Samson and the Two Pillars


In the final day of Samson’s life he was brought to the house of Dagon (Judges 16:29, 23) so that the people could make sport of the one time hero of God. The Philistines believed that Dagon had delivered Samson into their hands for he was their enemy. Thus they wanted to get together to praise their god for their belief in him as their deliverer. The people agreed with their leaders and they said the same thing – “Our god has delivered into our hand our enemy, the destroyer of our land and the one who multiplied our dead” Judges 16:23-24.


To celebrate this special event all of the leading people of the land came to the temple to participate in celebrating Dagon and then when finished with this they wanted to see Samson and make sport of him. They forgot that Samson was Judge of Israel and thus he was the representative of Jehovah the God who had destroyed the land of Egypt. As is always the case when anyone assaults a representative of God they are assaulting the God who sent that representative. The Philistines had had multiple experiences of the supernatural power of God being displayed through the exploits of Samson. Yet they chose to forget this information and to attribute the power of God to Dagon. Thus they moved the focus of the conflict from Samson versus the Philistine to that of Dagon versus Jehovah. Ellen White describes this event in the following quotation from Signs of the Times October 13, 1881:

“As the Philistines exulted over their great victory, they ascribed the honor to their gods, praising them as superior to the God of Israel. The contest, instead of being between Samson and the Philistines, was now between Jehovah and Dagon, and thus the Lord was moved to assert his almighty power and his supreme authority. A favorable opportunity for this was soon presented. The Philistines held a feast in honor of their God Dagon. A vast company was assembled, and in the height of their sacrilegious festivities, they ordered the captive to be produced, that the people might have a new source of amusement. The multitude greeted his appearance with shouts of triumph, and praised their god who had thus subdued the “destroyer of their country.” Samson had been made the sport of the people before; But now even the rulers of the nation mocked at his misery.”


This is an issue that people in the world constantly forget. The follower of Christ is not to speak on their own authority but to speak in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. They are to speak for the King of the universe and all who hear and recognize this name are to submit to the truths that the King has given. To reject these thought of the Christian is to reject the King who sent that messenger. This rejection is a call to war and will eventually end up in the destruction of all who reject the King of life.


Going back to the story of Samson, we know that the people arrived at the temple and they worshipped their Gods, and especially the fish god Dagon. After they finished with their worship they wanted to see Samson and they brought him into the temple and they set him between the pillars. The focus of this study is what were the pillars in the literal temple and what were the pillars in the spiritual temple representative of the contest between Jehovah and Dagon.


In the literal temple the building was apparently built with two central pillars holding up the literal structure of the temple. If these two pillars shifted then the structure would fall. But since there was nothing that people knew of that would shift these pillars then there was no fear for time had indicated that nothing could shake these pillars or the temple itself.


In the providences of God He had sent Israel to take over the land of Canaan and the Philistines had had the opportunity to hear the glories of God and they already knew of the exploits of Jehovah in the destruction of Egypt (I Samuel 6:6). They had the opportunity to experience the power of God through His judge Samson and yet they chose to ignore this data and to hold on to Dagon by faith. We know that even though they had faith in their god their god was not able to protect their temple from the power of Jehovah. The experience of the Philistines is the story of unrighteousness by faith. When God chose to empower Samson one more time he was enabled, by the power of God, to pull the two central pillars down and killed everyone in the temple, more than the 3000 people who were on the roof alone.


Regarding the spiritual temple, we must go to Revelation 17 to describe the temple/city/church of the author of Dagon – Satan. In this temple all of the kings of the world come together to worship the woman and the beast who were empowered by the dragon. This is the worship of Dagon taken to a worldwide level rather than a regional, Philistine, level. When the worship Babylon rises to its highest point the people of the world will call for the people of God, the priesthood nation (I Peter 2:1-9) of the end, to mock them and to make sport of them, thus again insulting the agents/judges/priests of God and thus insulting God Himself. They will want to make sport of them as they did to Samson and to Jesus Himself when He came to earth as a man. In both of these cases God was glorified by the constancy and surrender to Him that both Samson and Jesus made by faith. Samson pulled down the two pillars supporting the temple of Dagon, and Jesus “…has made of none effect the power of Satan. He laid hold of the pillars of Satan’s kingdom, and passed through the conflict, destroying him that had the power of death.” 5 SDA Bible Commentaries page 1107.


In the end of time God will empower His people to spiritually pull down the two central pillars of the kingdom of Babylon. These two pillars are the two great theological errors of Babylon – the immortality of the soul and Sunday sacredness (The Great Controversy page 588). God’s people will lay hold of these two errors and show by the Word of God how these two concepts are not in harmony with the Word of God and thus they will reveal the truth of God – that the dead know not anything and that they need to the power of God to resurrect the soul before it can function in the spiritual kingdom, and that God requires us to observe His holy Sabbath day not the imitation Sunday. When these two points become the central focus of the worlds theology the world will find out that God is still in charge and that He will pull down the temple of Satan just as Samson did to the temple of Dagon. In order for God to do this He must have His people be totally surrendered to Him and as submissive to God as Samson was after he had lost his sight and freedom.


It is sad that for most of us we have had to walk the path of Samson and make many mistakes but praise God He did not give up on Samson and He promises to not give up on us. When we recognize our weakness apart from Christ then we will have a deeper experience with Jesus and He will be able to display His power through us as He did with Samson. This surrender, by God’s people, is the final display of His character on earth and all who will can choose the Living God who only can deliver His people rather than the god of this earth who has no desire to set God’s people free. This display of surrender will bring all the world to the test and those who will choose to see the character of God lived out in God’s people will be granted eternal life and all who choose not to see the character of God will die as the people died in Dagon’s temple. This display through Samson, through Jesus, and finally through His people is the everlasting gospel.