Samson and Delilah (1996) - full transcript

Mara and her husband Manoa are both upstanding and religious Israelites living under the harsh and unjust rule of the Philistines. Much to their regret, they have not been able to have children. One day, a mysterious stranger appears to Mara and promises her that she will bear a son whom she is to call Samson. The stranger tells her that as one chosen by God Samson will fight the Philistines, will have immense strength at his disposal, but that he may never cut his hair (or drink alcohol); otherwise this gift will be lost. Samson is born and as foretold he grows into a boy with amazing strength. As time passes, Samson becomes an attractive young man and young women begin to interest him more and more. Naomi, a pretty but rather melancholic girl, falls deeply in love with him. During a walk Samson learns the young woman's story. When she was a small child, her village was exterminated by the Philistines and her whole family butchered. Since then Naomi has not only been in mourning, but she harbors an unbridled desire for retaliation. She tries to convince Samson to join a group of young people planning an insurrection. Samson with his incredible strength could be a symbol, a hero, of this uprising! Initially Samson rejects the idea, but when Naomi provokes a confrontation with the Philistines he naturally hurries to her rescue. Soon the news spreads, not only to the Israelite villages but also to the Philistine royal palace in Gaza, that an Israelite by the name of Samson has killed several Philistines with his bare hands. When King Hanun, his hot-tempered son Sidqa and General Tariq hear this, they are anything but enthusiastic. They deliberate about what can be done to restrain this Samson before a revolt breaks out. Delilah, the king's beautiful, seductive and scheming niece insists on being present during these conversations. Samson is still not fully aware of the role he is supposed to play for his people. God has not yet given him a sign. One day he sneaks into a Philistine camp without having an exact plan on how he is going to proceed against them. Here he sees Delilah for the first time and is immediately fascinated by her. Just at this moment, a wounded desert lion bounds enters the camp and attacks Delilah. Without hesitating, Samson confronts the lion unarmed and after a terrible struggle, overpowers it with his bare hands. For reasons unfathomable to the Philistines who witness this, General Tariq lets the Israelite Samson go free. Like Delilah, the experienced general has been impressed by the scene and is curious to find out what sort of person Samson is. Back in the royal palace Tariq, who has grown wise with age, suggests concluding peace with the Israelites to King Hanun. The General, however, cannot put this idea across against the fierce resistance of Prince Sidqa, who is planning to take Samson prisoner. To accomplish this he bribes two Israelites, Jehiel and Amram childhood companions of Samson's. The pair, sons of Samson's friend and mentor Ira, are jealous of Samson because they would like to assume the leadership of the Israelites themselves. They see their position endangered by Samson and are only too happy to get rid of him. Initially, the plan seems to work and Samson is caught in a trap. Thanks to his strength, he succeeds in breaking free and fleeing from his captors. With Yoram's help Samson manages to hide in Ira's home. When Samson and Ira learn that Jehiel and Amram, of all people are behind the attempt on Samson's life, Ira disowns his sons. Angered and dissapointed by the betrayal of his own people Samson flees into the desert. There, he comes upon the corpse of the lion he killed and sees that bees have nested in it. Samson is so hungry that he contravenes God's command and eats the impure honey. From now on Samson will stray from the path of righteousness and will only find his way back after taking many risks and suffering much pain. In the desert, Samson encounters Amrok, an Israelite, who has been raised by the Philistines like one of their own. Amrok invites Samson to the village of his foster-father Harach, where Samson, much to his amazement, is very warmly received. Samson is surprised to be received in such a friendly manner by Harach and his family. His concept of the Philistines as enemies threatens to collapse, especially after he sets eyes on Rani, Harach's pretty and delightful daughter. Samson and Rani are immediately strongly attracted to each other and after Harach and even King Hanun have declared their consent, Samson and Rani decide to marry. A solemn wedding banquet is to crown the ceremony. The King even sends thirty Philistines to preside at the function. During the course of the festivities, the atmosphere becomes very lively and Samson poses a riddle promising the one who guesses the answer thirty sheep and festive attire. After being put under pressure by Mahal, the leader of the Philistine wedding group, Rani discloses the answer to the riddle. Angered and disappointed by this betrayal, Samson slays the thirty Philistines so that Mahal can have their clothes as a reward. Samson's vengeance is not yet over: in his anger he sets the fields of the Philistines on fire, conjuring up an even greater disaster. Following orders from Prince Sidqa, Mahal kills Rani and Harach for having betrayed their people As Samson visits the town Rani came from, Amrok tells him about the atrocities committed by Mahal. Samson, deeply moved by all this suffering, suddenly has a vague premonition that all is not well at home and decides to return to his parents. He arrives home to find his father Manoa on his deathbed. Shortly before Manoa passes away, father and son who have been estranged ever since Samson's marriage to Rani, reconcile. After Manoa's death, Samson hastily sets off again. He knows the Philistine henchmen cannot be far off and his does not want to endanger his mother. When Samson finally arrives in Gaza he sets about searching for the traitor Mahal, and once he has found him, kills him. The Philistines are alarmed when they hear that Samson is supposedly in the city. To cut off all routes of escape, they close the city gates. They are dismayed when they discover that the gates, weighing tons, have been lifted off their hinges and that Samson has disappeared. Since Samson apparently cannot be captured by conventional means, the royal court decides to use a woman's charms instead. Delilah is promised jewels and wealth to seduce Samson and worm out of him the secret of his supernatural strength. The inevitable comes to pass: Samson falls in love with the bewitching Delilah. The enchantress plays her part well and after much cajoling and teasing, she gets Samson to disclose his big secret: If his long hair were to be shorn he would lose all his strength. Although Delilah has to struggle with her feelings she finally cuts off his hair, thus enabling the Philistines to take Samson prisoner. Once they have him captured, they blind him for good measure. While languishing in prison, a blind and helpless Samson finally becomes conscious of his numerous mistakes and presumptuousness and recognizes God's greatness. Through his sufferings, the once proud and reckless youth matures into a humble and truly religious man. While performing forced labor every day, he prays that his hair will soon grow back so that he can fulfil his calling. In the meantime the Israelites under the leadership of Jehiel and Amram, instigate a revolt against the Philistines. This uprising is mercilessly crushed by General Tariq. Naomi is among the few survivors. She desperately wants to see Samson one more time. Overcoming all feelings of bitterness Naomi goes to Delilah to ask for her help. Delilah, whose conscience gives her no peace, is prepared to help Naomi, if Naomi can convince Samson to forgive her. A sumptuous feast is held in the temple of the Philistine god, Dagon. The highlight of the festivities is to be the presentation of the tamed and helpless Samson. During the course of the festivities, Delilah manages to speak to Samson. Blind and unsuspecting, and assuming she is Naomi, Samson gives Delilah a kiss of forgiveness on the forehead. The time has now come for him to complete his task. Samson, who has regained his strength, braces himself against the pillars of the temple and brings the walls of the whole temple tumbling down. While young Yoram, Naomi and Delilah are able to flee at the very last moment, the massive walls forever bury Samson, King Hanun and his son Prince Sidqa, General Tariq and countless Philistines beneath them.

To all things, there is a purpose.

It was the time of the judges.

The Lord had punished the children
of Israel for their sins against him.

He had delivered them
into the hands of the Philistines.

Conquerors of the people of Israel...

... they exploited their empire
with cruel efficiency.

But they were also
an advanced people.

In a world of bronze,
they had discovered the secret of iron.

