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Phony Talk

to survive.

Judges 16:10–14

Then Delilah said to Samson, “Look, you have mocked me and told me lies. Now, please tell me what you may be bound with.”

So he said to her, “If they bind me securely with new ropes that have never been used, then I shall become weak, and be like any other man.”

Therefore Delilah took new ropes and bound him with them, and said to him, “The Philistines are upon you, Samson!” And men were lying in wait, staying in the room. But he broke them off his arms like a thread.

Delilah said to Samson, “Until now you have mocked me and told me lies. Tell me what you may be bound with.”

And he said to her, “If you weave the seven locks of my head into the web of the loom”—

So she wove it tightly with the batten of the loom, and said to him, “The Philistines are upon you, Samson!” But he awoke from his sleep, and pulled out the batten and the web from the loom.

At first glance, this passage seems repetitious, even trite.  But there are some between-the-lines points that support the theory that neither Samson nor Delilah are being serious.

Twice, Delilah says, “The Philistines are upon you, Samson!”

But they aren’t actually upon Samson. Had they been upon Samson, he would have ripped their lungs out. Instead, they’re keeping their distance.

So, why would Delilah describe the situation falsely, ascribing more courage to the Philistines than they actually exhibit? Might she be mocking them?

No. It’s fun to imagine that she was, but her situation was way too bleak for that. Delilah lives in an oppressive thugocracy. They control everything. She wouldn’t be safe, even if she had Samson as a bodyguard.

Her words are phony, but in a society where nothing is sincere, that’s just the way people talk.

So, Marilyn Monroe turns out to be especially apt for playing Delilah. Their lives have significant parallels. Both were dominated by others. Despite very different life paths, in vastly different eras, they had similar challenges.

Delilah mocking the Philistines would be downright dangerous. There’s no way she would even consider such a thing. That’s not a hill she’s willing to die on.

She’s not willing to die on any hill. She’s just trying to survive.

These Monday—Friday DEEPs are written by Mike Slay. The Weekend DEEPs are written by Matt Richardson. To subscribe to all the DEEPs click here:

The weekly study guides, which include the Monday–Friday devotionals plus related questions for discussion or meditation, are available for download here:

Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. ESV stands for the English Standard Version. © Copyright 2001 by Crossway. Used by permission. All rights reserved. NIV stands for The Holy Bible, New International Version®. © Copyright 1973 by International Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. KJV stands for the King James Version.

Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.

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