The Delilah Bible story has made many riveting TV dramas. Overall the Samson and Delilah story is quite the scandal. With a character like Delilah, people have various responses to the plot.
Didn’t Samson realize he was being taken for a ride? Some might say Delilah was right to take advantage of him because he was so stupid. Perspectives abound.
Although it is difficult to separate Samson from Delilah, in this post, I will be looking at Delilah only. What were Delilah’s qualities? What can we learn from her story?
Who is Delilah in the Bible?
Delilah is the third of the women with whom Samson had a relationship. They were never married but were clearly lovers. She is commonly known for deceiving Samson which led to his capture, enslavement, and demise.
The Samson and Delilah story
The Delilah Bible story is found in Judges 16:4-19. Samson was an Israelite who had been set apart since before birth to be a judge in Israel. He was given the wisdom to judge.
But most impressively, he was given superhuman strength to physically fight against the Philistines who constantly harassed and attacked the Israelites. Samson was a one man army that decimated the Philistine armies.
But Samson had a few weaknesses. One of them was beautiful women and sex. Samson was married once but that did not quite work out. He met Delilah after the tragic end of his marriage. Samson didn’t marry her but they carried on a sexual relationship.
When the Philistine princes learned about Samson’s relationship with Delilah, they offered her a handsome amount of money to find out why he was so strong. After 3 failed attempts Delilah finally uncovered the truth from him using her feminine charm and good old nagging.
Samson told her that his strength had something to do with his very long hair which had never been cut all his life. She lulled Samson to sleep and called in someone to cut his hair.
Thereafter, Samson was captured by the Philistines who blinded him, enslaved him, and made a mockery of him in their temple.
Characteristics of Delilah in the Bible
Miles Monroe said women are the most dangerous creatures on planet earth. Well, Delilah’s character might be quite the example of this.
How was Delilah able to bring down the strongest man in the Bible? Let’s look at some of Delilah’s qualities that made her the death of Samson.
Delilah was beautiful and sexually attractive
Make no mistake. Samson wasn’t drawn to Delilah because she was a woman of noble character.
The word love in this context isn’t referring to Godly love. It’s the kind of love that is human but with some amount of sexual overtone.
Samson had a knack for falling deeply and desperately in love on sight.
As you might know, men are drawn by what they see. Samson had a terrible weakness.
Delilah was most definitely eye candy or she would not have caught Samson’s eye.
Delilah was disloyal, deceitful and uncommitted
From the first two attempts to have him captured by the Philistines, Samson should have known that Delilah was no good for him.
Her treachery should have been obvious. But alas, folly was flying high because he was head over heels in love.
Delilah was more loyal to the Philistines than to Samson.
While he professed love to her and spent his sexual energy on her, she was professing love and loyalty to promised money.
The Bible never says Delilah loved Samson.
The only contribution she was making to the relationship was sex and that’s because their relationship was only a means to an end for her.
In reality, Samson was in love all by himself. But Delilah played girlfriend so convincingly that Samson was thoroughly deceived to his own demise.
It is because of Delilah’s lack of commitment why it was so easy for her to betray Samson. She had no skin in the game.
Delilah was greedy and money-loving
Delilah agreed to sell out Samson. Literally.
When the Philistines recognized Samson was frequenting Delilah’s home, they made a deal to pay her if she would find out why he was so strong.
We do not know how many men approached her but Scripture tells us it was the ruler of the Philistines. There were 5 princes in Philitia. They each promised to give her 1100 shekels of silver.
In Judges 17:10, a man was offered 10 shekels of silver plus food and board for an entire year’s salary.
Now imagine the offer being made to Delilah. She was looking at a reward of 5,500 shekels to betray Samson.
I’m sure Delilah had dollar signs in her eyes when she heard their offer.
Chances are that she wouldn’t have to work for the rest of her life. And certainly, she would not have to give herself to a man ever again in exchange for being taken care of.
All of a sudden, Samson’s love meant nothing to her. While he was loving her, she was in love with the money she was promised.
Delilah was cunning and callous
Think for a minute about what the princes described to Delilah about what they wanted to do to Samson:
The rulers of the Philistines went to her and said, “See if you can lure him into showing you the secret of his great strength and how we can overpower him so we may tie him up and subdue him. Judges 16:5
The word lure means to seduce with the idea of using sex to persuade. Essentially, lead him into sin.
They wanted her to use her sexuality and Samson’s weakness for sex to get information out of him.
So they could overpower him. The word overpower here means to humble or humiliate someone.
