Exploring Jezebel’s Family Tree: Jezebel and Delilah
Previously we discussed Jezebel’s parents, but now we’ll be discussing Jezebel’s multiple personalities. We know that the spirit of Jezebel is one that utilizes witchcraft--manipulation, intimidation, or domination--to justify her expected end. She does not seek the throne herself, but rather seeks the power behind the throne. Her seductions are tailored to her prey, not merely overtly sexual. And she is dangerous, patient and dangerous. If you want to learn more about this specific spirit--in this form--then you may see here, but in this post we’re going to discuss her lesser known, yet just as strong personalities, starting with Delilah.
We’ll start with Delilah because she is the most obvious, most accepted, and most assumed manifestation of the spirit of Jezebel. Even though Scripture only tells us Jezebel painted her face once (II Kings 9:30), theologians and ministers have managed to build an entire theology around it.
Now, do I believe Jezebel made herself up on a regular basis? Yes. And do I believe Jezebel was a physically beautiful woman? Yes. However, I’m also sure you know like I know that a beautiful woman doesn’t have to do much to get men or even people in general to do her bidding. Of course, if she sets her sights on you, then chances are you’re a sucker at worst or it will be VERY hard for you to resist and you’ll have to run away like Joseph from Potiphar’s wife at best. But let’s see what the Bible tells us about this Delilah.
Afterward it happened that he loved a woman in the Valley of Sorek, whose name was Delilah. And the lords of the Philistines came up to her and said to her, “Entice him, and find out where his great strength lies, and by what means we may overpower him, that we may bind him to afflict him; and every one of us will give you eleven hundred pieces of silver.”
So Delilah said to Samson, “Please tell me where your great strength lies, and with what you may be bound to afflict you.”
And Samson said to her, “If they bind me with seven fresh bowstrings, not yet dried, then I shall become weak, and be like any other man.”
So the lords of the Philistines brought up to her seven fresh bowstrings, not yet dried, and she bound him with them. Now men were lying in wait, staying with her in the room. And she said to him, “The Philistines are upon you, Samson!” But he broke the bowstrings as a strand of yarn breaks when it touches fire. So the secret of his strength was not known.
Then Delilah said to Samson, “Look, you have mocked me and told me lies. Now, please tell me what you may be bound with.”
So he said to her, “If they bind me securely with new ropes that have never been used, then I shall become weak, and be like any other man.”
Therefore Delilah took new ropes and bound him with them, and said to him, “The Philistines are upon you, Samson!” And men were lying in wait, staying in the room. But he broke them off his arms like a thread.
Delilah said to Samson, “Until now you have mocked me and told me lies. Tell me what you may be bound with.”
And he said to her, “If you weave the seven locks of my head into the web of the loom”—
So she wove it tightly with the batten of the loom, and said to him, “The Philistines are upon you, Samson!” But he awoke from his sleep, and pulled out the batten and the web from the loom.
Then 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 have not told me where your great strength lies.” And it came to pass, when she pestered him daily with her words and pressed him, so that his soul was vexed to death, that he told her all his heart, and said to her, “No razor has ever come upon my head, for I have been a Nazirite to God from my mother’s womb. If I am shaven, then my strength will leave me, and I shall become weak, and be like any other man.”
When Delilah saw that he had told her all his heart, she sent and called for the lords of the Philistines, saying, “Come up once more, for he has told me all his heart.” So the lords of the Philistines came up to her and brought the money in their hand. Then she lulled him to sleep on her knees, and called for a man and had him shave off the seven locks of his head. Then she began to torment him, and his strength left him. And she said, “The Philistines are upon you, Samson!” So he awoke from his sleep, and said, “I will go out as before, at other times, and shake myself free!” But he did not know that the Lord had departed from him.
Then the Philistines took him and put out his eyes, and brought him down to Gaza. They bound him with bronze fetters, and he became a grinder in the prison. However, the hair of his head began to grow again after it had been shaven. (Judges 16:4-22)
Now this story always fascinated me. Not in an awe-inspiring way, but in a (forgive me Samson!) how-stupid-can-you-be? kind of way.
First of all, the woman was a harlot. And one of “great” repute. Therefore, she probably doesn’t have the best reputation for truth-telling. Let’s face it, if you’re a willful prostitute for a living, you aren’t a very trustworthy, fine, upstanding citizen.