And with this, they crushed any
disobedience swiftly and without mercy.

God's punishment
of the people of Israel was severe...

... but he did not abandon them.

And their faith grew in their struggle
against their Philistine oppressors.

Do not fear, woman.

The Lord of life has not forgotten you
in your barrenness.

I am the messenger come to tell you
that your womb will bear fruit.

You will conceive a son,
a Nazarite dedicated to God.

He will eat no unclean food
and drink no strong drink.

And he will grow stronger
than a hundred men.

He is the Lord's gift,
chosen to begin the liberation...

... of your people from the Philistine.

Look through me, and you will see
where his future lies.

As a mark of obedience to the Lord...

... his hair shall never be cut.

This shall be the symbol
of his alliance with God...

... and of his consecration to him.

His strength resides in the Lord.

This secret is his and yours alone.

Do not break this pact
with the almighty.


A man back there at the well...

A strange man. Listen to me.

He appeared to me at the well.

- A Philistine?
- No.

No. A stranger.

- What are you talking about?
- Listen to me.

"The Lord of life, " he said.

He said...

... I would conceive
and give birth to a son.

And if he said we were rich,
would you believe that too?

He was an apparition. It was...

It was like a miracle.


... you are barren.

You know that.

I have lain...

... with no one but you, Manoah.

The child will be ours.

And a gift to our people.

And the land yielded its harvest.

And upon it, God began to sow
the seeds of justice for his people.

For they did not bow down
their heads...

... or worship the false idols
of their masters.

But after 40 long years...

... deliverance was at hand
for the children of Israel.

Their prayers had been heard
by the God with no face...

... and a name that is never spoken.

The one true God.

Do you...

... want to hold him?

But he's so small.

I might drop him.

- Amen.
- Amen.



... how will I know when it is time
to fulfill my destiny?

The Lord will tell you.

- When?
- When the time is right.

- A sign?
- Perhaps.

What kind of a sign?

I don't know.

He gave you strength.

He will also give you understanding.

I am but one man. One.

A Nazarite bonded to the Lord.

There's no need to search for signs.

Your birth was the sign.

The stranger said,
"Chosen to deliver his people"?

Those were his words.

To deliver his people.

It will be hard.

Every gift is also a burden.

- Father says he's lazy.
- And slow-witted.


Put them in the net!

- Samson.
- Let me down.

- Samson, no.
- Let me out of this net now.

Samson, get us down.

Samson, get us out of here.

Stop, Samson. Stop.

- Let me out.
- Samson, stop now.

- Let me down out of this net.
- Samson.

- Samson.
- Let us down.

Let us down now!

Samson was gentle,
good, thoughtful...

... and unsure, as all men are,
of the purpose of his life.

He began to walk the long road
to understanding and faith.

A journey which must be made
by every man alone.

That's it, Your Highness. That's it.
Watch your guard.

In the palace of the king
of the Philistines...

... another young man
was learning the skills of life...

... through the games he played.

Watch your guard.

Intelligence, attention, concentration.
I watch you.

You're like a butterfly.
You're here, you're there, you're gone.

Focus your attention.

Your Highness...

... focus your mind completely.

Yes. Yes, I know.

Try again, general?

As you wish, Your Highness.

Never underestimate your enemy.

No, Father.

- Good day, Delilah.
- General Tariq.

You may rise.

I wonder what her father would
think of her now, eh, commander?

A true friend and a fine soldier.

Who, I'm told, never underestimated
his enemy.

Here, use this one, commander.

- An Israelite sword.
- What's an Israelite sword?


They're a very primitive people.

Who have only ever found
a single god to worship.


Even a broken sword will kill you...

... if you let down your guard,
Your Highness.

You remind us every day
of the reasons why my father...

... values you so highly, commander.

He's possessed
of a soldier's most powerful weapon:

His intelligence.

My name is Yoram.

I was more than 10 years younger
than Samson.

I loved him as a brother.

We were both Nazarites,
dedicated to God at birth.

Did I know even then...

... that within him
lay the destiny of our people?

Perhaps I knew only that I would be
with him until the end.

There was no warning?

The Philistines came
from over there...

... out of the sunset.

There was no time to run.

And we had no arms.

My father...

... my mother...

... and my brothers.

They killed them all.

I was not spared but overlooked.

The only one who escaped.


... I'm sorry.


For bringing back that memory.

It never leaves.

Come with me. You will hear.
You will learn.

Please, Samson. Come with me.

For me.

For you, anything.
Except one of those meetings.

I have to go.


... you are far too gentle
for the harsh words of rebellion.

And you can hardly even lift a sword.

- It is you who has been chosen.
- I doubt it.

- Your mother refuses...
- Naomi, stop this.

If I am to be called,
God will call me.

Not you and your rabble.

I am a Nazarite.

I pray. I try.

But there is a great absence.

Seas can open, Samson.
Bushes can burn.

For Moses and for you.

I am one man. How can one man
destroy the Philistines? Tell me.

- Our army will...
- Your army has wooden clubs...

... and swords of bronze.
- And righteousness.

Why is it that every people think
they alone are the righteous ones?

You doubt it?

Anyway, righteousness never stopped
the Philistine spear that killed your mother.

Righteousness did not give them
weapons of iron.

Do not make me beg.

Open your eyes.

I have seen nothing.

I have heard nothing.

- I am nothing.
- A man is what he chooses to be.

And I choose nothing.


Tell me, Samson.
What are you frightened of?


- Then what do you want?
- I want...

... everything.

Come, come.

How is it, Ira...

... that we are still bent
beneath the heel of these Philistines?

It's God's punishment.

When our people
abandoned his ways...

... he brought them down on us
that we might atone for our sins.

But things are better than they were.

No more burned villages...

... no more young people
taken into slavery.

And the fruit of suffering...

... is wisdom.

Then we must be
the wisest people on earth.


... you are the elder of our village.

- I need your counsel.
- It's freely given...

... and often wrong.

What's Samson done now?

Nothing. And more nothing.

He leads an empty life.

It's as if he believed
the world owed him something.

Moses, too, was raised as a prince.

My sons are just the same.

And without Samson's special gifts.

"Samson caught us in the net.
Samson caught us in the... "

Tell me. Has Samson ever cried?

For one hour after he was born.

It's as if he feared the pain
that life had in store for him.

- Since then, never.
- Truly, he is remarkable.

His temperament is kind,
his wit is quick.

And his strength...

He has all the gifts but one:

Purpose. It is the fuel of life.

Come on.

Come on.


- Naomi.
- What?

Maybe we should go.

They come by every day
at about this time.

No. It's your turn, Yoram.

Go on. It's your turn.

- Come on. Philistines. Let's go.
- No.

Go. Fetch Samson, quickly.


I've never seen goats riding on goats.

Why don't you get off
and milk them, huh?


Does the smell come from the beasts
or from the masters, huh?


Samson, come quick!

The Philistines, they have Naomi.

Samson, please hurry.

Move away. Move.

Come on. Come on, quickly!

Come on, let's go.


Your mother was a donkey.
And yours, a mule.

Hold her.

I have two swords here.

Impaling you with either
will give me great satisfaction.

Best be the iron one.

Save the other for your mother.

Israelite whore.

- Naomi, stay there. I'll help him.
- No, no.

Stay here.


Get out!



You broke them!

Without a weapon, Samson broke them.

You have been chosen.
How can you doubt it?


Without a weapon, Samson broke them.

