Samson’s mother is one of the four women described in the Bible as “barren.” The sages reveal that her name was “Tzalelphonit” (צַלְלְפוֹנִית). The value of her name is exactly the same as her son’s, “Samson” (שִׁמְשׁוֹן). Both stem from the supernal part of the sefirah of Crown, called the partzuf of the “Ancient of Days” (עַתִּיק יוֹמִין), which is why Samson has an aspect of a chaotic Mashiach about him and why his mother’s name could not be revealed until the time of the sages. This number, 696, is also the value of the Torah’s description of Abraham’s faith in God (Genesis 15:6), “He believed in Havayah, and He considered it an act of loving-kindness” (וְהֶאֱמִן בַּי-הוה וַיַּחְשְׁבֶהָ לוֹ צְדָקָה). 696 is also the value of the second commandment (Exodus 20:3), “You shall have no other gods instead of me” (לֹא יִהְיֶה לְךָ אֱ-לֹהִים אֲחֵרִים עַל פָּנָי), the corollary of Abraham’s faith in God. This highlights a deep level of connection between Samson and Isaac and between their parents, Tzalelphonit and Abraham.
There are four named women in the Bible who are described as being barren. The value of 4 times “barren” (עֲקָרָה) is 1500, which is the product of the letters of God’s essential Name, Havayah (י-הוה), multiplied by one another, or yud (י) times hei (ה) times vav (ו) times hei (ה), or 10 times 5 times 6 times 5!
The Arizal explains (see “Glimmers of Light” on p. 8) that the essence of Abraham’s story is that Adam damaged the world and Abraham came to fix what Adam had done. In short, we can say that “Adam damaged [the world]” (אָדָם הָרִאשׁוֹן קִלְקֵל) and, “Abraham our father rectified [the world]” (אַבְרָהָם אָבִינוּ תִּקֵּן). Amazingly, these two phrases have the same value, 867. This number, 867, divides by 3, so since there are three words in each phrase, the average value of each word is 289, or 17 (the value of “good,” טוֹב) squared. 289 is also the value of the words (Genesis 1:1), “God created” (בָּרָא אֱ-לֹהִים) indicating that Adam was the good God intended from the beginning of creation.