As you may know, whenever I have a new book releasing, I like to do a “book of the month” feature to answer any questions about the new book. So it begins today and will continue for the next week or so.
This month’s book is DELILAH, the third and last book in the DANGEROUS BEAUTY series. People have encouraged me to keep on writing stories about famous women in the Bible, but to be honest, I’d really rather not write about women who have been written about time after time. I didn’t mind writing about ESTHER because I knew I could bring something to the story that hadn’t been brought before–namely, the story of Xerxes the king, without whom there would be no book of ESTHER. And while Bathsheba has been written about before, very few writers ever brought out the connection between Bathsheba and Ahithophel, which I believe was an important part of the story.
So now we come to DELILAH, who is definitely NOT one of the more popular gals in Scripture. She is usually portrayed as a villainess, a genuine bad girl, and I had to ask myself why. We all know she betrayed Samson for money, but lots of Bible heroes have made even worse mistakes, and they’re still considered heroes. So what do we know about Delilah from Scripture?
Maybe it’s easier to point out what we don’t know:
We don’t know whether she was Israelite, Philistine, or something else altogether. Some experts say she had to be Philistine, for what Israelite woman would betray Samson? Others say she had to be Israelite, for why would Samson confide his secrete to a Philistine woman (again?)
We don’t know that Delilah was a prostitute.
We don’t know what God, if any, she worshipped.
We don’t know if she really loved Samson.
We don’t know where she came from or what happened to her after Samson’s death.
My job as a historical novelist is to answer those questions as logically, soundly, and creatively as I can.
Delilah’s not the only one who traditionally gets a bad break. Samson is usually portrayed as a man who broke his vows and disappointed God; a man whose stories are included in Scripture so we won’t follow his example.
But Samson is listed in the “roll call of faith” in Hebrews 11. His life is parallel to Christ’s in many ways, including the announcement of his birth and his sacrificial death. Scripture tells us of THREE occasions when he behaved unwisely with women, but he judged his people for twenty years–in the last twenty years, have you sinned more than three times? I have.
In short, Samson and Delilah were two people who behaved like people . . . and they had good reasons for the things they did. I hope you’ll come along on this journey and learn more about the strong man of Israel and the woman credited for his downfall.