Samson kills a lion and eats honey from its body:
Samson then comes into contact with a lion, which he was able to kill with just his bare hands, “and the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon him, and he tore the lion asunder as one tears a kid; and he had nothing in his hand.” (Jdgs. 14:6) After he had killed the lion, a swarm of bees were eating on the carcass, and leaving honey there. Samson then commits his first infidelity to his Nazirite vow by eating food (i.e., honey) that was in contact with the dead corpse, “he had taken the honey from the carcass of the lion.” (Jdgs. 14:9)
Samson then has to host a great feast for seven days. This hints again at Samson breaking his Nazirite vow of no strong drink or wine. This would have been Samson’s second infidelity to his Nazirite vow.
The Passion Prefigurement of Samson:
Some early commentators have identified Samson with a type of passion and suffering death of Christ, as was begun when the Philistines bound Samson: “So they bound him with two new ropes, and brought him up from the rock.” (Jdgs. 15:13) Samson then broke the ropes and slew a thousand Philistines with the jawbone of an ass. Afterwards, Samson was thirsty to death, and the Lord provided water miraculously from a split rock, hearkening Moses in the desert: “And God split open the hollow place that is at Lehi, and there came water from it; and when he drank, his spirit returned, and he revived.” (Jdgs. 15:19)
Samson carries two wooden posts on his shoulders as he ascended a mountain. This was a prefigurement to Christ carrying His Cross up the mountain to Calvary: “at midnight he arose and took hold of the doors of the gate of the city and the two posts, and pulled them up, bar and all, and put them on his shoulders and carried them to the top of the hill that is before Hebron.” (Jdgs. 16:3)
Samson and the Philistine Delilah’s Betrayal:
Samson then met and slept with a Philistine woman, Delilah. She pestered him relentlessly to find out the secret of his strength, until “his soul was vexed to death.”(Jdgs. 16:16) Samson finally confessed to Delilah the source of his strength: “And he told her all his mind, and said to her, “A razor has never come upon my head; for I have been a Nazirite to God from my mother’s womb. If I be shaved, then my strength will leave me, and I shall become weak, and be like any other man.” (Jdgs. 16:17) During the night the Philistines shaved seven locks of hair from his head, and “the Lord had left him.” (Jdgs. 16:20) As Samson lost his strength, through this third betrayal of his lifelong Nazirite vows, the shaving of his head, he became a tormented prisoner of the Philistines: “And the Philistines seized him and gouged out his eyes, and brought him down to Gaza, and bound him with bronze fetters; and he ground at the mill in the prison.” (Jdgs. 16:21) Yet, his hair began to grow back.
The Passion and Death of Samson:
The Philistines sacrificed to their pagan god Dagon, and made a mockery and folly of Samson: “Now the lords of the Philistines gathered to offer a great sacrifice to Dagon their god, and to rejoice; for they said, “Our god has given Samson our enemy into our hand.” And when the people saw him, they praised their god; for they said, “Our god has given our enemy into our hand, the ravager of our country, who has slain many of us.” And when their hearts were merry, they said, “Call Samson, that he may make sport for us.” So they called Samson out of the prison, and he made sport before them. They made him stand between the pillars.” (Jdgs. 16:23-25) Samson was bound and held in prison like Christ had been in His Passion. He was mocked by the Roman soldiers and the Sanhedrin in His mock trial and at His Crucifixion. Christ was whipped at a pillar.
Then, Samson killed about 3,000 of the Philistines, including the Lords of Dagon: “And Samson grasped the two middle pillars upon which the house rested, and he leaned his weight upon them, his right hand on the one and his left hand on the other. And Samson said, “Let me die with the Philistines.” Then he bowed with all his might; and the house fell upon the lords and upon all the people that were in it. So the dead whom he slew at his death were more than those whom he had slain during his life.” (Jdgs. 16:29-30) Samson’s hands rested on two pillars as Christ’s hands rested upon the two wooden beams of the Cross. Samson slew his enemies and died in the process, just as Christ slew death, evil, sin and the demons in His sacrificial death on the Cross.
Caesarius, a fifth century biship of Arles (France) wrote of Samson’s prefigurement of Christ: “Notice here an image of the Cross. Samson extends his hands spread out to the two columns as to the two beams of the Cross. Moreover, by his death he overcame his adversaries, because his suffering became the death of his persecutors. For this reason Scripture concludes as follows: ‘Those he killed at his death were more than those he killed during his lifetime.” (Jdgs. 16:31) This mystery was clearly fulfilled in our Lord Jesus Christ, for at His death He completed our redemption which He had by no means published during His life.” Samson’s sacrificial death prefigured the sacrificial death of Christ on the Cross.