Delilah is perhaps the most notorious Biblical antihero. In a time when most women’s personalities could be copy and pasted for each other without anyone noticing, Delilah stands out as a woman who consciously chooses to do the wrong thing out of a typically masculine motivation: greed. The Philistines promised a prize of 1,100 pieces of silver to Delilah if she could discover the weakness of the beloved Israelite hero Samson. Through time and seduction, he finally admits to her that his uncut hair is the source of his heroic power.
What comes next is an incredibly well-known legend: Delilah orders one of her servants to cut Samson’s hair, leaving him blind and powerless. The Philistines are then able to take him as a prisoner, and Delilah is given the promised payment in silver. Interestingly, the Bible does not state whether Delilah was a Philistine herself of an Israelite like Samson. It is also unknown if she was his lover or merely a target of his affections. Some modern feminist scholars have argued that Delilah’s Biblical reputation is unjust, and the story may look quite different had the Philistines left a written record of the story themselves.