Judges 16:4
And it came to pass afterward, that he loved a woman in the valley of Sorek, whose name was Delilah.
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(4) He loved a woman.—Delilah was not, as Milton represents, his wife. Josephus (Antt. v. 8, § 11) says that she was one who played the harlot among the Philistines, and the fathers all speak of her in similar terms. Nor is it at all clear—as is generally assumed—that she was a Philistine.

In the valley of Sorek.—The English Version here follows the Vulgate, but the word for valley is nachal, and the words may mean (as the LXX. take them) “on the brook of Sorek.” Sorek was not in the Philistine district, but was near Samson’s native town of Zorah (Judges 13:2). It seems to have derived its name from the “choice vines” that grew there (Genesis 49:11; Isaiah 5:2; Jeremiah 2:21, Hebr.).

Delilah.—The “tender” or “delicate.” Ewald thinks it means “the traitress,” referring to Journ. Asiat., 2:389. The Rabbis refer it to the root daldal, “to debilitate.”

Jdg 16:4. He loved a woman in the valley of Sorek — Through which passed the river of the same name. This place, famous for its vines, was about a mile and a half from Eshcol, whence the spies brought their bunch of grapes. Here Samson met with Delilah, who, whether she was a Jewess or a Philistine, was probably a harlot, and not, as Chrysostom and some others have asserted, a woman of reputation married by Samson; because the dreadful punishment now inflicted upon him for his intercourse with her, after God had spared him for the first offence, certainly manifests that this sin was not inferior to the former.

16:4-17 Samson had been more than once brought into mischief and danger by the love of women, yet he would not take warning, but is again taken in the same snare, and this third time is fatal. Licentiousness is one of the things that take away the heart. This is a deep pit into which many have fallen; but from which few have escaped, and those by a miracle of mercy, with the loss of reputation and usefulness, of almost all, except their souls. The anguish of the suffering is ten thousand times greater than all the pleasures of the sin.A village to the north of Eleutheropolis, called Caphar-Sotek, was still existing in the time of Eusebius, near Zorah. Jud 16:4-14. Delilah Corrupted by the Philistines.

4. he loved a woman in the valley of Sorek—The location of this place is not known, nor can the character of Delilah be clearly ascertained. Her abode, her mercenary character, and her heartless blandishments afford too much reason to believe she was a profligate woman.

He loved a woman; either, first, With conjugal love, so as to marry her, as divers both Jews and Christians have thought. Or, secondly, With lustful love, as a harlot; which though not certain, because the phrase is here ambiguous, she being neither called a harlot, as she of Gaza was, Judges 16:1, nor yet his wife, as she of Timnath was, Judges 14:2,3,20, yet it may seem more probable; partly, because the dreadful punishment now inflicted upon Samson for this sin, whom God spared for the first offence, is an intimation that this sin was not inferior to the former; partly, because the confidence which the Philistine lords had in her, and their bold and frequent treating with her, and the whole course of her carriage towards Samson, show her to be a mercenary and perfidious harlot, and not a wife, whose affection and interest would have obliged her to better things; and partly, because Samson did not carry her home to his house, as husbands use to do their wives; but lodged in her house, as appears from the whole story.

And it came to pass afterwards, that he loved a woman in the valley of Sorek,.... Which, according to Adrichomius (y) was but half a mile from the brook Eshcol, from whence the spies brought a bunch of grapes, as a specimen of the fruit of the land of Canaan; and this valley of Sorek seems to have been famous for the best wine, and hither Samson retired for refreshment and pleasure; but, according to Jerom (z), it was on the north of Eleutheropolis, where, he says, was shown a village in his time called Capharsorech, near the village Zorah, from whence Samson was; and Bunting (a) makes it to be twelve miles from Hebron, and twelve from Jerusalem; where he met with a woman he loved; whether she was an Israelite, or one of the daughters of the Philistines, they now being the rulers of Israel, is not said; most likely the latter, as say Ben Gersom and Abarbinel, since the lords of the Philistines were so intimate with her, and were entertained in her house, and she showed more respect to them than to Samson. The Jews say she became a proselyte, but if she did, there is very little evidence of her being a sincere one: some have thought, that the courtship to her was a lawful conjugal love; that falling in love with her, he courted and married her; but this is not very likely, since no mention is made of his marriage to her, nor did he take her home, but dwelt in her house: it rather seems to be an impure and unlawful love he had to her, and that she was an harlot, as Josephus (b); and all her conduct and behaviour confirm the same:

whose name was Delilah; the Jews say (c) she was so called because she weakened the heart and spirit of Samson, and weakened his strength, and weakened his works; and therefore, if this had not been her name, they say it was one very proper for her.

(y) Ut supra, (Theatrum Terra Sanct.) p. 24. (z) De loc. Heb. fol. 94. L. (a) Travels, p. 116, 117. (b) Ut supra, (Antiqu. l. 5. c. 8.) sect. 11. (c) T. Bab. Sotah, fol. 9. 2.

And it came to pass afterward, that he loved a woman in the valley of Sorek, whose name was Delilah.
4–31. Samson and Delîlah: his ruin and famous end

4. the valley of Sorek] Now Wâdi eṣ-Ṣarâr, a broad valley narrowing as it rises towards the Judaean highlands; the railway from Jaffa to Jerusalem ascends the lower part of it. Soreḳ denotes a choice kind of vine (Genesis 49:11, Isaiah 5:2, Jeremiah 2:21), which may have given its name to the valley. A ruined site near Ṣar‘a (Jdg 13:2 n.) is still called Sûrîk.

Verse 4. - Sorek. See Judges 14:5, note. The name has not yet been discovered as applied to any existing spot; but Eusebius in the 'Onomasticon' speaks of a village Caphar-sorek as still existing near Zorah. The term valley (nachal) describes a wady, i.e. a narrow valley with a stream. Judges 16:4Samson and Delilah. - Judges 16:4. After this successful act, Samson gave himself up once more to his sensual lusts. He fell in love with a woman in the valley of Sorek, named Delilah (i.e., the weak or pining one), to whose snares he eventually succumbed. With reference to the valley of Sorek, Eusebius affirms in the Onom. (s. v. Σωρήχ), that there was a village called Βαρήχ (l. Καφὰρ σωρήχ according to Jerome) near Zorea, and ἐν ὁρίοις (l. βορείοις according to Jerome, who has ad septentrionalem plagam); and also (s. v. Σωρήκ) that this place was near to Eshtaol. Consequently the Sorek valley would have to be sought for somewhere in the neighbourhood of Samson's birthplace (Judges 13:1), and the dwelling-place of his family (Judges 16:31).
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