Patience and strength: Job and Samson

Biblical stories and moral issues

Of the many biblical stories that were - and still are - sources for contemplation and discussion, we have singled out that of Job and that of Samson.

Job, icon of Patience

The theme of the Old Testament book of Job is that of the apparent injustice of human suffering. Job is a faithful believer, but also very wealthy. Satan dares God to take away all material blessings from Job to test the strength of his faith. Job is struck with disaster until nothing is left to him except his dunghill. In discussions with his friends, Job maintains that his behaviour cannot have given God cause for punishment. Even in the face of this 'unjust' and therefore incomprehensible treatment, Job accepts his fate.

Samson, strength and weakness

Samson's story begins like that of biblical figures such as Isaac, Samuel and John the Baptist: their parents had to wait a long time before their marriage was blessed with a child.

Samson's father Manoah, and his wife reluctantly accepted Samson's decision to marry a Philistine girl. This turned out to be an ominous choice, indeed. Samson killed a lion when on the way to his wedding, but soon after his anger and enormous strength turned against the Philistines. The Philistines and a femme fatale - Delilah - were also the cause of his eventual downfall. Delilah betrayed him to the Philistines and cut off his hair, thus removing the source of his strength. Samson's final demonstration of strength killed many Philistines in the temple of Dagon.

Jobs children feasting -More images

Job's children feasting -More images

Job receives the tidings of his adversity; the death of Jobs children -More images

Job receives the tidings of his adversity; the death of Job's children -More images

Job on the dung-hill is tormented by his wife and comforted by his friends -More images

Job on the dung-hill is tormented by his wife and comforted by his friends -More images

God speaks with Job -More images

God speaks with Job -More images

Samson kills the lion with his bare hands -More images

Samson kills the lion with his bare hands -More images

Samson slays a thousand Philistines with the jaw-bone of an ass  -More images

Samson slays a thousand Philistines with the jaw-bone of an ass -More images

Samson carrying the doors of Gaza; Delilah cuts off Samsons hair  -More images

Samson carrying the doors of Gaza; Delilah cuts off Samson's hair -More images

Samson breaks the pillars of the temple, killing the feasting Philistines -More images

Samson breaks the pillars of the temple, killing the feasting Philistines -More images