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Story of Samson and Uncleanliness

Discussion in 'Exploring Christianity' started by TheFriendlyAtheist, Nov 1, 2017.

  1. DennisTate

    DennisTate Newbie Supporter

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    Good questions......
    I term myself Messianic Gentile and I have seriously considered becoming Jewish as long as I did not have to deny my belief in Messiah Yeshua - Jesus as Messiah the Passover Lamb in order to do so.

    I have actually thought about the Nazarite vow.....
    even though I do find that growing a beard is quite annoying but......
    I now know that MSM decreases the level of itching.

    One part of the reason could be that both the jawbone of the ass..... as well as the skeleton of the lion could have been picked entirely clean of all flesh and were down to nothing more than clean white bone..... but that is just a guess.
     
  2. DennisTate

    DennisTate Newbie Supporter

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    Would you say that the case of Samson indicates hierarchy of scripture?

    Would it be valid to postulate that touching a jawbone of an ass...... or a relatively clean carcass of a lion was a much less serious infraction against the Nazarite vow..... than his allowing his hair to be cut?
     
  3. DennisTate

    DennisTate Newbie Supporter

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    But God did kill Paul metaphorically.........
    by leading him to genuine and deep repentance that resulted in the metaphorical death of the old Rav Shaul/ Paul.
     
  4. Phil 1:21

    Phil 1:21 Well-Known Member

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    Are you referring to the deaths of Aaron's sons Nadab and Abihu in Leviticus? If so, their sin wasn't a mistake. It was an arrogant act of total disrespect for God.

    On a general note, yes, the Bible is full of stories of God using sinners for His glory. David was an adulterer and murderer, Rahab and Mary Magdelene were prostitutes, Aaron was an idolater, heck...most of the kings of Israel and Judah were guilty of worshiping pagan gods. Matthew was a tax collector, Paul was a murderer, Moses was a murderer too for that matter. Solomon broke dang near every command God had given for the King. Jonah flat out defied God, and even Job questioned His goodness. The very first people God created sinned against Him.

    One thing you'll notice as you work your way through the Bible is that God doesn't choose righteous people so much as willing people. And that's a good thing, because we're all sinners. Jesus tells us in Mark 2:17 that He came not for the righteous, but the sinners. The fact that He chose to enact His will through less than perfect people should serve as proof of His grace.
     
  5. TheFriendlyAtheist

    TheFriendlyAtheist Member

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    God did not skimp out many of the people you mentioned. God punished them directly, either by smitings or leaving them in battles. I just don't understand why Samson could break one part of the vow and still retain his strength. It's the inconsistency that's got me puzzled.

    And even if Aaron's sons were arrogant in their act of worship (something of which is not mentioned) killing them with fire is still very extreme. I don't really want to get too deep into the moral side too much here. That is a much bigger discussion. I will say that as I read I cannot say that God as portrayed is loving or merciful, in fact I could argue quite confidently the opposite.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2017
  6. Phil 1:21

    Phil 1:21 Well-Known Member

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    I hear what you're saying, and a lot of your questions are ones with which I've struggled. Followers have struggled with some of them for thousands of years, so I'm in no way qualified to offer any new insight.

    What Aaron's sons did was to disrespect God by going where they didn't belong and performing a task reserved for the high priest alone. It wasn't a simple accident. Regardless, I find it interesting to see the different ways God saw to pass judgement in OT times. From what I've been able to glean, when God saw fit to enact immediate and severe judgement it was to as an example to others (Aaron's sons, the men of Korah in Numbers 16, Gehazi in 2 Kings 5). When God saw fit to delay judgement it was because He had other plans for the person or people in question (Israelites wandering for 40 years, Solomon's sin resulting in the tearing apart of Israel...1 Kings 11).

    Keep reading though. You're early on in the story of redemption. It may start out a bit rough, but it has an awesome ending. :oldthumbsup:
     
  7. TheFriendlyAtheist

    TheFriendlyAtheist Member

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    AHHH!! SPOILERS!! LOL!

