Samson as God’s Adulterous Wife

by M. Alroy Mascrenghe (Author)
©2019 Monographs XVI, 142 Pages


Samson as God’s Adulterous Wife reveals striking parallels between the depiction of Samson in the Book of Judges and the prophetic literature’s metaphorical representations of Israel as an adulterous woman. This book endeavors to understand why Judges dwells on Samson’s sexual and romantic relationships while the personal lives of the other six judges are not afforded the same narrative attention. M. Alroy Mascrenghe compares adulterous Samson with idolatrous Israel and argues that Samson’s life is marked by the same cycles of adultery, bondage, crying out, and deliverance that structure the Book of Judges as a whole. Mascrenghe continues to pursue the theme of God’s adulterous wife through a comparison of the Levite-concubine story of Judges 19 to that of Hosea and Gomer.
Samson as God’s Adulterous Wife demonstrates the author’s own method for recognizing intertextual narrative allusions. Drawing from a wide variety of disciplines—including narratology, sociology, and theological hermeneutics—Samson as God’s Adulterous Wife offers a fresh perspective on the role of the Samson story within the broader intertextual thematic space of the Hebrew Bible.

Table Of Contents

  • Cover
  • Title Page
  • Copyright Page
  • Dedication Page
  • About the author
  • About the book
  • Citability of the eBook
  • Contents
  • Preface
  • Acknowledgements
  • Abbreviations
  • Introduction
  • 1 Theoretical Framework
  • 2 Narrative Commentary on Judges 14:1–16:31
  • 3 Samson as Adulterous Israel
  • 4 Destruction of the Dagon Temple as a Polemic Against The Philistine Cult
  • 5 The Levite and Concubine
  • Index


Any new book needs to say something new, or with a different twist or address a new generation of readers or do a combination of these things. I do not claim to have said everything original in this book. It is increasingly becoming difficult to say something that has not been said before or to see something that has not been seen before. Although some of my ideas can be found elsewhere, I hope I have made a contribution to the body of knowledge in this field, however small or insignificant it may be. While some of the conclusions are the same, the reasons and method of reasoning may be different. As C. S. Lewis claimed in The Great Divorce, I believe that even if I have less originality there is still proprietary. An unbiased reader may even stumble upon a few ideas that may not be found elsewhere.

While the amount of literature on a given subject is vast, the time and space to survey it is limited. So the reliability of a claim to an exhaustive search becomes increasingly suspicious. However, I have tried to interact with all important works on the related subjects.

My aim is to provide readable scholarship without compromising its value. I hope I have achieved that to some degree. Scholarship should not be measured by the clutter that surrounds it.

Finally, I have written with a strong and unshakeable conviction that the Bible truly is the word of God and worthy of careful study.


I am indebted to two Tims who helped immensely in this project and it so happens that both have British origins! One is Dr Tim Bulkeley of Australian College of Ministry who read most of the manuscript (especially at the dissertation stage and after the very extensive revision) and provided valuable comments. The other is, Sir Tim Berners Lee who invented the world wide web! Without the internet I would not have had access to the amount of resources that I had.

I had the privilege of briefly discussing the idea of this book with Dr Lawson Younger Jr. I also had the privilege to have Dr Huseel Bullock read portions of the manuscript and give wonderful comments. I also had the chance to discuss the idea briefly with Prof Jean-Daniel Macchi at the University of Geneva, Dr Peter Lau at the Malaysia Theological Seminary (STM) and Dr Gershon Hepner via emails. Dr Ela Lazarewicz-Wyrzykowska of Margaret Beaufort Institute of Theology, Cambridge gave very useful comments on portions of the manuscript. I also like to thank Dr Ivor Poobalan of CTS, Sri Lanka. I am also grateful to Dr Charles Wannamaker of University of Cape Town for reading the manuscript and giving useful comments. Needless to say, I am responsible for all that has been said or not said in the book.

Part of the work on this book was carried out at Tyndale house, Cambridge in the summer of 2019 and I was also able to utilize the resources of the library of the University of Cambridge.

I would like to thank the management and staff at Peter Lang for publishing this work. Special thanks to my gifted editor Meagan Simpson for her patience, helpful comments and encouragement. Her painstaking work is much appreciated. Her energetic emails pumped the energy into me to complete the manuscript on time. Liam McLean and Jackie Pavlovic helped in the production process.

Finally, I like to thank God who has provided me through his sovereign ways. I sincerely hope that what I write will result in greater appreciation of his word.

Soli Deo Gloria!


XVI, 142
ISBN (Hardcover)
Publication date
2020 (February)
New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Oxford, Wien, 2019. XVI, 142 pp., 1 b/w ill., 2 tables

Biographical notes

M. Alroy Mascrenghe (Author)

M. Alroy Mascrenghe lectures in a number of theological colleges in Asia. His work has been published in IEEE and Elsevier journals and has been presented at conferences in the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, Italy, India, and Sri Lanka. Mascrenghe has written a commentary on Ruth, contributed articles to an Encyclopedia to be published by Springer, and contributed an essay on Ecclesiastes to be published by the Society of Biblical Literature.


Title: Samson as God’s Adulterous Wife
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160 pages