Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Destruction of Samson's Wife



Samson's Wife

Much attention is given to Samson's mistress, Delilah.  Very little attention is given to his wife.  Her story can be found in Judges 14; 15:1-8.   What if she told her own story. 

Samson's Wife Tells Her Story

Such a horrible man and he wanted to marry me.  He demanded that his father get me for him and my father agreed.  The wedding lasted seven drunken days and he asked that stupid riddle.  His thirty drunken companions couldn't figure it out.  They told me they would burn me alive if I didn't find out the answer.  I cried for seven days before he would tell me.  When he found out I had told his friends he was furious.  He said, "If you had not plowed with my heifer you would not have found out my riddle."  He left in a murderous rage and killed thirty men.  I was spoiled goods so I was given to one of his companions. 

When he finally came back and wanted to have sex with me, my father tried to give him my little  sister.  The cruelty of this man  knew no limits. He captured three hundred foxes, tied them together and set them on fire.  He released them into the grain fields, vineyards and olive groves.  All were destroyed.    

I was burned alive as punishment for his crime.

 Samson's Wife Destroyed   

  The writer of this story tells us it is God's idea for Samson to marry this foreign woman because God is looking for a' "pretext" to act against the Philistines.  God needs a pretext?  She and her sister are not asked if they want to marry Samson.  Samson simply says, "get her for me."  He calls her a  heifer, murders thirty men and abandons her for revealing the answer to a riddle.  Does this sound like a "hero" or a violent, selfish, cruel, criminal?        


  1. Your posts entice me to read the Bible; I'm enjoying the education process! As my eyes "run" over Judges 14; 15:1-8, they "stumble" over the word "pretext".

    Could Samson's encounter with the lion be a foreshadowing of his wife's destruction? The lion an image of Samson's wife, the personification of sweet strength?!

  2. More thoughts on Samson's Wife
    When I first "discovered" the wife of Samson I felt angry. Angry that I had been taught Samson was a biblical hero when his actions were more like a thug. Angry that I had never been taught about his wife only his mistress. Angry that she was threatened with death by her wedding guests. Angry that she was eventually killed for something Samson did. Angry that she had no choice in who her husband was to be. I began to ask myself, "where is God in this woman's story?" What can women learn from her story? From today's perspective she is a woman in abusive relationships. First, her controlling father. Second, her violent husband. Finally, the men of her town. As a Christian I read the Bible for inspiration and guidance. How can this story be taught in Sunday School to inspire and guide? I decided that it is a cautionary story for women. This could not have been the "will of God" for this woman's life. She put her faith and loyalty in the wrong people. If the signs of spousal abuse are present, get out. As for Samson, God can work through the worst among us.
    I don't think the lion is a personification of sweet strength. Samson defiled himself twice by killing the lion with his hands and eating the honey from the carcass. If his wife was strong it did not save her life and I choose to believe she did not defile Samson.

  3. Growing up, I never read the Bible, rarely went to church, and never attended Sunday School. For this reason, I do not possess any anger about what was or was not taught to me about the Bible's contents. Unfortunately, its interpretation is a source of insecurity for me. From a literary perspective, I was thinking that the lion's destruction could be a foreshadowing of the destruction of Samson's wife. I believe that Samson's wife must have been a "strong" woman, in order to have dealt with her challenging life circumstances. Therefore, I found myself wanting to equate her with the lion which was both strong and a victim. As a poet, I took poetic license by projecting sweetness onto this dear woman. That which makes you angry makes me angry, too. Like you, I do not believe that Samson's wife defiled Samson. How could she have?!