The Biblical story of the Hebrew Judge Shimshon (his name meaning a man of the Sun, shemesh in most ancient Middle Eastern languages) is one to hail and follow by all men today. Indeed, the tale is one of glorious victories, subservient loyalty to a higher cause, leadership and modesty – on the one hand. The rise and fall of Shimshon on the other hand is also a warning sign, a broad red flag placed there thousands of years ago by men wiser than us today.
In an era when suffering, death, and hard work were not unknown terms from mouldy history books but rather everyday realities, people still knew the value of educational guides on being a man of virtue, a leader, a prophet and a warrior.
Shimshon was certainly all of them: and the reasons he failed in the end are written on the wall with grim letters, staring at us today and cautioning us on all the vices that might take hold of a brave man, even one as brave and wise as Shimshon. In this article we will examine the positive side of Shimshon’s life and deeds.
Shimshon was exceptionally strong and tall. Added to his earthly strength was the strength of God: Hebrew tradition holds that he could lift two mountains and break them into little pieces with his bare hands. His shoulders were supposedly so broad, that even later religious authorities had to point out that this part of the tale was probably fiction.
Scholars hold that Shimshon was probably a mixture of other traditional Eastern demigods, like Enkidu and the Shumer Guta. This question is one for theological and historical debate; what interests us is what virtues and vices the men of old might have wanted to explain with Shimshon.
Shimshon definitely was strong and humble, a man of few words who preferred to follow his own path and who rarely called for the help of others. In fact, tradition holds that never in his entire lifetime did he ask for the help or assistance of another Israelite. He could handle problems alone and had all the capability and willingness to do so.
One of the chapters of Shimshon’s tale that the Bible shares with us is of exceptional importance. Shimshon had seen a beautiful Philistine woman in the village of Timnah, and went back to “pick her up.” And
“as he approached the vineyards of Timnah, suddenly a young lion came roaring toward him. The Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon him so that he tore the lion apart with his bare hands as he might have torn a young goat. But he told neither his father nor his mother what he had done.”
This, gentlemen, is a passage of Scripture that should be engraved upon seats of height for all men to see. Which one of us could handle a healthy young lion, in its prime of strength and agility, charging at us from an ambush, with nothing to protect ourselves with? Shimshon had slain the beast without a sword or shield; for sure, not many Biblical characters could claim to have achieved a feat such as this. And this is the part where all men should take notes: he said nothing of the whole affair.
Let us analyze the story a little further. Shimshon went on a “date,” so to say – he definitely did have the intention of approaching a young and attractive female with the aim of making her his lover. In a similar situation most emasculated Western men would arrive with a list of their “deeds” to recite in vain hopes a quick shag. Shimshon did not do so: in fact, he did not even utter a single word about his heroic act.
Demigods Don’t Brag
Did he have a reason to brag? Although he sure was a man of splendid physical attributes, he could still have expected the Philistine woman to put him through a series of tests. If he did have such expectations, he had certainly been proven correct. Only a few lines later the Bible says, as Shimshon did not share the solution of a secret riddle with the woman in question, she “threw herself on him, sobbing, ‘You hate me! You don’t really love me. You’ve given my people a riddle, but you haven’t told me the answer.’”
In case you don’t realize what this means, here is the answer: this, gentlemen, is the proof that women have been giving men shit tests to solve for thousands of years. Yes, even if you are a Judge of the Lord Almighty himself, bitches will still hurdle tests and riddles at you.
Yet Shimshon said nothing. He kept the story for himself, just like he didn’t brag about his other accomplishment, slaying a thousand enemies with a jawbone of a dead donkey – a story which the Scripture shares with us later on.
Alpha Males Don’t Brag Either
Keeping your positive secrets, your great deeds and your truly remarkable achievements can be a vast source of inner strength and pride. It gives you the option of merely smiling when people ask you about your exploits and silently saying: “I don’t get around much.”
Women will instantly feel that it isn’t true, and they will feel a deep urge to find out what you are hiding. While they do, they will cling at you for the rest of your – fleeting or more serious – relationship.
Nothing says “high value male” more clearly than achieving much and sharing little. Shimshon knew this, and it unquestionably is a lesson that men today should internalize. Shimshon, then, was in possession of a number of alpha male qualities – but also a number of weaknesses of character, which evidently led to his downfall, as we may see in another article.
Read More: A Tale Of Two Men