Judges 16:6 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Judges 16:6, NIV: So Delilah said to Samson, 'Tell me the secret of your great strength and how you can be tied up and subdued.'

Judges 16:6, ESV: So Delilah said to Samson, “Please tell me where your great strength lies, and how you might be bound, that one could subdue you.”

Judges 16:6, KJV: And Delilah said to Samson, Tell me, I pray thee, wherein thy great strength lieth, and wherewith thou mightest be bound to afflict thee.

Judges 16:6, NASB: So Delilah said to Samson, 'Please tell me where your great strength lies, and how you can be bound to humble you.'

Judges 16:6, NLT: So Delilah said to Samson, 'Please tell me what makes you so strong and what it would take to tie you up securely.'

Judges 16:6, CSB: So Delilah said to Samson, "Please tell me, where does your great strength come from? How could someone tie you up and make you helpless? "

What does Judges 16:6 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The rulers of the Philistines have banded together, trying to stop Samson the Israelite for the last time. They have approached a woman Samson loves (Judges 16:4–5) with an offer of enormous sums of money. She can have the fortune if she seduces Samson to learn his weakness, resulting in the Philistines capturing him. She has agreed.

As reported in this verse, Delilah's approach is not at all subtle. She bluntly asks Samson what seems like a suspicious question: tell me why you are strong and how to defeat you! However, this is a clever and effective strategy. She asks the question of a man who loves her so asking directly is somewhat like "hiding in plain sight." Samson has a sharp mind of his own. Her tactic is much less suspicious than trying to cleverly get an accidental admission.

The following passage (Judges 16:7–20) shows how Delilah frames everything as a sort of game. Samson might have thought it was all flirting and banter, right up to the point where he was betrayed. Readers may wonder if Samson knew Delilah was working for the Philistines. With the benefit of hindsight, this appears obvious. Yet Scripture relays Samson and Delilah's relationship in only seventeen verses; many details are left out. We're not told how long it took for this process to play out. Nor should we assume that the words recorded here were their only conversations about the subject.

Samson's strength is only outdone by his lack of self-control and poor decision-making. At the very least, he's ignoring common sense and whatever warning signs were present. Eventually, after lulling Samson into a false sense of security, Delilah will succeed in her epic betrayal (Judges 16:21).