Judges 16:6 - 17
ESV - 6 So Delilah said to Samson, "Please tell me where your great strength lies, and how you might be bound, that one could subdue you. 7 Samson said to her, "If they bind me with seven fresh bowstrings that have not been dried, then I shall become weak and be like any other man.
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I would say that Samson initially lied to her because (despite whatever emotion -- love or lust -- he may have felt toward her), he knew at heart that revealing the true secret of his strength to her would give her control over him, and, despite his feelings for her, he did not want to do that. (He may have acquired such reluctance as a result of what had happened when he had earlier initially refused to tell his wife (in Judges 14:16) the answer to the riddle that he had put to the guests at his wedding, going so far as to tell her that, if he had not even told the answer to his own mother and father, he was not going to tell her. It was only as a result of her persistent nagging that he told her, which resulted in his having to give each of the wedding guests the linen garment and the festal garment that he had promised to them.) (Also, in the case of Delilah, her treachery and evil intent would -- or should -- also have been reinforced to him (if he had been capable of objective or rational thought about it) by her repeated efforts to make him powerless using each of the false methods he told her, but he -- again, perhaps blinded by emotion -- did not make the connection.) Even when he finally told her the true secret of his strength, it was not done out of love or any other positive feeling toward her, but because (as had earlier been the case with his wife (Judges 14:17)) he was "vexed to death" by her constant nagging about it (as indicated in Judges 16:16). (However, since the end result of these two incidents was the death of over four thousand Philistines -- although at the expense, first, of Samson's eyesight, and, later, of his life -- God was able to bring benefit to Israel even out of Samson's flaws (his carnality and his repeated failure to discern the obvious).)
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