There seems to be some alleged parallels in the following stories of Samson and David.The two figures seem to go through similar situations.All texts from the NIV.


Comes to prominence under Philistine oppression (Judges 13:1)

Kills a lion(Judges 14:5-6)

Kills Phillistines to pay price for a riddle during his marriage feast(Judges 14:10-20)

His wife is given to a friend during his absence(Judges 15:2)

Returns to claim back his wife(Judges 15:1)

He becomes a judge of Israel(Judges 15:20)


Comes to prominence during a battle with the Phillistines(1 Samuel 17:1)

Kills a lion(1 Samuel 17:34-35)

Kills Phillistines to pay bride price(1 Samuel 18:27)

His wife is given to Paltiel when he is on the run from Saul(2 Samuel 3:14-15)

Claims back his wife when he ascends the throne(2 Samuel 3:14)

He becomes king of Israel(2 Samuel 5"1-5)

Is there more to this alleged parallelism between the two figures?

  • @NigelJ Is there a more underlying spiritual meaning to the parallels Nov 18, 2020 at 11:14
  • Are you asking us whether the biblical narrative employs well-worn literary conventions, such as motifs, tropes, or cliches ?
    – Lucian
    Nov 19, 2020 at 2:53
  • @Lucian I think OP is asking if such conventions mean anything here (considering the subtle message being passed) Nov 20, 2020 at 12:23

1 Answer 1


These are common motifs for the messiah. King David was the most famous and well known type of Messiah, but all those who led Israel or redeemed Israel (e.g. delivered her from enemies) were also types of Messiah, including the judges.

Here are some of the common motifs:

  • The Bride is Israel (jewish interpretation) and in Christian hermeneutics Israel itself is an earthly type for the Church, or all who God has redeemed for himself from the entire world, throughout all time. So it would include Abel, Nathan, Job, the Ethiopian eunuch, as well as Moses and Abraham. The Bride is set apart for the groom.

  • The Harlot Bride. The bride tends to be unfaithful -- see most of the prophets -- and acts the harlot by worshipping other Gods or sleeping with other men. Note that from an ancient semitic point of view, if someone kidnaps the bride and sleeps with her, that is the same as her being unfaithful in terms of her status.

  • Bride Price. Before the bride can be married a bride price must be paid. To pay a bride price, or redeem the bride, means to bring the bride out of the world and into the promise -- see the story of Exodus -- which is both a conquest over the world (Pharoah, phillistines) but also requires the death of the passover lamb.

  • The wedding feast refers to the consummation of the cosmic narrative, when the bride and the groom are made one. This is the eigth day of the Feast of Tabernacles, or any wedding of someone who is a type for the messiah. Weddings in general are a type for this consummation.

  • Kingship. There are many metaphors for the Messiah's kingship. Obviously sitting on the throne of Israel is the clearest one. But killing a lion (the king of beasts) is another such kingship metaphor, or even winning battles can be such a metaphor.

  • The Promised Land and the Foreign Land. There are only two types of land, the promised land ("the promise") and the foreign land (the world). Heroes/messiah reign in the land of the promise but they suffer in the foreign land. The Bride is with the messiah in the promise but is a harlot in the foreign land. To leave the foreign land and enter the promise requires redemption by the messiah. The bride can be expelled from the promised land due to unfaithfullness or leave because she thinks the world will be better. Examples of the messiah type going to a foreign land would be David among the phillistines, Jacob serving Laban, Samson in captivity in the phillistine land. Examples of the bride going to a foreign land would be Israel in Egypt, Israel in Babylon, Naomi leaving Bethlehem for Moab. Sarah being taken by Abimelech when Abraham went to Egypt.

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