    Anyways, thanks for the input. I have to say I'm glad that you are modest with your answer. When I try to look up some of the questions that I have, too often there are theologians who try to answer these questions with far more "knowledge" than they have a right to claim. Not all of them do that of course but it still makes the search that much harder. The responses I get here are generally far more modest and honest in their claims.

    And I'll definitely keep reading. I'm really enjoying learning about this.
     
  8. Stancet

    Stancet Member

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    I can't say definitively at the minute. All I know is that there's a difference between breaking a vow accidentally, and breaking it intentionally. That's not an excuse because the Bible clearly says God demands that all sin be dealt with, no matter what our motives were, but God used Sampson anyways. I don't want to presume too much since I don't know the mind of God, but that's as good a theory for our host as I can think.
     
  9. Sketcher

    Sketcher Born Imperishable

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    God gave Samson his strength; he gives all of us our life. Why doesn't he just physically kill anyone and everyone the first time they sin?
     
  10. Runswithdogs

    Runswithdogs Well-Known Member

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  11. Phillip Evans

    Phillip Evans Hen Teaser

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    Numbers 6:6 All the days that he separateth himself unto the LORD he shall come at no dead body.
    Numbers 6:7 He shall not make himself unclean for his father, or for his mother, for his brother, or for his sister, when they die: because the consecration of his God is upon his head.
    Numbers 6:8 All the days of his separation he is holy unto the LORD.
    Numbers 6:9 And if any man die very suddenly by him, and he hath defiled the head of his consecration; then he shall shave his head in the day of his cleansing, on the seventh day shall he shave it.​

    Numbers 6:7-9 demonstrates that "no dead person" is intended in verse 6, and thus it is rendered in the LITV. Samson could not touch a person that was dead, or touch a person that had suddenly died near him.

    This would explain why he used the jawbone of a donkey. If he had killed those Philistines with his bare hands (e.g. Judges 14:5-6), he would have violated his vow. By using the jawbone to kill them, he fulfilled his vow.

    I apologize for all of the edits. I really should have breakfast instead of coffee first thing in the morning.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2017
  12. Phillip Evans

    Phillip Evans Hen Teaser

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    I understand and respect the rules against goading.

    Nevertheless, I did not start this thread.

    I understand that he calls himself "The Friendly Atheist."

    I don't care if he calls himself "Skippy, the Happy Kangaroo."

    I have presented (above) what I consider to be a reasonable, if not logical response to the original post.

    Monitoring.

    Monitoring.

    Monitoring.

    Your silence speak volumes, Mr Atheist, or may I call you The?
     
  13. Phil 1:21

    Phil 1:21 Well-Known Member

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    What I've found is the more I study the more questions I have and the more I realize there are things we may just not be capable of understanding. The pastors I respect the most are the ones who will honestly state they don't have answers for everything. I once watched a sermon from a pastor who stated that the Bible says we are to unquestioningly believe the "man of God" and that if anyone in the congregation didn't believe everything he said they should leave. I would have stood up and walked out, politely of course.
     
  14. ViaCrucis

    ViaCrucis Evangelical Catholic of the Augsburg Confession

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    If you finished the story then you saw that things didn't exactly turn out great for Samson. Samson is an interesting case because in the story he consistently does things he shouldn't do, and he ends up facing the consequences of those actions when Delilah cuts his hair, he is captured by the Philistines, his eyes are plucked out, etc. He repents, and gets his strength back long enough to kill a bunch of Philistines, but he dies in the process. Samson is probably a good example of where the Bible gives us a story on how not to behave. Not every biblical figure is a hero or a role model, the Bible has a tendency to show human beings as messy, prone to error, screwing up; lessons to be learned come from context, not by assuming the figures described are inherently good, moral, or righteous (because very frequently they aren't good, moral, or righteous). Even the "good guys" do absolutely horrendous things. The Bible isn't a catalogue of good guys and bad guys with clearly defined moral roles; the Bible features stories of complicated human beings being complicated, messy, and morally questionable.

    -CryptoLutheran
     
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