Bible study ideas
‘Delilah’ in modern-day films
Stage 1: Make a list
List some films about women like Delilah. You can choose recent films or classics. If this is a group activity, choose films most people know.
Stage 2: Glance over your list
1. Have you chosen films that are realistic, showing the nitty-gritty of such a woman’s life, or do you prefer films that are inspiring/uplifting?
2. Do your favorites have both these qualities?
3. What does this say about you and what you need in a story?
Stage 3: Choose your favorite
4. What are the central relationships in this film?
5. Is the relationship shown in a realistic light?
6. Do any of the scenes remind you of incidents or experiences in your own life?
7. Choose one film that appealed to you most.
Stage 4: Think about your choices
Group activity: discuss these questions, making sure everyone in the group has a chance to talk about their ideas.
Single activity: sit down for a few minutes and focus your mind; make a quick list of your favorites; read through the Stage 3 questions, and think about them as you do other tasks in your day.
Movies about ‘Fallen Women’
Can you name
the films? Can you see a
Movie Quiz Answers HERE (see ‘Delilah’) Can you think of others?
Retelling the story
Delilah has traditionally been portrayed as a temptress who betrayed a hero.
Write the story from Delilah’s point of view, covering points such as:
- what Delilah knew about Samson before she met him (read previous sections of the story to find out about Samson’s earlier relationships with women)
- their first meeting, and what she thought of him
- Samson’s love for Delilah
- Delilah’s reaction when she was approached by the Philistine lords
- the reasons why she agreed to help them
- her attempts to find out about Samson’s strength
- the scene when Samson finally told her the truth
- her emotions when the Philistines tortured Samson
- what happened to Delilah after Samson was taken away.
Research the ‘Temple of Dagon’
Using your library or the internet, find out about the lay-out and construction of a Philistine temple.
You might start your research by looking at
- the layout of the First Temple of Jerusalem.
- See also Solomon’s Jerusalem and
- Temples in the Ancient World.
Solomon’s Temple seems to have been based on the design of Philistine temples, and may have been built by Philistine workmen.
One such temple was excavated at Tell Q’asile, near Tel Aviv. It had wooden pillars supporting a large balcony on which many people could stand. If the supports went, so too would the balcony holding all those people.
Write your version of what happened
Choose one of the people whose stories are told on this site and develop a short-story version of the narrative.
1. What are the main events of the person’s life? List them in sequence.
2. Research some background details on the area where the story took place, and the political and social background. Jot down the things that interest you most.
3. What were the character’s main qualities? What made them stand out from the crowd? Make a paragraph-long description of each character, so that you feel you know them well.
4. Write a ‘what happened then?’ sequence for the story.
5. Write a paragraph in response to each ‘what happened then?’
6. Insert three short quotations from the Bible text to illustrate key moments of the story.
7. Read again through the story. Have you covered everything?
8. Edit your story: delete unnecessary words and phrases, look at the way the story flows, make additions.
Create a comic-book version of the story
Create a comic book based on the story of Delilah.
Divide the story into scenes. Create the dialogue for each scene, with the characters who would speak the words. Do you need information boxes like the one in the top left of the image below?
Your comic book must tell the basic plot of the story. Work through scene by scene, as if this were a play.
If you’re not a great artist, use stick figures – but be sure to include the key moments and dialogue.
It should be about five pages – with four to six panels per page.
Produce a medieval manuscript
Imagine that you are producing a richly-coloured medieval manuscript page about one of the Bible people on this site – the illustration below shows Bathsheba cutting Samson’s hair, and then the capture of Samson by the Philistines.
Create a page with three things:
- a richly coloured image of the person/people
- an ornate initial letter for the Bible passage about this person and
- a short extract from the story, taken from the Bible text.
Focus Questions for Bible Study
1. What are the most interesting moments in Delilah’s story?
2. In the story, who speaks and who listens? Who acts? Who gets what they want? If you were in the story, which person would you want to be friends with? Which person would you want to avoid?
3. What is happening on either side of the story, in the chapters before and after it? Does this help you understand what is happening?
4. The narrator/editor has chosen to tell some things and leave other things out. What has been left out of the story that you would like to know?
5. Are the characteristics and actions of the people in the story still present in the world? How is the story relevant to modern life, especially your own?