Tuesday, June 5, 2018


Nadene Goldfoot                                               
Delilah the harlot tells the Philistines about Samson's secret to his strength 
In the days before king Saul of Israel, the Jewish people were ruled by Judges.  One of the judges was Samson, son of Manoah from the tribe of Dan.  There were 12 tribes,  from the 12 sons of Jacob.  In those days no one worried about over-population, for the opposite situation existed.  Not many people were on the earth.  Jacob had 2 wives-Leah and Rachel who had 2 maids-Zilpah and Bilhah.  He married his wives' maids and also gave each one of the women children.

Leah had 6 boys:  Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Isachar and Zebulun.  Rachel had Joseph and Benjamin.  Zilpah had Gad and Asher.  Bilhah had DAN and Naphtali.
Deborah, a Judge and Prophet 1150 BCE
Known for her Song of Victory; roused Israelite tribes to revolt under Barak against the Canaanite king Jabin of Hazor and Sisera, his ally and commander.  
The Jewish nation had reached a time after they had been led by Moses and Joshua and now had different Judges, but at this point in time  when the nation didn't merit a leader as great as past historic figures like Deborah, Othniel or Gideon and now they didn't deserve to conquer their enemies, so had Samson as a judge.  His individual exploits kept the brutal Philistines at bay.  During this period of Judges, one should know that the combined years of peace and righteousness outnumbered the years of failure and persecution.  Judges were chosen by G-d.  The nation would have shortcomings, but it was for the most part a righteous and true group, faithful to the Torah and its GIVER.                                                             
Philistines introduced the opium poppy to the Levant 
During Samson's day, the Jewish people weren't doing so well.  They wound up in the hands of the enemy people, the Philistines for a period of 40 years.   The Danite, Manoah, Samson's father, thought he and his wife would never have a child as she remained barren.   They followed the Nazirite group who did not cut their hair nor drank any alcoholic beverages.  They didn't even walk through vineyards.  A child was finally long expected and was promised to serve G-d.  His wife was finally pregnant and gave birth to a boy, Samson.  Samson grew up to be a Nazirite and to serve G-d.

The Philistines were a fighting people by nature and this group came from Crete. after being repulsed from Egypt by Rameses III.  They dominated parts of Judah in the period of the Judges.  By 1194 BCE, the Philistines had seized the southern coastal area of Eretz Yisrael where they founded 5 principalities:  Gaza, Ashkelon, Ashdod, Ekron and Gath.
Samson, now fully grown,  finally  saw a woman in Timnath that was a Philistine and to his liking  and told his parents that he wanted her for a wife.  The Philistines, though enemies of the Jews, were also ruling in Israel, but were not a circumsized people. This was not okay to marry into these people. 
Samson was attacked by a lion in Timnath and his strength was so great that he ripped it apart in killing it.   He found the girl that had pleased him and spoke with her.  Later, he returned to her again to talk about his wanting to  marry her, and saw the remains of the lion he had killed.
 Bees had made a hive in the carcass and he found honey had already been stored there.

Samson married her and held a feast as was the custom.  He asks a riddle of her people and they could not answer.  Somehow, Samson's wife is given in marriage to his companion by her father.  Later, Samson wants to see her, as she is his wife  and he brings a goat kid as an offering, but her father won't allow him to enter the house.  The father's excuse was that he had given her in marriage to his friend as he thought that Samson hated her because of his temper over the riddle.
History reverses:  Now Palestinians are burning fields of Israel with their kites. 
The kit fox

Samson was so angry with this that he took foxes, set fire to their tails an set them loose in the grain fields of the Philistines and burnt down everything from grain stacks to standing grain to olive groves.  In retaliation, the Philistines burned her and her father in the fire.  Samson struck at them.
This was now war with the Philistines.  They camped out in Judah and the Jews of Judah didn't know what was happening.  The Philistines wanted Samson and said they must arrest him.  3,000 Judeans went to Samson and asked why he was at war with them.  He replied that what they had done to him he was doing to them.  Instead, they intended to put an end to this, to arrest Samson and turn him over to the Philistines.  They bound him, but he broke the ropes.
 He found a jawbone of a donkey and used that as a weapon, striking down 1,000 men.  He was a judge for 20 years.
His error was in going to Gaza.  He saw a harlot and had an affair with her.  The people of Gaza, the Gazites knew he was coming to see her and lay in waiting to kill him.  This was Delilah.
The Philistine governors talked her into tricking Samson so that they could overcome this extremely strong man.  She got Samson to tell her his secret of his strength, and of course it was his long hair.

Then the Gazites seized him and gouged out his eyes, binding him in copper fetters and forced him to grind grain in prison.  One day the Gaziles gathered and madae a sacrifice to their god Dagon fo a celebration of having their enemy, Samson in their hands.
They called Samson for entertainment, standing him between two pillars.  He knew he would die with what he would do next.  He broke the pillars, causing the building to fall apart.  All the people were in the building and were killed.

Update:  The new video out from Netflicks of Samson follows the bible quite well until the end where Delilah's personality changes from an evil woman to a much better person, which doesn't quite fit the story as told.  It's worth watching. /Samson is played by British actor Taylor James, 6'2 1/2 " tall, born 1980 in Kent, England.  Delilah was played by Caitlin Leahy.  I'm from the old school, sorry not to see Victor Mature playing Samson.  Only he was fitting to be Samson.  It's hard for a British actor to step into this role.  He just doesn't look the part, either, to me;  too English.  The nose is too pug to be Middle Eastern.  Caitlin was born in 1988 and is an American actress.  Neither one have been in many movies.  They did enjoy making this one.  I'm glad the producers followed the bible events as much as they did. 

Resource:  Tanach (Bible) The Stone Edition; ArtScroll Series from Mesorah Heritage Foundation, Judges, 12:6-13:12; 13:1-16:31
 The New Standard Jewish Encyclopedia

1 comment:

  1. Delilah looks like Hedy Lamarr. Those were violent times! Dosen't seem like they were into diplomacy...