Delilah (דלילה - D+*uL+iJ+L+oH+, Standard Hebrew meaning "[One who] weakened or uprooted or impoverished" from the root dal meaning "weak or poor".) appears only in the Hebrew Bible Book of Judges 16, where she is the "woman in the valley of Sorek" whom Samson loved, and who was his downfall. Her figure, one of several dangerous temptresses in the Hebrew Bible, has become emblematic: "Samson loved Delilah, she betrayed him, and, what is worse, she did it for money", Madlyn Kahr begins her study of the Delilah motif in European painting.
Delilah was approached by the lords of the Philistines, the enemies of Israel, to discover the secret of Samson's strength, "and we will give thee every one of us eleven hundred pieces of silver." Three times she asked Samson for the secret of his strength, and three times he gave her a false answer. First he told her "If they bind me with seven green withes that were never dried, then shall I be weak, and be as another man." Then he told her "If they bind me fast with new ropes that never were occupied, then shall I be weak, and be as another man." A third time he told her "If thou weavest the seven locks of my head with the web." On the fourth occasion he gave her the true reason: that he did not cut his hair in fulfillment of a vow to God; and Delilah, when Samson was asleep on her knees, called up her man to shave off the seven locks from his head, then betrayed him to his enemies: "the Philistines took him, and put out his eyes, and brought him down to Gaza, and bound him with fetters of brass; and he did grind in the prison house."