Magi Mike's Blog

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Biblicists Identify an Unidentifiable Seal as Being Samson Killing a Lion!

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Beth Shemesh: the "Samson" Seal

Archeologists from Tel Aviv university led by professor Shlomo Bunimovitz, have declared a tiny stone seal, just 1.5 centimeters in diameter (a little more than half an inch), found while excavating Tel Beit Shemesh to have an image of the biblical Samson killing a lion on it! Really! Can this animal really be a lion? The seal has an image of an unidentifiable animal, it is so badly depicted, possibly with a rider—faint, perhaps partly erased or unfinished—being controlled by an apparently human handler with something like a rope attached to its muzzle—unless it has a long tongue! It suggests a horse rather than a lion.

The seal was discovered with other finds on the floor of an excavated house, dated by the archaeologists to the 12th century BC. Along with the seal, two structures were discovered, which were apparently used for ritual purposes during the same time period. In one of them researchers found a kind of table, resembling an altar, next to which a large number of animal bones were found. Prof Bunimovitz believes the animals may have been used for sacrifices. Or maybe they were simply the remains of feasts, or both, as feasts usually accompanied sacrifices.

The stories in Judges have no known connexion with real history, and are more likely to be myths adapted to events of a much later age, namely the period after the victory of Cyrus the Persian when the Hill country was sparsely populated by native Canaanites and a few hopeful colonists from Persia. Samson is the same word as Shemesh, a Semitic sun god, the equivalent of the Greek Herakles, and beth (“house”) ususally meant a temple when associated with a God’s name. So Beth Shemesh was the place where the sun god was worshipped.

Sun Gods from sometime in the first half of the first millennium BC at least have had twelve legends associated with them one each for each constellation they pass through during the solar year. Samson depends on his long hair for his strength, the hair representing the power of the sun’s rays. The stories about Samson may be an abridgement of the full solar cycle of myths, many possibly lost when worshipping all gods other than Yehouah was forbidden. Thus, Samson, according to the story in Judges, fought a lion on his way to marry a Philistine woman. Hercules too fought a lion in what is usually listed as his first labor. Eventually Hercules is betrayed by a woman, just as Samson was.

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Written by mikemagee

18 August, 2012 at 9:41 pm

2 Responses

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  1. What Samson did to that lion makes enraged because that’s my favorite kidn of cat. it remidns me of what King Kong did to a Tyrannosaurus (my favortie dinosaur) and Godzilla. Therefore, I wish that lion killed him by first biting off his hands and then going for the rest of his body.

    Samson hater

    24 September, 2012 at 2:59 am

  2. Beit-Shemesh was uninhibited during the Persian Period. According to the archaeological findings at the site, Beit-Shemesh was totally destroyed in the Babylonian Period – and it was only re-settled, as a tiny village with very few houses, during the Roman & Byzantine times…

    So why would anyone in the Persian Period write all kinds of stories about a place called “Beit-Shemesh” that didn’t exist at their time? Maybe it was the Romans who made up thees stories, at the same time when they were faking the “New Testament” stories… 😉

    Oded Israeli עודד ישראלי

    27 August, 2015 at 9:45 pm


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