|Samson's Delilah's Role Model
Copyright 2023 by Ezra Azra
Photo by James Jacques Joseph Tissot at Wikimedia Commons.
James, Judges, 4, 5.
went out to meet him. She said unto him, “Turn in, my lord.
Turn in to me. Fear not.” And when he had turned in unto her
into her tent, he asked for water, and she gave him milk; she brought
forth butter in a lordly dish. And while he was fast asleep and
weary, she took a nail of the tent and took a workman’s hammer
in her right hand. She smote the nail into his temples. So he died."
was a war being waged by two nearby nations on either side of Jae's
country. She looked and listened from her backdoor. Intermittently,
war sounds drifted within range of her hearing.
carpenter-General husband was away, delivering an item of furniture
he had made for a client. In their back yard was his workman’s
bench. On it were carpenter's tools. A towel was draped round her
neck because she was about to take a bath. She took a few steps into
the yard, and looked about in the distance.
soldier, holding a sword weakly, battle-weary, staggered into view
nearby. They saw each other. She backed away, in fear. He stopped,
stabbed his sword into the ground, and called out, hoarsely.
is Kenite country?" Fearfully, "Yes." "You have
nothing to fear from me, woman. You Kenites are neutral in this war.
I am Canaanite. I am just lost."
"Would--would you like some water to drink?" "I would
like some water to drink, lady, but, then, you would not be neutral
anymore. Some of us Canaanites will attack your home. Not all of us
respect the Kenite wish to be neutral. Thanks, anyway."
timidly asked, without any interest, "How far away is the
fighting?" Wearily, "Sometimes far, sometimes around the
corner. Before I was knocked unconscious, it was everywhere. When I
got up, it was not there. Not anywhere within sight. Just dead
bodies all around."
are not fighting Kenites. My husband told me. He is a Kenite
General." "Not yet." "Not yet?" "This
is war, lady. Kenite country is a shortcut for us. You should think
about leaving. Look at me; I am lost, and yet here I am, lost in
Kenite country. Which way is out?"
pointing, "That way leads out of Kenite territory." "Your
husband is a Kenite General?" "Yes." "Best not be
so quick to give that out."
exited the way she indicated. She paused, looking the way the
soldier exited. Deb entered cautiously from the other direction, and
whispered. "Jae!" Jae jumped a little in fright.
Sis!" "Who were you talking with?" "A soldier."
"News from your husband?" "No. A lost Canaanite
soldier." "A Canaanite?" "Yes." "We are
not in this war. Why is he here?"
is lost, Deb. He knows we are not in this war. He has left. That
way?" "Yes. Out of Kenite country. I showed him."
distressed, "Oh, dear!" "Deb, he has left." "The
way I was going to flee with the children." "Flee? Deb, we
are not in this war. We are safe."
husband said if he is not back in two days, I am to run away that way
with the children. My husband was right, Jae. You spoke with that
Canaanite. They are here."
he was lost. And he was respectful about Kenite neutrality.
are you going with the children?" "To Kedesh."
course. To Jabin’s parents." "Yes." "The
heart of Canaanite country, Deb." "Just until this war is
over, Jae." "And best if the Canaanites ignore our
neutrality and invade us, huh?"
resigned. "Will you look after our home while we’re gone?
to, Sis. As always. Especially now that fig-tree season is here." "Eat
all you can, Jae. We will have all we wish, in Kedesh.
Just remember, no matter how out-of-reach the high ones, let them
fall; do not---."
the branches to get at them." They smile drily at each other.
been awhile since I was a reckless kid, Deb."
walked hesitantly to look where the soldier exited.
I have to bring this up. As slight as it is, there is a possibility
you won’t be returning."
know." "Your Sera and Nijay are marriageable." "Yes,
Sis. I know.",
risk living among your Canaanite family when our Hebrew family is in
the same direction for most of the way. Tell your husband you got
won’t mind. Come on, Deb, all of us know the first reason Jabin
married you is because he wanted his children to have Hebrew
ancestry. He will be thrilled this war has given you and his children
reason to live in the same home with direct descendants of Moses."
was a pause as each looked at the other, steadily. Deb turned
right, Jae. You come with us. Both of us will tell Jabin we got lost.
It will be better if you took all the blame. Everybody knows you are
the bossy type." They broke out into gentle laughter.
would love to. Sera and Nijay love hanging out here with me. But I
have to be here when Heber gets back." "He
contacted you?" "Not yet, Deb."
are lucky you do not have children in these times, Jae."
the children. All of you live here until the war is over." "I
would love nothing better, Jae. But my husband’s parents are
expecting me and the children there."
I will keep an eye on your home while you are gone." "Thanks,
Jae. One more thing." "Do not hesitate."
children are upset because Seti has not come home in days." "The
"If she turns up, I will look after her." "Thanks."
