Samson “served” as President of Israel for 20 years. #ThatHappened!
This begs the obvious question, “What kind of leader was Samson?” Was he a master diplomatist? Was he organized, clear-headed, and poised [like Deborah]? Was he – at least – reliable, and steady (e.g. did he keep regular office hours)? …None of the above. Samson was a violent, concupiscent, raunchy, vagrant ‘leader.’
Here’s a typical example of Samson’s leadership style: he’s vagabonding and carousing in Gaza, and he sees a prostitute, and he partakes of her services. Then the Gazite government gets wind that Samson has lustily blundered into their jurisdiction, so they send special forces units to surround the motel where Samson is conducting his presidential business (i.e. his illicit relations with the Gazite prostitute). The GSF ambush is stationed and set to strike all night long. It’s unclear if Samson is even remotely aware of the threat against his life; and it’s unclear as to how exactly Samson pulled this off —> but for reasons unexplained, Samson got up at midnight, and impulsively walked to the gates of Gaza, and ripped them out of the ground with his bare hands; and then he hoisted the city gates on his shoulders and carried them to the top of the hill that is in front of Hebron. #ThatHappened!
Without missing a beat, the historical record immediately segues from the Gaza incident to the statement, “After this Samson loved a woman in the Valley of Sorek, whose name was Delilah. …Like I said, Samson’s presidency is characterized by vagrancy and concupiscence.
The Philistine government received intel of Samson’s location, and subsequently contracted with Delilah to capture Samson. Delilah estimated Samson to be a man of very low intelligence, and very high self-adulation; so she was anything but discreet in her efforts to assist the Philistine government in his capture.
For his part, Samson operated with cocky coquettishness throughout his relationship with Delilah; and he was narcissistically unphased by the inconspicuous attempts of the sundry Philistine SWAT teams who regularly attacked him in the privacy Delilah’s apartment!
Eventually, Delilah nagged, pressured, and vexed Samson to the point where he simply grew impatient, and he told her that his supernatural strength would vanish if she shaved his head. The historical records suggest that Samson had grown so conceited that he believed himself to be intrinsically strong (i.e. he was convinced that his other-worldly strength came from his own innate sufficiency as opposed to the Spirit of God).
So Delilah informed the Philistine government, and they shaved his head, and they seized Samson, and gouged out his eyes, and bound him in shackles; and imprisoned him in Gaza, and forced him to work the mills.
One day the Philistines gathered to offer a great sacrifice to Dagon their god and to rejoice, and they said, “Our god has given Samson the ravager of our country, our mass-murdering enemy, into our hand.” And as they were feasting and sacrificing to Dagon, they said, “Call Samson, that he may entertain us.” So they pulled Samson out of prison, and he entertained them (the historical record is unclear regarding what exactly this entailed, but it must’ve been exhausting work because, at one point, Samson asked a Philistine servant to allow him to lean against a pillar). And as Samson was leaning against that Philistine pillar, in the thick of that Philistine party, he prayed this prayer, “O Lord God, please remember me and please strengthen me only this once, O God, that I may be avenged on the Philistines for my two eyes.” And then Samson pushed his right hand on one pillar, and his left hand on another pillar; and the house fell upon all the thousands of Philistines gathered there that day. So the dead whom he killed at his death were more than those whom he had killed during his life. #ThatHappened!
Then his brothers and all his family came down and took Samson’s body and brought it up and buried his body between Zorah and Eshtaol in the tomb of Manoah his father.