Samson and Delilah: The War of the Mind

by Joshua Tilghman on October 6, 2012

Samson's Being BlindedEveryone is familiar with the story of Samson, the strongest man who ever lived. The Bible states he single-handedly killed a thousand men with a jawbone. There’s no doubt about it—he was invincible as the spirit of the Lord was upon him! But I want you to understand that this man’s life doesn’t belong to a literal character in Jewish history. It belongs to you. You are to be Samson.

In order to understand what I mean, we’re going to have an esoteric look at this story. In fact, we’ll compare a literal version to an esoteric version and then you can decide the real meaning of the narrative. I believe this story will truly come alive if you internalize it to mean something real within yourself. And that should be the real power of the Biblical stories.

We must admit that certain aspects of this story seem a little far-fetched. Absurd even.  Just like something that might come from a Marvel comic book, Samson’s superhuman strength came from his unshaven hair. Delilah, the infamous harlot, finally wrestles this information from Samson so she can betray him to the Philistines. I quote from the Book of Judges below:

“Which such nagging she prodded him day after day until he was sick to death of it. So he told her everything. “No razor has ever been used on my head,” he said, “because I have been a Nazirite dedicated to God from my mother’s womb. If my head were shaved, my strength would leave me, and I would become as weak as any other man.” (Judges 16:17-18).

Who would have thought God would store someone’s physical strength in their hair? Interesting.

Of equal interest is how stupid the seemingly literal Samson was. Delilah had already betrayed him three times. Fortunately, Samson had lied about the source of his strength, so Delilah wasn’t able to deliver him into the hands of the Philistines. But the fourth time, Samson gives in and tells Delilah that cutting his hair will render him as weak as any other man. So of course she does it and the Philistines enslave him. What was Samson thinking? Or not thinking?

But that’s not all. The story becomes even more absurd when we understand that Samson, the chosen man of God for the mission of Judging Israel, is chasing after and sleeping with harlots. Delilah wasn’t the only harlot Samson had been with. Before Delilah, there was the prostitute of Gaza (Judges 16:1-2).   Again, are we to really take this story literally? Are the harlots of this story literal harlots or do they represent something a little deeper? If you are still undecided, it’ll be obvious in a moment.

So how does the story of Samson esoterically explain you?

From the esoteric viewpoint, Samson really wasn’t thinking when he gave in to Delilah. The same thing happens to us when we give in to the Delilah’s of our life.

In ancient Greece, long hair was a status symbol for wealth, prosperity, and power. Can we find any correlation in the story of Samson? Sort of. But Samson’s power was never meant to be physical. It was spiritual power. The long hair worn by Samson represents a spiritual power that grows from the mind of a person operating from an elevated consciousness. In other words, Samson’s hair is the spiritual force (spirit of the Lord) growing from the higher mind.

Delilah represents our emotions. The act of cutting Samson’s hair is symbolic of our emotions cutting off the higher mind (spirit) ruling our lives. We all know that emotions play a strong role in our decision making process. But we were never meant to be ruled by emotions. We’re to be ruled by the spirit, or higher mind.

This is why Samson was not thinking in the literal story. He let his emotions take over. Think about how many times you have reacted to a situation in your life instead of making a conscious choice. I bet you did it recently.

I also want you to realize that the Philistines in this story represent thoughts that become our enemies. You’ve all heard the expression, “The battle is between the ears.” When we react from our emotions, our thoughts truly become the greatest enemy we could have. Thoughts and emotions seemingly have this synergetic relationship that can spiral out of control and send us into the whirlwinds of a stressful life.

What happened to Samson when Delilah and the Philistines (thoughts and emotions) got a hold of him? I quote the Book of Judges again below:

“Then the Philistines seized him, gouged out his eyes and took him down to Gaza. Binding him with bronze shackles, they sent him to grinding grain in prison” (Judges 16:21).

Our thoughts and emotions can truly blind us in prison. Instead of reality being the creation of conscious choice, it becomes a prison. When we are ruled by either one of these aspects of the ego, we are in trouble. Only by tapping into to our higher mind and intuition can we truly be guided out of our enslaved positions, just as Samson was. Samson was shackled to a giant grinding stone. Blinded, all he could do was push the grinding stone around and around, everyday. This is what happens to us as we are ruled by our lower nature. Life becomes an ever-repeating pattern of failure. It’s as if we’re going around and around the same mountain until we learn to climb to the top to get a different perspective. And that different perspective is a spiritual one.