The princes downplayed their intention towards Samson. Really, they intended to kill him. But they said enough for Delilah to know that they had no good plans for Samson.
Yet, she was all in on the plan.
Just think. Every time she had sex with him, she knew it was only for one reason.
To lead him to his demise.
It takes a woman with a certain kind of coldness to have sex with a man she knows she’s trying to destroy.
Today, she would likely be diagnosed with some kind of psychiatric disorder and one of her symptoms would read: “incapable of loving anyone”.
Delilah was manipulative
Samson was genuinely in love with Delilah but his love was never returned.
Delilah could care less about Samson. So it was fine for her to take advantage of his love for her.
Then she said to him, “How can you say, ‘I love you,’ when you won’t confide in me? This is the third time you have made a fool of me and haven’t told me the secret of your great strength.” Judges 16:15
Delilah knew she was not committed to the relationship. Yet, she was demanding something of Samson that she was not herself investing.
She wanted Samson to confide in her but she absolutely had no intention of doing the same.
For if she did, she would have unveiled the plan of the princes at some point before she wore him down.
The relationship was peculiar. Samson loved her but there was an element of mistrust. He lied to her about his strength 3 times.
A man who is completely sold on the woman he wants to spend his life with will spill all his secrets, laying himself bare and vulnerable to her.
Delilah knew she hadn’t won him over like that just yet.
So she resorted to the next best option.
“How could you make such a fool of me?” she said.
“How could you say you love me but lie to me?”
Then, she furthered this and piled on the nagging.
Delilah was brilliant, persistent and relentless
Delilah had a goal. She intended to give Samson over to the Philistines. So she did not relent in trying to get the information she needed out of him.
In fact, she became quite a nag.
With such nagging she prodded him day after day until he was sick to death of it. Judges 16:16
Being persistent isn’t usually a bad character trait. But, something good in the hand of someone with an evil heart results in terrible consequences.
The word for nagging in Hebrew means to put someone under great pressure or to bring distress and strain.
Well, imagine enduring this day in, day out.
Delilah’s persistence eventually wore down Samson and he told her what she desperately wanted to know.
Unknowingly, Samson succumbed to Delilah’s manipulation. He loaded her fateful arrow directed straight at his life and destiny.
Delilah was hospitable and charming
Delilah knew how to make Samson feel comfortable and at home.
All the attempts she made found him sound asleep in her bed at her place.
When he met his final demise, his head was literally in her lap while he slept.
There is little doubt that Samson kept going back because she was offering something too good to turn down.
Yes, he loved her. But she was also annoying and nagging. Something kept him coming back to her.
She knew his sweet spot. She knew how to make him completely comfortable. And that doesn’t happen without some superb hosting skills, both in her home and in her bed.
Lessons from the Delilah Bible story
Delilah is definitely one of the bad girls of the Bible, right next to Jael and Jezebel.
She’s not a character we would use an example of a life to emulate. But she is a great example of what a woman should avoid becoming.
Here are three quick lessons that we can learn from her.
As a woman, you’re powerful beyond earthly measure
I’ve noticed it in everyday life. And I’ve noticed it in the Bible.
Women are powerful. Women have brought great men, kings, and nations to their knees.
Check out the stories of David, Solomon, Ahab, and Haman just to name a few.
Women were the ruin of these men in Scripture.
God has put something in the hearts of men that makes a woman he loves his kryptonite.
Look at it:
- A father’s love for his daughter
- A son’s love for his mother
- A brother’s love for his sister
- A husband’s love for his wife
All these man to woman loves will drive a man to do just about anything. Crazy things. Criminal things. Stupid things. Self-destructive things.
For this reason, women have a kind of influence in the lives of the men who love them. It’s an influence that is unmatched by any other in his life.
I guess what I’m saying is, don’t take this influence lightly. Use it for good.
Delilah was no Proverbs 31 woman. But her life is a big list of don’ts.
Even Christian women fall victim to using their feminine charm and influence to cut down men in the church.
If you don’t love the man, stop using him. Let him go.
If God has blessed you with a man who loves you to bits, treat him well.
If God has given you influence in the life of a man, use that influence to improve him and to honor God.
It’s a gift given to women. Be a good steward of it.
Don’t allow yourself to be used by anyone
The 5 princes knew Samson. He had been a menace to them. They also knew his weakness.
Delilah was his current flame. They knew the power she had. They decided to bribe her and she allowed herself to be used in their evil ploy. And they told her to do whatever she had to do to get that 5,500 shekels of silver.
