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Samson the Judge really is a Saint?

Volnutt

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Huh. This is the first time I've ever seen something like this, though I recall looking for it once in EO sources. However I note that he doesn't have a halo in their accompanying picture.

It's also interesting given that Samson arguably committed suicide.

From the "Coptic Daily Synaxarium" Facebook page:

Commemoration of Samson, One of the Judges of Israel

On this day also, is the commemoration of Samson, one of the Judges of Israel. The name of the father of this righteous was Manoah from the tribe of Dan, and his mother was barren. The angel of the Lord appeared to her and announced her of his birth, and commanded her not to drink wine nor to eat unclean food all the days of her pregnancy. The angel also commanded her that no razor should come on his head, for the child was to be a Nazirite (dedicated) unto God from the womb, and that he would deliver Israel out of the hands of the Philistines. When she told her husband about what the angel had said to her, her husband asked God to allow the angel to appear to him. The angel appeared, and said to him: "All that I commanded your wife let her observe." The woman conceived, and gave birth to Samson, and God blessed him and the Spirit of God filled him. At one time, he tore a lion apart as one would tear a young goat, and on another time, he killed thirty men and burned their fields. The Philistines rose against the tribe of Judah to fight and seize Samson, but Samson told the men of Judah: "Swear to me that you will not deliver me to them or kill me yourselves." They said to him: "No, but we will tie you securely and deliver you into their hands. We surely shall not kill you." They bound him with two new cords and brought him to the Philistines, who jumped upon him to kill him. The Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon him, and the strong cords that were on his arms became as flax that were burnt with fire, and his bonds broke loose off his hands. He found a fresh jaw-bone of a donkey, reached out and took it with his hand and killed a thousand men with it. Then he became very thirsty, he cried out to the Lord and said: "You have given this great deliverance by the hands of you servant, and now shall I die from thirst... ?" The all mighty God then split a hollow place and water came out. He drank and his spirit returned, and he survived. When he was in Gaza, the Philistines surrounded the place and laid wait for him all the night at the gate of the city to capture and kill him. Samson arose at midnight, took hold of the doors of the gate, pulled them up, put them on his shoulders, and carried them to the top of the hill. The Philistines came to his wife, Delilah, and asked her to entice Samson to find out the secret of his strength. When Samson told her that the secret was in his hair, for he was a Nazirite (Dedicated unto God). She told his enemies, lulled him to sleep on her knees, and called for a man to shave off the seven locks of hair off his head. She began to afflict him, as his strength went from him. The Philistines took him to their city, insulted him, and plucked out his eyes. His hair grew again, and his strength came back to him. He went to the temple of their idol, and took hold of the two middle pillars which supported the temple. Samson leaned with all his strength on the two pillars and said: "Let me die with the Philistines." The temple fell on three thousands of the Philistine people and their lords killing them all. So the dead that he killed on his death were more than he killed in his life. He judged for the people of Israel twenty years, then departed in peace.

To our God is the glory for ever, Amen.
Is commemorating him as a Saint a Coptic- or OO-specific thing?
 

Alveus Lacuna

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He lit the tails of 300 foxes on fire, and sent them screaming through the fields of the Philistines like living torches to burn up their crops (Judges 15:4-5). Sounds like a saint to me. If you will it, you can light animals on fire and destroy the food supply of a great multitude.
 

Volnutt

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Alveus Lacuna said:
He lit the tails of 300 foxes on fire, and sent them screaming through the fields of the Philistines like living torches to burn up their crops (Judges 15:4-5). Sounds like a saint to me. If you will it, you can light animals on fire and destroy the food supply of a great multitude.
Ancient warfare was a cruel pass time. This doesn't morally justify it, but it we disavowed from Sainthood every OT figure who committed an act of cruelty...
 

mcarmichael

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Volnutt said:
Alveus Lacuna said:
He lit the tails of 300 foxes on fire, and sent them screaming through the fields of the Philistines like living torches to burn up their crops (Judges 15:4-5). Sounds like a saint to me. If you will it, you can light animals on fire and destroy the food supply of a great multitude.
Ancient warfare was a cruel pass time. This doesn't morally justify it, but it we disavowed from Sainthood every OT figure who committed an act of cruelty...
Am I missing something? I didn't see Alveus' comments necessarily disparaging the miraculous event.
 

Volnutt

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mcarmichael said:
Volnutt said:
Alveus Lacuna said:
He lit the tails of 300 foxes on fire, and sent them screaming through the fields of the Philistines like living torches to burn up their crops (Judges 15:4-5). Sounds like a saint to me. If you will it, you can light animals on fire and destroy the food supply of a great multitude.
Ancient warfare was a cruel pass time. This doesn't morally justify it, but it we disavowed from Sainthood every OT figure who committed an act of cruelty...
Am I missing something? I didn't see Alveus' comments necessarily disparaging the miraculous event.
I read him as being sarcastic. "Sounds like a saint to me. If you will it, you can light animals on fire and destroy the food supply of a great multitude," would be a really... odd statement to make unironically.
 

Luke

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It is nice to know that followers can make mistakes.
 

Iconodule

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Re: suicide, there are a few saints, commemorated as martyrs, who jumped off of cliffs or otherwise killed themselves to avoid being ravished by pagans. Sometimes the hagiography will say that the cliffside miraculously opened up and received them before closing again.
 
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Volnutt said:
Huh. This is the first time I've ever seen something like this, though I recall looking for it once in EO sources. However I note that he doesn't have a halo in their accompanying picture.

It's also interesting given that Samson arguably committed suicide.

From the "Coptic Daily Synaxarium" Facebook page:

Commemoration of Samson, One of the Judges of Israel

To our God is the glory for ever, Amen.
Is commemorating him as a Saint a Coptic- or OO-specific thing?
I would think his sacrifice was more an act of defiance in battle than suicide.
 

