Holding the jawbone as his attribute, Samson looks upward, perhaps to God. The great strongman slew a thousand Philistines with the jawbone of an ass (Judges 15:19). Overcome by thirst, he then drank from the rock at Lechi, a name that also means "jawbone" in Hebrew. Due to a mistaken translation in the Dutch Bible, some artists depicted Samson with a jawbone, rather than the rock, issuing water.
Salomon de Bray used a clear light, plain background, and a half-length composition, showing his awareness of the artistic conventions of the Utrecht Caravaggisti.