So this is Samson’s last chapter. He will not have a sequel. There will be no final redemption for him. Yep, I said it. Instead we have the illusion of redemption. Post-haircut, Samson is shackled and working at the mill. But the Philistines were not thinking because they didn’t keep cutting his hair. For reasons passing understanding, this man that they had taken such great pains and expense to capture was not closely monitored.
If it had been me, I’d have had a whole team of people on hand to shave him every few hours. Who knows how much strength he’d get back from just a five o’clock shadow on his noggin. I’d even throw in a nice Turtle Wax to keep it smooth, or maybe go full Brazilian on his head. There was that beehive in the lion. . . . That was the supervillain in me, which I try not to let out too much, but back to Samson!
Anyway, the fact that Samson is growing hair again, which was days or even weeks before he was taken out of the mill, is an indication that he’s getting stronger. The hair is back in some form, so he’ll have strength.
It’s unclear if there’s some kind of relationship of hair length to strength. Does he get stronger the longer it gets? Or does he get his full hulk powers from just a buzzcut’s worth of hair? It would seem to be the latter since he is able to push the pillars over. This is pretty consistent with how God operates, where people who follow the covenant get the full benefits of it.
What is unusual is that Samson prays. This is, in fact, the second time he prays, but in both cases Samson is not, how shall we say it? Respectful. Yes, that’s the word. With the first prayer, Samson is in need of water, and he lays “Am I now to die of thirst,” on God, which is a pretty freaking good guilt trip. Lousy prayer, but good guilt trip. The rock splits, and there’s water. Samson lives!
The second time is at the very end, and it’s the same kind of thing. This time he’s asking for “one act of revenge” to “pay back the Philistines for my two eyes.” Oh, right, they gouged out his eyes. This might be the reason they were lax on the haircutting. If he can’t see, he can’t hurt us, no matter how strong he is, which is just a dumb thought process.
So Samson, with a little bit of hair, knocks down the pillars, smooshes himself, and takes out thousands of Philistines. Hooray! Yes, that is a genuinely enthusiastic hooray. I’m glad the guy’s dead. He was a menace.