Volnutt

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Justinian of Narnia said:
Volnutt said:
Huh. This is the first time I've ever seen something like this, though I recall looking for it once in EO sources. However I note that he doesn't have a halo in their accompanying picture.

It's also interesting given that Samson arguably committed suicide.

From the "Coptic Daily Synaxarium" Facebook page:

Commemoration of Samson, One of the Judges of Israel

To our God is the glory for ever, Amen.
Is commemorating him as a Saint a Coptic- or OO-specific thing?
I would think his sacrifice was more an act of defiance in battle than suicide.
"Let me die with the Philistines" sounds more like a death wish to me. But as Iconodule points out, I suppose it's a grey area when it's death by extenuating circumstances (though I then wonder how far that can be pushed in other suicide cases of suicide).
 

WPM

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? . . .

Speculation about Saints
 

noahzarc1

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I never thought of Samson as having committed suicide and I would argue against such a position. "Lord, my Lord remember me now. O God, strengthen me just this once so I may with one blow take vengeance on the Philistines for my two eyes" (Judges 16:28). His cry in Judges 16:30, "Let my life end with the Philistines" is not a cry of suicide.
 

Iconodule

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It's like the part of the action movie where the mortally wounded sidekick hangs back with a grenade so his buddies can get away.
 

Volnutt

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Yeah, I can understand that. But what's the point at which you're also just giving up on life? Wouldn't the more faithful response be to hope that you will survive and be healed by God?
 
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Iconodule said:
It's like the part of the action movie where the mortally wounded sidekick hangs back with a grenade so his buddies can get away.
Exactly. He took vengeance on Israel's enemies.

Volnutt said:
Yeah, I can understand that. But what's the point at which you're also just giving up on life? Wouldn't the more faithful response be to hope that you will survive and be healed by God?
Samson was a warrior. He knew he had sinned and was remorseful. The only request he had was to destroy Israel's enemies. He knew it would take his life, but it did not mater to him. He wanted to do the right thing even if it took his life.
 

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I had this nestled in the 126 Safari tabs on my phone for over a year. I've skimmed it, it's alright enough.

http://www.christianorthodox.net/samson-the-christlike-judge/
 

Volnutt

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augustin717 said:
Σamson is as historical a character as Hercules .
You can't possibly know that one way or the other. You're just being cynical.
 

augustin717

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Volnutt said:
augustin717 said:
Σamson is as historical a character as Hercules .
You can't possibly know that one way or the other. You're just being cynical.
then you’ll be as generous with Herakles . If one was a flesh and bone man so was the other.
 

Volnutt

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augustin717 said:
Volnutt said:
augustin717 said:
Σamson is as historical a character as Hercules .
You can't possibly know that one way or the other. You're just being cynical.
then you’ll be as generous with Herakles . If one was a flesh and bone man so was the other.
I have no problem with saying that there might have been a Mycenaean or Greek strongman/chieftain/mercenary/thug by that name sometime in the Bronze Age or earlier who got euhemerized in subsequent centuries. I just don't believe he was really the son of Zeus.
 

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Iconodule said:
Re: suicide, there are a few saints, commemorated as martyrs, who jumped off of cliffs or otherwise killed themselves to avoid being ravished by pagans. Sometimes the hagiography will say that the cliffside miraculously opened up and received them before closing again.
Got any names? I'd be interested to read more on this.
 

Volnutt

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platypus said:
Iconodule said:
Re: suicide, there are a few saints, commemorated as martyrs, who jumped off of cliffs or otherwise killed themselves to avoid being ravished by pagans. Sometimes the hagiography will say that the cliffside miraculously opened up and received them before closing again.
Got any names? I'd be interested to read more on this.
Here's one, the links to many of the rest kind of branch off from her entry.
 

Volnutt

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KostaC said:
I had this nestled in the 126 Safari tabs on my phone for over a year. I've skimmed it, it's alright enough.

http://www.christianorthodox.net/samson-the-christlike-judge/
Thanks, that's really interesting. I'd never made most of those connections.
 

Volnutt

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Justinian of Narnia said:
Iconodule said:
It's like the part of the action movie where the mortally wounded sidekick hangs back with a grenade so his buddies can get away.
Exactly. He took vengeance on Israel's enemies.

Volnutt said:
Yeah, I can understand that. But what's the point at which you're also just giving up on life? Wouldn't the more faithful response be to hope that you will survive and be healed by God?
Samson was a warrior. He knew he had sinned and was remorseful. The only request he had was to destroy Israel's enemies. He knew it would take his life, but it did not mater to him. He wanted to do the right thing even if it took his life.
It's just strange to me that he didn't ask God to spare him as he pulled down the pillars. Seems like he wanted them to kill him, not just knew they would.

I mean, it makes sense that he would want to die given he had just been blinded and tortured. I'm not trying to judge him.
 

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The question I have is if this is Universal across the Oriental Traditions, or if it is just exclusively Coptic. If it's the latter, it could be just a strange cultural tradition that picked up traction in Egypt.

I mean, the Ethiopians canonized Pontius Pilate, based on the Apocryphal tradition of the Acts of Pilate, which is found in both the Apocryphal Acts of Peter and Paul and the Apocryphal Gospel of Nicodemus, which is allegedly an official document from Pontius Pilate reporting to Emperor Tiberius about Jesus' life.

I don't think the other Oriental Churches venerate him as a Saint, though.
 

Volnutt

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Father Peter said:
The Synaxarium has had lots of stuff added in recent times, and also contains historical material, so that appearing in the Synaxarium is not exactly the same as being considered a saint.
Good to know. Thanks.
 
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