Does this coin found near Jerusalem prove that Samson lived…and that he did fight the lion?

by Leon Watson

PUBLISHED: 06:58 EST, 31 July 2012 | UPDATED: 07:40 EST, 31 July 2012

Clue: Scholars say the scene shown on the artifact recalls the story in Judges of Samson fighting a lion

Clue: Scholars say the scene shown on the artifact recalls the story in Judges of Samson fighting a lion

A tiny seal has been uncovered that could be the first archaeological evidence of Samson, the Biblical slayer of Philistines.

Archaeologists discovered the ancient artifact while excavating the tell of Beit Shemesh in the Judaean Hills near Jerusalem, Israel.

It appears to depict the Old Testament story of Samson, whose might was undone by his lust for the temptress Delilah, and his fight with a lion.

The seal, which measures less than an inch in diameter, shows a large animal with a feline tail attacking a human figure.

The seal was discovered at a level of excavation that dates it to roughly the 11th century BC, when Israelite tribes had moved into the area after Joshua’s conquest of Canaan.

It was a time when the Jews were led by ad hoc leaders known as judges, one of whom was Samson.

The location of the find was close to the River Sorek that marked the boundary between the Israelites and their Philistine foes, The Daily Telegraph reported.

The location also indicates that the figure on the seal could represent Samson, according to Israeli archaeologists Professor Shlomo Bunimovitz and Dr Zvi Lederman.

Beit Shemesh is regularly mentioned in the Old Testament, most notably in chapter 6 of the book of Samuel I – the king of Israel immediately after Samson – as being the first city encountered by the ark of the covenant on its way back from Philistia after having been captured by the Philistines in battle.

Find: The ruins of the ancient biblical city in the tell of Beit Shemesh, located near the modern cityFind: The ruins of the ancient biblical city in the tell of Beit Shemesh, located near the modern city
Samson and the lion
The Israelite hero Samson, having been betrayed by Delilah and taken prisoner and blinded by the Philistines, regains his strength and brings the Temple of Dagon

Bible stories: Samson discovered his strength by fighting a lion (left). Having been betrayed by Delilah and taken prisoner and blinded by the Philistines, he regains his strength and brings the Temple of Dagon (right)

Alternatively, it suggests that tales of a hero strong enough to fight a lion circulated at the time of the judges, one that then morphed into the story of Samson.

One of the most compelling characters in the Old Testament, Samson was said to have been given supernatural strength by God to allow him to overcome his enemies

He discovered his strength when he was accosted by a lion on his way to propose to a Philistine woman, killing it with his bare hands.


Handel wrote his oratorio Samson in 1743.

Camille Saint-Saëns wrote an opera, Samson et Dalila between 1868 and 1877.

John Milton wrote the play Samson Agonistes, which contains the famous line ‘Eyeless in Gaze, at the mill with slaves’, in reference to his time in captivity.

British rock band Procol Harum wrote a song called As Strong as Samson.

Bob Marley’s song Rastaman Live Up contains the line ‘Samson slew the Philistines with a donkey jawbone’.

At the wedding, Samson infuriates the Philistines by telling them a riddle. They threaten his new wife for the answer, which she gives them. At this Samson flew into a rage and killed 30 Philistines.

He then goes on the run, and after being chased to a cave in the rock of Etam he kills 1,000 more of the Philistines who had come to capture him, using the jawbone of an ass.

He then falls in love with a woman, Delilah, at the Brook of Sorek.

The Philistines approach Delilah and induce her (with 1100 silver coins each) to try to find the secret of Samson’s strength.

Samson, not wanting to reveal the secret, teases her, telling her that he will lose his strength should he be bound with fresh bowstrings.

She does so while he sleeps, but when he wakes up he snaps the strings. She persists, and he tells her he can be bound with new ropes.

She ties him up with new ropes while he sleeps, and he snaps them, too.

She asks again, and he says he can be bound if his locks are woven together.She weaves them together, but he undoes them when he wakes.

Eventually Samson tells Delilah that he will lose his strength with the loss of his hair.

Delilah calls for a servant to shave Samson’s locks and he is captured by the Philistines,who blind him, taken to Gaza, imprisoned, and put to work grinding grain.

He won redemption only in death when he regained his strength one final time to bring the Temple of Dagon down on his tormentors.

The ancient city of Beit Shemesh is regularly mentioned in the Bible. Its ruins lie near the modern city of the same nameThe ancient city of Beit Shemesh is regularly mentioned in the Bible. Its ruins lie near the modern city of the same name
Discovery: The coin was found by Professor Shlomo Bunimovitz (right) and Dr Zvi Lederman (left)Discovery: The coin was found by Professor Shlomo Bunimovitz (right) and Dr Zvi Lederman (left)

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Categories: Bible Prophecy, Breaking News, Christian History, Creation, Evangelizing the Lost, Evolution, Old Testament Truths

16 replies

  1. Very Interesting! Lord bless.

    • You’re so sweet, and I do it all of the time too so don’t feel bad…I have this one. My awards are further down on the right, so it’s hard to notice them. You’ve touched me heart, though, for thinking of me. God bless you.

      • I saw it, but I had to give it to you again because you have inspired me in so many ways! It is my second one, too, but I was so honored by Rev. Bright! Sorry, wish I could have given a different one, but still haven’t figured that one out either! LOL! Blessings dear friend!

        • Julianna..the other week, Christian Blessings website asked me if I would be interested in committing to writing posts once in a while on their they share their site this way with people they select. You know the I AM article of mine you just read? Here is another part to it, an excerpt from the same clip you read in the I AM article. I thought it would bless you! It always makes me cry whenever I read this one.

          • I tried to reply, Lyn and it erased it! I would love to read it! I am so excited for you to be asked to be a guest writer for the website! They picked a good one!! I will read it right now…can’t wait to see more!

          • Wodpress acts up from time to might want to try again. Frustrating when wordpress doesn’t comply! LOL You can reply their to the article…I will get the notification still. God bless you!

          • I read it…I can just now answer you because I was so moved by it! I shared it on my FB, I hope you don’t mind. Everyone needs to know about your books! They are so touching! I am ready for my copy…please, let me know when they are available! I have to read the rest of them….Blessings to you in abundance, Lyn!

          • No..thank you for sharing! Also, the first book isn’t even out yet..thta was from the second book…I will be posting something that goes with those posts here in the next day or two with Jesus as the end of the tribulation a warrior! I can’t hardly leave Him just hanging there on the cross! Remember to pray that book one gets out there quickly! Thanks and God bless!

          • I can’t wait to read it! I agree with you in Jesus name it is coming out quickly and will be A BEST SELLER! Of this, I have NO doubt!!

          • As for me, I doubt; but since He wrote them all, I have none! Praise God!

          • Amen, I completely understand that! More than you know. 🙂

        • Also, thank you for the ever so kind words! That is awesome! I feel honored! But, you also inspire me, Julianna. Your posts are encouraging, powerful, fearless, and bold!

          • Thank you, Lyn! I am amazed at the anointed friendships and inspiring people God has put in my life by blogging! You rank at the top of the list for me, my sweet friend!!

          • Gee, thank you! You rank too in mine! I’m happy to have met everyone I’ve had the opportunity of meeting here. Everyone is so special in each their own way! God bless you, are a special and dear friend!

  2. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to go to Israel and walk where Jesus walked! 🙂

"If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land." 2 Chronicles 7:14 God's call to the world! Are you ready?

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