The Bible Collection: Samson and Delilah
“Samson and Delilah” is the timeless story of the hero of the Israelites and the beautiful Philistine who tests his faith. Samson is a simple shepherd with the strength of a titan who becomes a leader and fighter for the Israelites over the Philistines. His leadership lasts for 20 years until he meets Delilah, a scheming Philistine beauty who is a spy for the Philistine leader, King Hanun. Samson succumbs to his passion for her and betrays his secret by telling her that his enormous strength comes from his long hair, which has never been cut. Delilah is thus able to rob him of his strength and deliver him to the enemy.
The Philistines capture the weakened Samson, blind him and throw him into prison. Just when his end seems to be close at hand, Samson rediscovers his faith and God returns his strength to him. During a feast, in which he is brought out to be ridiculed by the Philistine leaders, Samson braces himself against the temple’s mighty pillars and brings the walls crashing down, burying the enemy beneath the debris.
Samson was born to a barren woman, and he was set apart for service to God before his birth. God used him mightily in many ways as a leader and a defender of his people. He was a man of great strength and valor but strayed from his vow to remain true to God as he sought out the favors of beautiful women, most notably Delilah. Her deception led to his capture, downfall and death as he made the grave error of entrusting her with the secret of his strength.Samson’s fall from grace is familiar to many people. The film powerfully depicts his demise and ruin and God’s grace toward him, even as he is maimed, chained and displayed for the pleasure of his enemies. This film provides an acceptable portrayal of the story basics. The directors loosely followed the life of Samson but chose to embellish parts of it and leave out key pieces throughout the story, and in doing so, they compromised the impact of this incredible story. The sexual scene between Samson and Delilah is portrayed in a graphic and detailed moment, with little left to the imagination. The sexuality is overbearing for the screen and inappropriate for a film which carries a responsibility to portray a biblical story of faith. The redeeming quality of Samson’s story is God’s ability to use imperfect people for greatness. For thousands of years, the biblical account of his life clearly tells of Samson’s sins and the costly price he paid. Unfortunately, the producers of this film did not make God’s redemption the central theme. Instead, they chose to stray from their portrayal of tastefully done, high-quality and realistic biblical stories, which are a trademark of the “Bible Collection” series. We are, therefore, awarding this film our “Faith-Based” Seal with a Caution, for the sexual overtones.