Scala/Art Resource, NY

“The Philistines are upon you, Samson!” (Judges 16:20) Delilah screams to rouse her sleeping husband. But Samson, as painted by the 17th-century artist Matthias Stomer, fails to respond to the nighttime attack with his customary agility and strength: The Philistines easily seize the once-powerful Samson, gouge out his eyes and imprison him.

In Stomer’s painting, a stunned Samson dumbly reaches to his bald head, which Delilah had secretly shaved in his sleep in order to diminish his inhuman strength. Samson earlier told Delilah, “If my head were shaved, then my strength would leave me; I would become weak, and be like anyone else” (Judges 16:17). But Samson will regain his power in captivity—if only for a moment—and prove that he truly is unlike anyone else when he requests that God return his strength so that he can take revenge on the Philistines—an action that will entail his own death.