Old Testament bible Personalities: Samson

Samson the ESTP


energetic, flexible and adaptable, have a “zest for life,” and enjoy the present moment, seen as fun and living life to the fullest


assertive, flexible, observant, resourceful, spontaneous


traditional schooling, spontaneous, forgetful, difficulty with structure and set deadlines

Disclaimer: Using the MBTI to speculate personality type of Bible characters is only a jumping off point for further discussion and learning from them. Bible characters cannot take the MBTI themselves, therefore what I provide here is merely conjecture. 

I attempt to be diligent and responsible with my research, as well as original in presenting the information, however with the massive online information on the MBTI and personality assessments, there is likely to be some overlap in information presented. If I use any other resource besides those listed below, it will be quoted directly, and cited separately from this.  *truity.com
MBTI Manual published by CPP 
*Briggs Myers, Isabel (2015, 7th ed). Introduction to Myers-Briggs Type: A Guide to Understanding Your Results on the MBTI Assessment. USA: CPP, Inc & The Myers Briggs Co.

THE ESTPs in our lives:

The ESTPs in our lives are the fun ones, they are the life of the party, they are the people in our lives who really keep the adventure going. They are the practical jokesters, the bungee jumpers, the class clowns.

Because of their truly fun nature and their desire to keep things playful and not so serious, they can be most in danger of neglecting structure and self discipline and forgetting to consider the consequences of their actions. Let’s look at how this worked out for Samson.

Samson-the ESTP in the Bible

  • Judges 13-16; Hebrews 11:32
  • Most well known for his super human strength
  • Nazarite vow from birth (if he cut his hair, his strength would leave him)
  • Father was Manoah, mother was unnamed
  • Mother was barren before Samson was conceived
  • killed a lion with his bare hands (Judges 14:6)
  • Saved Israel from the Philistines for 20 years
  • Some people say he was the 12th out of 12 judges, others consider Samuel the 13th judge
  • Broke his vow when he gold Delilah the secret to his strength
  • Was captured, his eyes gouged out, and imprisoned by the Philistines
  • In his death, he saved the Israelites from the Philistines
  • Tied 300 foxes together by tails, set them on fire, and sent them running in to the Philistines fields causing mass destruction
  • Caused parents to eat honey that touched an unclean animal
  • Demanded his parents get him a Philistine wife

Samson-the ESTP-characteristics

  • flare for the dramatic
  • adventurous
  • liked playing jokes and using riddles
  • played dangerous games
  • manipulative
  • gregarious
  • likes a physical challenge
  • risk taker
  • impulsive
  • trouble maker
  • difficulty accepting structure
  • gets caught up in the moment
  • enjoys life
  • difficulty seeing the influence he has on others
  • unaware of the impact of his decisions on other people
  • unconcerned with safety
  • impatient
  • drawn to the forbidden
  • rule breaker
  • gambler

Samson-the ESTP-Summary

The judges of Israel is a marked time in history that ranged for 450 years prior to the establishment of the first king, Saul (Acts 13:20). Judges were considered defenders and protectors of the nation of Israel. Samson was one such judge.

Samson’s infamy

He should be most well-known for his heroic last act as judge, in which he prayed to God to save the people from the Philistines one last time (Judges 16:30). Samson prayed a humble prayer; it was an answered prayer (Judges 16:30).

Also, Hebrews 11:32 lists him among the faithful cloud of witnesses.

Unfortunately, what he is most well known for is for telling Delilah the secret of his strength. He engaged in danger, deceit, and destruction for fun.

The Unhealthy ESTP-Samson

Samson was a thrill seeker and the ordinary was boring to him; it didn’t matter to him who got caught in the wake of his destruction. This is what happens for the unhealthy ESTP. The unhealthy ESTP does not consider consequences and forgets to think about the impacts of their desire for next big thrill.

