[BKC, pp. 404-408]

"The LORD foretold the birth of... Samson, and said that he was to be a Nazirite. A Nazirite (meaning 'devoted' or 'consecrated') was a person whose vow of separation to God included abstaining from fermented drink, refraining from cutting his hair, and avoiding contact with dead bodies (Num 6:2-6). Nazirite vows were normally for a limited period of time but Samson was to be a Nazirite of God all his life (Jud 13:7).

Besides being set apart as a Nazirite, Samson was chosen by God to begin the deliverance of Israel from the hands of the Philistines [despite his sinful lifestyle that constantly violated his vows as a Jew and a Nazirite].

One day the Spirit of the LORD began to stir Samson, that is, to empower him to begin to deliver Israel.

Samson's exploits with the Philistines began with his desire for a young Philistine woman who lived in Timnah ... marriage with a non-Israelite was expressly forbidden by the Mosaic Law (Ex 34:16; Deut 7:3)... Samson's decision was overruled by God for His own purpose and glory. Under the empowerment of the Spirit of the LORD (cf. 14:19; 15:14) he tore the lion apart with his bare hands. Again he turned aside into the vineyards, this time to look at the lion's carcass in which he discovered a swarm of bees and some honey. He scooped out the honey to eat it... Touching the carcass of even a clean animal made a person... ceremonially unclean (Lev 11:39-40), ... a violation of his Nazirite vow. His participation in the wedding feast (Jud 14:10) may also have violated his vow to abstain from fermented drink... one Nazirite qualification was specifically indicated before his birth - 'No razor may be used on his head' (13:5). Later a violation of this specific practice would lead to removal of the power of God's Spirit from him (16:17-20)... Samson's weakness to give in to the tears of pleadings of a woman (cf. 16:16) was expressed. God overruled Samson's foolishness by the enabling power of the Spirit of the LORD (cf. v. 6; 15:14) to accomplish His purpose of disrupting the Philistine status quo of easy dominance over Israel. Special strength was given him by the Spirit of the LORD. Samson's cry to the LORD was miraculously answered as God opened up the hollow place.. and water came out... The incident of Samson's removing the doors of Gaza showed that his physical strength was unmatched except by his moral weakness. His sensual inclinations overcame him and he spent the night with a prostitute... Samson fell in love with a woman named Delilah (probably Philistine but with a Semitic name)... Samson finally revealed the source of his strength, which was not a magical secret, as the Philistines had supposed, but a supernatural enablement from the Spirit of God (cf. 13:25; 14:6, 19; 15:14). This enablement was associated with Samson's special separation to the LORD through his Nazirite status, which was especially symbolized by his uncut hair (13:5). This was not because his strength was in his hair but because cutting it would manifest his disobedience to the LORD, a disobedience that had already begun by his revealing the truth to Delilah whom he had no reason to trust. Samson's indiscretion led to his imprisonment by the Philistines. As a fruit of his foolish disobedience to the LORD, Samson's strength left him. Apparently Samson was also bound since, when Delilah cried out, 'The Philistines are upon you!' He attempted to shake himself free. The tragic fact was that he did not know that the LORD had left him. The departure of the Spirit of the LORD was tantamount to discharging him from his role as judge... However, he then prayed to the LORD for one final feat of strength to obtain revenge on the Philistines. Samson .. bracing himself against the pillars... said, 'Let me die with the Philistines! and pushed with all his might. God granted his final prayer and the temple was demolished, killing more people in Samson's death than he had slain while he lived... Though Samson had great ability and was endowed with physical power by the Holy Spirit, he gave in to temptation several times and suffered the consequences. His life is a stern warning to others who are prone to follow the path of sensuality."