How Much Was Delilah Paid For Betraying Samson?

By David J. Stewart | September 2012

Judges 16:5, “And the lords of the Philistines came up unto her, and said unto her, Entice him, and see wherein his great strength lieth, and by what means we may prevail against him, that we may bind him to afflict him: and we will give thee every one of us eleven hundred pieces of silver.”

       The answer based upon my research and calculations is approximately $89,641. This is a very interesting question. How much does it pay to sellout God's man? There's no way of knowing exactly what silver was worth in the Old Testament, but we can calculate the price using some facts to get an idea. The price of silver as of August 31, 2012 is $31.68 per ounce[1]. The Bible says in Judges 16:5 that EACH of the lords of the Philistines paid Delilah 1,100 pieces (shekels) of silver to betray Samson. The Bible tells us in Judges 3:3 that there were 5 lords of the Philistines. So she received 1,100 shekels times 5. The major weight of metal mentioned in the Bible is the shekel, as its name, which means simply “weight,” testifies.

A shekel contains 16 grams of silver. So if each of the five lords gave Delilah 1,100 shekels of silver, she received a total of 5,500 shekels of silver. I multiplied 5,500 shekels times 16 (grams per shekel) to determine how many total grams of silver Delilah was paid, which is 88,000 grams. There is no American ounce. There is the Avoirdupois ounce which is 28.35 grams and the Troy ounce which is 31.10g used for quantifying gold and silver bullion. So I'm using the Troy ounce weight value. So I divided 88,000 (total grams) by 31.10 (grams per ounce), which gives us 2,829 ounces of silver. Finally, multiply the 2,829 ounces of silver times the present price of $31.68 per ounce of silver, which means in today's prices Delilah was paid approximately $89,641 to betray God's man, Samson.

It is quite amazing that both the strongest man who ever lived (Samson) and the wisest man who ever lived (Solomon) were both conquered by women. Let that be a lesson to all men of all time! Solomon said in Ecclesiastes 7:26, “And I find more bitter than death the woman, whose heart is snares and nets, and her hands as bands: whoso pleaseth God shall escape from her; but the sinner shall be taken by her.” What a statement! Don't be offended ladies, remember that God chose Mary (a woman) as the vessel of honor to bring the Savior of the human race into the world. Jesus is precious!

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