It’s a popular notion that the source of his strength is his hair, but that doesn’t seem right to me.

Most supernatural powers are blessings by God for some purpose. It is known that Samson was a Nazirite; does it not stand to reason that his strength is bestowed by God due to his consecrated status as a Nazirite?

His hair is cut, which would end his Naziriteship and his strength, or is that just a coincidence?

Is the power in the hair?

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    Isn't the climax of the Samson story his realization that his powers were entirely God's to grant whenever He pleased and not based on hair? Even blind and shaven in the Phillistine Temple, Samson could have his powers when he prayed. – Double AA Dec 30 '19 at 4:25
  • @DoubleAA yes well this synopsis from national geographic is an example where that point is missed - samson is framed often as a man who’s power is within him like Hercules or the xman cyclops laser powers being genetic and resting in his eyes - nationalgeographic.com/culture/people-in-the-bible/… – Nephilim Dec 30 '19 at 4:53

It is not that the power is in the hair itself, however, he was granted the power as long as he kept the vow of the nezirus. Letting his hair be cut, caused him to break the vow. It was breaking the vow that caused him to lose his power.

Shoftim 13:5

Because you shall conceive, and bear a son; and a razor shall not come upon his head, for a Nazirite to God shall the lad be from the womb; and he will begin to save Israel from the hand of the Philistines."

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    Is this your own interpretation? I don’t see anything about strength being dependent on nezirus in that verse. – Alex Dec 30 '19 at 4:47
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    It is also worth clarifying that people in general aren't given superhuman strength so long as they observe nazirite vows. Samson in particular was miraculously granted superhuman strength, and it was conditional upon maintaining his n'zirus, but neither the hair nor the vow were the mechanistic source of his strength. Rather, HaShem granted Shimshon miraculous strength, and He also willed that Shimshon's specific strength be subject to the condition of maintaining his n'zirus. – Fred Dec 30 '19 at 4:52

Ralbag explains that growing his hair physically contributed to his strength, but God also granted him additional strength on account of him being a nazirite. He proves this from the fact that when Samson cut his hair he lost his strength immediately – had the strength been solely from growing his hair it would have dissipated over time:

ועם שבזה הענין מבוא לענין הגבורה רצוני לומר גידול השער אלא שראוי שלא יעלם ממנו שהי"ת חידש בו גבורה נוספת מפני הנזירות אשר לא יחייבה גדול השער לפי הטבע וזה שכבר מצאנו שתכף שגולח סר כחו ממנו ולא היה זה כן אם היתה הגבורה מתחייבת מגידול השער כי הרושם שיש בגידול השער בגבורה הוא מצד עוצרו האדים העשנים בגוף שהיה מדרכם שיתהוה מהם השער וזה כי השער בהגיעו אל תכליתו לא יגדל ואז יעצרו האדים העשנים ההם תוך הגוף ותיגבר האדומה בגוף ויתחדש מזה רוח גבורה ומי שזה דרכו לא תסור הגבורה בגילוח השער כי אם אחר זמן רב ומעט מעט


The Bible reports when the Philistine woman Delilah sheared Samson’s hair, his source of strength, while Samson was asleep.

Actually, Samson’s strength was determined by his observance of the mandates placed by angels, this includes the prohibition of cutting hair.

However, Samson knew Delilah would cut his hair since she attempted to dilute his powers before. He must have known she would try again, namely cutting his hair, which he revealed as a method to subside his strength. Thus Samson had no quarrels revealing the “secret” of his strength, his hair. This was deception, a trick, and it worked. However, Samson failed to recognize that his powers came from G-d, which could be removed if he acted improperly.

Thus, Samson’s strength was not depleted due to baldness. For when Samson prayed his strength was restored. It follows that cutting the hair should not be taken literally.

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