Our first reading tells us the tale of Sampson the first of the Judges who were twelve champions of the Israelites. These were men and women who rescued the Israelites from various foes from between the death of Joshua in 1200 b.c. and the rise to power of King Saul in 1065 b.c.
In those hundred and thirty years, the twelve tribal lands of the Israelites, like America's original thirteen colonies, led independent existences. It was only when they were attacked by a common foe that a hero from one of the twelve tribes rose up to defend them all.
Their common foe was usually a people from the east that raided the harvests from several Israelite tribal lands, or the Philistines from the sea who were stealing land from the Israelites.
Today's reading gives us the story of Samson, the first of the Judges, a man who will lead the Israelites against the Philistines.
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