Second, this woman nagged the living daylights out of Samson to tell her the secret of his strength. A trustworthy, loving woman would not do that. Yet Scripture tells us that “she pestered him daily with her words and pressed him, so that his soul was vexed to death” and finally he just spilled his guts to get her off his back. Talk about prizeworthy woman!
Third, after every single false confession, SHE TRIED IT ON HIM to see if it would work. You’d think any man with a working brain would realise what her game was, but alas, this is what happens when men don’t think with the head on their shoulders. *facepalm*
Fourth, after the first three attempts failed, he’s presumably dumb and grinning like it’s all in good fun (how, I don’t possibly know!!), she has to nerve to mad at him like he did her wrong!
Fifth, when he finally, truthfully, spills the beans to Delilah, true to form, she shaves his head, breaks his strength, and allows the hidden Philistines to attack him and gouge out his eyes, all for eleven hundred pieces of silver.
Delilah, while she may not have intentionally selected Samson for the sake of overthrowing him, still did this at her authority’s bidding. This is what King David, a man with a weakness for the ladies, told his son Solomon who, unfortunately, inherited his father’s lusts to great effect, about harlots.
To deliver you from the immoral woman, from the seductress who flatters with her words, who forsakes the companion of her youth, and forgets the covenant of her God. For her house leads down to death, and her paths to the dead; none who go to her return, nor do they regain the paths of life… (Proverbs 2:16-19)
For the lips of an immoral woman drip honey, and her mouth is smoother than oil; but in the end she is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword. Her feet go down to death, her steps lay hold of hell. Lest you ponder her path of life—her ways are unstable; you do not know them…. Remove your way far from her, and do not go near the door of her house, lest you give your honor to others, and your years to the cruel one; lest aliens be filled with your wealth, and your labors go to the house of a foreigner; and you mourn at last, when your flesh and your body are consumed, and say: “How I have hated instruction, and my heart despised correction! I have not obeyed the voice of my teachers, nor inclined my ear to those who instructed me! I was on the verge of total ruin, in the midst of the assembly and congregation.” Drink water from your own cistern, and running water from your own well. Should your fountains be dispersed abroad, streams of water in the streets? Let them be only your own, and not for strangers with you. Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice with the wife of your youth. As a loving deer and a graceful doe, let her breasts satisfy you at all times; and always be enraptured with her love. For why should you, my son, be enrapture by an immoral woman, and be embraced in the arms of a seductress? For the ways of man are before the eyes of the Lord, and He ponders all his paths. His own iniquities entrap the wicked man, and he is caught in the cords of his sin. He shall die for lack of instruction, and in the greatness of his folly he shall go astray. (Proverbs 5:3-6, 8-23)
Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,” and call understanding your nearest kin, that they may keep you from the immoral woman, from the seductress who flatters with her words. For at the window of my house I looked through my lattice, and saw among the simple, I perceived among the youths, a young man devoid of understanding, passing along the street near her corner; and he took the path to her house in the twilight, in the evening, in the black and dark night. And there a woman met him, with the attire of a harlot, and a crafty heart. She was loud and rebellious, her feet would not stay at home. At times she was outside, at times in the open square, lurking at every corner. So she caught him and kissed him; with an impudent face she said to him: “I have peace offerings with me; today I have paid my vows. So I came out to meet you, diligently to seek your face, and I have found you. I have spread my bed with tapestry, colored coverings of Egyptian linen. I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon. Come, let us take our fill of love until morning; let us delight ourselves with love. For my husband is not at home; he has gone on a long journey; he has taken a bag of money with him, and will come home on the appointed day.” With her enticing speech she caused him to yield, with her flattering lips she seduced him. Immediately he went after her, as an ox goes to the slaughter, or as a fool to the correction of the stocks, till an arrow struck his liver. As a bird hastens to the snare, he did not know it would cost his life. Now therefore, listen to me, my children; pay attention to the words of my mouth: do not let your heart turn aside to her ways, do not stray into her paths; for she has cast down many wounded, and all who were slain by her were strong men. Her house is the way to hell, descending to the chambers of death. (Proverbs 7:4-27)
Apparently, David had much to say on this subject. But to sum it up:
The seductress is without morals, hence the term “the immoral woman.”
Her way leads to death.
She may taste sweet at first, but her bite is unforgettably bitter and piercing.
A wise man does not go near this seductress because he knows he’ll suffer the multi-faceted consequences if he does.
A man should indulge in the safety of his own wife in his own bed.
A man can become entrapped (entangled) by his own sins.
The seductress is loud, rebellious, won’t stay in her own home (business, relationship, etc.).
The seductress is a woman of prey.
