Scripture Aesthetics: Samson and Delilah

Bible newbies might assume that the tale of Samson and Delilah is an edgy romance, ready to plug and play for Valentine’s Day. The actual story (Judges 16) reads much closer to a classical tragedy in which political intrigue runs rampant, the very flawed hero falls, all hope is lost, and then everybody dies. Prostitution. Assault. Disfigurement. Ethnic cleansing. Not exactly suitable for Sunday school felt boards. What assortment of senses and experiences might capture the flavor of this seedy couple? Here’s my take.

Samson: a dog-eared book of riddles, crunchy raw honeycomb, glorying in the heat of battle, ‘Do Not Go Gentle’ by Dylan Thomas, signature cologne, dripping with sweat after an intense workout, merciless flirting, ink-colored dreadlocks, hot-blooded impulses, well-tailored suits, campouts in the wilderness, a warrior’s heart and a lover’s soul, going weak at the knees, crowds roaring, getting the last word, a cloud of dust and rubble

Delilah: the provocative curve of an exposed shoulder, smoke and mirrors, being followed by whispers, mastering the tango, the way silk hugs the body, an air of mystery, smelling a storm coming in, winged eyeliner, a giant stack of Harlequin novels, listening to old jazz, a decadent late breakfast in bed, passion fruit flowers, hip scarves that jingle with every step, telling secrets with charm, a cunning smile, the lustrous sheen of deep green velvet couches

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