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Son of Manoah of the tribe of Dan, and one of the Judges of Israel. Samson was marvelously strong, and three chapters of the biblical Book of Judges are full of his great deeds, his downfall, and heroic death. According to the Bible, Samson was a Nazirite, a consecrated man whose supernatural strength lay in his unshorn hair. Single-handed, he fought the Philistines until he was trapped by Delilah, a Philistine woman. Shorn of his hair and blinded, he was imprisoned in Gaza. During one of the festivals in honor of their fish-god Dagon, the Philistines had Samson brought into their temple to “make sport before them” (Judges 16:25). By that time his hair had grown back, and with it, his strength had returned. Standing between two pillars that supported the roof of the temple, the blinded giant prayed, then, crying, “Let my soul perish with the Philistines!” he grasped the two pillars, bent them, and brought the roof crashing down upon himself and his tormentors.

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