Please, Manoah. Let us in.
At least talk to these people.

You know us all. There's nothing
that we don't give to this house.

I'm not letting any of you in here.
Go now.

- You hear me? I said, now.
- This is important.

Mara, you must speak to him.
We need him. A leader.

- Someone our people will stand with.
- I need him too.

- Mara, these are the...
- I know who they are.

- Carpenters, shepherds, plowmen.
- The leaders of our rebellion.

Rebellion. How many weapons
do you have? How many made of iron?

Mara, God's will brought us your son
to destroy the enemies of our people.

Manoah, you must speak to Samson.

- With his father's urging, he might...
- What am I to urge?

That he die before his time?

The son Mara and I prayed for
all our life.

- Manoah, listen to us.
- I've heard you.

Our son is the Lord's instrument.

And in the Lord's time, he will obey.

In God's good time. Not in yours.

You should have insisted.

- Why wouldn't he listen?
- I don't know, you were there.

You saw how...

Oh, Lord, tell me what to do.

Enslave him, Father.

Burn his village before the Israelites
rally to a new hero.

There is nothing to be gained
by burning an Israelite village.

- In a week, it will be old news.
- Legends grow, Father.

Ask your courtiers
what they have heard.

Single-handed, two patrols.
Some say 10.

Only an empty head
can be full of these tales.

And what do you think,
Commander Tariq?

I think all people need their heroes.

If they don't exist,
they must create them.

- You know what it means?
- What?

- His name, Samson.
- Tell me.

- "Son of the sun. "
- The son of the sun.

And your name.


"Delilah, " it's an ancient word.
It means "desire. "

And do you think that appropriate,

In every way.

But the son of the sun.

I'd like to see this Samson for myself.

You're a loose woman, Delilah.

And if I weren't...

... I'd find that remark offensive,

His hair is long.

He wears it in seven braids.

Some kind of religious significance.

Is there anything you don't know?

I'll never know how
to please a loose woman.

Our requests of a man
are very modest.

That is the principal part
of our charm.

Only by very modest request...

... could any man
meet your expectations.

Except perhaps this Israelite hero.

Men like him are either
quickly forgotten...

... or never forgotten.
- Nothing certain, eh?

Nothing but death.

Is that it? It seems very little.

And encompasses everything.


Strong, yes,
but with a sweet modesty.

Did you see how he ran?
Like a gazelle.

A woman would die for a man like that.

Out of the way, fool.

A gazelle is so much more graceful
than a baboon, is it not?


If the future of our people
is to be secured...

... perhaps the time has come
to think of different stratagems.

Such as?

The greatest victory
any general can achieve.


I knew something had happened.

You haven't been fighting
over a woman, have you?

All the single girls are in love with you.
Some of the married ones too.

- It wasn't a fight over Naomi, was it?
- No.

- Who then?
- No one.

- I saw...
- Saw what?

A woman...

... like no other.
- No woman gave you these wounds.

Samson, be careful.


- Father...
- Now, wait.

- General, continue.
- Well, it would take time.

But once they saw how a lasting treaty
would benefit them...

... we could focus
our attention elsewhere.

- A treaty? With who? What is this?
- This is something kings must learn...

... and princes must practice.

- It's called listening.
- No one in this royal house should listen...

... to any proposal for a treaty
with the tribes of Israel.

Their subjugation is their treaty.

It's only by listening that one hears.

The general's proposals have merit.

- Continue.
- Lf we might consider...

... making official peace with them,
turning them into independent allies...

Allies? The Israelites?

Better to plunge your hand
into a basket of vipers.

The art of making a decision
is firstly to know what your choices are.


What would we achieve by having
a vassal state on our eastern borders?

Nothing but a breeding ground
for rebellion, draining my manpower...

... and your treasury.
- Our treasury.

You always know
where I'm vulnerable, eh?

But we would allow them access
to the sea and allow them to trade.

My experience of life,
beginning with my own family...

... is that by giving some
of what is wanted...

... only whets the appetite for more.
- We would continue...

... to maintain complete control, Majesty.

The illusion of independence.

It would take a magician
mightier than any I've met.

And their religion? No, no, general.

Beliefs are more dangerous
than a hundred armies.

Our gods have the tail of fish...

... because our ancestors
were seafaring people.

What does it matter if a handful of our
people decide to believe in a single deity?

- It's poor exchange.
- Perhaps so.

But I sometimes feel that a single sun
in the sky is better than two or three...

... that would burn us all alive.

But if we control
the Israelites by a treaty...

No, commander. This is treason.

You do not accommodate an enemy.
You eliminate him.

At what sacrifice?

A thousand of our young men?
Five thousand?

How many widows do you want to make
before you say enough?

The Israelites lay claim
to our kingdom...

... and we are contemplating
giving it to them?

No. Only that we make peace...

... the price for which is small.

They believe their god
will send them a savior to destroy us.

It is, above all else, this foolish belief
that holds them in our power.

They wait patiently, passively.

Perhaps we should be encouraging them
in this belief.

We should make an example
of their new hero, this Samson.

Before it's too late.

Draw them too close,
and they will discover...

... one of the secrets of our power,
how to make iron.

That is true.

- Perhaps there are ways...
- You wish them to learn...

... how to make real weapons, general?

Well, this year, next year.
Whatever. They will learn.

Man climbs upon
the shoulders of man.

But a treaty is not the answer.
It's too dangerous.

Let us leave them as they are,
waiting for their savior...

... and hope he does not come
till our reign...

... and yours are no more
than great memories.

- Yes, Your Majesty.
- You're my first general.

And what is a first general
without an army?

What is a scorpion
when it loses its sting?

Your Highness.

Will you mourn me
after my death, Sidqa?

Of course, Father.

Very good.

I want you to contact our agents.

Arrange for the capture
of this Samson.

You will command
the operation yourself.

I want him brought back
to Gaza. Alive, if possible.

- Alive?
- Yes, alive. Living, not dead.

More difficult, but essential.

- But it may be they already believe.
- Myths and legends wrap themselves...

... around the dead
and make them martyred heroes.

They are remembered.

I want this Samson
brought back here to Gaza.

A prisoner. In chains of iron.

He'll be quickly forgotten.

Here is your money.
Now show us where he lives.

A stranger.

He said...

He said...

Come, brother.

Our work is done here.


- Mara! Mara! Are you hurt?
- Please, God...

Please, God, help him.

What are you doing?
Where are you taking him?

- Let him go!
- Samson!

Stay where you are.

With Samson gone,
we shall lead the rebellion.

People will look to us to inspire them.

They'll bring their hopes,
fears, doubts to us.

We will become the true judges
of Israel.

See there in the stars...

... when Samson has been netted.

Help him! Help him!

Stop them!

You've got no right to do this!

- What is happening?
- They've taken Samson.


Where are they taking him?

Do something. Help him!

Do something!

Yoram, come on. Come on!

Samson! Let me through!

Go! Take him!

- Samson!
- Go! Seize him! Go!

Stay back.

You, go on!


Go! Stop him!

You, get him!

Go on!

Where were you? We outnumbered them
by more than 100.

Lead you?

Shall I kill him for you too?

- Where are you going?
- Kill him yourself.

- Samson!
- Samson!

Cowards! Traitors!

- We should have stayed to watch.
- No.

Being at home asleep
proclaims our innocence.

He'll be halfway to Gaza by now...

... in chains of iron.




- We'll find somewhere to hide you.
- Hide me?

