Samson? Is his hair long enough?

Lots of fuss about this ancient seal, which just happens to coincide with Lifeway’s Explore the Bible Sunday School lesson on Samson:

People are saying everything from “this reminds one of the story of Samson” to “this PROVES the story of Samson”.

That’s a bit much.

Samson famously slew a lion, it’s true, but encounters between men and lions are a popular theme in ancient cultures, I expect. Samson comes in because the seal was found in Israel, in an archaeological dig in the area Samson frequented, in a layer dated to the eleventh century BC near the time Samson is reckoned to have lived.

Frankly, that’s a bit much. What’s the old saying? “A text without a context is a pretext”? If you just look at the seal, not knowing where it was from, what would you get? Paul and the lion he baptised’s fabled meeting? An Aesop fable?

How do we know what the craftsman who made this was thinking without more evidence? “Yup, that’s Samson” is a bit much, I’d say.

This isn’t a seal, it seems. It’s a Rorschach test. Hurm.

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2 responses to “Samson? Is his hair long enough?

  1. Can you bring a picture of the seal Sunday. Heard about this on AFR yesterday. Would love to share the picture.

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