The Good Book Says...: Light Verse to Illuminate the Old Testament

by Ben Milder

Judges 16: 4–5
4And it came to pass afterward, that he loved a woman in the
valley of Sorek, whose name was Delilah. 5And the lords of the Philistines
came up unto her, and said unto her: 'Entice him, and see wherein
his great strength lieth, . . .' (2)

Samson Brings Down the House

Samson's hair was long and curly,
And Delilah was his favorite girlie,
But her loyalties were Philistinian,
Which is logical, in my opinion,
Since she plotted Samson's liquidation
For a handsome cash consideration.

She knew the value of a dollar,
And, sadly, he was no Rhodes scholar.
As his curly head lay in her lap,
Delilah cooly sprung her trap.
That very night, his locks were shorn
Precisely as his foes had sworn.

The Phillies cried, "We've got him, sure!"
But they were slightly premature.
Those plotters diabolical
Forgot that each hair follicle
Would undergo regeneration
And give rise to retaliation.

So the Good Book tells us in this thriller
How our hero firmly grasped each pillar
Of the house where jeering throngs collected
And, with his strength now resurrected,
Did what no one there expected:
With just one shove, completely wrecked it!

Each word is true that I'm reciting,
'Cause the Good Book's got it there in writing.

Use the player below to listen to Ben Milder read this poem.



Noah, Abraham, Moses, Samson, David, Jonah, Solomon . . . they're all subjects of Milder's playful but respectful light verse addressing the books of the Old Testament. Bringing fresh perspectives and more than a touch of levity to the study of the Bible s best-known stories, these cheery poems (and illustrations) are guaranteed to bring a smile to any reader even remotely versed in Scripture!


The Good Book Says . . . is a humorous retelling in verse of some of the most important episodes of the Old Testament. In every instance Dr. Milder captures the heart of the episode and recasts it in a delightfully humorous mode which teases us into looking at the scriptural events in a fresh way. The humor humanizes the divine. . . . The reader of these poems is in for some very wholesome and hearty laughs.
— M. B. McNamee, S.J.

Biblical exegesis may seem an unlikely source of smiles, but Ben Milder's deft verse succeeds both in keeping us entertained and in casting new light on the Old Testament.
— X. J. Kennedy, author of Cross Ties: Selected Poems

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