They might come again.

- Let them.
- Come.

You have a friend,
one who will never betray us.

How many of them were there?

We outnumbered them
by more than 100.

- You fought them like 200.
- God is good.

Not one of them tried to help.
Except you.

The others begged rebellion of me
one day and abandoned me the next.

- They were frightened.
- And you weren't.

I'm not old enough to know better.

Nor are my parents.

Naomi cracked a few skulls.

Love is a powerful conqueror of fear.

Surely if he had been taken...

... Father would have been told.
He would have awoken us by now.

Father is asleep, and he's...

Where would he go?

They have to come back.

All the laws we have to live by
are so difficult to keep.

Part of our strength is giving support
to each other.

And helping each other...

... and guiding each other
will reveal this temptation.

You were dedicated
a Nazarite at birth?

- Yes. Like you, I belong to the Lord.
- We belong to the Lord.

He is a strange master who tells
us nothing, asks nothing of us.

His ways are unknowable.

He moves beyond our understanding.

Or not at all.

He gave you strength enough
to break a lion's neck.

You knew.

You what?

- Nothing.
- Nothing.

There are many ways to be strong.

Samson. What are you... ?

- We heard voices.
- What's he doing here?

The Philistines tried to capture him.
He beat them back.

- He did?
- God be praised.

Yes. God be praised.

- With him here, we will all be in danger.
- What if they come back again?

- Tonight?
- They won't look here.

If they come back again,
search the village?

- Then what?!
- We'll be taken to Gaza in chains!

He can't stay here!

Jehiel, Amram, leave us.

If you are in fear of your lives...

... find another place to sleep.
- Father...

- The Philistines...
- lf the Philistines come, they come.

- Now, leave us!
- Come, brother.

My son.

Has your father ever told you
how proud he is of you?

But my sons...

"Samson caught us in a net.
Samson caught us in... "

A net.

How else did they know
where you slept?



Oh, no.


No. My own sons.

Traitors. Fools!

If a man sins against another,
God may intervene in his favor...

... but if a man sins against the Lord
and his consecrated, who shall intercede?

Father, somebody's been lying to you.

Jehiel. Amram.

- They betrayed me.
- Samson, no!

- We haven't sinned, Father.
- You have disgraced me.

- We haven't...
- My own sons have torn out my heart.

No, Samson!

- No!
- Samson, no.

You beg for once, only to die.


Samson, don't kill them. I beg of you.

Samson. Samson!

We thought that we were attacked
by a superior Israelite force.

You keep telling me
they have no superior force.

Never underestimate the enemy.

In the circumstances, I thought it
prudent to withdraw, to regroup.

- Back here in Gaza?
- Well, ready for another day.

But he was just one man.

- One man.
- But with the strength of 50.

- And others attacked us.
- With bare hands?

It was dark. Who knew what weapons?

Did they all have
the jawbone of an ass?

The gods give an ignorant
Israelite peasant Samson for a son...

... and they give me the king of Gaza.


I have but one duty,
that's to outlive my heir.

Is there no justice in the stars?
Get out of my sight.

- Father...
- Are you deaf as well as brainless?

I said, get out of my sight. Go.

I want an emissary to inquire...

... and report to me
on exactly what happened.

Yes, my lord.

Well, General Tariq,
is there justice in the stars?

Apparently not.

The number of kings who outlive their heirs
does not give us grounds for confidence.


- Samson.
- Go back to the village.

- Where are you going?
- Away. I don't know.

Samson, I am lost without you.

Ever since I was born,
you've been there.

Since I was born I've been told...

... that God punished our people
because they failed to heed him.

Perhaps if I can distance myself
from my people for a while...

... I can hear his word and obey.


Back to the village.

Now your manhood begins.

As does mine.

I wouldn't if I were you.

Looking is one thing, but touching...

... that's something else.

The men could turn nasty,
and you could end up...

... with one less body part than God
gave you, if you know what I mean.

You're an Israelite.


Lost in the desert as a child.

Raised by the Philistines.

A wanderer by upbringing,
and a curious man by nature.

Homeward bound after...

... three weary years of putting one foot
in front of the other.

- And you?
- Samson.

I expected a giant, a wrestler.
But you look like any other man.

- You are the one they speak of?
- And betrayed.

But you, an Israelite, have lived
amongst the Philistines.

I was taken in by a family.

- Good people.
- How could you live with them...

... when they crushed your own people
under their heel?

Have you seen so little of life
that you don't know?

When a people are controlled
by a strong king...

... it is the king's will that prevails,
not the people's.

It wasn't the king who destroyed
our villages in the old days.

Yes, but those who did are fed by him,
advanced by him, rewarded by him.

The court controls everything.

If men devised a weapon
to destroy the courts...

... in one single blow,
all of Gaza is destroyed.

They are cruel people.

- Because they are afraid.
- Afraid?

Of losing what they have.

If you could drive them into the sea
and take their land...

... you would, wouldn't you?
- Right now I would not raise my finger...

... against them.
- Then we can be friends.


The prince of the Philistines
seeks my head.

Friendship with me
could be dangerous.

The best friendships are always risky.

The prince who seeks your head
must first find his own.

Tomorrow night we'll feast
with my father in Timnah.


- Are these your father's fields?
- As far as the eye can see.

You chose your parents well.

- Hello.
- Amrok.

- Welcome back.
- Thank you.

Master. Master!

- How is your wife?
- Master.

Your son.

- Your son is back!
- Thank you.

Master. Your son. He's come back.

Let me speak for you. Then everything
will be all right, you'll see.

My son.

My son, my son.

Father, this is Samson.

- Samson?
- Yes. My Israelite friend.

Samson, this is my father.

If you are my son's friend...

... then you are my honored guest.

My house is your house.

- Rani.
- Amrok.

Dear brother.

Samson, this is my sister, Rani.
Rani, this is Samson.

This is for your wife.

- Oh, this is beautiful.
- It's beautiful.

It is beautiful.

Only sung by women in the presence
of a man at certain times.



Thank you.

Wait, wait.

I saw you once before
in the land of the Israelites.

- It was only for a moment.
- You were working in a field.

- I remember.
- You remember.

As you do.

Do you ever dream, Sidqa?


I do.

Since I was a child,
I have never dreamed.


The doctors tell me
you're getting stronger.

That's true.

You thought your time had come,
didn't you, Sidqa?

A little longer.

A little longer.

Child, tell me what it is you want.

If it is within my power,
I shall grant it.

I want...

I want...


I want Samson as my husband.

He is a good man.

But is he not an enemy of our people?

Not of mine.

- You love him?
- With all my heart.

Has he spoken words of love to you?

A woman sees the heart of a man
through the doorway of his eyes.

And you see... ?

A man who loves me as I love him.

- That's what she said?
- Her exact words.

But could she truly love me,
an Israelite...

... as a wife must love her husband?
Is such a thing possible?

My mother and father would say,
"Never. "

My teacher would say, "Think again. "

And have you thought again?

It is all I think of.

And each time the thought
fills me with happiness.

Then the question is...

... could you truly love her, a Philistine,
like a husband must love his wife?

As surely as the sun dies
beyond the hills each night.

Come and speak to her.
Tell her how you feel.

- She knows. She sees it.
- Yes, she knows.

But women like you to tell them.
Especially if it's the truth.

And what about these stories
that he has slain our soldiers...

... that the Israelites beg him
to lead their army against us?

