The story of Samson is one of the earliest and most famous stories in all of the Holy Bible. And like many biblical heroes, he’s also got some pretty epic ink.
Samson was a judge who lived during a time when Israel was ruled by foreign powers. The Philistines were a strong presence during his life, and they oppressed the Israelites. They forced Samson into slavery, and he could see his people’s suffering.
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One day, Samson meets a Philistine woman who steals his heart. He falls for her, but sadly she’s already been given to his best friend. To get revenge, he ends up killing thirty men from Ashkelon to pay his friend back for stealing the woman.
The Philistines were furious at this act, and they end up gouging out his eyes.
Samson eventually finds the strength to push down the pillars of a temple killing himself and 3, 000 philistines. And like every good story, it ends with an epic showdown between good and evil….
The symbolism behind tattoos featuring Samson is obvious. There’s a lot of bold imagery from the book of Judges, and his story is full of strength, power and bravery.
The symbol that most people recognize as being associated with Samson is a strong triangle which represents the pillars he pushed down to kill himself and 3, 000 Philistines.
Other symbols include the sun, which represents Samson’s strength. With it, he was able to slay a lion with his bare hands and outrun horses. One story tells of him being so bright that he blinded people when he stood in front of them. Yet another says that God gave him his strength at high noon so that others would be forced to fight him in the shade.
Samson’s hair, which he retained even after being captured by Delilah, is another symbol that people have tattooed on them. Unlike most tattoos where it is colorless, I’ve found a few radical examples of colorized locks flowing down someone’s back. The idea behind having his strength bound up in his hair is one theory as to why God would allow him to lose it. For this reason, it has become associated with empowerment and sometimes victory.