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Is Samson's death considered a suicide?


Judges 16:28 - 31

ESV - 28 Then Samson called to the Lord and said, "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. 29 And Samson grasped the two middle pillars on which the house rested, and he leaned his weight against them, his right hand on the one and his left hand on the other.

Clarify Share Report Asked July 10 2015 Mini Anonymous

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Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
In my opinion, the overall context of Samson's death (as described in Judges 16:23-31) indicates that it was not a suicide, even though Samson's action in bringing the Philistine temple down had the effect of killing him as well as the Philistines, and even though Samson prayed for God to let him die with the Philistines. Hebrews 11:32-34 refers to this when it mentions Samson as one of the heroes of faith, and speaks of Samson's weakness being turned to strength.

Numbers 6:1-21 -- which discusses the condition of being a Nazirite, as Samson was (according to the circumstances surrounding his birth that are mentioned in Judges 13) -- indicates that it was possible for a Nazirite to lose but then renew his consecrated status after having his head shaved (as Samson's had been when he was captured by the Philistines). The regrowth of Samson's hair in prison (as specifically mentioned in Judges 16:22) symbolized the renewal of his consecration as a Nazirite.

In this capacity (as noted in Hebrews), God once again provided Samson with the same supernatural strength that he had possessed prior to being taken prisoner by the Philistines, for the purpose of continuing to execute God's judgment upon the Philistines.

In view of God's control of the situation, if Samson's death at that time and place, and under those specific circumstances, had been against God's will, God would have been completely capable of either not granting Samson the strength to destroy the temple, or else preserving Samson's life when the temple was destroyed (just as He had saved and aided Samson on earlier occasions when Samson faced seemingly insurmountable odds). And Samson recognized this, both by praying that God would grant him strength (that is, admitting that he could not destroy the temple without God's assistance), and by acknowledging God's sovereignty over whether he lived or died.

July 11 2015 3 responses Vote Up Share Report

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