The Bible is home to many stories that have shaped the world that we live in today. The stories of the Bible seem to be life-lessons, taken literally by many readers. Among these stories, written in the Old Testament, are those involving Eve and Delilah. Stories like the ones involving Eve and Delilah have somewhat shaped the way women are viewed throughout all of society in today’s world. Throughout history women have always been viewed as inferior to men, the housekeeper, the child bearer, the caregiver, a piece of property, and as a temptress or seductress to men.
Throughout this paper I will compare Eve and Delilah in terms of their roles as women and tempters of men. Have Eve and Delilah corrupted their men, Adam and Samson? Or were Adam and Samson the ones at fault? Towards the end of this paper I will determine if these women were temptresses and seductresses and see how that has affected the way women have been viewed throughout history.
Most everyone is familiar with Genesis chapter three in the Bible. This is the creation story, or more commonly known as the story of Adam and Eve.
Eve had been told that she could eat from any of the trees in the garden with the exception of the tree in the middle of the garden. When Eve was in the garden one day she came across a serpent. The serpent told Eve to eat from the tree. He said, “You will not die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil” (Genesis, chapters 3. 4 and 3. 5). After hearing this, Eve took the fruit from the tree and ate it, and gave some to her husband, Adam.
The Lord God then came to Adam and Eve and he said, “Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat? ” (Genesis chapter 3. 11) Adam replied, saying that Eve had taken it and given it to him to eat. Eve then told the Lord God that the serpent lured her into eating from the tree. Because they disobeyed the Lord God he punished them. He told Eve, “I will greatly multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children, yet your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you” (Genesis, chapter 3. 6). To Adam, the Lord God said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth to you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; you are dust, and to dust you shall return” (Genesis, chapters 3. 7 to 3. 20). Genesis, chapter three has caused a lot of discussions throughout history. Who’s fault was it that Adam and Eve ate from the forbidden tree? Was it the serpent’s fault? After all, he lured Eve into eating from the tree in the first place. But Eve had already been told by the Lord God not to eat from the tree, and did it anyways. Adam, along with Eve, had been told by the Lord God to not eat from the tree, but when Eve brought him fruit he didn’t question it and ate it right up.
If I were Adam, and I were being given the fruit, I would have questioned it to make sure it wasn’t from the forbidden tree, but it doesn’t imply that that happened in the text. So it seems that it was Eve who tempted their fate and ultimately was at fault for getting them punished by the Lord God. She knew and understood that she wasn’t supposed to eat from the tree, and even questioned the serpent that seduced her, but took the fruit and ate it anyways. Because of this I think that Eve did ultimately corrupt Adam by giving him the fruit from the forbidden tree.
Another story from the Bible in which the woman is seen as the tempter or seducer is the story of Samson and Delilah in Judges, chapter sixteen. In this story Samson, a Hebrew, falls in love with Delilah, a Philistine. This was something that was highly unacceptable. It was looked down upon to be in a relationship with, or marry someone that wasn’t of your same ethnic group. In this instance, the Philistines find out that Delilah is in a relationship with Samson.
They come to her in hopes of finding Samson’s weakness so that they could overthrow him and his people. They wanted payback for Samson killing so many of their own people. So Delilah, wanting to protect her people and stay loyal to them, agreed to find out this information. Throughout this chapter, she asks Samson “Please tell me wherein your great strength lies, and how you might be bound, that one could subdue you” (Judges, chapter 6). Samson lies to her a few different times, not willing to give up his secret.
After each time Samson lies Delilah says, “Until now you have mocked me, and told me lies; tell me how you might be bound” (Judges, chapter 13). She makes him feel bad for lying, and eventually, Samson gives in and tells Delilah his secret to being subdued. Delilah then calls upon the Philistines to restrain Samson, and they do, leading to his demise. I think that Delilah was definitely a seductress and temptress when trying to reveal Samson’s weakness. She made Samson feel bad, like he was the one doing wrong by lying. I think that Samson did play a part in it though.
He knew it was risky to be in a relationship with a woman of a different group, and that the Philistine people didn’t like the Hebrew people. He also knew that by telling Delilah his weakness, he would basically be unlocking the key to the whole Hebrew city so that the Philistines could invade. But, it was ultimately Delilah who used her seductive, manipulative behavior to get Samson to admit his faults. She was relentless and really made Samson feel guilty for lying to her. In conclusion, I believe that both Eve and Delilah were temptresses and acted seductively.
Delilah, seducing Samson into giving up his weakness, and Eve tempting Adam and their fate by eating fruit from the forbidden tree. I think that both men did play a part in their own fate though, by giving into the seducing and tempting behavior of these women so easily. But, after examining these chapters closely it was the women who were at fault for both outcomes, and I now understand how women have been seen as seductive and corrupting human beings. Also, because of the punishment given to Eve by God, it is no wonder most of society has lived a very patriarchal way of life.
Cite this Comparing the Characters of Eve and Delilah in the Bible
Comparing the Characters of Eve and Delilah in the Bible. (2016, Dec 12). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/comparing-the-characters-of-eve-and-delilah-in-the-bible/