But she hesitated. "Jae." "Deb? What?"
told me that some Kenite soldiers do not want to be neutral."
have not heard that. Why would they?" "Jae, Kenite country
is smaller than either of those two at war. He says whichever wins,
will attack us." "We have borders with both, Deb. Which one
do we ally with?"
your Heber is a General. He would know. Ask him." "My
husband is old-fashioned. Women must stay out, and be kept out of
with us. Leave a note for him."
if the king approved of taking sides, he would not approve of women
and children being left alone at home during this war. Your Jabin
will be in trouble with the king if the king finds out you are
fleeing your home because you think Kenite neutrality is a mistake."
timidly, "I have to obey my husband, Jae." "I know,
Deb. I am not faulting you. Besides, if Heber gets wounded, they will
bring him here to me. And then there is the other thing, now."
I leave with you, there will be nobody here when Seti returns home."
Both smiled. Deb, softly, "Goodbye, my bossy Sister. Love you."
"The most, always." They hugged.
referring to the towel, "You are going to have a bath. How I
envy you. I have not been able to find the time to have one since
Jabin left for the war." She exited.
to herself, "Sis, please have a bath before you reach your
mother-in-law. And you, poor Seti, please return now. Probably
already eaten by those cannibal Canaanites." She went about
putting the scattered yard items in one place.
Canaanite General entered. He was more battle-weary than the soldier
was. He carried a broken sword. They saw each other. He, clearly, was
disoriented. She was petrified. She blurted out to him. I am Kenite!
You are in Kenite country! We are neutral in this war!" He
stared at her in silence for a few seconds, hardly understanding her.
I did not know where I am. Thank you." "Who—who are
you?" "Just another lost soldier in this horrible war."
More to himself, in a daze, "I used to be a General, I think."
"Is your side winning?" She cautiously offered him a yard
chair. He accepted, and sat, awkwardly.
do not know. It was a furious battle. Fell off my horse." More
to himself, "No. I was fought off my horse. No point being
dishonest to myself. I am a General."
indicated his broken sword, "Let me put that on the bench."
Not fully mindful of what he was doing, he handed her the sword. She
put it on the workbench.
"Have you seen my horse?" Jae, seeing an opportunity for
distraction in order to defuse the tension, "What colour, sir?"
horse, sir? What colour?"
confused, "My horse."
with the war going on, there are lots of horses around here. I have
seen some. What colour is your horse?"
"A General’s horse." Jae, "Of course. A
General’s horse is always black. Magnificently black. Shiny
buckles; silver studs,--." "Yes. Yes. He was here?"
was a horse like that here. Beautiful beast!" "Good!
it was a she-horse!" The General is speechless for seconds
before speaking with a feeble attempt at indignation, "Generals
do not mount she-horses!"
course, General! Everybody knows that. Not your horse. When I saw
her, I said to myself, definitely not a General’s horse. Or,
could be, the other General’s horse." He perked up.
Yes! I remember unhorsing the other General!" "There you
are, General. That explains it, then. You freed his she-horse, and
your he-horse threw you, and ran after her." He stared at her,
blankly. "General, let me get you some water to drink."
blurted out so abruptly, she instinctively moved away in surprise,
"No! No! You are neutral!"
caught sight of something disturbing in the distance. From here on,
she continually darted looks at what she saw in the distance. She
said to the General, "My neighbor’s house is empty. They
have left until this war is over. Go over there and rest, General."
water to drink?" "Yes, General. Help yourself." Weirdly serious, "Will
your neighbour not mind?" "I am
looking after their home while they are gone. You have my permission,
General. In addition, the man of the home is Canaanite, you can feel
at home. And I will let you know when your he-horse shows up."
"Thank you." He moved slowly to exit, mumbling to himself.
is your horse’s name, General?" He ignored her as he
moved quickly, and stood at the edge of the yard. A wounded soldier
crawled into view. She backed away in apprehension.
slowly; in pain, "You are Kenite?" "Yes. This is
Kenite country." "Good. I am Kenite. I---I think I know
where I am." "I will fetch you some water to drink."
She moved to leave.
weakly, "Wait." She paused. He struggled to speak, "General
Heber---." "What about General Heber?" "His place
is near here." "Why do you want to know?" "My
General." "General Heber is your General?" "Yes."
"Where is he?" "Wounded. From behind." "By
whom? Kenites are neutral in this war!"
am not wounded. Just dislocated bones and muscles. Crushed between
attacking war horses. Let me rest here and wait out the pain."
"You are welcome. But where is General Heber?" "Seriously
injured." "Why? Kenites are neutral in this war!" "It
was not a war fight. An argument over a horse. I—I cannot talk.
Better I lie here, and die."
me help you inside. I have just what you need. A bathtub of hot water
waiting." "Good. But I need a few minutes of stillness
before I try to walk." "Over whose horse was the argument?"
Heber’s. Royal black stallion." "A Canaanite General
wanted it?" "Uh-huh. Heber refused to trade. Turned his
horse to leave. The Canaanite attacked. Broke his sword on Heber’s
back. Hit him with it. Did not stab. I moved in to help my General.
Got jammed between the horses."
coughed; slumped. She took hold of him. They struggled along and
exited through the backdoor. A few seconds later, she entered through
the door. She was not wearing the towel. She went to the bench; used
the crowbar to dislodge a long nail; took up the nail, the hammer,
the broken sword.
in the direction of the neighbor's home.
of the message
won't know where to send it.)
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