Delilah and Samson, Judges 16:4-20

Delilah was a Philistine from the valley of Sorek and became one of Samson’s wives even though she was a foreigner and not from one of the tribes of Israel.

Delilah was used by the Philistines to find out the secret of Samson’s great strength and persisted until Samson finally told her.
Her name means languishing.

Samson, Delilah
He loves, she nags, deceives, lies
Hair cut, strength expires

Background Reading:

Samson Meets Delilah

16:4 After this incident, he loved a woman in Sorek Valley whose name was Delilah. 5 The Philistine officials approached her and told her, “Entice him to discover where his great strength is, and how we can overpower him. We intend to tie him up and torture him. We’ll each pay you 1,100 silver coins.”

6 So Delilah asked Samson, “Please tell me the secret to your great strength and how you may be tied up and tortured.”

7 Samson replied, “If I’m tied up with seven green cords that have never been dried out, then I’ll become weak and just like any other human being.”

8 Then the Philistine leaders brought her seven green cords that had never been dried, and she tied him up with them. 9 Meanwhile, some kidnappers were hiding inside an inner room, waiting for her signal. So she told him, “The Philistines are attacking you!” But he snapped the cords as one might break a burned candle wick. So his secret remained undiscovered.

10 Some time later, Delilah told Samson, “Look here! You’ve been mocking me and lying to me. Now please tell me how you can be tied up.”

11 He told her, “If I’m tied up securely with new ropes that have never been used, then I’ll become weak and just like any other human being.”

12 So Delilah grabbed some new ropes and tied him up. Then she told him, “The Philistines are attacking you, Samson!” because some kidnappers were hiding inside an inner room. But he snapped the ropes from his arms like thread.

13 Later on, Delilah told Samson, “You’re still mocking me and telling me lies! Tell me how to tie you up!”

He answered her, “If you weave the seven locks on my head into a loom and fasten it with a peg, then I will become weak and just like any other human being.”

14 So Delilah took the seven locks on his head and wove them into the loom while he slept. She fastened his hair with a peg and then told him, “The Philistines are attacking you, Samson!” But he woke up from his nap and pulled the pin from the loom and the weaving.

Samson Tells Delilah His Secret

15 Some time later, she asked him, “How can you keep saying ‘I love you!’ when your heart isn’t with me? These three times you’ve lied to me and haven’t told me where your great strength lies.” 16 She nagged him every day with this speech, pestering him until he was annoyed nearly to death.

17 So he finally disclosed everything. He told her, “A razor has never touched my head, because I’ve been a Nazirite for God before I was born. If I am shaved, then my strength will abandon me and I will become weak like every human being.”

18 When Delilah realized that he had disclosed everything to her, she sent for the Philistine officials and told them, “Hurry up and come here at once, because he has told me everything.” So the Philistine officials went to her and brought their money with them. 19 So she enticed him to fall asleep on her lap, called for a man to shave off his seven locks of hair from his head, and so began to humiliate him. Then his strength abandoned him.

20 When she cried out, “The Philistines are attacking you, Samson!” he woke from his sleep and told himself, “I’ll go out like I did at other times like this and shake myself free.” But he didn’t know that the LORD had abandoned him.
Judges 16:4–20


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