Samson as light and Delilah as darkness: a cognitive linguistic study using metaphors

03 October 2012

Interpretation of ancient texts can be a very clinical procedure, with little to no regard of the individual's personal experience of the text. This also applies to interpretation of the Samson and Delilah narrative. When the text is read with experiential intent, a lot of discrepancies arise which conventional historical critical and grammatical approaches cannot explain. A new approach is therefore required to interpret the text. We propose a cognitive linguistic approach. If we consider the text using a solar metaphor, namely that Samson is the sun deity and Delilah is the deity of the night, an ancient struggle between light and darkness is exposed. The dynamic relationship between light and darkness is taken further through the use of the light-against-dark force metaphor in the interpretation process. This proves fruitful as new meaning, with fewer discrepancies, is drawn from the narrative.