The valley of Solek had many vines, wild flowers and green herbs but amidst all these, the fairest of them was Delilah.
With luscious lips, pointed nose, small eyes with thick eyelashes on a round face, her beauty was visible even in dim light.
Samson wandered along the path that divided Solek from Gaza that evening when his eyes fell on her.
And like so many young men before him, his eyes fastened on the beautiful body of the strange daughter of Philistine.
Remembering his recent experiences with Philistine women, he tried to shake off the attraction and continue his journey but it was to no avail.
Try as he might, his eyes followed the blinks of the woman’s eyes and the light sways of her body.
Lust, though his foremost enemy, was Samson’s constant companion.
And lust, yet again, overcame wisdom, for he determined he must have her.
Samson crossed the path that led to the gardens and Delilah, rehearsing his speech as he went. He wasn’t going to let this chance slip.
Both young girls with dreamy eyes and old wives cast their eyes on him as he passed by. With his thick biceps and long hair, he knew most women would easily fall for him.
All he needed to do was say the right words and bring down their light defences.
Stooping low as she pluck some flowers from the garden, Delilah noticed Samson walk towards her.
And she recognized him straightaway- all Philistines do; especially the women.
‘Samson, the Warrior of Isreal’, she said his name under her breath.
As Samson got nearer to her, he felt a strange uneasiness in his spirit. He felt a foreboding to leave the garden and go back to the land of Israel.
But he strode right ahead, head held high, chest puffed up.
Bracing herself, Delilah returned her focus to the flowers and ran her hands through the petals and sepals, inhaling the sweet scent.
‘Hello’, Samson said, looking down at her as he took it all in.
Del raised her head slightly and stood, not returning the salutation.
‘Please how many pieces of silver can I pay for the brightest and most beautiful of the flowers in this garden?’ Samson continued.
Looking unsure, Delilah looked around and tried searching for the best flower.
Samson smiled. His plan was working.
‘You need not look farther, you are the most beautiful flower I’ve ever seen’. He smiled broadly as he saw the effect the words had on her.
Realizing she’d been played, Del quickly raised her head, trying desperately to hide the colours from her face.
When she regained control, her face betrayed no emotion and she took some steps backwards, away from the big man.
‘I know who you are.’ Del cut him short.
Grimacing, Samson tried to recover from the early setback.
‘Well… I saw you working here and just decided to say Hello and maybe get to know you.’
It sounded more like a question than a statement.
Samson’s confidence was no more as strong.
‘Look here mister! I do not want to know you’
‘If you will excuse me, I’d like to get back to my work.’
Delilah landed more blows.
It was the first time Samson was ever rejected by a woman.
And strangely, it made him want her more.
Samson smiled and asked her why she wouldn’t want to know him.
She gave no reponse.
Rather than lose his cool, Samson was surprisingly amused.
Rejection was a strange thing to him. And the feeling pleased him.
Samson gave a soft laugh and spoke more words to make his case.
He told her of the lion he killed with his bare hands. He told her of the tiger he tore apart. He also mentioned the battles he had single-handedly won.
But Delilah was not moved.
His words only infuriated her and a great anger burned in her to cut him down right where he was.
So many of her kinsmen lost their farm produce when Samson set fire on the harvest of the Philistines.
Her uncle, the brother of her mother, was among the one thousand Samson killed with the jawbone of an ass, in vengeance against the Timnite.
The grief and sorrow rose in her heart as the presence of Samson reminded her of the pain she saw in her mother’s eyes when the news was delivered.
‘Please go away!’ She softly told him.
Samson noticed the change in her deamenour but he couldn’t guess what the matter was.
‘But I just want to be…’
‘I said go away from me!’ Delilah couldn’t hold back her anger anymore.
Nor the tears that had started to gather in her eyes.
Samson was surprised. He didn’t know how he had hurt her.
‘I’m sorry, I didn’t mean…’
‘Don’t be sorry. Just go away.’ Delilah flared again.
She picked her basket of flowers and made to leave.