Historically, women have been used as pawns in the schemes of men. Many times, women were in a vulnerable position.
Here was a woman who was unmarried and was responsible for herself in a largely masculine environment. She was trying to secure herself and her future.
The truth is, there are many women who are allowing themselves to be used today. Even in church.
We women can allow the enemy to use us to destroy our husband’s and the respect others have for him.
We can destroy families through fornication and adultery.
We can allow the enemy to use us to create havoc in meetings and retard progress.
And in exchange for what?
The joy of seeing your spouse’s shame and seeing his depression and dejection?
The promise of getting a man, who by the way is already married to someone else?
The promise of getting a leadership position at church?
The number of ways we can allow ourselves to be used is endless. We must be vigilant. We must guard our hearts and fill our minds with godly things so the enemy has no room to occupy our lives.
Really consider how much you are you willing to pay for financial freedom
Pretend for a moment that you were a Philistine.
Now, stop and think for a moment about the cost of Delilah’s decision to betray Samson.
The cost wasn’t just 5500 shekels of silver. It was also thousands of Philistine lives.
On the day Samson destroyed the Philistines’ temple, there were 3000 men and women on the roof only.
Thus he killed many more when he died than while he lived. Judges 16:30
Delilah’s decision to accept a bribe to secure her own financial freedom cost the lives of thousands of people.
Only the Philistines could testify about the generational effect of this one day.
So often, as we chase the almighty dollar, we pay very little attention to the cost.
Our sense of morality, honesty and integrity get sacrificed.
Our children get sacrificed.
Our marriages become casualties.
Our faith in God goes up in flames.
Thousands upon thousands of hours get used up in chasing money, something that is temporary and temporal.
Quite often, it’s after we have gotten what we worked and schemed for that we look back at the carnage.
We might never know how Delilah felt about the thousands who died as a result of her helping to capture Samson.
But her story leaves us with two questions: How much are we willing to pay for financial freedom? Will it be worth it?
What does Delilah represent in the Bible?
Delilah represents everything that is undesirable about a woman’s character. She signifies the worst type of woman to form a romantic relationship with. The book of Proverbs has a lot of great advice on how to stay away from such situationships.
If we want to take it a step further, she is whatever weaknesses or weapons used by the enemy against the people of God to destroy them.
What does it mean to be a Delilah?
If someone calls a woman a Delilah they mean she is dangerously beautiful, has a great sex appeal but is seductive, manipulative, cunning, deceptive and seriously mean.
She is not opposed to using her feminine wiles and her body to extract what she wants from a man. Such a woman is everything a man should stay away from because she will destroy him.
Interesting facts about Delilah in the Bible
Delilah is an elusive character. Although she is the only woman named in Samson’s story, nothing much is mentioned about her.
Apart from where she lived, we have information about family connections, occupation etc.
Who was Delilah’s husband in the Bible?
Delilah and Samson were not married. They were lovers. No husband has been mentioned in Scripture for Delilah.
Was Delilah in the Bible a Philistine?
Bible scholars don’t all agree that Delilah was a Philistine. The Bible only tells us where she was from but not her nationality.
She lived in the Valley of Sorek which was on the border of Judah and Philitia. Where Delilah lived was closer to where Samson was born and raised.
Meaning of Delilah in the Bible
The name Delilah means feeble or weak and pining one. This is a Hebrew name which makes it a little more difficult to determine whether or not she was Philistine.
How did Delilah betray Samson?
For Samson to have divulged such sensitive and personal information about how or why he was so strong, he must have had some level of trust for Delilah. The Bible says that Samson loved Delilah.
When she used that information to have his hair cut off while he was sleeping, vulnerable and unable to defend himself, that was betrayal. She betrayed his love and his trust.
What happened to Delilah
After she betrays Samson and he gets captured, Delilah disappears from the story. We are not told whether she was among the women at the temple when Samson pushed the pillars and the whole structure collapsed. We know women were present on that day. We just don’t know if Delilah was one of them.
How did Delilah die?
There is no mention in the Scriptures about how Delilah dies.
Final words about the Delilah Bible story
Delilah is one of the meanest bad girls in the Bible. Even so, her life depicts the power and strength that a woman has in the life of a man when he loves her. As women of faith, we can learn alot from this story of a faithless woman.
There are many female believers who fall for the same traps of the enemy thrown to Delilah. Money is never a good enough reason to sell your soul.
It might seem like a good idea to sacrifice or exchange love for money but if you have lived for any period of time you know that it all comes to nothing.
So take Jesus’ advice: But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (Matthew 6:33)