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Delilah was Samson’s lover who was used by the Philistine ruler to learn the Secret of Samson’s Strength.
When Delilah saw that [Samson] had told her everything, she sent word to the rulers of the Philistines, “Come back once more; he has told me everything.” So the rulers of the Philistines returned with the silver in their hands. JUDGES 16:18
From stealing petty cash at work to selling illegal drugs, some people will do anything for money. Delilah was even willing to hand over her lover Samson to his worst enemies.
Delilah lived in the Valley of Sorek during the time of the judges of Israel, when powerful Samson was wreaking havoc on the Philistines.
This key valley linked the Israelites with their enemies the Philistines, so it was a constant area of conflict. The Bible doesn’t say if Delilah was a Philistine or an Israelite, but she proved to be disloyal to Samson and harmful to Israel as a result (Judges 16).
Samson was an Israelite and a Nazirite from birth, meaning he had been specially dedicated to God and was not allowed to cut his hair or drink alcohol (Judges 13:3–5). Samson fell in love with Delilah, and the Philistine rulers immediately saw an opportunity to get to Samson. They offered to pay her a huge sum of money if she would tell them the secret of Samson’s strength. She agreed and tried three times to get Samson to tell his secret, but he lied to her each time. Finally, he agreed to tell her where his strength came from: his Nazirite vow, which was confirmed by his long hair.
Delilah sent word to the Philistines, who came and cut Samson’s hair while he slept. When Samson awoke, his amazing strength was gone, and the Philistines took him away captive. Eventually he would regain his strength for one last act, which would destroy many Philistines as well as himself.
Several other people in the Bible appear to have taken Nazirite vows for some or even all of their life, including Samuel (1 Samuel 1–2), John the Baptist (Luke 1:13–17), and possibly even Paul (Acts 18:18; 21:23)