Tom Meyer, a professor at Shasta Bible College and Graduate School in California, has revealed three ancient findings that he claims "help us measure the historical accuracy of the Biblical strongman Samson". According to the Old Testament, Samson was an Israeli warrior whose enormous strength was in his uncut hair.
One of the stories has it that Samson encountered a lion and tore it apart with his bare hands. This is exactly what scientists saw pictured on a small stone seal discovered in 2012. The 12th century BC seal depicted an unarmed strongman against a lion.
"The small seal, only 15 mm in diameter, was found at the city of Beth-shemesh, Israel, a hub city in the Biblical lowlands that was within eyesight of Samson’s home city of Zorah and a short walk from Timnath, the place where Samson slew the lion", Meyer told the newspaper.
According to another story, Samson lost his hair and became a prisoner of the Philistines, Israel’s enemies. During a festival to celebrate their victory, the Philistine rulers ordered Samson to entertain them. The celebration was taking place on a temple roof that was supported by cedar pillars. "Rocking furiously back and forth between the cedar pillars supporting the roof, Samson broke the pillars and the roof collapsed killing Samson and all the Philistines present", said Meyer.
The 1971-1974 archaeological excavations at Tel Qasile, north of Tel Aviv, unearthed a 12th century BC temple that might be the very temple where Samson died. However, Meyer, who is referred to as the Bible Memory Man for his extraordinary ability to recite over 20 Biblical books, clarified that it is still uncertain whether the temple at Tel Quasile is the one that Samson brought down, "but every Philistine temple excavated in Israel has a similar architectural plan".
The third discovery is a fifth century AD synagogue found in 2011 in the city of Huqoq. Its mosaic floor depicts two scenes from Samson’s life.
"The first is the account of Samson catching three hundred foxes, tying their tails together with a cord and then tying lit torches to the cords and setting the foxes loose to destroy the entire spring crop of the Philistines. The other mosaic depicts Samson carrying the gates of Gaza to a hill near the biblical city of Hebron”, explained Meyer.