In that case, he would have one each for them; but if he won, he would get 30 suits.
26. THE PEOPLE OF TIMNATH. Finally, when they could not guess it, they induced his wife to find out the answer & tell them—threatening to burn her alive if she refused! She finally told them, & Samson had to pay the wager. He had a very violent way of paying his wager!
27. HE WENT OUT TO ASHKELON, one of the famous, leading 5 cities of the Philistines. He was so enraged by his treatment, he went over & slew 30 Philistines of Ashkelon & took their garments, & he paid off his bet. So he killed 30 Philistines to clothe 30 other Philistines! So, they paid pretty dearly for their wager!
28. HERE'S THE PLAIN OF SHARON. In the meantime, Samson's wife was given to another man‚ his rival. This so grieved Samson that he set fire to the Philistines' crops on the Plain of Sharon. This he did by a very novel method! Does anyone remember how he did it?
HE TOOK 300 FOXES & HE TIED FIREBRANDS TO THEIR TAILS. He was a pretty fast fellow, you remember‚ he had supernatural strength! He was destroying the crops of the enemies of God's people‚ so he wasn't disobeying God.
GOD GAVE HIM THE STRENGTH TO CATCH THESE FOXES & TO DO THESE ODD, WEIRD THINGS. You certainly couldn't catch 300 foxes & tie their tails to torches, unless you did have supernatural strength! He turned them loose in these ripened grain fields. The grain was standing there dry & parched in the sun, ready to be harvested, & that quickly set them on fire. That‚ of course‚ made the Philistines very mad!
29. HERE WE HAVE ETAM, WHERE SAMSON FINALLY HAD TO TAKE REFUGE. The Philistine farmers retaliated by burning Samson's wife & father-in-law—the girl he had married‚ or was going to marry, & who had been married to some other man. The poor girl not only gets married to Samson, then married off to some other person, she also gets burned up! So she got burned up anyhow, didn't she! Such is the fate of this woman who is unfaithful to her husband.
SHE TRIED TO SAVE HER LIFE FROM BEING BURNED, BY TELLING ON HER HUSBAND; BUT SHE GOT BURNED ANYHOW! So ladies beware! Then he turned on these Philistines & he slew them hip & thigh with a great slaughter, God's Word tells us. Then he went to dwell at the city of Etam, which you see in the photo.
30. THE MAP. ETAM WAS IN CENTRAL JUDAH NEAR HEBRON, which was tributary to Philistia at this time. Judah had to pay taxes to the Philistines, because they had been conquered by them.
THE PHILISTINES DEMANDED JUDAH DELIVER UP SAMSON INTO THEIR HANDS. Accordingly, because they didn't want the Philistines to do them any more harm or damage‚ Judah bound him with ropes & delivered Samson. Undoubtedly, Samson must have allowed this, because he could have easily broken the ropes to begin with; but he allowed the Judeans to do this in order to save his own people from the vengeance of the Philistines!
31. HERE WE SEE WHAT HAPPENED AS A RESULT: The Philistines began making fun of Samson. In the midst of this merrymaking, he just stretched a few biceps & pop, pop, pop, went the ropes which had bound him—green ropes at that! They fell off just as though they were ropes of ashes!
HE THEREUPON SEIZED THE JAWBONE OF AN ASS, a little donkey. Donkeys have pretty big jaws, if you've ever noticed, even larger than horses—very heavy too! He slew 1000 of these Philistines on the spot! So, that was pretty costly merrymaking, to make fun of Samson!—He didn't like it!
32. THIS IS WHERE IT ALL HAPPENED: HERE AT LEHI, a section of country between Etam & the Sea, near the highway leading into Egypt, in the land of the Philistines. It's very beautiful country, along the coast of Israel, on the Mediterranean Sea.
33. THE MOST OUTSTANDING CITY OF ALL THE LAND OF THE PHILISTINES WAS GAZA. Samson went on to Gaza, but his fame had gone before him & they were prepared for him! He decided he would go to the city & see the sights & the scenery. As every young man likes to go to town, Samson decided to take in the sights of Gaza.
HE WENT IN THROUGH THESE NICE, WIDE OPEN GATES, toured the city & decided it was time to go home. And lo & behold‚ when he got back to the gates, to go out, the gates were shut. The gates of Gaza were closed for the purpose of capturing this strong Danite, but their purpose was thwarted!
34. FOR AT MIDNIGHT, SAMSON, AFTER HE'D HAD HIS BALL, DECIDED TO LEAVE TOWN. He must have had quite a time, to last clear till midnight! By that time, the city gates were locked. He didn't bother to stop & ask the guard to open them.
HE JUST PICKED THEM UP & WALKED OFF WITH THEM! To make things even more difficult, because he was a little irked at the fact that they had locked him in, he carried them clear up to the top of the hill near Hebron—which must have made the Philistines all the madder yet! They had to go & cart the gates all the way back down to town again—if they ever did get them back, which was not an easy task, as you can see by the size of the gates!
