Bible Myths and their Parallels in other Religions Being a Comparison of the Old and New Testament Myths and Miracles with those of the Heathen Nations of Antiquity Considering also their Origin and Meaning
Fig. No. 3 is a representation of Hercules with the two posts or pillars on his shoulders, as alluded to by Count de Volney. We have taken it from Montfaucon's "L'Antiquité Expliquée."[70:6]
J. P. Lundy says of this:
"Hercules carrying his two columns to erect at the Straits of Gibraltar, may have some reference to the Hebrew story."[71:1]
We think there is no doubt of it. By changing the name Hercules into Samson, the legend is complete.
Sir William Drummond tells us, in his "Œdipus Judaicus," that:
"Gaza signifies a Goat, and was the type of the Sun in Capricorn. The Gates of the Sun were feigned by the ancient Astronomers to be in Capricorn and Cancer (that is, in Gaza), from which signs the tropics are named. Samson carried away the gates from Gaza to Hebron, the city of conjunction. Now, Count Gebelin tells us that at Cadiz, where Hercules was anciently worshiped, there was a representation of him, with a gate on his shoulders."[71:2]
The stories of the amours of Samson with Delilah and other females, are simply counterparts of those of Hercules with Omphale and Iole. Montfaucon, speaking of this, says:
Prof. Steinthal says:
"The circumstance that Samson is so addicted to sexual pleasure, has its origin in the remembrance that the Solar god is the god of fruitfulness and procreation. We have as examples, the amours of Hercules and Omphale; Ninyas, in Assyria, with Semiramis; Samson, in Philistia, with Delila, whilst among the Phenicians, Melkart pursues Dido-Anna."[71:4]
Samson is said to have had long hair. "There hath not come a razor upon my head," says he, "for I have been a Nazarite unto God from my mother's womb."
Now, strange as it may appear, Hercules is said to have had long hair also, and he was often represented that way. In Montfaucon's "L'Antiquité Expliquée"[71:5] may be seen a representation of Hercules with hair reaching almost to his waist. Almost all Sun-gods are represented thus.[71:6]
Prof. Goldzhier says:
"Long locks of hair and a long beard are mythological attributes of the Sun. The Sun's rays are compared with locks of hair on the face or head of the Sun.
[Pg 72]"When the sun sets and leaves his place to the darkness, or when the powerful Summer Sun is succeeded by the weak rays of the Winter Sun, then Samson's long locks, in which alone his strength lies, are cut off through the treachery of his deceitful concubine, Delilah, the 'languishing, languid,' according to the meaning of the name (Delilah). The Beaming Apollo, moreover, is called the Unshaven; and Minos cannot conquer the solar hero Nisos, till the latter loses his golden hair."[72:1]
Through the influence of Delilah, Samson is at last made a prisoner. He tells her the secret of his strength, the seven locks of hair are shaven off, and his strength leaves him. The shearing of the locks of the Sun must be followed by darkness and ruin.
From the shoulders of Phoibos Lykêgênes flow the sacred locks, over which no razor might pass, and on the head of Nisos they become a palladium, invested with a mysterious power.[72:2] The long locks of hair which flow over his shoulders are taken from his head by Skylla, while he is asleep, and, like another Delilah, she thus delivers him and his people into the power of Minos.[72:3]
Prof. Steinthal says of Samson:
"His hair is a figure of increase and luxuriant fullness. In Winter, when nature appears to have lost all strength, the god of growing young life has lost his hair. In the Spring the hair grows again, and nature returns to life again. Of this original conception the Bible story still preserves a trace. Samson's hair, after being cut off, grows again, and his strength comes back with it."[72:4]