WHO IS SAMSON?
BY: CHARLES W. WELLER
THE MAN FROM ZOAR
BARRENNESS IS OF GOD
THE EATING OF THE LION
THE 30 – 300 – 3,000
THE JAWBONE OF AN ASS
THE TEMPLE DESTROYED
When the Israelites were in disobedience to God, they were placed into the hands of the Philistines many times. The word Philistine is derived from the town of Philistia, the main city of the people who were traders. These people had a port on the Mediterranean Sea. They brought copper from England to Solomon during his reign. The word ‘Philistia’ means sojourner. These people, who were to have rule over the nation of Israel at different times, were worldly people, cosmopolitan people. The Philistines were ‘sojourners’ in a land that did not belong to them but to Israel. Disobedience to God meant that the people of God were given over to the rules and regulations of the world and to be judged by the rules of that world.
The loving hand of God turned the people over to the Philistines. For a father chastises his son for the benefit of the youth who does not know the ways of the father. Delivered from Egypt by Joshua, the sons of Israel had not taken the time to develop a relationship with God but rather depended on Joshua. With the death of Joshua, “in those days there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes.” Judges 17:6 The Israelites, not knowing God personally in an intimate way, set up their own rules, traditions, religious rights etc. This is what the time of the book of Judges is about. Yet, it also testifies of our times. Many Christians have set their own rules, ways, etc. without having a living relationship with a living Savior.
God turned the Israelites over to the Philistines in order that they would see the error of their ways. The Israelites were to experience the depths of degradation so that, like the prodigal son, they would desire to leave the pigsty of the Philistines for the ways of God. The people were in the hands of the Philistines for forty years. Forty is the number of ‘group testing’ (see our publication on numbers, colors and minerals of the Bible). While the people were in a trial under the Philistines, their loving Father was preparing the way of deliverance. God’s idea was to chastise and teach His offspring so that they would desire His way rather than the world’s and come to know Him intimately rather than from a distance.
THE MAN FROM ZOAR
Into this situation, this time frame, we find two people who worshipped God, Manoah and his wife. Manoah was from Zoar which in the Hebrew means “stricken with leprosy.” Manoah as a type of Israel was stricken with leprosy (spiritual type, not literal). Perhaps, you remember when Moses’ hand was stricken with leprosy. The thought there was that Moses’ hand was filled with leprosy if he tried to do anything within his own efforts, but if he permitted God to use him, he could deliver Israel and not be stricken with leprosy. Another type and shadow of Moses’ hand being stricken with leprosy is that anytime the five-fold ministry (apostle, prophet, pastor, teacher and evangelist) acts in the flesh rather than in the spirit the hand (five fingers, five ministries) is in sin. Or you might remember the story of Miriam. In Numbers 12 we find that Miriam challenged the leadership that God had placed in the position of authority – Moses. When called out of the Tabernacle, which shows she was allowed to minister in the Tabernacle, Miriam was covered with leprosy because of her sin. Moses’ hand reminds us of the work of the flesh, and Miriam, the woman, reminds us of our carnal soul, our carnal mind, which is at enmity with God. Both of these leprosetic afflictions cannot be allowed in the ministry of God.
In Leviticus 14 we find a house that has leprosy in the walls. The house is a type of the temple of God – you. The priest is to go into the house and seal the house up for seven days after he has cleansed it. If the house is still infected after this time period, the priest is to tear out the wall and replaster the house with new wall. If this does not work the whole house is to be destroyed. The spiritual understanding here is that God can restore the vessel. However, if the vessel still maintains sin in their life, the vessel has to be destroyed so that the person who left the house can be saved.
Manoah, the man from Zoar, the place of leprosy, is a type and shadow of Israel. Israel had sin in it and that is why they were dispersed into the camp of the Philistines. But now God, in His infinite wisdom, has a plan of deliverance. A seed shall come forth out Manoah who shall deliver Israel from the hand of the fowler. Manoah means “one who is settled.” Manoah was content with his God in the place where his God had put him. Manoah was content to live with leprosy! That is to say, he was worshipping God without consideration of his natural predicament – the Philistines. Manoah did not seek release from being ruled by the Philistines. Manoah sought to follow after God regardless of the situation, trial or tribulation. The situation did not control his life as he rested in the hands of God. He was not ruled by the natural order of things; he was ruled by his relationship with God.
