Was SAMSON a Type of Christ?

1. Samson's birth was foretold by an angel (Judges 13:6-16), just as Jesus' birth was foretold by an angel. Both were born at a time when Israel had been handed over to their enemies.

2. Both Samson and Jesus were "deliverers". 'Samson' means "the sun" - linking him with our Lord's title as "the Sun of Righteousness" (Malachi 4).

3. Samson was a Nazirite (Judges 13:3-5) just as Jesus was a Nazarene (Matt. 2:22-23).

4. Samson tore a lion apart by pulling his bare hands apart, thereby saving himself from death (Judges 14:5-9). Then he later took sweet honey out of its carcase and shared it with his parents. In the same way, Jesus destroyed the second death by pulling his hands apart on a cross. The gospel of the good news is like honey coming from a dead Lion of the tribe of Judah. “Out of the eater, something to eat; out of the strong, something sweet.” It is sweet and healthy for us. The swarm of bees are “the sting of death (which) is sin.” (1 Cor. 15:56) Christ our Lord destroyed the second death. First Corinthians 15:55-57 says, "O death, where [is] thy sting? O grave, where [is] thy victory? The sting of death [is] sin; and the strength of sin [is] the law. But thanks [be] to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." "And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death." (Rev. 20:14) Jesus, like Samson (14:5-6), was all alone when He took away Satan’s power over us (1 Corinthians 15:57; 1 John 4:16-18). He had been abandoned by His Father (Matthew 27:45-46)

5.Samson sought a wife outside of his own Israelite kind (Judges 14:1-4) in the same way Jesus Christ sought His bride of humanity outside of His divine heritage. Samson married a sinful bride just as Jesus married a sinful bride at Sinai. But Israel was adulterous or a prostitute because she worshipped idols instead of God (Matthew 15:7-9). The harlot Philistine from Timnah whom Samson married parallels unfaithful Israel that our Lord married in the Old Testament. She was burned up at Samson's second coming (15:1,6). Delilah continues the parallel of the unfaithful wife who betrays him (Judges 16:4-20).

6. Just as Samson asked a riddle during a seven-day feast, so also our Lord will ask a riddle of Israel during a seven-year tribulation: “Out of the eater, something to eat; out of the strong, something sweet.” Will you accept the free gift of salvation (honey) from the Lion of the tribe of Judah who died for you? (1 Corinthians 6:11). If so, He will provide the clothing –the righteousness of God– to those who have put their faith in Him (2 Corinthians 5:21) and keep his commandments. Those who don’t know the answer to his riddle will be stripped naked and bare.

7. Samson was betrayed by a friend for silver (Judges 16:4-5). Yeshua our Lord was betrayed by a friend for silver (Matt. 26:15). Probably with a kiss in both cases. Delilah may have even been an Israelite. Furthermore, Samson was arrested by a mob of his own people of Judah and ultimately voluntarily gave his life for them while in Philistine captivity (Judges 15:6-13). Likewise, Jesus was arrested by a mob of His own people of Judah (Mark 14:43-50) and died voluntarily for them while in Roman captivity.

8. Samson killed 1,000 Philistines (Judges 15:14–16) with the recently-dead jawbone of an ass. One could say that out of his "mouth" came a sharp "two-edged sword". In the same way, in the near future, "out of his mouth goeth a sharp ("two-edged" -- Rev. 1:16) sword, that with it he should smite the nations" (Rev. 19:15).

9. Just as Samson went "to Gaza, and saw there an harlot, and went in unto her" (Judges 16:1), so also Jesus "came eating and drinking, and they say, behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners" (Matt. 11:19). Many commentators are quick to condemn Samson, thinking he committed fornication here. This reads more into the scriptures than they actually reveal. Samson was a judge (15:20) and a type of our Lord. Furthermore, we read in Judges 14:4: "But his father and his mother knew not that it was OF THE LORD, that he sought an occasion against the Philistines: for at that time the Philistines had dominion over Israel." If Samson was merely fulfilling DESTINY and FATE, he cannot be blamed, can he? He more likely took refuge with her until midnight. Jesus Christ was also falsely accused because of the company He kept.

