The Truth about Samson and Delilah’s Shocking Love Story
- Hope Bolinger Contributing Writer
- 2020 29 Oct
When we point to healthy examples of relationships in the Bible to strengthen our own relationships or marriages, we obviously don’t point to the so-called “love story” between Samson and Delilah.
For those unfamiliar with the story...
Samson, a judge God has appointed over Israel, decided to break every rule in the book. Even though his family had taken a Nazarite vow, he did not follow the guidelines by any stretch. He wreaked havoc and revenge on the Philistines in often violent ways, but worst of all…he fell for Delilah.
Delilah did not come from Israel.
Although the Jewish people throughout their history married foreign wives, such as Moses and Solomon, God often warned against marrying or having a relationship with those outside the Israelite community. Often such women or men would lead entire families astray, chasing after idols or foreign gods.
In her own way, Delilah leads Samson astray, and he pays the ultimate price.
He was renowned for his strength, but when he lets Delilah in on the secret of that strength, she robs him of it and turns him over to Israel’s enemies.
In this article, we’ll explore why their relationship goes down in infamy in the Bible, why their relationship fell apart, and what we can learn from their example. Let’s dive in!
Photo Credit: ©SparrowStock
What Happens in the Story of Samson and Delilah?
Although we covered a good portion of the story above, let’s uncover their love story from start to finish.
We meet Delilah in Judges 16, whom Samson falls in love with. We know from previous passages that Samson has gotten in trouble with falling in love with the wrong types of women, but he seems to ignore all the red flags and dives headfirst into his relationship with her.
1. Dangerous intimacy.
Samson never marries Delilah, but they do engage in a very intimate relationship.
This, of course, later clouds Samson’s judgment when Delilah tries to ensnare him and turn him over to the Philistines on multiple occasions.
Speaking of the Philistines, prior to his encounter with Delilah, Samson had some run-ins with Israel’s most notorious of enemies. They wanted him humiliated for all the trouble he had caused him. And when Delilah steps onto the scene, they know precisely how to do it.
2. The lure of bribery.
They bribe her with 1100 shekels of silver to uncover the secret to Samson’s strength. If they could get rid of Samson’s strength, they could overcome him and subjugate him to torture and humiliation.
Although the conversion rates are a little tricky, we know they offered at least $90,000 for her to find out her lover’s secret.
Scripture isn’t clear behind Delilah’s motivations. Perhaps she never loved Samson in the first place. Perhaps the Philistines had used intimidation tactics.
No matter what the case, she takes them up on their offer and sets out to discover the source of Samson’s strength. She tries on multiple occasions to finagle it out of him, but he tricks her on a couple of occasions, and the Philistines fail to overtake him twice.
Samson had to have drawn the connection between Delilah trying to uncover the secret of his strength and the Philistines coming to attack him soon after.
3. Temptation takes over.
Nevertheless, because he loved Delilah in a mental and carnal fashion, he proceeded to go along and eventually gave in and told her the secret to his strength: his hair.
The truth was, his strength actually came from God. But because he had given into the temptress Delilah, God allows for him to lose his strength when Delilah cuts Samson’s hair in his sleep. The Philistines overtake him, blind him, and turn him into a slave.
Thus ends the “love story” of Samson and Delilah.
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3 Reasons Delilah and Samson Had a Bad Relationship
Obviously, tricking the love of your life into getting captured by his enemies would qualify as a relationship dealbreaker, but we have quite a few more red flags that Samson should’ve caught onto way before they reached the Philistine-capture phase.
First: Delilah did not follow Yahweh.
Scripture doesn’t say that she’s a Philistine, but she does come from a town outside of Israel. It’s clear by her actions that she doesn’t follow God nor his commands.
King Solomon, in later years, fell into the same trap. He married wives and concubines from foreign nations, and they clouded his judgment. In the same way, Christians have to exercise caution when dating or marrying those outside of the Christian faith (2 Corinthians 6:14). If we yoke with someone of another faith, we may find ourselves drifting away from the truths of Scripture.
Second: Samson and Delilah had extra-marital sex.
The Bible doesn’t make it clear if the two had any plans to get together under the bonds of holy matrimony. But the two hadn’t married, and they likely didn’t have plans to anytime soon.
In Christian circles, this is a hot button issue. After all, many Christians will engage in sex before marriage, even with the intention of getting married eventually.
So why did Samson make a mistake here?
Sex physiologically binds us to another person. We draw a deeper connection with them than in any other relationship. And bonds are hard to rip. Samson may have wanted to escape Delilah. Maybe he saw the signs of her deception and wanted to flee. But because they’d forged a bond through sex, he must’ve found it much harder to break away from her. He must’ve imagined the kind of pain that he would cause both Delilah and himself.
His pain exacerbates all the more when she betrays him, and he loses his strength, sight, and freedom.
Third: Samson ignores red flags.
Samson had to be incredibly thick not to draw the connections between the Philistine attacks and Delilah’s prying into the secret of his strength.
Although Samson doesn’t really top the list for the wisest of judges (he had a particularly hot temper) he had to have noticed some massive red flags and correlations. He chooses to ignore them and trusts in his own strength, instead of the Lord, to deliver him from his enemies.
In the end, his strength fails him, and because he didn’t do something about the red flags, he wound up in the end of a very messy relationship.
What Can Christians Learn from Samson and Delilah?
We can learn three very clear things from Samson and Delilah’s messy and toxic “love story.”
1. We need to exercise caution in the world of dating and marriage.
Delilah was probably no doubt attractive and alluring, but because Samson didn’t heed the red flags, he discovered she had a rather ugly side underneath.
2. We need to set clear boundaries in relationships outside of marriage.
Sex can cause an immense amount of hurt when two people break the bond and go their separate ways. We can only imagine the immense amount of pain Samson felt when he’d discovered Delilah’s betrayal.
3. We need to be wary of dating those outside of the Christian faith.
It’s important to have relationships of a platonic kind with those outside of the church. After all, yeast does no good if it just hangs out with yeast all the time (Matthew 13). But when it comes to relationships that have the intention of marriage, we need to make sure that our partners pursue a relationship with God wholeheartedly.
Samson’s love story doesn’t top any lists for “most romantic” or “most swoon-worthy.” But like all breakups, we can learn a lot from this story. We learn the importance of finding a godly partner who pursues Jesus wholeheartedly.
We also learn that taking a relationship too far can hurt us in more ways than one, even if our partner doesn’t betray us to the Philistines.
Photo Credit: ©Getty Images/Paperkites
Hope Bolinger is a literary agent at C.Y.L.E. and a graduate of Taylor University's professional writing program. More than 1,000 of her works have been featured in various publications ranging from Writer's Digest to Keys for Kids. She has worked for various publishing companies, magazines, newspapers, and literary agencies and has edited the work of authors such as Jerry B. Jenkins and Michelle Medlock Adams. Her modern-day Daniel trilogy released its first two installments with IlluminateYA, and the final one, Vision, releases in August of 2021. She is also the co-author of the Dear Hero duology, which was published by INtense Publications. Find out more about her at her website.
This article is part of our People from the Bible Series featuring the most well-known historical names and figures from Scripture. We have compiled these articles to help you study those whom God chose to set before us as examples in His Word. May their lives and walks with God strengthen your faith and encourage your soul.
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