BARRENNESS IS OF GOD
Manoah is a type of the spirit, and his wife is a type of the soul. The angel of the Lord (Judges 13:3) comes to his wife, and the woman tells Manoah that a man of God came to her (verse 6). The soul never sees a person as an emissary of God, but the Spirit recognizes a person as an angel, a divine messenger. The woman was barren. This is pregnant with meaning!
The spirit (Manoah) cannot produce life if the soul (woman) is not aligned with him. Manoah had the seed, but considered it better not to produce in a soul that is barren of spirituality. Note in this story that at no time is a name given to his wife. Why? She was not of a changed nature. It would take a miracle for her to lose her barrenness.
Three times in the scriptures we find that men have partaken of the heavenly life, the realm of paradise and each has produced a life on the lower plane – Abraham, Onan and David. You may possess the revelation and the life of sonship and reconciliation in Christ Jesus and still produce a bastard that cannot inherit. The key is where and when you place your seed. Manoah knew not to try to produce on the lower plane. He waited for the leading of God.
Abram had the right seed and in placing it in the wrong vessel, he produced a mighty man that God did bless (Ishmael). But he did not wait for God to fulfill the plan. Encouraged by the word of God Abram sought to produce life without the Lord doing it. Abram did it in the flesh. Manoah, in contrast, waited on God.
In Genesis 38:9-12 God tells Onan to go in unto Tamar and give her his seed so that the family might continue. Onan faithfully goes into his deceased brother’s wife, has relations and before the seed can be planted, pulls away spilling his seed on the ground. Verse 10 shows that the Lord killed him. Consider this verse very carefully. Note that it was Judah, the father, who sent his son Onan unto the bereaved wife. Onan means “strong” in the Hebrew. Judah, of course, is a type and shadow in the scripture of Jesus. Judah sent his son, Onan (type of the overcomer, the firstfruits, the sons of God) to His bride, even as Judah sent Onan to the bride of Er. But Onan pulls away. He pulls back from creating life.
Onan wanted to do things his way. Onan wanted to go unto his own wife. He did not want to go unto the bride and place a seed. Christ has called us to go to the church and cause her to become pregnant with the seed of Himself, which He has placed within us. He has called us to produce after His kind. Isaiah 62:5 states that the sons are as a bride to Christ that they might receive His seed. When they do they become one with Him, that power of one. The sons then identified with Christ become masculine and seek to find a wife. But it has to be a wife of the Lord’s choosing.
The woman, the bride, the wife of Manoah, the church needs to have a relationship with the Lord. She sees through the lattice darkly. She is carnal and needs to be impregnated with the seed of life in Christ Jesus. Onan, the symbol of the corporate son, made in the image of the Son, conformed to His likeness, needs to put life into the church which does not know the way of life but only knows the way of blessing. There is a ministry, a corporate ministry, in the land today that proclaims the everlasting gospel from the heavens (Revelation 14) that will redeem men (mankind) from the earth. This ministry is redeeming them right out of their carnality, out of their Adamic nature, cutting them off from the very death nature that they think is life.
Onan did not recognize His father’s wishes over his own. Onan had the seed to accomplish the will of the father. Onan had the life in the seed to produce a child. Onan’s failure was he didn’t recognize the plan and purpose of God. There are some sons of God in the land today who do not see a need to plant seed for the kingdom. It is time for the sons, those conformed to His Image, to place the seed in the church, the bride, the woman and produce the child. Onan did not want to do that. He realized this seed would be the image of his father. Jesus sought the will of His father and sought to produce a seed in the earth that would be the glory of His Father. But Onan did not want to do that. Onan had the right time, the right seed, and the right woman, but his heart was selfish and not that of a true son. Onan had not matured from sonship to be a father. To be a father requires a laying down of your sonship role.
