OceanSide church of Christ

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Lesson #22


The Demise of Samson (3)

Judges 16:1-31

Victor M. Eskew


I.             THE DOORS CARRIED OFF (Judg. 16:1-3)


II.           DELILAH CONQUERS SAMSON (Judg. 16:4-22)


A.     The Relationship (Judg. 16:4)

1.       The passage of time

2.       The problem of Samson

3.       The place of residence:  …in the valley of Sorek…

a.       Sorek means “vine” or “choice vine.”  Samson is once again in a place that does not help him fulfill his Nazarite vow.

b.      This was in the area of Zorah, Samson’s hometown.




c.       Both Philistines and Jews lived in this area.

4.       The person of interest:  …whose name was Delilah

a.       Delilah

1)       Strong (1807):  languishing

2)       BDB:  feeble

3)       Keil:  weak or pining one

4)       The frail one will use the power that she has to make the strong man weak.

b.      We do not know whether she was an Israelite or a Philistine.

1)       Matthew Henry said “she had the heart of a Philistine.”

2)       Her close ties to the Philistine lords suggest that she was a Philistine.

3)       Samson seemed to have a preference for Philistine women.

4)       Some believe that she may have been a temple prostitute at the temple of Dagon.

5)       She could have been a Jewish woman who was a sell out to the Philistines.


B.     The Reward (Judg. 16:5)


And the lords of the Philistines came up unto her, and said unto her, Entice him, and see wherein his great strength lieth, and by what means we may prevail against him, that we may bind him to afflict him:  and we will give thee every one of us eleven hundred pieces of silver.


1.       The persons who offered the reward:  the lords of the Philistines,  “…(they were the chief rulers of Philistia and were five in number [cp. Joshua 13:3; Judges 3:3]; each represented and was ruler of one of the five main cities of the Philistines – Gaza, Ashkelon, Ashdon, Ekron, and Gath)” (Butler, 142).

2.       The purpose obtained from the reward

a.       “They had precedent for this plan; for in Samson’s marriage to the Philistine girl in Timnath, it was proven by some male wedding guests that a beguiling woman could wheedle out of Samson pertinent information” (Butler, 143).

b.      Information sought out:

1)       They wanted to see where his strength lay.  NOTE:  They knew his weakness, women.

2)       They wanted to know by what means they could prevail against them.

c.       They ultimate purpose was not hidden from Delilah.

1)       They wanted to bind him and afflict him.

2)       She knew the evil they wanted to do to her “love,” and she still complied with their request.

3.       The price of the reward:  ...we will give thee every one us eleven hundred pieces of silver.

a.       Eleven hundred pieces of silver has been estimated to be about $140,800.00.

b.      Delilah was offered about three quarters of a million dollars to entice Samson.

4.       Lessons:

a.       Enemy combatants have often used woman to entice the opposition (e.g., Balaam, Num. 25:1; Rev. 2:14).

b.      When immoral people occupy high positions in a nation, the security of the nation is at risk.

c.       The love of money can be more enticing than one’s love for a human being.  The old saying is true:  “Money talks.”

d.      We do not like Delilah, but Samson created his circumstances by his conduct.  We often created our circumstances by our conduct.  “People who complain that they never get any ‘breaks’ need to remember that if they want good circumstances, they need to behave properly” (Butler, 144).


C.     The Requests (Judg. 16:6-14)

1.       Bind with Green Withes (Judg. 16:6-9)

a.       The entreaty (Judg. 16:6)


And Delilah said to Samson, Tell me, I pray thee, wherein thy great strength lieth, and wherein thou mightiest be bound to afflict thee.


1)       Delilah immediately tells Samson why she is desires to know the source of his strength, “…wherein thou mightiest be bound to afflict thee.”

2)       To do this, she needed to know the source of his strength.

3)       Delilah’s actions prove that she is a cruel, treacherous woman.

4)       Samson may have immediately put two and two together.  He may have known that this was a plot of the Philistines.

b.      The explanation (Judg. 16:7)


And Samson said unto her, If they bind me with seven green withes that were never dried, then shall I be weak, and be as another man.


1)       Green withes are bow strings that have not been dried for use on the bow and arrow (See Ps. 11:3, “string”).

2)       Samson does not tell her the source of his strength.

a)       Some see Samson’s words as a lie, and others just see Samson playing her game.

b)      Samson should have immediately told her that he was not at liberty to tell her the source of his strength.

c)       Lesson:  Samson should not have been playing with evil in any way (Prov. 6:27).


Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned?



c.       The endeavor (Judg. 16:8-9a)


The lords of the Philistines brought to her seven green withes which had not been dried, and she bound him with them.  Now there were men lying in wait, abiding with her in the chamber.


1)       Delilah was quick to follow through exactly as Samson had told her.

2)       She could probably feel the money in her hands.  She may have had some serious plans as to how the money would be used.

3)       The Philistines were eager as well.  They had men ready to apprehend this mighty warrior.

d.      The escape (Judg. 16:9b)


And she said unto him, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson.  And he broke the withes, as a thread of tow is broken when it toucheth the fire.  So his strength was not known.


1)       The call:  “The Philistines be upon thee, Samson.”

2)       The circumvention:  “And he broke the withes.”

a)       It was a very simple feat.

b)      The cords were broken as easily as a twine of flax is broken when it touches a fire.

3)       The concealment:  So his strength was not known.

2.       Bind with new ropes (Judg. 16:10-12)

a.       The entreaty (Judg. 16:10)

1)       The accusation (Judg. 16:10a)


And Delilah said unto Samson, Behold thou hast mocked me, and told me lies…


a)       Delilah was in the midst of deception and accused Samson of telling lies.

b)    Lesson:  We often accuse others of evil in which we ourselves are involved.  Sometimes we are so blind that we cannot see our personal transgression.

2)       The asking (Judg. 16:10b)


…now tell me, I pray thee, wherein thou mightiest be bound.


b.      The explanation (Judg. 16:11)


And he said unto her, If they bind me fast with new ropes that never were occupied, then shall I be weak as another man.


c.       The endeavor (Judg. 16:12a)


Delilah therefore took new ropes, and bound him therewith, and said unto him, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson.  And there were liers in wait abiding in the chamber.


d.      The escape (Judg. 16:12b)


And he broke them from off his arms like thread.