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SAMSON   6'1m*f RT: Samson and Delilah

(RT == Readers' Theater: requires little or no memorization,
little or no rehearsal. An indefinite number of reporters are
salted throughout the audience.)

SAMSON -- (enters wearing tunic and sandals, eyes blackened,
feels his way to the podium with a long stick) My name is Samson
son of Manoah, I am the judge of Israel appointed by the God of
Israel. They told me in the jail (points with thumb) that you
are newspaper reporters and that you wanted to ask me some
questions.

REPORTER -- You're not at all what I expected.

REPORTER -- Me either.

SAMSON -- I'm sorry, what were you expecting?

REPORTER -- First of all, what happened to your hair?! According
to legend, your hair has never been cut since you were born.

SAMSON -- That was true until recently. When I was born, my
parents took the Nazirite vow on my behalf and then when I was
old enough I took the Nazirite vow on my own behalf. One of the
requirements of Nazirites is that we never cut our hair. Another
requirement is that we never drink wine or fermented beverages.

REPORTER -- So, who cut your hair?

SAMSON -- A woman named Delilah shaved my head one night while I
was sleeping. As You can see, my hair has begun to grow out
again since I've been in jail.

REPORTER -- Why were you in jail?

SAMSON -- As many of you know, I have been fighting the
Philistines for many years. But because of my great strength, I
always escaped capture in the past.

REPORTER -- You'll pardon me for saying so, but you don't look
like a particularly muscular person.

SAMSON -- I'm not. My strength came from the Lord.

REPORTER -- But you lost your strength?

SAMSON -- That's right.

REPORTER -- Can you tell us HOW you lost your strength?

SAMSON -- Well, I'd like to tell you that my strength was
somehow related to the length of my hair, because I always
boasted about my Nazirite vow whenever possible. But I must tell
you frankly that I'm quite sure I lost my strength when I
defiled my body by sleeping with that woman Delilah who was not
my wife.

REPORTER -- I have a long list of atrocities you've committed,
but quite frankly, fornicating with a woman does not seem to be
very high on the list. Why would God remove your strength for
something as common as fornication?

SAMSON -- Our God, the God of Israel uses the marriage
relationship as a model of intimacy and devotion between God and
his people. When I slept with a woman I was not married to, I
cheapen my people's view of that relationship. God could not
allow me to get away with denigrating his most sacred
relationship.

REPORTER -- Is it true that you once killed a lion with your
bare hands?

SAMSON -- That's true. I not only killed it, I tore it limb from
limb.

REPORTER -- Why would you be so brutal?

SAMSON -- Back then, I took my job as judge of Israel more
seriously. When that lion attacked be, he attacked God's
annointed leader among men. I couldn't let him get away with
that.

REPORTER -- Is it true that you once started a brush fire that
burned out almost all of Philistia?

SAMSON -- That's true.

REPORTER -- How did one man burned down an entire country?

SAMSON -- I captured 300 foxes and tied them in pairs by their
tails, then I tied each pair to a lighted torch and set them all
free. It was the foxes trying to escape each other and the fire
that spread the fire far and wide.

REPORTER -- Why would you do such a thing?!

SAMSON -- Once again, it was because of the marriage vow. I took
a Philistine woman to be my wife. But a few of the Philistines
who opposed me tried to get even with me by defiling her. I
could not allow the Philistines to cheapen the marriage
relationship.

REPORTER -- But the Philistines are gentiles. They don't cherish
the marriage relationship the way you Jews do. Did they seek
revenge?

SAMSON -- Of course. And, using the strength that God gave me, I
killed all the Philistines who came after me.

REPORTER -- How many was that?

SAMSON -- Over a thousand.

REPORTER -- You killed a thousand men single handedly?

SAMSON -- If you ignore the power of God, I suppose you could
call it single-handedly.

REPORTER -- There is a legend that you didn't use a sword in
this battle.

SAMSON -- That's right. At that point I didn't have a sword.

REPORTER -- What weapon did you use?

SAMSON -- I found the jawbone of a decomposing donkey and I used
that as a weapon.

REPORTER -- To kill a thousand men?!

SAMSON -- With the Lord on my side, it could have been a
toothpick. As I look back on that battle, I see now that if I
had used a sword, I would have been declared as some kind of war
hero, skilled in battle. But I'm no war hero. Everything I have
comes from the Lord.

REPORTER -- Is it true that you once tore the gates off the city
walls of Gaza and carried them all the way to Hebron?

SAMSON -- That's true. But I would rather forget that incident.

REPORTER -- Why would you steal the city gates?

SAMSON -- To taunt the Philistines. They had surrounded the city
and were going to attack me at dawn. But I escaped at night and
took the city gates with me just to embarrass them. Looking
back, it would have been better if I had been punished.

REPORTER -- But why?

SAMSON -- Because again I was sleeping with a woman who was not
my wife. I tarnished God's most sacred relationship. I deserved
to be punished.

REPORTER -- Speaking of punishment, was it the Philistines who
blinded you?

SAMSON -- Yes. After they captured me at Delilah's house, they
gouged out my eyes.

REPORTER -- Is there any connection between your capture and the
big celebration today at the Philistine temple?

SAMSON -- Yes. That assembly is to celebrate my capture. They
intend to parade me around the crowd and show them how harmless
I've become.

REPORTER -- Have you learned your lesson yet?

SAMSON -- Yes. Yes, I have. I have confessed my sins to God and
apologized to him for my rebellion.

REPORTER -- What will happen to you after the celebration at the
Philistine temple?

SAMSON -- There won't be any AFTER.

REPORTER -- What do you mean?

SAMSON -- I'm sorry, I can't be very specific about what will
happen there, except to tell you that I'll bring the house down.

(exits)

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