David had the right seed and the right vessel in Bathesheba but the wrong time and the child died. He did not wait for her to have her husband die. Romans 7:2-5 states that a woman, the soul, is free to marry again when the first husband (Adam) is dead. She is free to marry Christ at that point! But David failed in recognizing the principle.
Manoah was right in waiting for the Lord to create the opportunity. True spirituality requires patience and recognizing that since we are in Christ, time is irrelevant. There is no hurry because God is on time and is not slack concerning His promises. All we must do is ask of Him concerning His sons (Isaiah 45:10).
Isaiah 54:1 states: “Sing, O barren, thou that didst not bear; break forth into singing, and cry aloud, thou that didst not travail with child: for more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife, saith the LORD.” Better to wait for the leading of the Lord than to run ahead. Trying to bring forth the life of God on the lower plane brings forth flesh and not life. Manoah waited for the Spirit of the Lord to do the work.
His wife was told by the angel neither to partake of wine or strong drink nor to eat any unclean thing during her pregnancy. Many women today are just finding out that drinking or smoking during the time of pregnancy contributes to smaller children and greater health risk to these infants yet unborn. Cocaine babies are addicted at birth to the drug that the mother took while pregnant. Yet, God thousands of years ago emphasizes this same truth in many places in the scriptures. Even though this was speaking of natural things, there is spiritual input behind it all.
No strong drink refers to drinking anything other than the blood of Christ. The last supper speaks of drinking His blood, which means shedding our blood for the sake of the brethren. Sacrificing things that we may have the liberty to enjoy for the sake of another is the shedding of the blood of Christ. Up to this time Manoah’s wife could have had strong drink (even Jesus drank fermented wine), but for the sake of her child now she would not. For the sake of the son that is within us, we must not partake of the world. We must not drink of the life of the world.
The hair of the Nazarite was not to be shaved. The hair speaks of power and anointing. In all the days of his vow he was to be unshaven. The only time he was to shave was if he came into contact with a dead thing and then his vow would have to be restarted. When we are in the anointing, we are not to touch any dead doctrine, any dead man – the Adamic nature. We are to remain in the nature of Christ.
She was not to eat any unclean thing, this barren woman. She was barren because the things she had eaten were not life! She was barren because she did not partake of life but had chosen things of the world and placed her faith there in Philistia. But God had another plan for her. He made her so barren that she was not content with her inabilities. Note that she repeats exactly the words the angel told her (verse 4 and 7). Unlike Eve who added the word “touch” to God’s command (Genesis 2:17, 3:3), Manoah’s wife was receptive to God and had an ear to hear. She was ready to receive completely the word of the Lord for her and the accomplishment of the word in her life. She wanted the seed. God prepared her womb for what her husband had for her. The soul must be prepared for the spirit to quicken it.
It is important to note that the angel, when pressed for his name, states that it is “wonderful.” This of course relates to Isaiah 9:6 in reference to the Lord Himself. The Hebrew “wonderful” means to be separate, distinguished. Manoah realizing it was Christ, offers a grain offering with a lamb on the rock. The grain represents the child to be born, even as wheat in the New Testament represents the saints or people ready for harvest. The kid, which is a lamb, represents Christ. Manoah seeing the future, realizes that there is a firstfruits unto God of creation. (James 1:18) Manoah offered grain as a type of the fruit of the Spirit, a result of the life he had already in Christ. By that I mean Manoah had passed from the gift realm (Pentecost) into the fullness (Tabernacles). His offering grain is symbolical of himself possessing the life of God (grain) and offering it to God. Manoah states: “We shall surely die for we have seen God.” But he did not die because he was in a realm to birth the son of deliverance. It takes the soul (wife) and the spirit (Manoah) to produce life – Samson (sunlight).
This child was to be a Nazarite. Jesus was from Nazareth, but Jesus was not a Nazarite. Numbers 6 states the requirements, and the vow will be covered as we discuss the child born from this barren vessel. Who says a barren vessel cannot produce? It is only when we are barren of our old nature that the son is produced within us. Jesus removed the old nature at the cross. We are now seated in heavenly places with Christ. Let us remain in that realm. We must not produce on the lower plane for it reveals a corrupted word of God and establishes a “part” realm rather than a full revelation. Since we have been translated into His heavenly kingdom, it is our joy to remain in that place and under His divine government.
