The primary problem that Mobley's book deals with is the odd character of Judges 13-16 and of its hero. Samson's special quality, noted by virtually all interpreters, is defined here as liminality. The liminal situation, which includes a movement away from society, the lack of social restraints, and the status of outsider, is a permanent condition for Samson. The secondary purpose of this book is to demonstrate the ways in which the Samson saga, which is often compared to the Greek Heracles tradition, makes use of ideas about wild men and warriors found in other biblical and Mesopotamian stories.
Gregory Mobley is Associate Professor of Old Testament at Andover Newton Theological School in Newton Centre, MA, USA and is the author of The Empty Men: The Heroic Tradition in Ancient Israel.