Did Samson Commit Suicide?

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Did Samson commit suicide?

At Samson’s death, his final words were, “Let me die with the Philistines!” (Judges 16:30). He pushed down the pillars of the temple, killing himself and his enemies.

An important distinction in this account is that Samson did not take his life; he sacrificed his life. The Philistines were at war with the Israelites during this time. Samson was Israel’s leader, yet had been captured after Delilah discovered the source of his strength.

When captured, Samson was beaten and tortured, and had his eyes gouged out. Judges 16:22 share, “Then the Philistines seized him, gouged out his eyes and took him down to Gaza. Binding him with bronze shackles, they set him to grinding grain in the prison. But the hair on his head began to grow again after it had been shaved.”

The Philistines later brought Samson into the temple of Dagon to “entertain” them (Judges 16:25). Samson asked God for strength one more time to defeat his nation’s enemy. He realized it would also end his life, but was willing to sacrifice himself to help his people.

Some have argued Samson was also out for revenge. In Judges 16:29, he prayed, “Sovereign Lord, remember me. Please, God, strengthen me just once more, and let me with one blow get revenge on the Philistines for my two eyes.” Revenge was one motive (seen elsewhere with Samson), but his mission was much greater than revenge for his eyes. He sought to defeat Israel’s enemy.

In the New Testament, Hebrews 11 mentions the spiritual heroes of the Old Testament times. These include Samson (v. 32). His name is noted among those of whom we read “the world was not worthy of them” (v. 38).

Wrap Up on Did Samson Commit Suicide

Hebrews 11:39-40 add, “These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.” Samson’s life did not end with suicide, but by completing the mission God had given him as a leader of Israel who helped defeat their enemies.

His actions are also like what we read in John 15:13: “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” Samson did not give up on life. Samson gave up his life so others could live.

His actions also foreshadow the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. Though innocent, Jesus gave His life for others. While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). We are called to believe in Him and live for Him still today.

In crisis? Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or visit suicidepreventionlifeline.org. This page is not monitored 24/7 and is not intended for crisis intervention.

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  1. A believer on April 26, 2019 at 10:29 pm

    You are adding to the word of God, it only says he wanted revenge for his eyes, you are trying to whitewash…God forgives murderers think about David and Moses. Samson murdered himself to get revenge for how he was being treated which is consistent with his life. He accomplished God’s will despite himself. The Bible doesn’t white.wash the saints thus giving hope to the worst of sinners

    • BWM on September 16, 2019 at 3:02 pm

      What are you talking about? The writer did not white-wash anything. Samson is Israel’s leader (And a reckless one) and he had wanted revenge on the Philistines after they killed his wife and God did tell his parents that he will be the one to deliver Israel and Samson even talked to God to remember him before he died. Regardless, the topic is whether he suicide, which he did not.

    • Richard on November 1, 2022 at 2:59 pm

      God allowed him to have his strength back knowing the outcome.

  2. JonathanBlow on January 16, 2020 at 10:46 pm

    So if you give your life for God’s people or His works it’s not suicide

  3. Anthony L. on July 10, 2021 at 12:57 pm

    During the Iraqi conflict, Muslims strapped bombs to their chests and aligned themselves with US soldiers and detonated the bombs, killing both soldiers and themselves.

    What were they called? Suicide Bombers.

    During World War, Japan had Kadmacazee Pilots, that would intentionally crash planes, to kill others, while also killing themselves.

    What were they called? Suicide Pilots.

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