Judges 16:14 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Judges 16:14, NIV: and tightened it with the pin. Again she called to him, 'Samson, the Philistines are upon you!' He awoke from his sleep and pulled up the pin and the loom, with the fabric.

Judges 16:14, ESV: So while he slept, Delilah took the seven locks of his head and wove them into the web. And she made them tight with the pin and said to him, “The Philistines are upon you, Samson!” But he awoke from his sleep and pulled away the pin, the loom, and the web.

Judges 16:14, KJV: And she fastened it with the pin, and said unto him, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And he awaked out of his sleep, and went away with the pin of the beam, and with the web.

Judges 16:14, NASB: So while he slept, Delilah wove the seven locks of his hair with the web]. And she fastened it with the pin and said to him, 'The Philistines are upon you, Samson!' But he awoke from his sleep and pulled out the pin of the loom and the web.

Judges 16:14, NLT: Then she tightened it with the loom shuttle. Again she cried out, 'Samson! The Philistines have come to capture you!' But Samson woke up, pulled back the loom shuttle, and yanked his hair away from the loom and the fabric.

Judges 16:14, CSB: She fastened the braids with a pin and called to him, "Samson, the Philistines are here! " He awoke from his sleep and pulled out the pin, with the loom and the web.

What does Judges 16:14 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

For the third time in what he probably thinks is a flirtatious game, Samson has lied to Delilah about how to eliminate his supernatural strength (Judges 16:7–13). He probably believes she's asking out of curiosity and in response to his love (Judges 16:4). Her repeated attempts, followed by his easy escape, might have seemed like a flirtatious game. The truth is that Delilah's being paid by Samson's enemies to discover his weakness (Judges 16:5–6). Most recently, he told her that weaving his long hair into fabric on a loom would make him weak.

In a way, Samson's lies mock superstitious traditions of his time. The use of seven fresh bowstrings (Judges 16:7)—undried parts of animal carcasses such as tendons—would have sounded like something from worship of a false idol. According to some legends, a person's hair was thought to contain their essence. There was no doubt Samson's physical power was supernatural (Judges 15:14–15; 16:3). Delilah likely expected the secret to involve some odd cultic practice.

Carrying out Samson's new suggestion would have taken quite a bit of work. Scholars suggest that to weave fabric into his hair as described would have required laying down near a loom. Stakes would be secured to the ground or floor. The hair would be pulled straight as it was woven together with the thread of the fabric of the "web." Samson slept through the procedure, which he almost certainly knew was happening. The only other possibility is that he was drugged—though that probably would have made him too suspicious to give Delilah any further ideas.

Delilah then follows the same pattern already demonstrated. When she's finished weaving his hair and secured everything tightly with a pin, she called out to him once more as if his enemies are attacking. Samson wakes up, easily pulls out the pin and frees himself from the loom and the web.