SAMSON WAS QUITE A FELLA! But there was one thing he couldn't handle—he could handle strong cords, he could handle gates, he could handle lions—but, oh, women!—That was a different matter! I tell you, these women, they are the downfall of many a man! Never underestimate the power of a woman!
35. SO SAMSON FINALLY MEETS HIS WATERLOO! And his Waterloo happened to be named what? Delilah! On his return home, Samson fell in love with another woman, Delilah, who also lived in the Valley of Sorek—filled with Philistines, but bordering on his home country.
SHE FINALLY INVEIGLED HIM INTO TELLING HER THAT HIS STRENGTH LAY IN HIS HAIR. The book here shortens the story quite a bit—because she had tried several times to figure out where his strength lay. One time he said if he was bound with green ropes, why, he couldn't break them, & he broke them! Another time he said something else. Each time it was just a joke he was playing on her.
SHE SAID, "SAMSON, THE PHILISTINES BE UPON THEE!" And sure enough, they were there! He jumped up & broke the thongs, only to find she was lying & it wasn't true‚ she was fooling him.
BUT FINALLY, SHE MANAGES TO WORM IT OUT OF HIM‚ with her woman's wiles! You women better keep in mind that you can not only be the making of a man‚ but you can also be his undoing!
WHILE HE SLEPT‚ HIS HAIR WAS CUT & HE WAS CAPTURED BY A BAND OF PHILISTINES—FOR HIS STRENGTH WAS GONE! Not that his strength lay in his hair. But what was the significance of his hair? What did we tell you in the beginning of the story? It was a sign of what? It was a sign of his vow unto the Lord, & that he was keeping his vow to live for God & be temperate all of his life!
HE CERTAINLY HADN'T BEEN VERY TEMPERATE WITH THIS GIRL DELILAH! So he deserved to have his hair cut, didn't he? And he got a haircut‚ free of charge, but it cost him a great deal more afterward—his eyesight!
SHE CUT OFF HIS HAIR, & HIS STRENGTH DEPARTED! The sign of his devotion & his separation unto God was gone‚ & gone with it went his anointing! Now he's made a slave & a mocking of the wicked Philistines.
36. THEN THE PHILISTINES BORED OUT HIS EYES & BOUND HIM IN FETTERS OF BRASS‚ & brought him to their great city of Gaza. I guess they were glad to see him, after they got the gates back on again, & he was placed there in a prison.
37. NEXT WE SEE THE MODERN CITY OF GAZA TODAY‚ which is now a part of the Gaza Strip. You see the great mosque of Gaza's tall minaret, from which the Muezzin calls the people to prayer, 5 times a day. The Moslems or Mohammedans are very religious in their prayer time!
GAZA, SINCE TIME IMMEMORIAL, HAS BEEN A VERY IMPORTANT CITY. It was also a Crusaders' stronghold during the Middle Ages. This Mohammedan mosque was originally a Christian church, built by the Crusaders. Today Gaza is the most flourishing city on this portion of the coast, & has a population of about 40-50,000.
38. HERE WE SEE WHAT THEY DID WITH SAMSON: Now blind, he's also made just like a beast of burden & put to one of the most arduous, menial, bestial of tasks—driving the grist mill! Usually they put a camel, a donkey, a horse or an ox there to push this around, but they took Samson instead.
THEY BOUND HIM TO THE GRIST MILL IN THE PRISON & they made him turn the grist mill to grind the grain into flour. Poor Samson, now just like a dumb ox, like a poor dumb ass, is made like a beast of burden in the prison of the Philistines!
BUT, AS HIS HAIR GREW FROM DAY TO DAY‚ HIS STRENGTH GREW ALSO!—No doubt‚ in the same proportion as his repentance grew unto the Lord, as he told the Lord that he was sorry.
NOW HIS REPENTANCE HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH HIS SALVATION, but it certainly has a lot to do with God's lifting of His punishment! You may be saved & sure of your salvation; but if you sin against the Lord, God will surely punish you in this life, here & now! You will be punished, unless the Lord sees fit to forgive you.
IN THIS CASE, AS SAMSON REPENTED‚ GOD BEGAN TO HEAR HIS PRAYER‚ & LIFT THE BURDEN & RETURN HIS STRENGTH. His hair began to grow & his strength began to return—as that sign of his division or separation unto the Lord grew.
39. HERE WE SEE THE ANCIENT SITE OF THE TEMPLE OF DAGON. To make Samson's humiliation greater‚ at the great religious feast of the Philistines' god Dagon‚ Samson was brought in to make fun for the feasters—to ridicule him & to taunt him & even torture him! This was a great occasion & all the Lords of all Philistia were there‚ 3000!
