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Bibil Identifier bibil:221116
Publication Type Journal article
Title (English, Long) Samson's Moment of Truth
Author Herzberg, Bruce
Journal Biblical Interpretation (Volume: 18, Issue: 3)
Year (Publication) 2010
Year (Original (1st Edition)) 2010
Year (Copyright) 2010
Year (Reference) 2010
Language English
Pages 226-250 Pages
Genre Original
Abstract Samson gives away the secret of his strength, the story says, because Delilah nags him. Since only an incredibly stupid person could have failed to recognize her plan to betray him, Samson has been tagged as a musclebound lamebrain ever since. But nothing else in the story suggests that he is stupid—quite the opposite, in fact. The problem, then, is not Samson's intelligence but the narrator's weak explanation for Samson's moment of truth. Elevating Samson's complex characterization—and bracketing the "nagging"—reveals a Samson who has powerful reasons for allowing Delilah to cut his hair. Moreover, two retellings of the Samson tale, Milton's Samson Agonistes and DeMille's film Samson and Delilah, diminish or eliminate the "nagging" explanation and find far more satisfying alternative explanations for Samson's actions. The biblical nar rator, we may conclude, has misread the story or attempted to engineer an unsatis factory interpretation and is thus "unreliable", though in a way rather different from the modern critical understanding of the unreliable narrator.
DOI 10.1163/156851510X498232
Keywords Thesaurus BiBIL : Old Testament (Introduction) : History of Canaan-Israel : Periods : Origins : Premonarchical Period : Judges : Samson
Pericopes Judges 13-16
Numbers 6
Last modification 2017-10-27