Judges 16:15 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Judges 16:15, NIV: Then she said to him, 'How can you say, 'I love you,' when you won't confide in me? This is the third time you have made a fool of me and haven't told me the secret of your great strength.'

Judges 16:15, ESV: And she said to him, “How can you say, ‘I love you,’ when your heart is not with me? You have mocked me these three times, and you have not told me where your great strength lies.”

Judges 16:15, KJV: And she said unto him, How canst thou say, I love thee, when thine heart is not with me? thou hast mocked me these three times, and hast not told me wherein thy great strength lieth.

Judges 16:15, NASB: Then she said to him, 'How can you say, ‘I love you,’ when your heart is not with me? You have toyed with me these three times and have not told me where your great strength is.'

Judges 16:15, NLT: Then Delilah pouted, 'How can you tell me, 'I love you,' when you don't share your secrets with me? You've made fun of me three times now, and you still haven't told me what makes you so strong!'

Judges 16:15, CSB: "How can you say, 'I love you,' " she told him, "when your heart is not with me? This is the third time you have mocked me and not told me what makes your strength so great! "

What does Judges 16:15 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Samson's entire life is marked by weakness for women (Judges 14:16–17; 16:1). In Timnah, this involved a different woman and a different secret, but the tactic was the same. Then it was Samson's new bride who claimed he hated her since he wouldn't reveal the answer to his unfair riddle. He eventually gave in and told her, only to learn she was betraying him to the Philistines.

Now another woman is using the exact same tactic. He has resisted her to this point by simply lying about the source of his supernatural strength. In fact, he has made a game of it, allowing her to tie him up multiple times, even weaving fabric into his hair only to show that his strength was still with him (Judges 16:7–14). Each time, Samson probably assumed it was all in playful fun, allowing him to show off and entertaining his lover.

Unlike the other women Samson has known, however, Delilah truly has his heart. So, when she accuses him of lying when he tells her he loves her, it hurts. She says his heart is not truly with her, that he's abusing her by making fun of her requests. If Delilah were not lying (Judges 16:4–6) and genuinely loved Samson, this might be a fair complaint. Deep intimacy would suggest not keeping such secrets. On the other hand, if she loved him, it's unlikely she would be so transparently manipulative in her approach.

Samson isn't blind—yet (Judges 16:21)—so he could have considered the same facts. Yet he is deeply vulnerable to women. And this is the woman he sincerely loves. Each time she's asked for his secret, and taken advantage, nothing bad has happened—though he doesn't know there have been men waiting in case he really was weakened (Judges 16:9, 12). He continues to resist Delilah, but he begins to falter. He will eventually break, fully trusting her and assuming she'd never go as far as she does (Judges 16:16–19).