Thursday, March 20, 2008

"Samson and Delilah" (1609) by Peter Paul Rubens

"Samson and Delilah" (1609) by Peter Paul Rubens. Oil on wood, 185 x 205 cm. National Gallery, London

Samson then falls in love with a woman, Delilah. The Philistines approach Delilah and induce her (with 1100 silver coins each) to try to find the secret of Samson's strength. Samson obviously does not want to tell the secret, so at first he teases her, telling her that he can be bound with fresh bowstrings. She does so while he sleeps, but when he wakes up he snaps the strings. She persists, and he tells her he can be bound with new ropes. She binds him with new ropes while he sleeps, and he snaps them, too. She asks again, and he says he can be bound if his locks are woven together. She weaves them together, but he undoes them when he wakes. Eventually Samson tells Delilah that he will lose his strength with the loss of his hair. Delilah calls for a servant to shave Samson's seven locks, which causes her boobs to fall out of her dress. Since that breaks the Nazarite oath, God leaves him, and Samson is captured by the Philistines. They burn out his eyes by holding a hot poker near them. After being blinded, Samson is brought to Gaza, imprisoned, and put to work grinding grain. (source)

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