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The Second Counter-Example: Samson at Lehi

The second counter-example I present is the Battle of Lehi.  In Judges 13:25, it is stated that "the Spirit of YHWH moved him [G: Samson] at times in the camp of Dan".  In Judges 14:5-6, the Spirit of YHWH was said to have come mightily on Samson, enabling him to rip apart a lion with his bare hands as easily as one would tear a new-born lamb.  In Judges 14:19, The Spirit of YHWH comes upon him (but not mightily) to enable him to kill 30 Philistines so that he could take their spoil to pay off a debt incurred from losing at the riddle game.  In Judges 15:13-17 is the record of the Battle of Lehi, when the Spirit of YHWH moved so mightily upon Samson that he slew 1000 Philistines with the jaw of an ass.

Though it is said before the Judges 15 passage that the Spirit of YHWH moved on him, no such phrase is used of his feats of strength after he starts going to harlots in Philistia.  It can also be argued that the times that that happened before Judges 15 cannot be interpreted as the Spirit leading Samson to a non-religious truth, since supernatural strength is of a different category than wisdom (though it may be argued that the Spirit came upon Samson only to suggest killing Philistines to pay off his debt, since that coming was not described as coming on him "mightily"). Would it not be logical to argue that the battle of Lehi is of the same category?

Not entirely.  To fixate on the strength Samson showed during that battle is to ignore the rather obvious fact that no Philistine army, after losing the 100th man to a jaw wielding pyromaniac, would lose the next 900 by continuing to send them in by fours or fives.  Prudence and basic military strategy would dictate the officers sending them in by forties or sixties, with the rest surrounding the man and tossing spears and shooting arrows at him ahead of the charge of the front linesmen.  The man was not invunerable for he has to use the jawbone of an ass against personal armor because his fingernails could not have lasted tearing through leather armor, nor would his hands remained intact if many of his opponents were wearing mail or scale armor.

Those who have seen the film "The Phantom Menace" may have caught a line uttered by Qui-Gon Jinn to Anakin Skywalker's mother that her son's podracing skills were due to the Force enabling him to see a short time span into the future.  It is this "cueing from the future" that gives the Jedi their uncanny "reflexes".  Although there is really no "Force", the Holy Spirit would be more than able to perform this function for Samson, providing actionable battlefield intelligence in pre-realtime, not only on what the enemy was doing at that moment, but what the enemy was going to do and how to counteract it.  All this information, of course, had to be true since any falsehood would have been fatal during a battle of such high intensity.  It also is the sort of information that is not religious truth in nature.

An aside: it is likely that the Spirit of the LORD ceased to come upon Samson, not after he starts going to harlots, but after his boast in Judges 15:16 that "with the jaw of an ass have *I* slain a thousand men."  I cannot help but believe that this incredible failure to give credit to the power of God's Spirit was the cause of the Spirit not coming mightily upon him after that.  For sure, the man was strong, but not as strong or skilled as he could have been in cooperation with the Holy Spirit.  Let the wise and the boastful take warning.

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