Delilah’s Second Attempt [Judges 16.10-16.12]
Scripture (KJV) Judges 16.10-12
10 And Delilah said unto Samson, Behold, thou hast mocked me, and told me lies: now tell me, I pray thee, wherewith thou mightest be bound.
11 And he said unto her, If they bind me fast with new ropes that never were occupied, then shall I be weak, and be as another man.
12 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. And he brake them from off his arms like a thread.
10 And Delilah said unto Samson, Behold, thou hast mocked me, and told me lies: now tell me, I pray thee, wherewith thou mightest be bound.—Judges 16.10 (KJV)
10 Afterward Delilah said to him, “You’ve been making fun of me and telling me lies! Now please tell me how you can be tied up securely.”—Judges 16.10 (NLT)
And Delilah said unto Samson…Not on the same day, but to avoid inciting suspicion, she must have allowed some time to elapse before making this second attempt. Kimchi observes that this attempt was made sometime after her first attempt to discover the secret to his strength; at a time when a good opportunity presented itself, and he was in a similar circumstance as before. If she had immediately attacked him, instead of waiting, it might have caused him to become suspicious of her actions.
behold, thou hast mocked me, and told me lies…deceived her with lies, by telling her that if he was bound with green withs, he would become as weak as other men. She had, out of curiosity, tested this notion sometime previously, and had found it to be false; and now she uses it as confirmation that he must not truly love her, since he mocks her in such a manner.
now tell me, I pray thee, wherewith (by what means) thou mightest be bound…tied up in such a way so he cannot escape. Through her deceit, she threatened his life, yet his affection for her blinded him, so that he was unaware of her objective.
11 And he said unto her, If they bind me fast with new ropes that never were occupied, then shall I be weak, and be as another man.—Judges 16.11 (KJV)
11 Samson replied, “If I were tied up with brand-new ropes that had never been used, I would become as weak as anyone else.”—Judges 16.11 (NLT)
And he said unto her…Abarbinel portrays Samson as one who had told her the truth at first, except he forgot one very important detail, which he now corrects, stating that only new ropes will hold him; ropes that had never been used before.
Samson wishes to keep up the opinion which the Philistines held; that is, that his mighty strength was the effect of some charm; and therefore he says, Seven green withs which had not been dried; new ropes that were never occupied; and later he will tell her, “weave the seven locks of my hair with the web,” the green withs, the new ropes, and the number seven, are such matters as would naturally be expected in a charm or spell.
if they bind me fast with new ropes, that never were occupied… according to Kimchi and Ben Melech the word used signifies thick ropes, which, were trebled, or made of three cords twisted together; ropes that were just made, and had never been put to any use, and so they were strong and firm. Perhaps Delilah and this group of Philistines didn’t know that his countrymen tied him up with new ropes (See Judges 15.13), and that later he broke them, and after picking up the jawbone of an ass he killed 1,000 Philistines.
then shall I be weak, and be as another man…he told her that with two new ropes he might be so cramped and hampered that he might be as easily dealt with as any other man; see (Judges 16:7).
Samson lies to Delilah about the source of his strength for the second time. Truly, the glow of romantic love has made Samson lose all common sense; he falls again for this obvious trap by Delilah.
______________verse 11 notes___________________
(Judges 15:13; NLT) “We will only tie you up and hand you over to the Philistines,” they replied. “We won’t kill you.” So they tied him up with two new ropes and brought him up from the rock.
(Judges 16:7; NLT) 7 Samson replied, “If I were tied up with seven new bowstrings that have not yet been dried, I would become as weak as anyone else.”
12 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. And he brake them from off his arms like a thread.—Judges 16.12 (KJV)
12 So Delilah took new ropes and tied him up with them. The men were hiding in the inner room as before, and again Delilah cried out, “Samson! The Philistines have come to capture you!” But again Samson snapped the ropes from his arms as if they were thread.—Judges 16.12 (NLT)
Delilah therefore took new ropes, and bound him therewith…She tried this experiment, as she had done once before. She followed his directions, since she was very eager to get the money offered to her. Apparently, she had the ropes with her or near-by, since it is not said that the lords of the Philistines brought them to her.
We are not told what material was used to make the ropes, but it is probable that they were made from twigs; like those used the first time she attempted to tie him up. The Hebrew implies that they were twisted, thick, and strong.
It is hard for any of us to understand why Samson consented to this bondage through his unwillingness to escape the situation; we are amazed by this, until we see this situation repeated before our eyes all the time. It is reported on the daily news that many countries today abuse and deny the basic needs of their people, while preventing dissent with their military and police.
and said unto him, the Philistines be upon thee, Samson…using the same words, and with the same methods as she had used before; (Judges 16:9).
(and there were liers in wait abiding the chamber).. Each time she had persuaded the lords that Samson had divulged his secret, and that she would deliver him into the hands of the men whom they sent. As before, they were ready to rush in upon him, as soon as they were notified that he could not escape from his bonds.
It is evident here that Samson was not living in Delilah's home, or else he would have known about the liers-in-wait. Apparently, he was visiting her frequently and using her services as a religious prostitute. It also appears that Samson never had the slightest inkling of the mortal danger in which he was placed by this shameful relationship with the treacherous Delilah.
and he brake them from off his arms like a thread…Again, Delilah tied him up and cried out, pretending he was under attack. He awoke, flexed his arms and the new ropes broke from off his arms like a thread, This experiment which had failed to hold him years earlier (Judges 15:13), failed again.
______________verse 12 notes________________
(Judges 16:9; NLT) She had hidden some men in one of the inner rooms of her house, and she cried out, “Samson! The Philistines have come to capture you!”