If you read the story you find a man who murders 28 people in cold blood to get their coats to pay off a bet.
Was the killing of these men in cold blood ? It is questionable to me. I think we could think of this as warfare between Israel and their oppressors of 40 years, the Philistines.
The Hebrews are mad with Samson for picking a fight and upsetting their emperialistic conquerors -
"Do you not know that the Philistines rule over us ?" (15:11)
"Now at that time the Philistines ruled over Israel." (14:4)
Concerning Samson, Judges
says - " the boy Samson will be a Nazarite to God from the womb; and he will begin to save Israel from the hand of the Philistines." (13:5)
The Spirit of God came upon Samson in his various fights against the Philistines, ie (14:14; 14:19)
. We can attribute the killings of the Philistines, the oppressors of Israel, to God.
Indeed the first recorded fight between Samson and the unfortunate Philistines whom he trounced was of God's providence -
" ... for He [Jehovah] was looking for an opportunity against the Philistines. Now at that time the Philistines ruled over Israel." (14:4)
After some time I will comment on the question "How much of a Hero is Samson to be considered?"
I will attempt to show that the Bible presents Samson, like it presents many other patriarchs and heroes of faith, in somewhat of a mixed light. The heroism of David has its limits. He is not to be considered a hero in that he stole a man's wife and arranged to have him murdered in battle to cover up his sin.
So with Samson. To a degree Samson is a hero of faith. But not in every sense should the Christian consider him so. All of the OT positive figures were shadows, symbols, types of the perfect Son of God to come.
Most all of the OT heros have something recorded which is not to be exemplified.
Samson is a mighty man of God who is not so mighty in some respects. He is self willed, easily a skirt chaser, overcome by scheming opposite sex, given to pranks, jokes, and not serious about his consecration.
I conceded Samson's killings where God's warfare to liberate Israel from the oppressive enemies the Philistines. The heroism of Samson has its limits and lessons for the Christian.