The Strong Character Of Samson’s Mother -- By: Arthur H. Lewis

Journal: Priscilla Papers
Volume: PP 10:4 (Fall 1996)
Article: The Strong Character Of Samson’s Mother
Author: Arthur H. Lewis

The Strong Character Of Samson’s Mother

Arthur H. Lewis

A graduate of Wheaton College (B.A.) and Brandeis University (Ph.D.), Arthur H. Lewis is professor emeritus of Old Testament Studies at Bethel College and a past national president of the Evangelical Theological Society. Specializing in Hebrew, Akkadian, and Ugaritic, he was a translator for the Old Testament division of the New International Version of the Bible and be has contributed many articles to scholarly journals.

Few women of history show the strength of character and “spunk” of this Hebrew wife and mother from the twelfth century B.C. She was called like Sarah, Hannah and the Virgin Mary, to give birth to one of the great men of ancient times. But she models fir modern women more than just the courage of motherhood: Her spiritual qualities are a challenge to all who read the sacred Scriptures, men as well as women.

She worked with her husband “in the field” (13:9). This fact will not surprise those women who share in the daily labors of farming and food gathering, showing strength and skill equal to the men. They are found in the Europe of today as well as in Palestine and in most parts of the “third world.” When we visited our family in Germany in their farming community near Bad Hersfeld, we often joined our cousin and his wife in the “felden” to stack oats or cut the ripened grain. Few American mothers today could find time to plant, hoe and raise the products needed to feed their families, as so many of their counterparts in other lands are expected to do.

She believed the message of God’s envoy (13:3,4). God did not give his notice of a child to Manoah, who would become the father of Samson, but to his wife, possibly because Manoah’s faith in God’s word was weaker than hers. It seems that Manoah found it harder to accept the idea that a son was finally coming to them after waiting so long. However, his wife did not dispute or raise any objections to the angel’s announcement. That she told her husband all that had happened and all the angel had said is proof of the intensity of her faith in the Lord.

She accepted the (Nazirite) vows of holiness (13:4, 5, 13). The Nazirites consecrated themselves to serve God, usually for a short period of time (Num. 6:5), because it was not easy to fulfill the restrictions demanded: drink neither wine nor beer; eat only kosher (clean) foods; never approach a dead body; do not cu...

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