Into this darkness, this barrenness of the soul, some light was birthed. In fact the name Samson means “sunlight.” Manoah declared to the angel: “Now when your words come to pass, what shall be the boy’s mode of life…” (13:12) Manoah was asking what manner of life this boy would live. It was to be a holy life. A life dedicated to the service of the Lord. As you read the story of Samson, remember that all he did was holy. Remember that he is a type of Christ. He did nothing, I repeat, he did nothing out of character of Christ. Ponder that.
When his mother gave birth (13:24) the Hebrew states that she “cried out” which can also be translated as “proclaimed, praised, declared.” His mother shouted to the world that this was the son of promise! She named him Samson because he was “brilliant, a ray (of hope), sunlight.” When God began to stir Samson (13:25) it was in the camp of the priests (Mahanehdan means such). The camp of the priests was between Zoar (leprosy) and Eshtaol (entreating). The ministry is always between death (leprosy) and life. The ministry is always placed in a position of intercession. Samson was to be a deliverer of the people, an intercessor between God and the Philistines for the people. He was to be a light in a dark time, a time of people doing what was right in their own eyes.
Samson “went down” (14:1) to Timnah in the land of the Philistines. Joseph “went down” to Egypt in order to deliver his people. Moses “went down” to the wilderness to learn of God after being raised as Pharoah’s son. Jesus “was lowered” (went down) a little lower than the angels when He entered into this natural realm. The word of God always descends to manifest itself to a needy world. Samson went down to the vineyards (14:5) of Timnah. He went to the very life of area. Just as Jesus went to the very life of this lower realm. Timnah means allotted portion. The man Samson represents the Spirit of Christ. He goes down to marry the woman of the Philistines. The woman represents the soul. He goes to marry the soul just as Jesus gave His soul as an offering for sin. (Isaiah 53:10) When Samson does marry the soul, it is changed into the mind of Christ by the redemptive power of the spirit.
His religious parents did not know that this was the leading of the Lord. (14:4) They felt that he should marry one of the family of God. But God placed this in Samson’s heart in order to deliver Israel from the hand of the destroyer. God used Samson as the reason, as the means, of deliverance. His life was planned. So too today God has a plan for His sons. (Romans 8:19-20) We must not chaff at the way we are led but rather rejoice in the leading of the Lord.
THE EATING OF THE LION
When he went down he came across a lion. It sought to devour him, but like Jesus, nothing could be found in Samson to be devoured. (John 14:30) The lion is a symbol of Satan to some, the carnal mind to others. But the key is that Samson (the inChristed vessel) was able to conquer the lion. That which was trying to destroy him had no power over him. Yet, we find that out of death comes life – honey. The seed grows in the ground into which it is sowed. The incorruptible seed of Christ has been placed in the midst of the darkness of Adam. Darkness does not comprehend the light. But it takes the spirit of God to allow the honey to come forth from the devourer. It is worthy to note that Samson takes the honey and gives it to his friends and father to eat. They did not know where the honey came from but they did know that it was life unto them. In one sense Samson drank water from his own cistern. He found life in the vessel of death. We need to drink of the Christ in ourselves and give to those who know not from where it comes. His parents did not know because they could not see, and many cannot see themselves in Christ to draw from within. To many Christ is external.
Many saints do not know that the enemy, the lion, is part of the plan of God and the way in which God is trying to bring us into His fellowship. Only when we see adversity as the opportunity to find a safe refuge in Him can we overcome. It is then that the vessel of adversity becomes the vessel of our deliverance. “Out of the eater came something to eat and out of the strong came something sweet.” (14:14) The eater (the devourer) has within it the very life of God and only when the strong (carnal mind) is crushed in death can sweetness (mind of Christ) come forth.
