Two Tales of Samson & Delilah

Bald Solomon |

Before we develop the Path Series™ character of Delilah Boaz, I want to explain why I was drawn to Delilah.

I will use the saga of Samson & Delilah to illustrate my viewpoint.

Two views of Samson & Delilah. The first is a traditional telling. The second is interpreted by Bald Solomon.

Samson & Delilah, a somewhat traditional telling

Samson was an Israelite hero known for his incredible physical power. He was idolized by his Israelite friends and feared by his Philistine enemies. Samson’s feats of strength were legendary throughout the land.

Delilah, a beautiful Philistine woman, was approached by the lords of the Philistines to find the secret of Samson’s strength. They promised her silver and fame. Tempted by the offer, Delilah agreed and began her mission to uncover the mystery of Samson’s power.

Samson fell deeply in love with the beautiful Delilah, and she used this to her advantage. She repeatedly questioned him about the source of his strength. Initially, Samson was vague or misled her. But Delilah was persistent and eventually wore him down. Finally, Samson revealed the true source of his strength: his wild uncut hair.

Once Delilah learns the truth, she betrays Samson. While he slept on her lap, she called in a man to shave off his locks of hair. Samson’s great strength immediately left him, and the Philistines easily captured him when he awoke. They bound him with bronze shackles, and made him grind grain in prison.

As time passed, Samson’s hair began to grow back. During a large gathering in the temple, the Philistines brought Samson out to entertain them. He was placed between two pillars of the temple. Praying for strength one last time, Samson pulled the pillars with all his might. The temple collapsed, killing him along with the Philistine lords and many others.

The traditional story of Samson and Delilah is a narrative of betrayal, love, and retribution. It serves as a reminder of the consequences of yielding to temptation and the perils of betraying one’s own faith and values.

Definitely not a flattering view of Delilah.

So let me illustrate a different view of Delilah – a view that attracts me as an author.

Samson & Delilah, as reimagined by Bald Solomon

Residing in the volatile Valley of Sorek, Delilah sees the powerful Samson wreaking havoc upon her land and upon her people, the Philistines.

In the hope of ending the danger and the fighting, Delilah reaches out to meet Samson. He agrees to meet her in secret. Surprisingly to Delilah, Samson brings more than just the echoes of a generational conflict; he brings an unexpected human connection. Their clandestine meetings evolve into a profound bond, revealing Samson as a man wrestling with his destiny, a revelation that ignites Delilah’s natural empathy and affection.

Meanwhile, Delilah’s cunning Philistine rulers learn of their relationship and seize the opportunity to sink their powerful enemy. They approach her with a loaded proposition: uncover the secret of Samson’s strength – or else. This request is laden with implications, not just of wealth, but of safety for her people and her loved ones. Torn between her growing love for Samson and her duty to her people and her love for her family, Delilah faces an agonizing decision. Who does she help?

Delilah reluctantly begins to inquire about the source of Samson’s strength. Samson is evasive. Yet the Philistine rulers continue to pressure Delilah with more false promises and additional threats, intensifying Delilah’s growing desperation. When Samson finally confides in her, revealing the source of his strength to be his uncut hair, Delilah now becomes burdened with a monumental choice. Who can she trust with this information?

Delilah’s decision is ultimately driven by her hope of ending the perpetual cycle of violence in the land of her people. So one night, as Samson sleeps restfully next to her, Delilah cuts his hair with Samson’s own pocketknife, a symbolic gesture of her conflicted loyalty.

The aftermath of her decision – Samson’s capture and eventual demise – leaves Delilah grappling with the harsh reality of her choice. For the rest of her life, she has to live with the fact that she killed her lover to save her family.

The story of Samson & Delilah portrays Delilah as an exploration of a dance between love and duty. Her narrative is not just about betrayal. It is about the difficult paths one must navigate in the pursuit of what seems right, and the lessons learned from the consequences of one’s actions.

Delilah resonates with themes central to the Path Series™ – the struggle for personal growth, the complexities of human emotions, and the transformative impact of our decisions. This is a character I can build with.

Given Bald Solomon’s view of this ancient story, the inspiration for Path Series™ Delilah Boaz becomes not just all strong women, but especially the biblical Delilah.

Next up: Crafting Delilah’s Personality Type

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