The seductress is an extremely flattering, persuasive communicator.
This woman is nothing to play with. And while Solomon uses the image of a woman to convey immorality and ignorance (as he also does to display wisdom), there are a fair amount of immoral, seducing, men of prey as well. Seducing spirits are no respector of persons--host or prey, sexual or spiritual.
Ezekiel paints a very interesting picture of these spiritually seductive women of prey.
“Likewise, son of man, set your face against the daughters of your people, who prophesy out of their own heart; prophesy against them, and say, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Woe to the women who sew magic charms on their sleeves and make veils for the heads of people of every height to hunt souls! Will you hunt the souls of My people, and keep yourselves alive? And will you profane Me among My people for handfuls of barley and for pieces of bread, killing people who should not die, and keeping people alive who should not live, by your lying to My people who listen to lies?”
“‘Therefore thus says the Lord God: “Behold, I am against your magic charms by which you hunt souls there like birds. I will tear them from your arms, and let the souls go, the souls you hunt like birds. I will also tear off your veils and deliver My people out of your hand, and they shall no longer be as prey in your hand. Then you shall know that I am the Lord.”’” (Ezekiel 13:17-21)
These seductresses hunt the souls of God’s people like sport and for this great wickedness, God promises great retribution. Interestingly enough, this passage comes from a lengthier passage discussing false prophets which Jezebel has a vested interest in swaying, training, and raising up. Let’s take a look at another passage that pulls these seductions together.
But I have this against you, that you tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess and is teaching and seducing my servants to practice sexual immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols. (Revelation 2:20 ESV)
The ESV is a great translation, yet The Message Bible breaks it down in a way I’ve never heard before:
But why do you let that Jezebel who calls herself a prophet mislead my dear servants into Cross-denying, self-indulging religion? I gave her a chance to change her ways, but she has no intention of giving up a career in the god-business. I’m about to lay her low, along with her partners, as they play their sex-and-religion games. The bastard offspring of their idol-whoring I’ll kill. Then every church will know that appearances don’t impress me. I x-ray every motive and make sure you get what’s coming to you. (Revelation 20:20-23)
Sounds like hyper-grace theology to me!! And yet it’s so much more. It’s everyone who tells you any sort of sexual immorality is okay. Do you boo! It’s everyone who tells you same-sex marriage, even though it’s condemned in the Bible, is not bad nowadays. It’s all the cults that place great emphasis on [unmarried, extramarital] sex now and or in the afterlife. It’s the Fivefold minister who whores around, yet still gets up to preach or lead worship on Sunday morning completely unrepentant. Every single person or doctrine that leads you into physical or spiritual harlotry/adultery is represented in this passage--and that is exactly what Jezebel-Delilah’s end is.
What did Delilah do to Samson?
She found him when he was weak: hunted him.
She enticed him to her bed: seduction.
She lulled him to sleep: apathy.
She overthrew his reasoning: demonic confusion.
She took his strength: caused the glory to depart.
She took his sight: blinded by the god of this world.
She imprisoned him: entangled and shackled him.
This Jezebel weakened Samson’s body, mind, and finally, his spirit. And all for the sake of the destruction of Israel. Without Samson, who would judge the nation? Without Samson, who be a one-man army against Israel’s mortal enemies? Kill Samson and Israel is free for the taking. Yes this Jezebel is a formidable foe. She brought down the mightiest man in Scripture. She sent Elijah running into the wilderness. But, thank God, what she never counts on, is her violent, untimely end.
God is indeed a mighty Deliverer. His strength is without end. Yet this Jezebel is a force to be reckoned with and her greatest strength does not lie in muscles or man-power, but in swaying you to her side so you are no longer under the protection of God. And once you leave His wings of safety, you--like Samson--are free for the taking. Let’s not forget it was another Jezebel (Herodias) who took John the Baptist’s head. Delilah-Jezebel had Samson grinding [grain] in prison: the punishment of a prostitute. He was blinded for life and in his final act of strength against the Philistines, he perished with them under the fallen pillars of the Temple of Dagon. Sure, he killed more Philistines that day than in his life altogether--but he died too. Jezebel, if undeterred, will always take your life. Playing with her, sexually or spiritually, is not a chance you want to take. I leave you with the words of Jesus:
And I gave [Jezebel] time to repent of her sexual immorality, and she did not repent. Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their deeds. I will kill her children with death, and all the churches shall know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts. And I will give to each one of you according to your works. (Revelation 2:21-23)