Samson told the riddle to thirty companions and his wife, but for three days (14:14) they could not tell the riddle. Three days Christ was in the belly of the earth. The flesh is in darkness, but at the end of three days, the truth is declared, proclaimed. The flesh cannot understand the spiritual, so it goes to the soul, (the wife of Samson) and cries out for understanding because it does not want to lose its garment, that Adamic nature! The flesh causes the soul to hearken unto it and the soul suffers loss because of the flesh! The soul that listens to the flesh will die. In fact Samson’s wife was given to his best man. (14:20) Samson (the spirit) cannot marry a deceitful wife (soul). But a deceitful wife (Eve) can marry a husband (Adam), that fallen nature. His wife, his soul, identified with the flesh and looked at the loss. She gave in to the flesh because she would lose where she lived currently. She did not identify with her husband.
THE 30 – 300 – 3,000
The first test for Samson was the challenge of the thirty coats or changes of garments. Thirty is the number of maturity. Joseph was thirty when he began to rule in Egypt. Jesus was thirty when He came forth in ministry. Thirty is the number of the blood of Christ that brings salvation as it was thirty pieces of silver that Judas sold Jesus for. (Matthew 26:14-15, 27:3-8) Samson was well able to change their garments. He would have given them some at the feast had it not been for their carnality.
The second test for Samson was the three hundred foxes. (15:4) Three hundred is a number of group deliverance. The ark was three hundred cubits and delivered Noah and his family. Gideon had three hundred soldiers who delivered Israel. When Samson’s father in-law gave his wife to another, Samson could not redeem his wife. She was given to the flesh of another. Samson then wrecked havoc with the Philistines, but did it blamelessly (15:3). Samson took three hundred foxes, little foxes that ruin the vineyard (Song of Solomon 2:15), and turned them on the grain field (that which the flesh produces). The foxes are a type of evil. Herod is called a fox by Jesus in Luke 13:32. Rather than let the foxes destroy the vineyard (the place of life in you) rise up in Christ in the power of the Almighty One and tie those foxes together. Then place He who is a consuming fire in the midst to destroy the works (the grain) of your flesh. Go Samson! He was then hid in the cleft of the rock (15:8) which is a shadow of Christ, I believe, the mind of Christ. The rock was at Etah, which in the Hebrew means place of the hawks. Symbolically, this is the place of a heavenly creature, for a bird flies in the heavens and does not reside on the earth as an animal does. Samson hid himself in the heavens within the rock, Christ. For the rock that followed them in the wilderness was Christ, Paul writes.
The third number set is 3,000. Jesus said: “Today and tomorrow I do cures but on the third day I shall be perfected.” A day is as a thousand years, Peter and Psalm states. Samson in the end destroyed more than he had in all his judging of Israel. He removed all paganism from ruling. So, in the fullness of time, Acts 3:21 states there will be a restoration. Samson was a type of Christ in his final effort. For in his death, he delivered all Israel, even as Christ in His death delivered all creation.
So in these three numbers (30 – 300 – 3,000) we also find a type and shadow of the three feasts which we are to experience in our own personal life. The first is feast of Passover, a salvation experience of knowing the Lord as our Savior which includes talking with Him daily. The number 30 represent this. The number 300 represents the feast of Pentecost where the battle ground is the mind, the soul that place of Armageddon where the Baptism of the Spirit and the gifts operate to deliver us from the carnal mind. The number 3,000 represents the feast of Tabernacles which is a complete humbling (Leviticus 23:26-44) of ourselves and recognizing our union with God.
THE JAWBONE OF AN ASS
Because Samson burned the works of the flesh, the Philistines were upset. The flesh always gets upset when the fire of the Lord is consuming it. It always cries out for deliverance from the fire since it wants to remain as flesh. The sons of Judah, the tribe from which Jesus came, come to Samson (15:11-13) and are fearful of the flesh! They state that the flesh (the Philistines) rules over them. The realm of Pentecost is glad to be a part of the family of God and enjoys the blessings of its flesh by the Spirit, but when the Spirit seeks to deliver it from the desires of the flesh, Pentecost questions. The realm of the Law (15:11) is in juxtaposition to grace, the realm of Tabernacles. Pentecost serves God by obeying the Law not by knowing Him. But Samson is able to overthrow the people of Lehi (Hebrew meaning jaw) because he walks in the grace of God. What a difference Grace can make. So, the brethren, the tribe of Judah, bind Samson by ropes to give him to people that rule by the flesh, by the law (15:12). Though bound he was still free. Life is hindered from being ministered, grace is not grasped by those who live by the law. (Send for our tape on the 10 commandments.)
