: Old Testament Stories

Samson's birth was foretold by an angel. He was to grow up a Nazarite,

forbidden to drink strong drink, neither was his head to be shaved.

His strength was very great; but his marriage was sinful, and his

doings with the idolatrous Philistines terrible. Though an Israelite

and a judge, I fear much he sinned greatly against God. On one

occasion he went to Gaza, a city of the Philistines. The inhabitants

tried to take hi
, but he arose at midnight and carried away the gates

of their city. In our picture though he looks so strong, yet we see

chains on his legs, and he is blind! How came he to lose his sight and

be made a prisoner? I think it was owing to his sin and folly.

He became acquainted with a wicked woman, who enticed him to tell her

in what his great strength lay. Three times he told her falsely, but

at last he said that if the flowing locks of his hair were removed his

strength would depart. While he slept these locks were cut off, then

the Philistines burst in upon him, and when he arose to resist them,

he found that his strength was gone. Then his eyes were cruelly put

out, and he was bound with fetters of brass.

Our artist shows him blind, brought out to make sport at the

Philistines' feast. He is very sorrowful, and, I think, angry. He asks

the lad beside him to place his hands upon the pillars supporting the

house; then, his great strength returning, he bows himself with all

his might; the pillars break, the house falls, and Samson, with very

many of the Philistines, is crushed amid the ruins. Was not this a

terrible end to what might have been a noble life?