We can see this in his character from other events that took place:

  • feeding his parents the honey that touched the lion’s carcass (this goes against the religious laws that they followed, Judges 14:9)
  • tying the foxes tails together and setting them loose in the Philistine fields (Judges 15:4)
  • using the riddle against the Philistines (Judges 14:14)

Did Delilah wear Samson down until he gave in or is it something else?

While Delilah thought she was being clever, no, she was not “wearing Samson down” using her “feminine wiles,” as much as he was playing games with her. He knew what she was doing.

One, it had been done to him before (Judges 14:15).

Two, he was a trickster himself, and probably good at reading other people and situations. In fact, truity.com says: “[ESTPs] assess situations quickly and move adeptly to respond to immediate problems with practical solutions.1

Three, maybe he thought he would not lose his strength. He thought this was just another game. This time, though, he was the one who got hurt.

More about Samson-the ESTP:

  • sought adventure and was an ultimate thrill seeker.
  • possibly suffered from ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder)
  • made many bad choices
  • was a trickster.
  • played cruel jokes on others.
  • was self-centred
  • struggled to empathize with others.
  • often wreaked havoc and left a path of destruction wherever he went.

The Faithful End for Samson:

  • Despite all of this, his life ended as a hero and a saviour for his people (Hebrews 11:32; Judges 16:30)
  • He died saving his people

Growth Tips for the ESTP:

Growth tips for Bible Personalities- The ESTP– Samson was an ESTP. Samson, the 12th judge before the first king (Saul) was crowned, saved the Israelites from the Philistines. Samson would have lived a much more fulfilling and healthy life if he would have had more discipline, both as a child, and as an adult. He needed to “stop and think” before acting on his impulses. We can learn a great deal from Samson-the ESTP

Samson’s lack of discipline

I wonder if his parents had a hard time with disciplining Samson properly. We only have a few chapters in the Bible on him, but even in those few chapters, we see how much havoc he wreaked.

Understanding that parents cannot be responsible for adult children, I still struggle not to hold his parents at least partially accountable. He demands for them to get him a wife of the Philistines. And, he gets what he wants. If he treated his parents this way once, he probably made a habit of it all along. So going back all the way to the first time he did it, maybe he was 3 or 4 years old. How did the parents handle it then? What sort of discipline did they incorporate? Were they permissive parents?

Here’s what the APA (American Psychological Association) says about permissive parenting:

Children raised with this parenting style tend to be impulsive, rebellious, aimless, domineering, aggressive and low in self-reliance, self-control and achievement.

apa.org (June 2017). retrieved on 6/10/2021 from https://www.apa.org/act/resources/fact-sheets/parenting-styles

Samson not only demonstrates what an adult without proper discipline growing up can look like, he also demonstrates what an adult without any self discipline looks like. Ultimately, we cannot (and should not) fall prey to shifting blame on to any one else for our poor choices and our bad behaviors. However, it appears Samson continued to do in adulthood what he was likely allowed to do in childhood.

The good news is we do see Samson’s character development in the end. Eventually, Samson became a hero, he made it in to faith’s hall of fame, and in all likelihood he regretted his poor decisions.

His lack of discipline cost him so much. Samson was a slave to his desires, he was impulsive, he constantly sought the next big thrill despite who it hurt, even himself. His hard and fast lifestyle, with no discipline, got him caught by the Philistines, who gouged out his eyes and made him nothing more than a work horse and slave.

Stop and Think

Because the ESTP personality type is usually the energetic thrill seeker, constantly looking for adventure, without proper self-discipline, they can turn to unhealthy practices that disregard the personal consequences to their actions. And, like in Samson’s case, the ESTP needs to take care to stop and think about how their actions impact others as well.

He was impulsive and undisciplined in so many ways throughout his life. I wonder how different things would have turned out if he would have taken time to stop and think. He thought he was strong enough to withstand the Philistines no matter what, but he was wrong.

Let’s not fall in to this trap that Samson fell in to, and if we do, we need to get honest with ourselves, like Samson did, before it’s too late.

  1. retrieved from https://www.truity.com/personality-type/ESTP on 6/11/2021 ↩︎

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