Delilah’s Third Attempt [Judges 16.13-16.15]
Scripture (KJV) Judges 16.13-15
13 And Delilah said unto Samson, Hitherto thou hast mocked me, and told me lies: tell me wherewith thou mightest be bound. And he said unto her, If thou weavest the seven locks of my head with the web.
14 And she fastened it with the pin, and said unto him, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And he awaked out of his sleep, and went away with the pin of the beam, and with the web.
15 And she said unto him, How canst thou say, I love thee, when thine heart is not with me? thou hast mocked me these three times, and hast not told me wherein thy great strength lieth.
13 And Delilah said unto Samson, Hitherto thou hast mocked me, and told me lies: tell me wherewith thou mightest be bound. And he said unto her, If thou weavest the seven locks of my head with the web.—Judges 16.13 (KJV)
13 Then Delilah said, “You’ve been making fun of me and telling me lies! Now tell me how you can be tied up securely.” Samson replied, “If you were to weave the seven braids of my hair into the fabric on your loom and tighten it with the loom shuttle, I would become as weak as anyone else.” So while he slept, Delilah wove the seven braids of his hair into the fabric.—Judges 16.13 (NLT)
And Delilah said unto Samson…It is no doubt that she has Samson’s ear like no one else, and once again, she picks an opportune time to scold him for repeatedly deceiving her.
hitherto thou hast mocked me, and told me lies…thus far; she had on two occasions implored him to inform her of the secret of his strength.
tell me wherewith thou mightest be bound;…She may be getting desperate for the money she was promised; she presses him for the real truth; no more games and no more deception.
and he said unto her, if thou weavest the seven locks of my head with the web…it seems that Samson's hair was parted into seven locks (twists, braids, tresses or dreads), which no doubt hung down and were very long. In Old Testament times men as well as women wore long hair. Both Samson and Absalom were admired for their long, full hair; 2 Sam. 14:25–26. Baldness was considered embarrassing (2 Kin. 2:23–24), and Israelite men were forbidden to cut the forelocks (A lock of hair that grows from or falls on the forehead) of their hair (Lev. 19:27). But people under a NAZIRITE vow shaved off their hair once the vow was completed (Num. 6:18).
We can speculate about the domestic scene that is before us. Delilah is working at the loom with an unfinished cloth already in it and that may be what gives Samson the answer to her question; tell me wherewith thou mightest be bound. The loom was of a very simple construction; the woof, which is a strand of the weaving material, was driven into the warp or web by a wooden spatula. In weaving cloth, the warp is the set of lengthwise yarns that are held in tension on a frame or loom. The widthwise strand of the web was fastened to a pin or stake fixed in the wall or ground; and while Delilah sat squatting at her loom, Samson lay stretched on the floor, with his head reclining on her lap--a position very common in the East. This third time, he tells her, that if his hair were interwoven with the web which was upon the beam in a loom that rested nearby; perhaps in the same room; his strength would be weakened. This time, Samson had come nearer to the truth than in the two previous occasions of his lies to Delilah, indicating, perhaps, that he would eventually succumb to her appeals, backed up by her sweet-talk, tantrums, and pretensions of love for this weak and unfortunate Judge of Israel.
Every person must see that this verse ends abruptly, and does not contain a full sense of the game between the two contestants. Houbigant has particularly noticed this, and corrected the text from the Septuagint, the reading of which is as follows: "If thou shalt weave the seven locks of my head with the web, and shalt fasten them with the pin in the wall, I shall become weak like other men."
______________verse 13 notes___________________
(2 Sam. 14:25–26; NLT) 25 Now Absalom was praised as the most handsome man in all Israel. He was flawless from head to foot.26 He cut his hair only once a year, and then only because it was so heavy. When he weighed it out, it came to five pounds! His extraordinary popularity arose not only from his high spirit and courtly manners, but from his uncommonly handsome appearance. One distinguishing feature, seemingly an object of great admiration, was a profusion of beautiful hair. Its extraordinary luxuriance compelled him to cut it when it was found to weigh about 5 pounds.—Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
(2 Kings 2:23-24; NLT) Elisha left Jericho and went up to Bethel. As he was walking along the road, a group of boys from the town began mocking and making fun of him. “Go away, baldy!” they chanted. “Go away, baldy!” Elisha turned around and looked at them, and he cursed them in the name of the LORD. Then two bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of them. bald head -- an epithet of contempt in the East.
(Lev 19:27; KJV) Ye shall not round the corners of your heads, neither shalt thou mar the corners of thy beard. Ye shall not round the corners your heads—This evidently refers to customs which must have existed among the Egyptians when the Israelites lived in Egypt; and it is difficult to ascertain what the Israelites were at that time, for they may have been more Egyptian than anything else. Herodotus observes that the Arabs shave or cut their hair round, in honor of Bacchus, who, they say, had his hair cut in this way. He also says that the Macians, a people of Libya, cut their hair round, and leave a tuft on the top of the head. The Chinese cut their hair in this manner to the present day. This might have been in honor of some idol, and therefore forbidden to the Israelites.