10. Just as the Philistines were exultant that they had imprisoned Samson in Gaza, so also Jews were delighted Jesus was held captive by the gates of death. The Philistines posted guards around Samson during the night when they thought he was sleeping, just as the Romans posted guards around the tomb of our Lord when his dead body was placed in it. What does the city of Gaza signify, if not hell, the abode of the dead? However, in the middle of the night, Samson not only escaped, but carried the gates away with him 30 miles up onto a hill near Hebron. In the same way, our Redeemer rose from the grave, not only walking free out of death and of hell, but also destroying hell's very gates. He removed the gates of hell. When he died, the sun stopped shining (Luke 23:44-45), as if midnight. Yet he arose in the darkness (John 1:4-5) and rendered powerless the gates of death and carried them up to a high altitude to heaven. He took away the power of death. He both arose and ascended into heaven.

11. Just as Jesus carried his cross-beam (at least part of the way) to Golgotha, so Samson carried his gate to the top of a hill (Judges 16:2-3). The Sacrifice on the cross is our door into eternal life and destroyed our enemy called "Death". Taking away the gate of Israel's enemy made them vulnerable and weak, thus preserving Israel. Jesus Christ carried His door (the crossbeam) on His back (at least part of the way) up to the hill of Calvary, just as Samson carried the city door on his back and set it upon a hill. Jesus said, "I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture." (John 10:9) Samson was also a savior of Israel. The doors, posts, bar –much like the door and its frame of a house at Passover– were a shadow of the cross and what it represented. (Exodus 12:6-7) It was the full payment for the sins of the entire world. (John 19:30 and 1 John 2:2)

12. Just as Samson's supernatural strength was due to the secret of his long hair, so also Yeshua's miracle-working powers were due to the secret of his being God with us -- Emanuel. Eventually Samson's secret was revealed, leading to his hair being cut (Judges 16:18–21) and to his death. Eventually Yeshua's secret was revealed leading to his death also. Yeshua said to a cleansed leper, "see thou tell no man" (Matt. 8:4) about the healing. He said this to avoid being taken by force and made a king (John 6:15), and to avoid enraging the chief priests, scribes, and Pharisees, who were very bitter against him, any more than was unavoidable, (Matthew 16:20-21). This was not the only time when Christ commanded those upon whom he had wrought miracles to say nothing of it (see Matthew 9:30 12:16 17:9).

13. Samson extended his hands to the wooden pillars to die, and the house of the Philistines fell with its princes; Christ stretched out His hands to the two beams of the cross as to two pillars to die, overthrowing and destroying the house or kingdom of the devil and his angels by destroying the temple of his own body. Samson's greatest victory is associated with his death. The same is true of Christ our Lord. Both died for the sins of others while serving God . Both men destroyed more enemies at their death than were defeated in the whole course of each man's life. The freedom Samson purchased with his life is a parallel to that freedom Christ purchased with his life. Samson's death returns prisoners to their towns, whereas Jesus' death has returned us. Just as Samson demolished the temple with 3,000 Philistines –more than when he was living (Judges 16:27), so also Christ's body was the temple that He was going to destroy by giving up His own life. (John 2:19-21)

14. Jesus was tempted three times and He withheld the source of His power until His “time had come”. Three times Samson was tempted, but by the fourth he had grown weary so he told her his secret. – (Judges 16:6-7; 16:10-11; 16:13-14) Three times Jesus was tempted by Satan in the desert: with food for His hungry body (Matthew 4:1-4); with security for His spirit (Matthew 4:5-7); and with power and respect for His soul (Matthew 4:8-10). It was at His fourth temptation where Jesus handed Himself over to be taken prisoner and killed. No one could take His life from Him; He had to give it willingly (John 10:17).

