Samson's birth was foretold by an angel. He was to grow up a Nazarite, forbidden to drink strong drink, neither was his head to be shaved. His strength was very great; but his marriage was sinful, and his doings with the idolatrous Philistines terrible. Though an Israelite and a judge, I fear much he sinned greatly against God. On one occasion he went to Gaza, a city of the Philistines. The inhabitants tried to take him, but he arose at midnight and carried away the gates of their city. In our picture though he looks so strong, yet we see chains on his legs, and he is blind! How came he to lose his sight and be made a prisoner? I think it was owing to his sin and folly.
He became acquainted with a wicked woman, who enticed him to tell her in what his great strength lay. Three times he told her falsely, but at last he said that if the flowing locks of his hair were removed his strength would depart. While he slept these locks were cut off, then the Philistines burst in upon him, and when he arose to resist them, he found that his strength was gone. Then his eyes were cruelly put out, and he was bound with fetters of brass.
Our artist shows him blind, brought out to make sport at the Philistines' feast. He is very sorrowful, and, I think, angry. He asks the lad beside him to place his hands upon the pillars supporting the house; then, his great strength returning, he bows himself with all his might; the pillars break, the house falls, and Samson, with very many of the Philistines, is crushed amid the ruins. Was not this a terrible end to what might have been a noble life?
[Illustration: SAMSON MAKING SPORT FOR THE PHILISTINES.]