Great Moments in Altered History: “Samson Meets Delilah”




“Mother, I know what I’m doing. Don’t worry,” Delilah said, as she plumped up the camel hair pillows on her divan.
“Obviously you know what you’re doing,” Delilah’s mother replied, the sarcasm dripping from her voice. “He’s lied to you three times already about the source of his strength. You’re the talk of the town, of the country. Delilah, you’re starting to give the Philistines a bad name.”
Delilah stuck her tongue out at her mother, which was a mistake; her mother grabbed it and pulled her daughter closer to her. “Just as I thought,” she said, peering into Delilah’s mouth, “you haven’t been taking care of your teeth. Haven’t I told you to rub your gums with soapy stones at least twice a month?”
Delilah pulled her tongue out of her mother’s grip. “If you don’t mind, Mother, I need to make preparations for my visitor,” she said, although with a bruised tongue it was hard to understand.
Nevertheless, her mother got the message. “Alright, alright,” she said. “Go heavy on the perfume and oils. It smells like a goat in here.”
Delilah started to haughtily reply that Samson happened to LIKE the smell of goat, but then realized how easily her mother could turn that remark against her. Instead, she merely waved her mother away, watching as the old woman straightened the fringe on the drapes that Delilah had already spent an hour arranging in a more interesting pattern.

“Having put him to sleep on her lap, Delilah called a man to shave off the seven braids of his hair, and so began to subdue him. And Samson’s strength left him.” — Judges 16:20

Alone now, Delilah smiled and put her hand beneath her special pillow. Yes, the razor was still there. She smiled. Samson had lied to her three times previously, but she had at last learned the secret of Samson’s strength – his long, flowing hair. All she had to do was cut it and he would be as weak as any normal man, allowing her to turn him over to his enemies.
“A shekel for your thoughts,” she heard a voice say. It was Samson, who had silently crept into her tent.
“Darling,” she said. “Don’t you look smart. Is that a new lion skin?”
“Freshly killed. Hope you don’t mind a few drops of blood on the carpet.”
“Don’t be silly. I love blood. You must be tired after killing that beast. Cup of honeyed wine?”
Delilah guided Samson to the divan and placed a goblet in his hands. As he downed the drink, she reached under her pillow and withdrew the razors. Grabbing one of his long braids, she prepared to cut. However, just as Delilah grabbed his braid, Samson leaned forward – and as he did so, his entire head of hair came off in Delilah’s hands.
“Uh-oh,” Samson said, rising with his bald pate gleaming in the lantern light. “Now you’ve done it.”
“A wig?” Delilah said, staring at the mass of hair in her hands. “But – I was told the source of your strength was –“
“In my hair?” Samson said, laughing. “That’s a good one! And you believed it?”
“Well, excuse me,” Delilah said. “We do live in primitive, superstitious times, you know!”
“Sorry you got a bum camel of a clue there, but hair has nothing to do with my strength.”
“Why wear this wig then?” Delilah asked.
“Simple. With that wig on, I’m one hot warrior,” Samson explained. “Women flock to me constantly. It’s difficult, but it’s manageable.”
“But WITHOUT the wig,” he continued, “with my natural baldness shining forth, it’s like the women turn into wild animals. Any time I’m without my hair for more than a few minutes, it any woman I’m with becomes an insatiable animal.”
“You do have a…strange appeal without your hair,” Delilah said, inching closer to him.
“That’s putting it mildly,” Samson said. “Women can’t keep their hands off me, and they insist that I…satisfy them, if you know what I mean…again and again and again. And then again.”
“So much that it eventually saps my strength. Leaves me weak like a baby.”
Delilah smiled. It seemed that depriving Samson of his strength was going to be much more fun than she had thought.
Seven hours later, Samson stood up and draped his lion skin around him.
“You lied again,” Delilah mumbled through sleepy lips. “You’re not weak as a baby. You’re not weak at all. But I am.”
“True,” Samson said. “And you don’t want to turn me over to my enemies anymore, do you?”
Delilah shook her head lazily.
“You want to know the real secret of my strength? Here,” Samson said, tossing a small container to Delilah as he fixed his wig into place.
It was a green, leafy vegetable. On the side of the container were letters spelling out the word “spinach.”
“That’s the real secret of my strength, something I learned from a one-eyed sailor – who was also bald, by the way,” he said, as he started to exit the tent. “You might want to eat a little of that – before I come back tonight.”
Her eyes lighting up at the prospect, Delilah eagerly lifted the vegetable to her mouth.