Maybe Samuel and Samson were buddies?

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BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Clerk
First time I thought of it, sounded odd to me. But reading one commentator, and reconstructing the historical situation, it got me thinking. They could have known each other.

The early chapters of 1 Samuel report the events of the period of Philistine dominance that overlap with the events in Judges 13-16. 1 Samuel 4 descirbes teh battle of Aphek against the Philistines, and the Battle of Ebenezer with the philistines is chronicled in chapter 7. Ebenezer brought an end ot the philistine domination of Israel (7:13) and was fought 20 years after the death of Eli and the capture of the Ark (1 Samuel 7:13). Thus, the fourty year oppression by the Philistines was bisected by the capture of the Ark at the battle of Aphek.
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Year of Philistine oppression-----------event--------leader of isr
1----------------------------------------------Eli as judge and prince
20-------------Aphek-------------------Eli died
40-------------Ebenezer---------------Samuel as leader

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Judges 15:20 tells us that Samson was judging Israel for 20 years during the philistine oppression. Did he judge Israel during 20 years before Aphek, during Aphek and Ebenezer, or some period that straddles Aphek?

When Samson was born, the Philistines were already ruling, and Samson did not live to see the Philistines defeated. He died killing the enemies of God, but nothing in the text suggests a decisive, Philistine defeat. Assuming that he began judging around the age of 20, and he judged 20 years, his life must havve almost exactly corresponding to the period of Philistine dominance. He was thus born during the fourty year period, and grew up during the 20 year of Eli's preisthood, prior to the battle of Aphek. His twenty years of judging Israel must have begun shortly before the battle of Aphek and mut have ended shortly before the battle of Ebenezer. Intringuingly, this was the same time Samuel was born and growing up.
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I would type more but my arms are tired. I won't reveal my source just yet, though. I am not saying this is definite, but it does raise some interesteing questions when reconstructing the historical situation (not in a pomo sense, but as a historian wannabe).
 

JohnStevenson

Puritan Board Freshman
Philistines

While it is not outside of the realm of possibility that Samuel and Samson were contemporaries, it should be noted that the book of Judges describes 40 years of servitude to the Philistines (Judges 13:1) that only begins to be relieved by the coming of Samson (13:5). At the same time, Judges also records what seem to be earlier oppressions at the hands of the Philistines (10:7) as well as earlier deliverances (10:11). This would suggest that there were any number of different Philistine periods of oppression.
 

SharpeningIron

Inactive User
At the same time, Judges also records what seem to be earlier oppressions at the hands of the Philistines (10:7) as well as earlier deliverances (10:11). This would suggest that there were any number of different Philistine periods of oppression.

Dale Ralph Davies in his excellent commentary on Judges suggests that the repeated cycles of apostasy, oppression, salvation and rest, recorded in Judges aren't necessarily in chronological order (footnote, pg 211).
 
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