He's here.

He refused them, and they betrayed him.
He's a man of peace.

As am I.

You know him now.

You know he's an honorable man.

Will you, that are kind and just...

... let rumor or gossip stand in his way?

It is said he humiliated
Prince Sidqa himself.

From what we are told,
this is not difficult.


But if they found
he was hiding in my home...

... if they came for him...

I'm not thinking of myself.

But the danger to you...

... to Rani...

They would surely kill us all.

Father, I am an Israelite.

- You are my...
- Hear me out.

- You are my son.
- Hear me out.

I'm an Israelite.

But I honor you as my father.

Perhaps Rani's love for him...

... is the very way towards peace
between our two peoples.

And the king himself is wise.

Is he not?


... if I were to send a message to Gaza...

... if the king gave it his blessing...

Then all would be well.

This farmer from Timnah is a traitor.

- You must deny his request.
- Sidqa...

... when I'm gone and the throne is yours,
let me give you a word of advice:

Always, always ignore
those of your counselors...

... who say "you must. "

But, Father...

... now we know where Samson is.
- Yes, my son.

Now we know.

A Timnite woman.

They're supposed to be very beautiful,
are they not?

If she were that beautiful,
she'd be here, in the palace.

If you say so.

Do not humor me, commander.

I'd hate to think
you believe me jealous.

And are you jealous?

- What's the man to me?
- I don't know.

He saved your life.

I owe him thanks.

No more than that.

So he is unimportant.


Then why are you telling me
about him?

Because I tell you
what I hear in the court.

And I you.

And the arrangement makes us
both formidably well informed.

So the poor Israelite is to be denied
even one night of marital pleasure.

You feel sorry for an enemy
of our people?

Enemy? Where are his armies?
Whose downfall does he seek?

You're remarkable, Delilah.

I had assumed that you
would share the anger...

... of our prince with this Israelite.

The prince and I
have very different tastes.

The prince will never be known
for his taste...

... but for the size of his feet.

He'll never fit his father's shoes.

You know, General Tariq...

... I've known you all my life.

But at this moment,
I know you not at all.

I'm a man...

... in the wrong place
at the wrong time.

For whatever it's worth...

... I too have known myself
all my life...

... and yet not at all.

Cut it out.

My son.

Mother? Yoram.

Sit. Drink. You've traveled far.

So is it true?

Is what true, Mother? That I live and work
here among people who ask nothing of me?

- Yes, that is true.
- You know of what I speak.

The story is abroad.
Everyone speaks of it.

That you are to marry a Philistine.
Is that true?

Her name is Rani. Yes, it is true.

The ceremony is tomorrow.
And you are welcome.

I'm glad you're here.

Among all the women
you might have chosen...

... was it God's will that you bring
a stranger to your bed?

She is a good woman.

Her father is honorable, just and kind.

- And I love her, Mother.
- And is this love...

... greater than the bonds
that tie you to our people?

Greater than our traditions?

Do not turn your back on us
by marrying a foreign woman.

Come back with us, Samson.
Before it's too late.

My home is here now.

You have punished us enough.

- I beg you.
- I have heard you, you have heard me.

That is an end to it.

Beware this woman, Samson.

Be it on your wedding day...

... or within the first circle
of the moon...

... she will betray you.

- My father.
- You have no father.

- And he has no son.
- Mother.



See? I bleed.

Like any other man.

Samson stayed in the land
of the Philistines...

... where he had found
a woman he loved.

And it seemed the king had given
his approval for the marriage.

But those he sent to celebrate
had come for another purpose.

And thus did Samson 's love
for the Philistine woman...

... begin to fulfill the word of God.



I give you a riddle.

What's the prize?
There has to be a prize.

Yes, there must be a prize.

Very well. If you solve the riddle...

... 30 linen garments.
- And a flock of sheep.

And two shepherds.
And 100 silver pieces.

Out of the eater...

... something to eat.

Out of the strong...

... something sweet.


Out of the strong?
This is Samson himself.


- Tell me the riddle, Samson.
- Why, so you may win the prize?

No. To share in your enjoyment...

... as I hope to do
throughout our life together.

- I don't think that that's...
- Tell her. She's your wife.

No secrets.

- A man must trust his wife.
- You won't trust me?

Excellent. You'll never get it.

My husband not only trusts me,
he gives you a true riddle to solve.

You keep your guests very happ y.

I'm glad you're enjoying our wedding.

The king is well pleased, Harach.

Good. Good.

He honors us with your company.

And will bestow more honor
with the answer to this riddle.

The riddle?

I need a pretext.

A reason.

A reason? For what?

A reason not to seize your land,
cut off your thieving fingers.

Sir, you are my guest.

- This is outrageous.
- The answer. I will have it.


Fetch it from your daughter.

Before I order your house
burned to the ground.



- Come here, Rani. Come.
- My father calls.

Then go to him. But return to me.

All right.

Come, Samson. We submit.

Tell us the answer to your riddle.

A Philistine submit to an Israelite?

- Shame.
- A father submits to his son.

You will never get to bed with my sister
until this riddle is solved.

Now there's a good reason.

All right.

All right.

All right.

- I see I have you all.
- All?


- The answer is plain.
- Tell us.

What is sweeter than honey?

And what is stronger than a lion?

It is surely a honeycomb.

A beehive inside...

... the entrails of a desert lion.

Right? The lion and the honey.

That's right, you have it.

That's no riddle.

How could anyone guess
an answer like that?

How indeed?


Why, Rani? Why?

- No.
- Why, Rani? Why?



It was me.

They threatened to burn down
the house unless l...

She knew nothing.

- Rani.
- Stop it.

No! Stop! Please!


Take him!


- Come, Rani.
- Let me go.

Seize him!


Come on.



No. No, please.


- See?
- Yes.

You threatened the life of my father,
of my friend, of my wife.

The garments are yours.
You won them. Pick them up.

I said, pick them up.

Now go.

Go back to Gaza.

Tell them Samson did this.

And tell them I have only begun.

I have only begun!

- All of them?
- Yes, Majesty.

His strength is not human.

- Not human?
- The fields. The fields are on fire.

No. No!

No! Rani!

No! No!

No! No!

Execute them.

Burn their fields.


Here. Make it here.
It belongs to your enemy.

My love, who I betrayed.


Rani. Rani.

Oh, no.

General Tariq should be ordered
to burn down every Israelite village.

Every village that makes payment
to our treasury? This isn't war.

Samson doesn't lead an army.

Not even his own people.

- He fights us alone.
- He must be stopped.

The dignity of your throne
is at stake here.

Do not mistake my throne
for your pride.

Consider this:

A farmer's field, Israelite or Philistine,
is more than just a crop.

It's a life's work, a child's future.

We will send an emissary
to these men of Judah.

Giving us Samson is a small price to pay
for leaving their fields untouched.

But he's one of them.
Why should they betray him?

It is a foolish man
who cannot be made afraid.

And these men we treat with
are not foolish.



They are dead.

They're all dead.

They came from Gaza.

We were surrounded. Trapped.

There was no time to run.

The laborers were killed.

They took your wife, beat her.
Father too.

They left me for dead.

There was nothing I could do, Samson.

I can still hear him laughing, their leader.
I mean, laughing and laughing.

Amrok, who?
Who was their leader?

The laugh. The scar.

His name is Mahal.

Was it my fault, Samson? Was it?

- No.
- I brought you in.

I begged for the marriage.

