Tonight we will be discussing the life and times of Delilah. Please read Chapter 4 of Liz Curtis Higgs’ book Bad Girls of the Bible: And What We Can Learn From Them and Judges 16. In reading her story, it is important that we place her story within the greater story of Samson. (Like most of the women we will encounter, she is only part of a larger story of a man.) The theme of the Book of Judges is the decline of Israelite society leading to the necessity of a king. Samson is the last judge in the Book of Judges and represents the truly fallen state of Israel. (Although after Samson, things go further downhill.)
We read about Samson in Judges 13-16. Samson’s birth is announced by an angel with the command that Samson is to undertake the vow of a Nazarite (See, Num. 6) which basically means he cannot drink alcohol and cannot cut his hair. His uncut hair is the source of his great strength. The story begins when Samson first becomes attracted to a Philistine woman whom he instructs his parents to “go get her for me.” Judg. 14:3. Samson makes a bet with her relatives concerning a riddle. She makes him tell her the answer, and she betrays the answer to her relatives. In response, Samson kills 30 Philistines, and his father gives the bride away to Samson’s best man.
Later, while still angry about the failed marriage, Samson ties torches to the tails of foxes and sends them out into the Philistine fields, burning up the wheat harvest and olive orchards. The Philistines come to get Samson and the men of Judah hand Samson over to them. Samson then takes the jawbone of an ass and kills 1,000 Philistine men. Samson then goes to Gaza and takes up with a harlot. The Gazites try to kill Samson and fail.
Samson then meets Delilah and falls in love for the first time. Delilah takes advantage of that love and Philistine money and betrays him to the Philistine leaders. The Philistines cut his hair depriving him of his strength. They tie him up in their temple between the two central pillars. His hair grows out. Samson waits until a great festival is held, and then pulls down the temple on himself and everyone therein. Everyone dies. (As an aside, the nuclear weapons program of the Israeli Defense Force is called the Samson Option). Delilah is certainly not the worst character in the story.
SCHEDULE: We are discussing a ten-chapter book in eight weeks. Next week will be skipping Chapter 6 on Sapphira and reading about Rahab in Chapter 7.
Dinner is at 6. The menu is meatloaf (with a black bean vegetarian option). Discussion at 6:45. Hope to see you here and please bring a friend.
My, my, my, DelilahDelilah, Michael Perretta
Why, why, why, Delilah
I could see, that girl was no good for me
But I was lost like a slave that no man could free