synagogue mosaics of samson

The Face of an Israelite Judge

Another Samson mosaic revealed at Huqoq

Strong as an ox, Samson effortlessly carries the gate of Gaza on his shoulders in this newly discovered mosaic decorating the floor of the fifth-century A.D. synagogue at Huqoq. Photo by Jim Haberman.
During excavations this summer, yet another mosaic depicting Samson was uncovered at the fifth-century synagogue of Huqoq in Lower Galilee. Last year, as reported in the pages of Biblical Archaeology Review,*the Huqoq Excavation Project—led by Jodi Magness of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Shua Kisilevitz of the Israel Antiquities Authority—unearthed a mosaic depicting an episode from Judges 15 in which Samson ties 150 pairs of foxes to torches by their tails to destroy the fields of the Philistines. The mosaic found this season is a scene of Samson—gigantic in stature—carrying the city gate of Gaza on his shoulders (Judges 16:3).
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