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17 Samson told her the truth.

Samson: I have been a Nazirite, set aside to God since I was in my mother’s womb, and my hair has never been cut. If my head were shaved, my strength would vanish. I would be weak and no different from any other man.

18 Delilah at last saw that he was telling her the truth. She sent for the rulers of the Philistines and told them, “This time he has told me his whole secret.” So the lords of the Philistines came, bringing the money they had promised to pay her for betraying Samson.

Samson’s bride and Delilah are both presented as unfaithful and deceitful, and Delilah’s name has become synonymous with any wily and seductive woman who wants to ruin a man. Although these betrayals are part of God’s purpose, some readers have used these particular stories to put down all women. It’s good to remind ourselves that earlier in the Book of Judges God uses Deborah and Jael, brave and strong women, to achieve His purpose. The characters in the story of God’s people—men and women alike—are sometimes good and sometimes evil. Even a Levite, someone set aside to the priesthood of God, can behave with selfishness and cowardice.

19 She helped Samson fall asleep in her lap and called in a man to shave off the seven locks of Samson’s hair. Immediately his strength left him.

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