(Num. 6:18; NKJV) Then the Nazirite shall shave his consecrated head at the door of the tabernacle of meeting, and shall take the hair from his consecrated head and put it on the fire which is under the sacrifice of the peace offering. One ceremony more was appointed, which was like the cancelling of the contract when the task was completed, and that was the cutting off of his hair, which had been allowed to grow all the time of his being a Nazarite, and burning it in the fire over which the peace-offerings were boiling. This implied that his full performance of his vow was acceptable to God.
14 And she fastened it with the pin, and said unto him, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And he awaked out of his sleep, and went away with the pin of the beam, and with the web.—Judges 16.14 (KJV)
14 Then she tightened it with the loom shuttle. Again she cried out, “Samson! The Philistines have come to capture you!” But Samson woke up, pulled back the loom shuttle, and yanked his hair away from the loom and the fabric.—Judges 16.14 (NLT)
And she fastened it with the pin...Attempt number three brought Samson perilously close to the truth when he told her, if thou weavest the seven locks of my head with the web. The loom in her house was probably vertical and the two posts were fixed in the ground and fastened by a crossbeam from which the warp threads were suspended. Apparently she wove Samson’s long hair into the warp and pinned it in the web so that it resembled a piece of cloth. The Septuagint and many commentators understand that the next thing she did was to fasten the loom or frame to the ground, or to the wall with a stake, peg or nail. If the Septuagint version can be admitted as genuine, it adds some clarity, which seems to be lacking here. This version adds the following after the preceding verse; “AND FASTENEST "THEM" WITH A PIN TO THE WALL, THEN SHALL I BE WEAK AS ANOTHER MAN; AND IT CAME TO PASS WHEN HE SLEPT, AND DELILAH TOOK SEVEN LOCKS OF HIS HEAD, AND WOVE "THEM" IN THE WEB, AND FASTENED THEM WITH A PIN TO THE WALL.” Delilah appears to do something that Samson had not told her to do, when SHE FASTENED THEM WITH A PIN TO THE WALL.
and said unto him, the Philistines be upon thee, Samson…as she had done twice before.
and he awaked out of his sleep… Samson was asleep while all this happened. This may indicate either a drunken stupor or the fact that Delilah may have drugged him. It is probable that he was in the same circumstances when she bound him both with withs and ropes, though it is not expressed. We can only marvel at Samson's failure to catch on to what was happening.
and went away with the pin of the beam, and with the web…he walked away from Delilah and her house carrying by his hair, not only the pin of the beam, but the beam itself, and the warp on it, and the whole web into which his hair was woven. The Septuagint version is, “he took the pin of the web out of the wall;” and the Vulgate Latin, “the pin with the hairs and web.” However, since we do not know the technical terms for the weaving process followed by the Hebrews and Philistines or the precise construction of their looms some uncertainty is necessarily attached to this description.
15 And she said unto him, How canst thou say, I love thee, when thine heart is not with me? thou hast mocked me these three times, and hast not told me wherein thy great strength lieth.—Judges 16.15 (KJV)
15 Then Delilah pouted, “How can you tell me, ‘I love you,’ when you don’t share your secrets with me? You’ve made fun of me three times now, and you still haven’t told me what makes you so strong!”—Judges 16.15 (NLT)
And she said unto him, how canst thou say, I love thee, when thine heart is not with me?
Delilah continues to play with him, telling him she could not believe he loved her, unless he would satisfy her in this matter: How canst thou say, I love thee, when thy heart is not with me? That is, “when thou canst not trust me with the secrets of thy heart?” Passionate lovers cannot bear to have their love called into question; they would do anything rather than have their sincerity come under suspicion. Delilah, being aware of this truism applied it to this lover/fool (excuse me for calling Samson a fool) which put him at a disadvantage. This contention is indeed grounded upon a great truth that those we love, have our good words and our good wishes, and are in our hearts. That is love without deceit; but it is falsehood and flattery of the highest degree to say we love those who are not in our hearts. How can we say we love either our brother, whom we have seen, or God, whom we have not seen, if our hearts are not with them?
What could be more sordid and dishonest, more false and treacherous, than for him to lay his head in her lap, like she loved him, and at the same time to plan on betraying him to those that gravely hated him?
Could anything be more pathetic than for him to continue a parley with one who was most certainly aiming to cause him serious trouble,—that he should lend an ear so long to such an impudent request, that she might know how to do him harm,—that when he perceived liers in wait for him in the chamber, and that they were ready to apprehend him if they had been able, he did not immediately leave the chamber, with a resolution never to come into it any more,—nay, that he should again lay his head in that lap out of which he had been so often roused with that alarm, The Philistines are upon thee, Samson? One can hardly imagine a man so perfectly head over heels in love, and void of all common sense, as Samson now was; but whoredom is one of those things that take away the heart. It is hard to say what Samson meant in permitting her to try so often to weaken and afflict him; some think he did not know himself where his strength came from, but, I and most of you believe, he did know, because, eventually he told her and with that information she was able to disable him. What a conflicted man! Why does he stay with a woman who so obviously cares nothing for him? There is no bond of marriage to observe; no children to be concerned about. This is nothing but blind, irresponsible love
and hast not told me wherein thy great strength lieth…the thing so frequently and so demandingly requested.