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Thursday, July 8, 2010

Delilah: Bad to the Bone

Sadly, not all the women in the bible are heroines, some are just plain evil. However, that does not mean that women cannot learn from them. The name “Delilah” originates from Hebrew for the word “flirtatious”; this should have been a foreshadow for men to stay far, far, away from her. She is the poster-child for temptress for all women in the bible, in addition to future generations.

Deliah was a Philistine, who was a part of the tribe of Dan, and lived in the Valley of Sorek (the area now known as Gaza). Delilah was approached by several noble men who seduced her eleven hundred pieces of silver for her to find out what Sampson’s strength was. Sampson was at first not a total fool, he had an idea what Delilah was doing; he lied to her and told her that if that men bounded him by seven green stems that were never dried, then his strength would be like any other man. The Philistines tried this, but it did not work against Sampson, for this was not his secret hidden strength.

Delilah, really wanting that money, seduced Sampson and asked him lazily what his secret strength stemmed from. Once again, Sampson lied and told Delilah that if a group of men bounded him by a group of vines that had never been occupied, then he would have the strength of a normal man. Nope. Not that either. Delilah was starting to look really stupid in front of her extortionists. Delilah, getting really perturbed asked him again what his strength was, and Sampson told her that if his hair was braided, he would lose his strength. A group of men tried that, but it still did not work.

Likely Delilah was going to lose her life if she could not find out what Sampson’s secret strength was, she begged and begged Sampson to tell her what his secret strength was, and he told her the truth; that if his head was shaved, he would lose his strength. The story did not end well for Sampson, they captured him, gouged out his eyes, put him in jail, his hair grew back, and then Sampson went on a rampage killing everyone including himself.

Many say that there is a linkage between Delilah and Eve, that they were temptresses. Delilah was focused on her worldly goods and materials. When she was trying to purge the truth from Sampson, what was going through her mind? Perhaps she was thinking how much new clothes and jewels she could buy? How often do we sin, in order to gain worldly pleasures, while placing ourselves farther from God? Being consumed by our eating disorder is like Delilah being filled with delight over 1,100 pieces of silver she would receive; in both cases, women are being shallow and not focusing on the larger picture.

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