I loved her, Amrok.
The fault was not yours.

The innocent are punished
for my sins.

Come with me. I am going home.

- No.
- Amrok.

Go, my brother.


And so Samson returned
to the land of the Israelites.

To a people confused
and angry with him...

... for having stirred the wrath
of the Philistines.

To a people no longer
seeking rebellion...

... but willing subjects
of the Philistines...

... and of their own fears.

Let me pass.

What is it? Have I done you harm?
Why are you doing this?

We will not lose our lives,
our homes, our crops...

... at the altar of your anger.

Then take me. Have done with it.

You, you or you, come, take me.
Take hold of me. Bind me.

I have not changed.
You have changed.

Yes, I want vengeance for the betrayals
that were done to me...

... and I will have it.

But you would betray me for fear
of what might happen to you.

Once you asked me to lead you
into what I believed would be...

... madness and slaughter.
Well, now I believe it more.

But I will go.

You'll hear no more of me.

Out of my anger and my hate...

... I'll try and find a peace with God.

Thus did Samson return to his home...

... hiding in his heart the revenge
which one day he would wreak.

And the hand of God
brought him back...

... just as the life of his father, Manoah,
was drawing to a close.

My son.

I'm here, Father.

I have loved you...

... since before.

- I know, Father. I know.
- Since before and always.

It does not end.

Give to your people...

... to God.

Reach out.

You have the gifts.

Share them.

It is your destiny.

It does not end.

Remember. It...

He is dead.

Even at the death of his father,
Samson did not weep.

Though in time, his tears would be
shed for all the people of Israel.

In the days that followed,
Samson set aside his revenge...

... and worked only for the good
of the Israelites.

And he became a judge of his people.
Wise, good, helpful.

In every way the son his father
had wished and prayed for.

You'll stay with us?

My father, as he died, said...

... if I stay with my people...

... the Philistines will not attack us.

They threaten to burn the crops.

And cut off their own supplies?
No, empty threats.

Would they rally our people
against them, provoke war?


I am here now.

Until the wheel turns again...

... I have come home.

What is strength?

A stone, which nature formed,
is now just dust.

Yet what has changed?

The greater strength is to do
as God asks of you.

Faith, that is real strength.

To bend your will to God's,
that takes courage, that takes strength.

My son has many friends and admirers.

I wish I could count myself
among them.

When you forbade him
to capture Samson...

... you took from him the prize
with which he hoped to win you.

Samson has not gone. He's stepped back,
the better to leap forward.

They say he teaches.
They say he's plowing the fields.

And I say he's not gone away.

My son prepares. He's right.

Perhaps I should admire him for that.

All God asks of us
is that we do his will.

For more than half my life,
I did not hear him.

Until I began to realize
that his voice...

... speaks to the heart of man
as well as the mind.

His generosity and love...

... may sometimes seem difficult
to understand...

... but it is always present.

Samson led his people as a judge...

... yet in his heart...

... the dark desires of man still sought
to hold sway over him.

The desires of the flesh...

... and the flame of revenge
had not been quenched.

During all the time of peace...

... when he stayed with his people,
two flames burned low in him...

... but were never extinguished:

The flame of lust
and the fire of revenge.

Please think again.
There must be something I can do...

... to help you change your mind.
- No, I'm certain, Ira.

My mind is made up.

When a man is thirsty,
so must he drink.

My need is as strong as thirst.

But God has bound you to himself.
You cannot leave him now.

I do not leave him. I ask him only
to come with me for a while.

- No.
- Yes.

I've decided.

- God decides.
- I decide.

Then you have abandoned him already.


... stay.
- I cannot.

I fear for you.

You, my only child, whom
I've prayed for every hour of my life.


... I am leaving, but will always
be with you in my heart.

Then may the Lord protect you.

Goodbye, my son.

Go. Quickly.


Samson, where are you going?

Where are you going?

- To Gaza.
- Gaza? But you can't.

- I must. I have an appointment there.
- No, Samson.

She's gone. It's over. Put revenge
behind you. It is finished.

- It is never finished.
- They will kill you.

If that is my destiny...

... then so be it.

Come back.

Come back to us.

Out of my way.

You should have heard them

Scream, Philistine.

For all eternity.

I am the instrument of the Lord!

General Tariq.

General Tariq. General Tariq.

- On your feet, boy.
- Samson.

- Samson, he's...
- Now take a deep breath.

- You tell me like a soldier.
- Samson.

He's been here.
He's murdered a soldier, Mahal.

The officer with the scar.

- Has he been apprehended?
- No, he escaped. The city gates...

- They were still open? By all the gods...
- No. They were closed and barred.

- But they...
- Well, out with it, boy.

- Well, the city gates, they...
- Yes, yes.

They are torn off. They're gone.

Firstly, cut out the tongue of anyone
spreading this story beyond the city limits.

I don't want them laughing at us
all the way to Ramah.

Then we send our whole army
into Israelite territories...

... not just the borderlands.
We should burn them all, Father.


Withdraw the whole army
from Israelite territories.

And the borderlands too.

- Order it back here to Gaza.
- Father.

Continue, commander.

If we attack, the Israelites
will simply disperse.

Let them form an army, attack us.

I will meet them in the field
and I will destroy them all...

... in open battle.
- And Samson?

He must not be allowed
to lead a rebel army.

Without him, we will defeat them.

With him at their head...

We must find a way to prevent that.

They say their god gives him
his strength.

I'm just a simple soldier, Majesty,
not a priest.

Your plan hardly indicates
a military cast of mind.

A soldier can only deal
with what he knows.

And what we know of Samson
is he prefers our women to his own.

The allure of strange flesh...

... is strong within him.
- This scheme is preposterous.

What certainty do you have that
this Samson will take the bait you offer?

- Wouldn't you, if she was offered to you?
- What are we, panderers?

This is no way to neutralize an enemy.

There is no general on this earth could
devise a better plan to lay his enemy low...

... than to capture him by that part
of his body in which he is the weakest.

The fish will take the bait.

But will the bait agree to the fish?

In fishing, there's only one certainty:

You can never be sure of your catch.

There's always the danger that the fish
may escape with the bait.

Is that not so, general?

Very well, agreed.


I'll be proud to serve my people.

- In return for a financial consideration.
- Yes.

Your loyalty to the throne
is measured in silver.

I'm offended, but not surprised.

How much?

Eleven hundred pieces of silver...

... from everyone in this chamber.


Let us proceed with all haste.

Promise me, general, never to devise
a scheme that puts me in that one's bed.

Careful, madam. You speak treason.

No. I speak as a woman.

A woman now of independent means.

Well, a girl must look to her future.

A future wealthy enough to escape
when the old king dies?

- Exactly.
- And Samson?

Would it be treason to tell you
I'm excited by the prospect...

... as a woman?

Would it be treason to tell you...

... I'm excited by your excitement,
as a man?

Tell me...

... have you ever wondered what it would
be like, you and me, together?

Several times.

I mean, several times each day...

... and each night.

Let's hope Samson
provides the same service.

Come home to us, Samson.

Have you not quenched
the fires within you?

Soon now. Soon I will come home.

Revenge is not the only cold dish
on which I have supped.

So tell me news of our people.

They plan rebellion.

- Who does?
- Jehiel. Amram.

Since you left, the only way
they can advance themselves...

... is to lead our men into war.
- They should be stopped.

- Naomi supports them in this?
- Surely.

And what of my mother?

Age is her only enemy now.

