In Judges 16:30 Samson commits suicide.

Samson cried, “Let me die with the Philistines!

See Metzudat David there

Seemingly his supernatural strength had returned, perhaps only temporarily. But, rather than use this strength to escape and live to fight another day he chose to commit suicide. I am unaware of any source which says that Samson committed a sin (and have seen it said that he in fact performed a kiddush Hashem). I would like to know if Samson was in fact permitted to commit suicide and if so why?

  • How do you know he committed suicide? Maybe he was hoping to escape. It was a risky war maneuver that didn't fully succeed. cf en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roi_Klein
    – Double AA
    Commented May 1, 2019 at 12:14
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    It's not 100% clear that this is called suicide. In reading the text, it appears that his main focus was to kill the Philistines knowing that he would be killed along with them. It's likely that he assumed that they were going to kill him, anyway and that he knew that God wasn't going to restore his strength or vision. He didn't want to die without his persecutors dying as well. (@AlBerko's #3 comment is also highly likely.)
    – DanF
    Commented May 1, 2019 at 13:17
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    I don't know if any of the commentators/downvoter read the verse I referenced but I quote it now partially. It seems pretty evident from the plain meaning of the text as well as the standard commentaries that he intended to commit suicide. Opinions to the contrary should source their contention Commented May 1, 2019 at 13:59
  • 1
    @DoubleAA that's not an argument, merely contradiction Commented May 1, 2019 at 14:42
  • 1
    @DoubleAA ^^ montypython.net/scripts/argument.php Commented Jun 2, 2019 at 2:35

1 Answer 1


Simplest answer: Before Samson attempts this suicide mission he prays (Jud. 16:28) that God grant him strength one last time so that he may take revenge, [God then grants his request] whereupon, with superhuman strength, Samson successfully demolished the place; ergo, God approved (or, “in fact permitted”) the suicide mission. As to the “why?”, scripture doesn’t express God’s reason, at least not explicitly (see parenthesis below).

(WADR, I’m sure a rather simple google search would yield many results; this is a classic, old question discussed by many.)

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