Unit Five Reading Assignment

Unit Five Reading Assignment - Lauren Pearce 260262240 RELG...

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Lauren Pearce 260262240 RELG 203: Bible and Western Culture Unit Five Reading Assignment 1.) Several scenes in Judges 13 are similar to scenes which you have already encountered in the Pentateuch. Identify one such scene in Judges 13. What story or stories from the Pentateuch does it evoke? In what ways is it similar or different than its antecedent(s)? One story from the Pentateuch that is recollected while reading Judges 13 is specifically accounted in Genesis 17. This passage conveys the story of Abraham and Sarah, and their covenant of circumcision with God. These scenes are similar because they both feature the problem of a barren wife, and in both cases the solution is found through an appearance or representation of God. As well, both solutions come with conditions, as the sons and male servants of Abraham and Sarah must be circumcised and Manoah’s barren wife must not consume alcohol or “unclean” meats. Another similarity is that in both cases the first sons born to them are promised to be great holy men who will accomplish great things. However these stories do differ, as in Genesis 17 the covenant established is everlasting, guaranteeing the power and sustainability of future generations as far as forever. On the other hand, the scene in Judges 13 conveys more of a prophecy than a covenant, and it is valid only for one son, rather than infinite generations. 2.) How would you describe the character of Samson? What are his strengths and weaknesses? Is the biblical portrayal of Samson positive, negative, or neutral? Briefly explain your answer. Samson is characterized as a strong, Herculean figure that engages in violent slaughters that while are apparently justified by God, are brutal to the reader. Despite his constant brutality, Samson is conveyed typically in a neutral way, as his slaughter was intended to deliver the Israelites from the Philistines. As the biblical texts are written so that the reader sympathizes with the Israelites, Samson’s neutrality despite cruelty is achieved. One of his personal strengths is intellect, as he concocts the riddle that cannot be fairly solved by thirty men, but his defining characteristic is his immense physical strength. His ultimate weakness, a common theme in the biblical texts, is Delilah, and his love for her. He mistakenly trusts her, a error which leads to his blinding, imprisonment, and ultimate demise. 3.) Describe the portrayal of women in the Samson story. How are they characterized? How does this characterization compare with that of other women in the Bible (you may choose a specific example to narrow your answer)? The two women described in the Samson story are his Philistine wife and Delilah. Both
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This note was uploaded on 04/18/2008 for the course RELG 203 taught by Professor Kaiser during the Fall '08 term at McGill.

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Unit Five Reading Assignment - Lauren Pearce 260262240 RELG...

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