1. Judges 16:14 (ESV)
  2. Exposition

What do we know about looms in those days?

Judges 16:14 (ESV)

14 So while he slept, Delilah took the seven locks of his head and wove them into the web. And she made them tight with the pin and said to him, “The Philistines are upon you, Samson!” But he awoke from his sleep and pulled away the pin, the loom, and the web.

According to J.H. Walton, V. Matthews, and M.W. Chavalas, there were a couple of looms used in those days, one horizontal and the other vertical. They suggest that the description of Delilah’s loom makes it sound as though this loom was horizontal. Such a loom had four stakes driven into the ground.1 And given the domestic setting, the loom would not have been very large. What may well have happened then is Samson lay asleep on a mat on the floor, with his head toward the loom. Delilah then takes his hair, one lock at a time, and weaves it into a web on the loom, and then uses a pin, likely made of wood, to fasten each row of thread by tapping it tightly into place against the previous rows.2 This would make Samson’s hair an integral part of the cloth on the loom, expected to hold him tight.