15. With Samson's head shaved [authority given up], his strength left him so he was blinded, shackled and taken to Gaza to prison. (Judges 16:19) Isaiah prophesied that Jesus would submit Himself to be public shame and punishment for our sins. (Isaiah 53:6-7) He was blind-folded so that He could not see (Luke 22:63-64). He was bound and taken into custody (Mark 15:1). The Philistines gathered together to worship their god Dagon [a fish] at the temple and asked for Samson to be brought out to entertain them. (Judges 16:23-25) The crowd –under the influence of Satan– was pleased to have Jesus displayed at Passover for execution. (Luke 23:20-21)

16. The Jews wanted the Lord's death because they saw Him as their destroyer (Jn. 11:50). The Philistines likewise saw Samson as "the destroyer of our country" (Judges 16:24). The way they made sport of Samson (16:25) links with how the Lord was mocked, and was even the song of the drunkards (Ps. 69:12). The Lord's silence was due to His complete humiliation (Acts 8:32,33). That extreme humiliation can be understood through Samson's shame. He was given women's work in prison, grinding at the mill (Ex. 11:5; Mt. 24:41). 'Grinding' may have been some kind of figure of speech for the sex act (cp. Job 31:10). The " fetters of brass" with which he was bound would have recalled his games of bondage with Delilah, and the same word is translated "filthiness" (#5178: "fetters of brass") in a sexual context (Ez. 16:36). Samson loved Delilah, a worldly woman. The word used for 'prison' means literally 'house of binding' -- an extension of Delilah's house, they may have joked. The utter exhaustion of Samson from their afflictions (prodding or whipping with sticks?) is revealed when he asks the lad to allow him to rest or take a break (17:26). Our Lord was whipped also to physical exhaustion, driven to the limit of human endurance because he "loved the world" (John 3:16) -- his bride.

17. The Philistines intention was probably to torture Samson to death at the feast to their god. Just as Jesus was tortured on a cross as the sacrifice at the Passover feast. The great sacrifice which they planned to offer (Heb. 'kill') was probably Samson (16:23). Samson dying with his hands stretched out between the two (wooden) pillars is similar to our Lord's death with his hands stretched out by means of two wooden beams making a cross. The way the lad " held" Samson's hand is significant, for the same word is translated 'to strengthen or encourage'. Perhaps the lad strengthened Samson as the repentant thief did our Lord. Like Samson who took the entire weight of Dagon’s temple upon himself, Jesus was crushed by the enormity of the punishment for all of our transgressions. (Isaiah 53:5) "(T)hrough death he (destroyed) him that had the power of death" (Heb. 2:14-15). This is exactly the idea of Judges 16:30: "Samson said, Let me die with the Philistines. And he bowed himself with all his might; and the house fell upon the lords, and upon all the people that were therein. So the dead which he slew at his death were more than they which he slew in his life" . Through his own death, Christ destroyed the power of sin, epitomized in the dead Philistines. Hebrews 2:15 goes on to say that Christ delivered them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage." Israel in hard bondage to their Philistine masters, living in fear, until judges or 'deliverers' like Samson delivered them from their oppressors.

18. The way the body was taken up by brave Israelites after Samson's death (Judges16:31) recalls the action of Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus.

19. Even numbers correspond between Samson and our Lord. Notice Delilah's words: "mocked me these three times" (Judges 16:15) corresponding to Jesus being tempted three times (Matt. 4) and "the third day" (Matt. 16:21). We read about "thirty changes of garment" (Judges 14:13,19) corresponding to "30 pieces of silver" (Matt. 26:15) and Christ was 30 when he began his ministry. We read about 300 foxes (Judges 15:4) corresponding to ointment worth 300 pence (John 12:5). Finally we read about 3000 men of Judah (Judges 15:11) and 3000 men and women (Judges 16:17) corresponding to "3000 souls" (Acts 2:41)

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