I originally intended to cover this subject in one post, but I discovered some images and a story line from the comics which incited me to mount my high horse. In the interest of relative brevity, I had to cut myself off. So here goes, and let’s see if I can honestly get the rest done this week. As you may remember, I wrote about Heracles last week.
Contrary to popular belief, the strength of this Old Testament character from the book of Judges was not in his hair. His birth was the result of a promise made by God to a man named Manoah and his barren wife. Included were instructions for raising the boy. He was to be a Nazirite, and part of his vow included not cutting his hair.
Samson’s strength is described as coming from God, whose Spirit would come over him in time of need as a result of his Nazirite vow. Notice the similarity of this painting of one of his feats with a painting of Heracles from last week’s post.
So Samson’s weakness was his love of pagan women. His love of one named Delilah ultimately led to a betrayal of his vow (manifested in the cutting of his hair). He was captured by Phillistine soldiers, blinded, and sentenced to slave labor.
After a due period of penance and the growth of his hair, he was brought forth for the sport of his captors in the temple of their god, Dagon, and, of course, he brought the house down.
This is a great character in a great story.
Okay, I give up. I promise I’ll cover three modern characters next week.