So Samson goes down to the land of Lehi bound by the hands but free to break forth in grace! When he is given over to the hands of the Philistines, he grabs the jawbone of an ass (15:15). He killed a 1,000 men with it. Again remember that 1,000 years is as a day with the Lord. Grace removes the day of the flesh! Grace removes the Law! Grace delivers us from sin consciousness and translates us into the kingdom of His dear Son. A new order of government is lived in and it is not the Law. Samson removed 1,000 men of flesh from Philistia! When we are in the place of His nature and know it we too can rise above the Law of the brethren and conquer the flesh.
When Samson was done with the weapon of deliverance, the jawbone, he did something very important. Like brother Geoffrey Kimani stated once, “Samson threw the jawbone away. He realized what God used once for deliverance will never work again in another situation. Too many times the saints try to use weapons again that have no further use in the battle of the day that is at hand.” Samson did not stop to build a tent, a denomination, around the truth of a ‘jawbone’ as some are wont to do with truth. Samson discarded the jawbone knowing that God is the provider of what is needed at any given moment. Samson walked by faith in God for the future without drawing on the past.
Samson comes from the place of the rock (Etah) and causes water to come forth out of the hollow of Lehi!!! The place of the Law is conquered by Grace and life comes out of the realm where there was once death working. Samson was thirsty after defeating the Philistines and the very place that could have been his death, God gives life to him from it. Did we not see this before also? Surely we did with honey in the Lion. That which comes as death to us, if we reside in the realm of life, only empowers us to more life.
THE TEMPLE DESTROYED
Samson was called to be a judge and he judged Israel for twenty years. (15:20) Twenty is the number of deliverance and redemption in the Bible. His final act occurs when he has given the secret of his power (not his life) away. Jesus gave away his power when He descended into the realm of the flesh. The flesh hindered Jesus from manifesting all that He was. Samson as a type of Christ too was hindered. But the putting out of Samson’s eyes enabled him to focus on the purpose and plan of God, even as Jesus focused more after the garden of Gethsemane (means oil press, ‘gethe’ comes from the Greek and means seed as in a man’s sperm, therefore a place where life is forced out).
Samson had loved a woman from Sorek (means: red wine) whose name was Deliah (means: impossible). Jesus loved Israel and would have gathered her as a hen gathers her chicks, but it was impossible. Samson had to die for Deliah even as Jesus had to die for the world. (John 3:17)
It was then, bound by cords with hair cut and his eyes out, that Samson cried to the Lord. (16:28) He cried out for mercy, grace. It was Jesus, bound by cords, hair cut by thorns and his bones out of place who cried out to God. Both men did not cry out to be removed from the trial, but cried out for the power which they needed now. They needed the power of the resurrection before they died in order to deliver Israel (Samson) or creation (Jesus).
Samson grasped the two pillars of the pagan temple (flesh and carnal mind), even as Jesus had the two thieves on either side (flesh saying – “Are You not the Christ? Save Yourself and us!” (Luke 23:39) and the carnal mind saying as it recognized who Christ was: “...we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” (Luke 23:41)
So, it was said of Samson “…the dead whom he killed at his death were more than those whom he killed in his life.” Judges 16:30. Of Jesus it can be said: “But the free gift is not like the transgression; for if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to many.” (Romans 5:15)
Both brought deliverance. Samson was used, yea, even sacrificed, for his brethren. So was Jesus. We who have been called to be heroes in this age, must like our pattern, Jesus Christ prepare our hearts to follow in His steps and fulfill the call to be one of a corporate, one of the many sons of God called to deliver creation. (Romans 8:19) We have the power to become the sons of God. (John 1:12) Can we rise up like Samson bearing his name (sunlight)?
SAMSON, WHO IS HE? [Charles W. Weller] 1