Monday, May 19, 2008

Rating : 4.0/5
Number of Pages : 155
Series : Canongate Myth Series
Reason for Reading : Once Upon a Time II Challenge

"The Myth of Samson" begins with with chapters 13-16 from the Book of Judges from the Authorised King James edition of The Bible. After this follows a commentary and discussion of the passage in detail looking at the language, the background of the time and culturual references.

Samson is often portrayed as a hero, a strong man destined to "deliver Isreal out of the hand of the Philistines". From birth he seems different from the other people and this leads to him being quite isolated. There is question mark over his paternity. There is a possibility that his father was not the husband of his mother, it is suggested he could have been an angel or even a Philistine which would explain his later draw towards their women. As an adult he seems drawn to choosing destructive relationships with woman and Delilah is not the first.

Potentially the first suicide-killer who kills everyone, including himself, by collapsing a temple after being famously betrayed by Delilah to the Philistines after she learns the secret of his strength. The commentary looks at his child-like nature and expressions of poetry in his speech which ofset his often violent and sexual tendencies.

An interesting look at a well-known story. I was brought up as a Christian but decided in my teens that it wasn't the path for me so this was an interesting walk down memory lane to Sunday School and Bible Study groups. It is a difficult one looking at the language as of course it depends on the translation so it can be a little confusing and is not the best indication. I did enjoy it though, it raised some interesting points and put a different slant on a tale I thought I knew.

Other reviews: Things Mean a Lot and Reading Adventures

3 comments:

Kim L said...

So this an analysis of the Bible passage? Interesting. I like learning about history, including history of Bible characters. It always makes me feel so smart :-)

Nymeth said...

I'm glad you enjoyed this one too. The structure of the book is a bit of an odd one, and at first I didn't know what to make of it (I was expecting a fictional retelling of the story) but in the end it worked really well.

Rhinoa said...

Kim - Yes it is non-fiction and will definitely help you feel smart :)