But just as there was hope for Sampson, there’s hope for us. While Samson was in the midst of his trial, his hair grew back. As the story goes, Samson asked the Lord for his strength back just one more time. Because his hair had grown long again, we are to understand that Samson was again operating from the higher mind. At the end of the story we have the greatest illustration of self-sacrifice (the complete killing off of the ego) than any other illustration in the entire story.

The Philistines are having a banquet and they bring Samson before them in chains to mock him. But Samson asks his guide to position him between the two pillars.

“When they stood him among the pillars, Samson said to the servant who held his hand, “Put me where I can feel the pillars that support the temple…” (Judges 16:26).

The temple here represents our mind, and these two pillars represent the two aspects of us, the higher nature and the lower nature of the mind, the conscious and the subconscious. Samson pushed both of them down and kills himself, and the other Philistines. At last Samson found the balance between his two natures (the Christ within) that caused the salvation of Israel as all the evil Philistines (thoughts) were killed off! Consider the scripture below:

“Then Samson prayed to the Lord, “Sovereign Lord, remember me. Please, God, strengthen me just once more, and with one blow let me get revenge on the Philistines for gouging out my two eyes…Samson cried, “Let me die with the Philistines” (his ego).Then he pushed with all his might, and down came the temple on the rulers and the people. Thus he killed many more when he died than when he lived!” (Judges 16:28-30).

This last scripture is crucial. Did you know that when we crucify our egos we kill all our negative thoughts and emotions?

Did you also know that this story tells the same story as Jesus on the cross? Jesus saved many more people (everyone) at death than while he lived! And as I have said before, where was Jesus crucified? At Golgotha, which means, “the place of the skull?” Folks, that’s your mind, where the ego dwells!

How can this knowledge help you?

In today’s modern culture, we have it backwards. We can illustrate this point with a true comic book hero, the incredible hulk. His great source of strength came from his emotions. When he was provoked to anger, he changed into a green monster with incredible strength. And while he exhibited great strength, he seemed to lose his mind. He was completely dominated by his emotions which caused him to commit some pretty destructive acts. The story of Samson teaches us that when our thoughts and emotions are ruling us, we, too, become destructive. We are then ruled by external events instead of being in charge over them. This is the true meaning of the story of Samson.

We must learn to live by the Christ within us. This is the higher mind. The results will be a great shift in your life and perspective. Then you can become the creator of a life worthy of living.

If you enjoyed this article, please help me out by hitting the like, tweet, and other social sharing buttons below. And please don’t hesitate to comment!

{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

Christine Hoeflich October 24, 2012 at 12:22 am

Thanks Josh for yet another informative post on the spiritual interpretation of the Bible!


Joshua Tilghman November 2, 2012 at 3:08 pm

You’re welcome, Christine.


anny April 28, 2013 at 2:13 am

Hi Joshua,
Samson in Hebrew is called Shimshon, which is derived from shemesh, sun. He is called the son of the sun and is not the same said of Jesus?
The image of the Philistines (thoughts, emotions, did not God tell the people of Israel to ‘kill’ them?) gouging out Samson’s eyes is I think the same as Adam getting his animal skin, his physical body, which was the result of entering the realm of ego and emotions by eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The animal skin was called ‘or’, 70-6-200, which you can also read as ‘iwer’, meaning blind.
The story of Samson is again our own story, as all of them are and in the bible every time different images are used to show us that, because playing around with these images in a sort of meditative state helps you to get a deeper understanding.
Golgotha being the place of the skull also implies that when the crucifixion is over and resurrection is won, the seventh chakra will open and the process is completed.
I do however believe that another process in another reality will follow as our journey of growing consciousness will go on forever as there is no time, just growth.


Tracy September 29, 2013 at 7:30 pm

Amazing story great details to God be the Glory.


Joshua Tilghman October 5, 2013 at 1:10 pm

Thanks Tracy. Many blessings!


Shey October 9, 2013 at 1:16 am

You have been continually confirming what the Lord has been teaching me, except fot the chakra, kundalini and other new age stuff, I must say your teaching leaves me breathless. To Jesus be the glory for the truth imparted here.