Age is no enemy.

It brings a courage and a wisdom
like no other.

The courage to face God.

Samson, nothing will stop them
taking arms.

Not even you.

But if you would come back now...

... lead them, then maybe...
- No, my friend.


Rebellion will make martyrs,
but will not bring victory.

A generation will die...

... on Philistine swords.
- Lf you are not there to lead them.

The Lord God of Israel
calls you, Samson.

- Why do you not hear him?
- He gave me my strength.

- He gave me water when I was thirsty.
- Well, surely that's enough...

But he has never told me how
to destroy the Philistines.

He has never told me to join
in this march to certain death.

It's hard to hear someone's voice...

... when your back is turned to him.

If I came back,
it would be to stop them.

I could prevent them,
show them their foolishness.

Then do it, Samson.

Save them from themselves.

I beg you.

But though I begged,
he did not hear me.

A voice greater than mine
drew him towards his destiny.

They said there were fish
in the river.

But not one that walks.


- Who are you?
- Who would you like me to be?


That means "the son of the sun, "
doesn't it?


I prefer the dark.

Looking up at the stars...

... where everything is written.

Perhaps you don't believe in that.

At this moment, here, now...

... I believe in the woman beside me.

You and I are supposed to be enemies.

But I don't see that
written in the stars.

So therefore it cannot be so.

You are cousin to the king?

So they say.

And you?

- You are the chosen of your god.
- So they say.

Chosen for what?

To lead your people?

To lead them away
from foolishness, perhaps.

And why do you not do so?

Because I choose you.

- Are you tired?
- No.


Do you want to sleep?

No, do you?


Chosen one.

I chose you too.

This is beautiful.

You see, we're also a simple people.
We love our childish games.

We have lives and loves.

We laugh and play.

Wait here.

Where does your strength
come from, Samson?

Like all strength,
it comes from within.

What could one do
to make you powerless in their arms?

- To make me weak like other men?
- Yes. What?

Even if I told you,
you wouldn't believe me.

Oh, I love secrets.

Why would I give up my strength?

- It's all I have.
- Except for me.

I want you powerless
in my arms.

- You'd tell no one?
- Who would I tell?

All right, if I were tied
with seven new bowstrings...

... I would lose all my strength.

Seven new bowstrings?

And thus did Delilah begin to seek
for the secret of his very soul.

And as the Philistines waited for him
to be delivered to them...

... there was a man among them
who doubted, perhaps...

... the wisdom of his own plan.

Seven new bowstrings.

Tell me.

In the innocence of his love...

... beguiled, lost in Delilah
and in their lovers ' games...

... Samson did not see danger.

Samson. Samson, the soldiers.

The first test,
he kept his pact with God.

- Why do men always lie?
- What?

Samson. Samson, soldiers.

Soldiers, Samson.

You do not love me, Samson.


More than reason itself.

And did Delilah herself
begin to doubt?

Was the sign of his faith also the sign
of her true love for him?

For nine days and nine nights
they were as one.

Samson fell beneath her spell.

It was beyond lust. He loved her truly,
as a man loves a woman.

Her flesh, yes...

... but her heart, her soul,
her every breath.

And blinded by that love,
he forgot his mission.

Tell me.

You know already.

Tell me.

Bind me with your arms and love.

- What's the matter?
- Nothing.

Delilah, tell me.

What do you think?
You keep lying to me.

They're games. They're not lies.

So why not the truth?

Because you are not of my people.

And I've never told anyone.

I'm not of your people?

I am you.

We're one.

The rest is nothing.

Even my own have betrayed me.

And you think I will too?

I, who've given you my life,
am giving you my life.

Do you doubt my love?


- Do you doubt me?
- No.

Of course you do.

I cannot give up my only gift.

Your gift?

Do you think I really
want you weakened?


I love you...

... the man that you are.

Why would I want to change you?


These are games we've been playing.

If I told you the truth,
you could not test me.

- I would not.
- To test me is to destroy me.

- I understand.
- You could not.

No games with the truth.

None then. None ever.

You're so beautiful.

No more tests.

Just love.

The proof of love.

I cannot be betrayed in this.

I give you my word.

We are as one.

As one.

Why have you been crying,
my only love? Have you not slept?

- I've been watching over you.
- And you were sad?

My heart...

... is heavier than all the iron in our land.
- Why?

While you were sleeping, I held the power
of life or death in my hands.

The life or death of the man you love?

But you did not cut.

No. I did not.

- But now...
- Now?

Now I must.

Put that away.

When power is given,
how can it not be used?

Because love is stronger still.

Oh, yes.



Take him!

Remember me, Israelite?

Where is your strength now,
savior of Israel?

And where is your god?


Bring him out!


- Delilah!
- No!


My son.

My son.

Enjoy yourself, Israelite!

You have forsaken me?


It is there.

The sign.

- Praise the Lord.
- Now we can begin.

The time has come.

The time is now!

We shall no longer bow our heads!

We shall no longer bend our knees...

... to the Philistines
and their images of gods.

Our seeds shall multiply...

... and flourish in freedom.

And we shall come to know...

... how they walked as free men.

Lord, forgive Samson.

Stay by his side.
Please stay by his side.

Do not abandon him now.

Please, Lord, help him.


Now it shall begin.

We shall take off the yoke...

... of the unclean!

No, I beg you.

I beg you, stop!

- It is the will of God.
- No. No, it is the will of men.


The Lord is with us!

We shall be cloaked in divine armor.

For Gaza!

For Gaza!

For Gaza!

Where is he?

Disturbed from my sleep for that...

That piece of...
Move your feet.

You maggot-ridden vermins.

On your feet, Israelite.

On your feet.

Up. Up!


There's somebody to see you.

And if you know
what's good for you...


Behave yourself.

Up the steps. Come.

Sit him down.

Now lay him down.

Wait outside.


Who are you?

Your enemy.

Do not be afraid.

I cannot restore his sight.

- But you can ease the pain?
- Yes.

Then use all your skill.

Tell me about your god, Samson.

He is the one God, the true God.

- And he has brought you to this?
- Yes.

Then he is a harsh god.

I have been a great sinner.

You think he punishes you?

I know it.

Then how do you make amends?

I pray for the courage to repent.

I will speak to the jailer.

I will see to it that
you are treated better.

Will you speak to them
of the other prisoners also?

That I cannot do.

Then neither must you
speak to them of me.

You are stubborn.

And proud, yes.

But no longer vain.

Why did you come?

To see you.

To learn.

And to tell you that tomorrow...

... I will lead our army
against your Israelites...

... and I will win.

I will surely win.

Yes, I know.

You know?

How do you know?

I see it...

... as I see into your heart.

I am the first general
of the Philistines...

... your enemy, Samson,
and I have no heart.

You are not my enemy.

At last I understand...

... how I have filled that role myself.

Thousands of them.
Cavalry, chariots.

Old Tariq's commanding them.

The Israelites are for it now.

They won't stand a chance.

You! Get away from there!

Get down! Get down!

Go on. Get away from there,
all of you. Get back!

The Philistines!

Strike fear, O God, in their hearts!

Scatter them!

What is this place?

We are above a valley.

At this end is our Philistine army...

... and at the other...
- The Israelites.

- Yes.
- With weapons of bronze...

... and foolish generals
and empty certainties.

A soldier of mine who spoke those words
would lose his head as a traitor.

The truth betrays no one.

Was this really necessary?

Does it not amuse you, general?


