5

"Hallelujah" contains a mix of Biblical themes. The first stanza mentions (King) David by name, and the first three lines of the second seem to refer to one of King David's stories (II Samuel 11). The fourth line, I believe, switches to a story of Samson (Judges 16), and the fifth has elements of both David and Samson in it (Samson was a judge, and never had a throne; "she cut your hair" is definitely Samson). The final line of the stanza reads "and from your lips she drew the Hallelujah."

Your faith was strong but you needed proof
You saw her bathing on the roof
Her beauty and the moonlight overthrew you
She tied you to a kitchen chair
She broke your throne, and she cut your hair
And from your lips she drew the Hallelujah

I assume that the final line of the stanza refers to Samson; however, I'm not sure what Samson has to do with "Hallelujah." Using a Bible search engine, I could not find an instance where Samson's name (שמשון) appeared with the word "Hallelujah" (הללויה). I could not either find the name שמשון in Psalms (although it's possible that one or more Psalms are attributed to Samson; I don't know Psalms or the commentaries on it well enough to say). There's certainly nothing in the story of Delilah with the word "Hallelujah."

The word does not appear in II Samuel 11 (nor, actually, in the entire book).

So, my questions are:

  1. Who are the subject and object in the final line of the stanza? Is it Bathsheba and David, or Delilah and Samson?
  2. What is the reference made by that line?
5

It's yet another context switch. It doesn't directly continue on from the Samson story.

It doesn't seem to connect to any specific Biblical story; there are non-biblical images in the stanza ("she tied you to a kitchen chair"). Rather, it's an emotional invocation: she has coaxed the speaker to an ecstatic state.

The word "hallelujah" appears most prominently in the Psalms, nominally written by King David. It means "praise God", and is most associated in English as an exclamation used when one is overwhelmed with joy.

Together with the other stanzas, it illustrates a rocky relationship with both extreme lows (exemplified here by Samson's defeat, as well as the evocative but non-biblical image of a broken throne[1]) and the extreme highs accompanied by an exclamation of "Hallelujah!"


[1] The broken throne may hint at the story of the succession of David by Solomon, his son with Bathsheba, rather than by primogeniture of his eldest son.

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