40. SAMSON WAS BROUGHT IN TO BE TEASED. They were having a hilarious carousal on the roof-garden of this gigantic temple, when suddenly, like an earthquake, something began to happen! While they were feasting, this mighty man of strength asked a little boy to lead him between 2 of the pillars, upon which this great gigantic temple was supported.
AFTER A PRAYER, IN WHICH HE SAID, "LET ME DIE WITH THE PHILISTINES!" He bowed himself with all his might, with the power of God, of course‚ which was his might! And the house fell upon the Lords & upon all the people that were therein!
"SO THAT THE DEAD WHICH HE SLEW AT HIS DEATH WERE MORE THAN THEY WHICH HE SLEW IN HIS LIFE!" To me, the story of Samson is one of the greatest stories in the whole Bible!—That of a man who failed God, yet, he did repent & he came back. Even in his death, in his last moments, God forgave him & gave him the power to carry on the work of God & destroy the enemies of God! God is merciful! Praise His Precious Name!
41. SINCE THIS IS THE END OF THE STORY, WE'LL JUST SHOW YOU ON THE MAP WHERE ALL OF THIS HAPPENED: Here at Gaza, on the shore of the Mediterranean Sea, just on the western shore of Israel. What else Samson did, besides these exploits, we're not told; but he surely must have done many things, which are not recorded for us in the Bible!
GOD'S WORD DOESN'T TELL US EVERYTHING, it just tells us all we need to know. In fact, a whole lot more than we really need to know for our salvation. It's just to make it of interest & a lesson to us, how God deals with men. We should profit by their examples, & not fall prey to their sins & frailities! Yet, we can look forward with hope to God's mercy if we do!
SAMSON DECIDED HE'D JUST AS SOON DIE THAT WAY, than go on being a slave! He had his opportunity to kill three thousand of them‚ all in one fell blow. So he died a very brave & glorious death!
42. SAMSON'S TOMB IS STILL POINTED OUT HERE AT ZORAH‚ the city of his birth. His brothers came for his body & buried it by the side of Manoah, his father. This happened about 1200 years before Christ. He judged Israel for 20 years.
SUCH IS THE STORY OF ONE OF GOD'S GREATEST HEROES: SAMSON!—Who was mentioned later on in the New Testament. Did God approve of Samson? Did God put him in His famous Hall of Fame of Heroes of Faith? Hebrews the 11th Chapter, which Faithy quotes & knows by heart. Can you remember the verse where it mentions Samson, Faithy‚ can you quote it for us?
("AND WHAT SHALL I MORE SAY? FOR TIME WOULD FAIL ME TO TELL OF GIDEON, & BARAK‚ & OF SAMSON‚ & of Jephthath; & of Samuel‚ & of the prophets.") (Heb.11:32.) It's good to get something from the New Testament on Samson. A lot of these people that are always ridiculing the Old Testament, & saying‚ "Well, God's through with the Old Testament & all we have now is the New Testament," had better take a second look!
MUCH OF THE NEW TESTAMENT IS QUOTATIONS FROM THE OLD—a tremendous amount of it! What is not actual history of Christ & the disciples is, in many of their sermons, quotations & references to the Old. Jesus mentioned it very many times.
PTL FOR THE WONDERFUL STORY OF SAMSON & what a wonderful lesson he is to us! Now‚ profit by his example, not by his evil deeds, but by his good ones. Amen? That's the end of Chapter 17 in our Bible Story Book.
Review Questions for Chapter 17.
1. Who was Abimelech?
2. Who was his mother?
3. Where did they live?
4. To what did they aspire?
5. How did Abimelech become King?
6. What did he do to his brothers?
7. Who rebelled against him?
8. What did he do to Shechem?
9. What did his followers engage in?
10. What other city did he attack?
11. What happened to him at Tirzah?
12. How did he die?
13. How long was his reign?
14. Who was Jephthah?
15. Where did he live?
16. What did Israel ask him to do?
17. What did they promise him?
18. Did he succeed against Ammon?
19. What rash vow did he make?
20. Who was executed under his vow?
21. Did she freely submit?
22. What did Jephthah do to the slackers?
23. How long did he judge Israel?
24. Where was he buried?
25. Where did the Philistines live?
26. What eccentric character troubled them?
27. Who was Samson's father?
28. Where did he live?
29. What did an angel say to Manoah before Samson's birth?
30. Who lived at Timnath?
31. Was she an Israelite?
32. What vicious animal did Samson slay?
33. Tell about Samson's riddle.
34. How did he get 30 suits of clothes?
35. What became of his wife?
36. What did he do to his enemies' crops?
37. Who & how many did Samson slay with the jawbone of an ass?
38. Where did he do this?
39. What did he do at Gaza?
40. Whom did he tell the secret of his strength?
41. What did Delilah do?
42. Where was he then taken?
43. What did he do in prison?
44. What did he do to the Temple of Dagon?
45. Where was this temple?