Joshua Tilghman October 10, 2013 at 7:26 pm


You stated:

“…except fot the chakra, kundalini and other new age stuff, I must say your teaching leaves me breathless.”

Many years ago I would have called myself a heretic for writing this. The problem lies in semantics. Obviously you are new to these terms if you are calling them “New Age.” The truth is, they are not really New Age. Kundalini is the same as the Holy Spirit. Chakras are included in the Bible through many code terms. Keep seeking and this will all become obvious. Many New Age sites proclaim this material in a way that makes it seem disconnected from Western thought. Many websites also present inaccurate information. It’s not really a fault. It’s just a lack in understanding.



Christine Hoeflich October 10, 2013 at 7:37 pm

Hi Joshua!!

I have been so busy with work as well as a new project and have not had a minute to read your posts but I am so glad you are continuing on and I LOVE your last comment. Many of these ideas are not new, it’s just that we didn’t grow up with them, especially not in the Christian / Catholic churches, and I agree with you, it’s exactly as you say above. THANK YOU!

Christine Hoeflich


Gregory Autry December 7, 2013 at 12:31 am

From a simple gentile perspective, Samson played with sin, and got burnt. Lost an advantage by telling the very source of his strength and could have destroyed the philistines and possibly lived because lust would no longer be an issue for he was now blind. If your eye offend pluck it out… it was done for him I would never agree with self mutilation. Nor do I believe Christ meant that except to say the seriousness of playing with sin.


Joshua Tilghman December 7, 2013 at 10:43 am


Correct, that is the exoteric and traditional view, but I believe the scriptures have a much deeper revelation that we should be faithful to discover.



Muhammed J January 15, 2015 at 3:30 pm

Very insightful…thank you!


Joshua Tilghman January 19, 2015 at 7:28 pm

Thanks, Muhammed.


joe July 1, 2015 at 8:11 pm

Hello, the person who wrote this articles still alive(on internet). I am the last man on earth to see your post lol. I loved it, and it gave a good sense of understanding this bible of scrap. Thx frm south africa


Joshua Tilghman July 19, 2015 at 1:16 pm

You’re welcome, Joe.


Sheila P November 19, 2015 at 5:23 pm

Thank you so much for your explanation of the “Samson and Delilah”metaphysically. Much blessings to you. ;o)


Joshua Tilghman December 22, 2015 at 8:08 pm

Thanks for reading, Shelia.


Jackie December 2, 2015 at 6:23 am

Excellent points that connect well with Mark 12:30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart (emotions, desires, and affections) and with all your soul, and with all your mind and with all your strength. I praise God for His wisdom and understanding He has shared with you.


Joshua Tilghman December 22, 2015 at 7:54 pm

Thanks Jackie.


Joy Riley April 9, 2016 at 10:39 am

This was very awesome and great indeed. I once took the bible literally. Desire to know Truth can exceed ego. I didn’t know how dark & clever ego and being religious was.

One faithful day, as Paul on the road to Demascus….undeniable illumination (spiritual baptism) I’m grateful I went blind (LOL) because my inner eyes were opened.

Great, great read!!! Thanks,


Joshua Tilghman April 16, 2016 at 11:53 pm

Thanks for commenting Joy.


Rae-Ann May 28, 2016 at 7:56 am

Isn’t it okay to tell people that God and His spirit are the source of our strength….


Joshua Tilghman July 2, 2016 at 12:59 pm

Of course, Rae-Ann. That is a great thing to believe!


Kathrine Halsey June 12, 2016 at 2:40 pm

Hi Joshua,

Thank you for your insight! Greatly appreciated!


Wesley Inzai August 3, 2016 at 11:26 am

What a wonderful and amazing revelation of Samson and Jesus Christ at their death!!


Lucia White February 24, 2017 at 10:35 pm

The ego really is sneaky and destructive. Thank great teaching. I always talk about it and it still sneaks on me not as before, but it come out here and there.


Wendy April 7, 2017 at 11:57 pm

I am going through deep relational issues -the holy spirit took me to the story of samson and delilah-i didnt understand why -thankyou for the insight into this story -it has pointed me in a direction already laid out by the spirit of God-i have work to do !!!!


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