Delilah
Delilah
The woman who deceived and betrayed Samson

Catholic Encyclopedia. . 2006.

Delilah
    Delilah
     Catholic_Encyclopedia Delilah
    (Or Dalila).
    Samson, sometime after his exploit at Gaza (Judges, xvi, 1-3), "loved a woman, who dwelt in the valley of Sorec, and she was called Delilah" (verse 4). The village of Sorec was know to Eusebius and to St. Jerome (Onomast.), and rightly placed north of Eleutheropolis near Saraa, the home of Samson. It is now called Khan Sureq. The valley of that name, mentioned in the text, was probably a little lateral valley of the great Wadi Serar, or the Wadi Serar itself (Lagrange, "Le livre des Juges", 247). The railway from Jaffa to Jerusalem passes through this region a little to the west of the station of Deir Aban. The district was on the borderland between the possessions of the Israelites and those of their principle enemies and oppressors at this period, the Philistines. Sorec may have been inhabited by the latter; and although it is not stated to which people Delilah belonged, the story told in this sixteenth chapter of Judges of her relations with the princes of the Philistines, makes it vary unlikely that she was an Israelite. It is not probable either that she became the wife of Samson. The expression above quoted with which Scripture introduces the narrative of her relations with him, and the facility with which the Philistines were brought into her house, not to speak of her readiness to betray the Israelite hero, suggest rather that she was a harlot, an opinion that is now more common among commentators.
    The Philistines, thinking that the strength which had made Samson familiar to them must be due to some magical charm, seek to find out what it is. Their princes, probably the five mentioned in Judges, iii, 3, and elsewhere, coming to Delilah, to whose house Samson often resorted — if he did not live there — say: "Deceive him, and learn of him wherein his great strength lieth, and how we may be able to overcome him, to bind and afflict him: which if thou shalt do, we will give thee every one of us eleven hundred pieces of silver" (verse 5). This sum must have appeared enormous to Delilah. She undertakes to discover the secret of Samson's strength and the means to overcome it. Four different times she asks him to tell her his secret, having each time a number of Philistines on hand to seize him if she can cajole him into betraying it. Samson at first indulges his humour in answers which allow him to laugh at her attempts to bind him; but finally her importunity prevails, and he tells her of his consecration as a Nazarite and of the necessity of keeping his long hair, the mark of the consecration. Delilah then causes this hair to be cut off while Samson sleeps, and hands him over to his enemies who bring him a prisoner to Gaza.
    W.S. REILLY
    Transcribed by David M. Cheney

The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume VIII. — New York: Robert Appleton Company. . 1910.


Catholic encyclopedia.

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  • DELILAH — (Heb. דְּלִילָה), a woman from the Valley of Sorek who was samson s mistress and who betrayed him to his enemies (Judg. 16:4ff.). The Philistine city kings offered her a handsome bribe to entice Samson to reveal the secret of his great strength.… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Delilah — f Biblical: name (of uncertain origin) of Samson s mistress, who wheedled him into revealing the secret of his strength and then betrayed him to the Philistines (Judges 16: 4–20). Although the biblical Delilah was deceitful and treacherous, the… …   First names dictionary

  • Delilah — temptress, treacherous lover, 1590s, from the name of the woman who seduced and betrayed Samson in Judges, from Heb. Delilah, lit. delicate, languishing, amorous, from Semitic root d l l to hang down, to languish …   Etymology dictionary

  • Delilah — [di lī′lə] n. [Heb delīlāh, lit., delicate] 1. Bible the lover of Samson, who betrayed him to the Philistines: Judg. 16 2. a seductive, treacherous woman; temptress …   English World dictionary

  • Delilah — De*li lah, n. The mistress of Samson, who betrayed him ( Judges xvi.); hence, a harlot; a temptress. [1913 Webster] Other Delilahs on a smaller scale Burns met with during his Dumfries sojourn. J. C. Shairp. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Delilah — This article is about the Biblical figure. For other, see Delilah (disambiguation). Samson and Delilah by Guercino (Musée des Beaux Arts de Strasbourg) Delilah (דלילה – Dlila, Standard Hebrew meaning [One who] weakened or uprooted or impoverished …   Wikipedia

  • Delilah — noun a) The mistress of Samson who betrays him to the Philistines. And Delilah said to Samson, Tell me, I pray thee, wherein thy great strength lieth, and wherewith thou mightest be bound to afflict thee. b) A beautiful, cunning and treacherous… …   Wiktionary

  • Delilah — noun Etymology: Hebrew Dĕlīlāh Date: 1573 the mistress and betrayer of Samson in the book of Judges …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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