It is painful to note how the type of man who “judged” Israel, degenerated with the passing years. Othniel, the first judge, had been apparently a man after Joshua’s own type, pure in heart and strong in God. Gideon, too, though at first wavering in faith, was wise and self-restrained and resolute. But Jephthah, despite his earnestness, was a semi-barbarian, savage and vindictive, groping dimly for that God whom he scarce understood. As for Samson, the last of the judges, it was by physical force alone that he was “mighty in Israel.”
From his youth Samson drew attention by his marvelous strength, though he was a silent, uncommunicative lad, as those of huge thews are apt to be. His first recorded feat is the slaying of a young lion which “roared against him.” Samson was wholly unarmed; but instead of fleeing, as another man would have done, he seized the lion in his bare hands and tore the beast asunder. Afterward going back to see the carcass where he had thrown it, he found that bees had stored honey in the shelter of the bones. In his silent way he gave the honey to his father and mother, but told them nothing of his deed.
by Julius A. Bewer; Charles F. Horne