xii + 321 pp.
£37.50 / $47.50 / €40
£75 / $95 / €80
Samson and Delilah
J. Cheryl Exum
Samson and Delilah. Well-known biblical figures in a tale of deception, betrayal and a haircut. Or is there more to the tale than this?
There is, in fact, a good deal more, as J. Cheryl Exum demonstrates in this wide-ranging collection of her essays. Far from being a simple story, the tale in Judges 13–16 about Samson and his adventures, culminating in his fatal liaison with Delilah, is a subtle, nuanced and highly complex narrative with an elaborate literary structure, a sophisticated theological programme, and an ambitious and problematic androcentric agenda. It is, moreover, a story that lives on in literature, art, music and even Hollywood films.
The eleven essays brought together in this volume investigate the Samson story from a diversity of critical perspectives and in a variety of its afterlives. Both Samson and Delilah are characters of many facets, as these essays reveal, and Judges 13–16 emerges from this investigation as a story that encourages and supports rather than resists multiple, often incompatible, modes of reading it.
J. Cheryl Exum is Professor of Biblical Studies at the University of Sheffield.
FORM AND MEANING
1. PROMISE AND FULFILMENT: NARRATIVE ART IN JUDGES 13
2. SYMMETRY AND BALANCE IN THE SAMSON SAGA, PART 1
3. SYMMETRY AND BALANCE IN THE SAMSON SAGA, PART 2
4. THE THEOLOGICAL DIMENSION OF THE SAMSON SAGA
LITERARY AND FEMINIST READINGS
5. SAMSON AND SAUL: THE COMIC AND THE TRAGIC VISIONS
6. SAMSON’S WOMEN
7. LOVIS CORINTH’S THE BLINDED SAMSON
8. WHY, WHY, WHY, DELILAH?
9. NOTORIOUS BIBLICAL WOMEN IN MANCHESTER: SPENCER STANHOPE’S EVE AND FREDERICK PICKERSGILL’S DELILAH
10. SAMSON AND HIS GOD: MODERN CULTURE READS THE BIBLE
11. THE MANY FACES OF SAMSON
Exum’s fine scholarship and accessible writing is on display in this work. She is able to traverse a wide variety of approaches that allow this short narrative to be considered from perspectives which illuminate the text, common readings,
interpretations and representations of the story, and the gaps between them. This text would make a fine addition to reading lists, as well as being a highly enjoyable read for the discerning reader. Michelle Eastwood, Australian Biblical Review.