1. Judges 16:4 (ESV)
  2. Exposition

What does “Delilah” mean?

Judges 16:4 (ESV)

4 After this he loved a woman in the Valley of Sorek, whose name was Delilah.

We do not know for sure what Delilah means. Some have related it to the Arabic dallatum, flirt. Others think it is likely related to a class of names derived from the Akkadian dalalum, to praise, glorify. Both are possible, but neither is certain. What may be more likely is the fact that the name sounds a lot like the Hebrew word for night (hallayla), a word that has occurred four times in Judges 16:2 and Judges 16:3 in relation to Samson's visit to the prostitute. With Delilah darkness starts to close around Samson again. Here comes another trap. And this time he will not escape.  Samson, whose name alludes to the sun (Sunny Boy), becomes morally compromised by Delilah, Night Woman.1 Because of her, he will lose his ”light,” his sight, and become both physically and figuratively blind.2