‘I’m sorry. I will leave.’ Samson said and turned to leave.
As he climbed his horse, he looked back once more.
‘Well, I will be back here on Friday and see if you’ve changed your mind.’
Try as he might, she didn’t give him any more attention; not even a glance towards his direction to reward his tenacity.
With her basket full, Delilah picked it up and walked away, leaving Samson gaping, still sitting on his horse.
He watched her till she made a turn, then he shook his head and turned back towards the land of Israel.
‘I will return on Friday, with my arsenal full of words and gestures even she can’t refuse’. He encouraged himself.
As soon as Delilah got to home, he met three soldiers, his parents and three known elders of the land seated in the front of their home.
Surprised, she walked steadily and greeted the small gathering.
‘Seat down’. His father pointed to an empty chair just beside him as soon as salutations were exchanged.
Numerous thoughts ran through Delilah’s mind as she tried to figure out what had transpired in the few hours she’d left home.
She noticed the fear in her mother’s eyes and the anger in her father’s. But other than the feeling that something was wrong, she couldn’t guess what had happened.
She took her seat beside her mother and waited for the discussion to start.
It took a while before anyone spoke.
‘Delilah, we are here to see you’. The chiefest elder finally announced, breaking the silence.
Though her parents had agreed to the plan, the elders knew it was all down to Delilah to agree and play her part.
‘We were told Samson, the son of Manoah from Zorah, of the tribe of Dan in the land of Israel, came to see you at the garden of Solek this morning.’
Delilah nodded in affirmation.
The chiefest elder beckoned on one of the soldiers to continue.
‘As you know, we have suffered a great deal in the hands of this foul Israelite.’
‘He was the one who killed your mother’s brother…’
‘I know.’ Delilah interjected.
‘We all know that.’ Her parents also murmured.
Sensing they weren’t pleased with the reminder, the soldier quickly offered his apologies and continued.
‘We see this as an opportunity to bring him down. We have tried several times to get him but he had always proven too strong and cunny for us.’
‘What we want you to do is help us out’, the chiefest elder said plainly.
‘I will gladly help’, Delilah said, firmly.
It took both her parents and the elders by surprise.
The soldiers were pleased.
Smiling, the chief beckoned on the soldier to continue explaining the plans.
And the soldier did.
He told her all the little details and the crucial manoveurs.
When he was done, the look he saw on Delilah’s face pleased him greatly.
The light in her eyes were stroked and the fire of hate was burning hot.
‘Entice him, and find out where his great strength lies so that we can know how we can overpower him, bind him, capture him and afflict him’, the soldier said, summarily.
He gesticulated with both hands as he drove home his point.
Delilah nodded and told him she understood everything.
Pleased that the meeting had been successful, the elders whispered among themselves and the chief beckoned on a servant when they were done.
When the servant arrived, he had a box in his hands.
‘This box contains five hundred pieces of silver’, the chief announced to the parents, pointing to the box and looking fixedly at the Delilah’s father.
‘We will give you six hundred pieces of silver more when we have Samson in our hands’.
‘I don’t need payment to do this…’ Delilah started to say but stopped as the chief raised his left hand.
‘It is not payment but a token of appreciation.’
‘You are helping your nation. The whole land is grateful’.
When he was done, the chief rose, as did the two remaining elders.
The parents and soldiers rose too in respect.
‘May Molech be with you my daughter. And may the gods protect us all and bring an end to these dark times.’ The chief announced.
As soon as the elders were gone, Delilah’s parents beckoned on their servant, a young boy, to carry the box into the house.
They also followed the boy in.
Left alone with Delilah, one of the soldiers asked when she would be able to meet Samson again.
‘He said he would be back on Friday.’
‘We will meet again at the garden by the valley of Solek.’
Delilah smiled as she could already picture how it would all turn out.
‘Samson has done enough’ she said, with empasis on ‘enough’.
The soldiers looked to one another and smiled.
They couldn’t wait.
SAMSON: Episode 4
Bases on Judges 16:4,5