I thought you were a man
of wit and humor.

I thought you were a prince
of dignity.

The only pity is that he cannot see
his people meet their destiny with death.

The Israelites are coming forward now.
They advance.

In moments, our own army
will step out to meet them.

Soon now.

- Soon.
- The Philistines hold their position?


General Tariq,
give the order to attack.

Scatter them!

There. A signal has been fired. Now.

What? Tell me.

The Philistine foot soldiers
in the center...

... they are retreating.

- Retreating?
- General, forbid your men from retreating.

- They obey my orders.
- What kind of soldiers are they?

- Skilled in the tactics of war.
- They are pulling back.


No, they are leading
the Israelite lambs...

... to my slaughterhouse.

I hate an incompetent enemy.

They make me less.


They turn a general into a butcher.

- Charge!
- Charge!

Our foot soldiers
have stopped retreating.

The cavalry detachments
on each flank are advancing.

The bowmen are ready.

The trap is sprung.
They stumble into it.


Tell him.

Now the chariots swing round.

They ride them down.

Their lines are broken.

They are broken.

- Where are you going?
- The battle's over.

God, forgive my people.

- Don't you want to watch?
- No, Your Highness.

Like watching the ocean tide
come in...

... it is inevitable, but dull.

Magnificent, general.
This is your victory.

A tide is a tide, Your Highness...

... even when it's measured in blood.


- Samson.
- Jehiel? Jehiel.

Samson. No!

Bravely done, Your Highness.

Bravely done.

It pleases the people.

But did it please our gods?

It was a great victory, my old friend.

Yes, Majesty. A great victory.

Go on!

Get up!

When his eyes were taken...

... your beauty was taken from him too.

Now you're the same to him
as any other woman.

And thus, in his suffering...

... did the faith of Samson
begin to grow.

How could God's design be fulfilled...

... by a powerless blind man
chained to a wheel?

The mystery of God's plan
could be seen by no one.

Except, perhaps...

... the one man who could see
nothing else.

Even as the Philistines rejoiced...

... there was still one who knew
that the shadow of doubt...

... can darken man 's brightest day.

In all of Gaza,
the one who had doubted...

... began to wonder if he too
was part of the instrument...

... of God's unknowable design.

Quickly, now.


Go on.




It's not much, but the lamb is good.

- How did you get... ?
- I found work here.


God is good.

A beard.

You're a man, Yoram.
No longer the child I used to know.

And one day I'll be old. Drink. Eat.

- My mother?
- Living.

- And Naomi?
- Here, in Gaza.

She's here?

She's mad. The danger.

Ira is dead.

His sons, killed in the battle.

He lived a few weeks,
and died with God's name on his lips.


He kept showing me the way,
and I kept looking elsewhere.

All right. Finish now. Come on.

- Eat and remember what he taught us:
- Up. Up.

God's hand writes straight
even when the lines are crooked.

Come on. Come on. Come on, up!

God is my strength. God is my strength.
God is my...

Your Highness?

- What do you want?
- Someone wishes to see you.

A woman.

An Israelite woman.

- How much did she bribe you?
- Your Highness.

Fetch her.

Leave us.

Who are you?

Just a woman.


... what do you want?

I want you to help me
to see someone.

You do, do you?

And who might that be?


Just a woman.

This will be a feast to remember,
my faithful friends.

Majesty, to make the celebrations
complete, could you not order Samson...

... be brought down and displayed?
- You are cruel, Delilah.

The savior of Israel, Samson,
brought here in chains?

- What do you think, my old friend?
- Well, surely...

... if Delilah wishes, Majesty.

The weakness of beautiful women...

... is that they become soft
because men can deny them nothing.

Surely, Delilah, above all...

... deserves to be rewarded.

Rewarded, yes.

And consoled, eh?

So it shall be.

God is my strength.
God is my strength.

God is my strength.

Why did you ask for Samson
to be brought here?

- To entertain his captors.
- Has he not suffered enough?

All the world's a wheel, commander.

- You taught me that once.
- I did?

And when was that?

Before I knew the pain of feeling.

You did not want him here
just for display.


Then what?

Because even though I sold him,
he's still mine.

Is he?


I have sinned against him.

Every law, every commandment.

How can he forgive me?

The mercy of God is infinite.

And his punishment severe.

You've looked all your life, Samson,
for a sign.

And never knew that
the need to search...

... was itself the sign.

But now?

Now everything is dark.

And within the darkness...

... I see the Lord.

The only world I see now
belongs to God.

Oh, Samson.


On your feet, Israelite. Boy, help him.

Out of the way there.
Come on. Get back.

Move. Move for the savior of Israel.

The savior of Israel.

The savior of Israel.

- Are you his woman?
- I thought you were.


I'm the woman he trusted.

When he looked into my eyes,
I was the last he saw.

You hated him so much?

They paid me well.

You hated him so much?

He'd become too dangerous.

You hated him...

... so much.

No. I loved him too well.

Yet still you brought him down.


That's enough.

This is not love.

And you?

Do you love him?

Since I first knew him.

And he loved you?

Come. I'll make a bargain with you.

Come. A very small bargain.

So everything is ready?


Yoram, where are we?

- Where are they taking me?
- To the pillars.

- Yoram.
- I'm here.

I'm here.

Now go.

Yoram, know that I have loved you.

- But I can stay.
- Go.

- Go quickly.
- Samson.

Go quickly.

Go to him.







- Take her with you, Yoram. Take her.
- No. Not yet.

Give us a few moments.
For all the years.


A few moments.

And when I tell you to go, you will leave
at once, out of the temple, out of the city.

- Yes, yes. What is it, Samson?
- Do you swear, both of you?

- Yes. I swear.
- Yes, I swear.

Here I am.

Beside me, where you've always been.

And now my body wears chains
that have always been around my heart.

And yet I see you as you are. Free.

It is they who are enslaved.

They will all die.


All men must die.

Only the hour is unknown.

Will you kiss me farewell, Samson?

- Naomi, do not torture me.
- Please.

With the mark of your kiss...

... I will always be blessed.

Dry your tears, woman.

It has taken me a lifetime to understand
God is the God of forgiveness.


Leave me now.

It is over.


... I want you to do something for me.

Leave the temple.
Ride away from Gaza.

- General?
- Do as I say, boy.

Ride like the wind.

- Yes, commander.
- Hurry.

- In which direction, general?
- West.

- To the sea?
- Yes.

And then?

Submerge yourself in the water.

Then ride back.


Now, O God of Israel...

... grant me that for which I was born.

There is Samson,
hero of the mighty Israelites...

... come to worship at the altar
of our gods, whom you defied.

Grant me the strength again just once...

... O God.

Forgive Samson, God of Israel.

Kill him!

Kill him!

Kill him!

My son. My son. You knew.

You knew!

Forgive my son, O God of Israel.

With me die the Philistines.

Run for your life!

At last, O God of Israel!

And thus did Samson return
to the land of Israel.

Thus did my friend,
the son of Mara and Manoah...

... judge of his people,
return to his home...

... passing on the way the very well
where the stranger had foretold his birth.

The will of God had been fulfilled...

... and the faith which in his life
he had sought...

... was now finally and certainly found.

It was not the least
of his gifts to me.

To all things, there is a purpose.

It was through
the Philistine woman, Delilah...

... that Samson finally came
to the faith...

... which began the liberation
that the Lord God of Israel had promised.

He will not be forgotten.