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Judges 16:16

ESV And when she pressed him hard with her words day after day, and urged him, his soul was vexed to death.
NIV With such nagging she prodded him day after day until he was sick to death of it.
NASB And it came about, when she pressed him daily with her words and urged him, that his soul was annoyed to death.
CSB Because she nagged him day after day and pleaded with him until she wore him out,
NLT She tormented him with her nagging day after day until he was sick to death of it.
KJV And it came to pass, when she pressed him daily with her words, and urged him, so that his soul was vexed unto death;

What does Judges 16:16 mean?

In the modern world, we are often baffled to learn that yet another high-ranking politician or businessman has been found guilty of giving away secrets to a woman he had recently met and begun sleeping with. Government officials are often warned to expect those exact tactics from spies and saboteurs. Still, it has continued to happen over and over throughout history. Even when the woman is not a paid spy, as is Delilah (Judges 16:4–6), it's a persistent flaw in the morality of men. This is the reason so many advisors in the ancient world were eunuchs: men castrated to eliminate their desire for women.

Samson is among Scripture's most infamous, harshest examples of this masculine weakness. His God-given supernatural strength gave him no protection from lust or emotional frailty. He's been fooled by Delilah into thinking she loves him and simply wants to be trusted (Judges 16:7–15). He wants the woman he adores to be convinced that his love is true. His natural temptation was to keep nothing from her so that they could be truly intimate.

That emotional urge would run counter to common sense. Samson may have been lustful and arrogant, but he was not stupid. He would have fully understood the incredible risk involved in telling anyone the key to his superhuman strength. This verse indicates that Delilah's manipulation was incredibly effective. The internal struggle was literally killing Samson. His soul was "vexed to death" (ESV) or "sick to death" (NIV). He wanted to tell her the truth even as he knew he should not.

In the end, Samson chose to believe that if he fully opened himself to Delilah, she would fully accept him for who he was. Sadly, he was wrong—the warning signs he'd foolishly ignored when he first met her will be overcome by her brilliant seduction (Judges 16:17–19).
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