Trinitarian complexity in Samson

Samson is often presented as a moose.

samsonandlion1A commonly held opinion is that Samson was stupid. However, his earlier acts were inspired by the influence of the Spirit, carefully calculated, spectacularly executed and achieved the desired results.

For instance, Samson only told his wife the answer to his riddle so he would know where the leak came from when she was tested.

This reminded me of the test for harlotry in Numbers 5. The priest administers the bitter word to the woman, and if she passes the test, she will be a fruitful blessing.

Samson’s wife failed the test, and the outcome was a bit like that after the harlotry with the golden calf, with Samson as the slaughtering Levite.

Speaking of which, Numbers 5 comes right before Numbers 6 — the Nazirite vow. Men who took this vow became, basically, warrior brides. Their uncut hair was a sign of submission. Revelation draws on this imagery to describe the apostles and first century saints as virgins.

So Samson’s wife betrayed him, and Samson betrayed his own covenant ‘husband,’ the Lord.

Doug Wilson points out (somewhere) that biblical relationships are more complex than those of Islam. In Islam, the line of authority is linear, the natural outcome of a simple god of power. Might is right, from top to bottom. With Christianity, the submission of the members of the Trinity within the Godhead overflows into family and society, with the members submitting to one another, and constantly bestowing good upon one another.

So Samson can be both a bride and a bridegroom. Facing heaven, a minister is part of the bride. Facing his church, he images the bridegroom.

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