Icon of Righteous Sampson (Samson) the Strong Man and Judge of Israel - 20th c. - (1SA33)

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Commemoration on the Sunday of the Holy Forefathers

Which falls between the 11th and 17th days of December 

The Birth of Sampson

"So the woman went in and told her husband, saying, "A Man of God came to me, and His appearance was like the appearance of an Angel of God, very frightening. But I did not ask Him where He was from, and He did not tell me His name. And He said to me, 'Behold, you are pregnant and shall bear a son. Now drink no wine or strong drink, and do not eat anything unclean, for the child shall be holy to God from the womb to the day of his death."

~ Judges, Chapter 13

"Let us praise Adam, Abel, Seth and Enos, Enoch and Noah, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Moses, Job and Aaron, Eleazar and Joshua, Barak, Sampson and Jephthah, David and Solomon."

"Let us all now celebrate the memory of the forefathers, hymning their life which was pleasing unto God, for Whose sake they have been magnified."

~ Orthros Hymns, Sunday of the Holy Forefathers

"Sampson, the brave and mighty judge of Israel, was a type of Christ, who came to conquer sin and death through his own death and resurrection." 

~ St. Ambrose of Milan (337-397 AD), Exposition of the Gospel of Luke

“Sampson, born by the divine promise, had the Spirit accompanying him, for we read: "The Lord blessed him, and the Spirit of the Lord began to be with him in the camp.” (Judges 13:25) And so foreshadowing the future Mystery, he demanded a wife of the aliens, which, as it is written, his father and mother knew not of, because it was from the Lord. And rightly was he esteemed stronger than others, because the Spirit of the Lord guided him, under Whose guidance he alone put to flight the people of the aliens, and at another time inaccessible to the bite of the lion, he, unconquerable in his strength, tore him asunder with his hands. Would that he had been as careful to preserve grace, as strong to overcome the beast!”.

~ St. Ambrose of Milan (337-397 AD), On the Holy Spirit, Book 2.5

"The strength of Sampson was not his long hair, but his faith in God. He was a true Nazirite, set apart for God's service, and he lived a life of self-denial and obedience to God's commandments."

~ St. John Chrysostom (347-407 AD), Homilies on Judges

"Sampson's riddle about the lion and the honeycomb teaches us that even from the most bitter trials and sufferings, God can bring forth sweetness and joy."

~ St. Bede the Venerable (673-735 AD), Commentary on the Book of Judges

"One of the greatest Judges of Israel was Sampson. By his very death Samson killed more enemies than he had during his life."
~ Hieromartyr Daniel (Sysoev) of Moscow, from his book "The Law of God"

For more Orthodox commentary on Righteous Sampson see the following articles: