The Age of Samson by Patrick Henry Reardon

As It Is Written . . .

The Age of Samson

Much of biblical narrative is structured on a fourfold sequence of sin, punishment, repentance, and deliverance. We find a succinct example of this structure in Psalm 107 (LXX 106); indeed, this psalm gives four examples of this fourfold structure. In each of these situations (desert wandering, prison, sickness, and peril at sea), we learn, those who “were afflicted because of their iniquities,” “cried to the Lord in their distress,” and then “he delivered them.” The Lord “led them forth on the right way,” “brought them out of darkness,” “sent his word and healed them,” and “guided them to the haven they sought.”

The first twelve chapters of the Book of Judges provides a longer and more elaborate example of this same pattern. As each of Israel’s charismatic leaders is introduced, the reader discerns a fairly consistent historical outline: First, the Israelites are unfaithful to the covenant. Next, the Lord, by way of turning their hearts to repentance, hands them over to one-or-another of their oppressing neighbors. Then the people, tiring of the oppression, repent and cry out to God, and he, in response, raises up a new “Judge” to lead and deliver them. 

This is the outline we find in the accounts of Othniel, Ehud, Deborah and Barak, Gideon, and Jephthah. In all these accounts there is a clear, coherent, and causal “logic” in the narrative structure: infidelity, punishment, repentance, deliverance.

THIS ARTICLE ONLY AVAILABLE TO SUBSCRIBERS.
FOR QUICK ACCESS:


Patrick Henry Reardon is pastor emeritus of All Saints Antiochian Orthodox Church in Chicago, Illinois, and the author of numerous books, including, most recently, Out of Step with God: Orthodox Christian Reflections on the Book of Numbers (Ancient Faith Publishing, 2019).

Print &
Online Subscription

Get six issues (one year) of Touchstone PLUS full online access including pdf downloads for only $39.95. That's only $3.34 per month!

Online
Subscription

Get a one-year full-access subscription to the Touchstone online archives for only $19.95. That's only $1.66 per month!

bulk subscriptions

Order Touchstone subscriptions in bulk and save $10 per sub! Each subscription includes 6 issues of Touchstone plus full online access to touchstonemag.com—including archives, videos, and pdf downloads of recent issues for only $29.95 each! Great for churches or study groups.

Transactions will be processed on a secure server.


more on bible from the online archives

32.5—September/October 2019

Peter's Sword

by Patrick Henry Reardon

24.3—May/June 2011

God's English

The Making & Endurance of the King James Bible, 1611-2011 by Barton Swaim

31.4—July/August 2018

Listening to Eve

on the Brevity & Theology of Her Recorded Words by Judith Anderson


more from the online archives

33.2—March/April 2020

Blessed Peacemakers

Encounters with Faith & Forgiveness in Communities of Faith by Nicole M. King

30.5—Sept/Oct 2017

The Age of Reformations

The Critical History Before, During & After Martin Luther by James Hitchcock

24.5—Sept/Oct 2011

A Many-Storied Monastic

A Critical Memoir of Thomas Merton at Gethsemani Abbey by Patrick Henry Reardon

calling all readers

Please Donate

"There are magazines worth reading but few worth saving . . . Touchstone is just such a magazine."
—Alice von Hildebrand

"Here we do not concede one square millimeter of territory to falsehood, folly, contemporary sentimentality, or fashion. We speak the truth, and let God be our judge. . . . Touchstone is the one committedly Christian conservative journal."
—Anthony Esolen, Touchstone senior editor

Support Touchstone

00