What does Bob Dylan mean when he says Jesus was “Struck down by the strength of the will”?
When da foot of pride come down
Ain’t no goin’ back
Foot Of Pride
As this collection has gone some way towards proving, there are many wonderful unreleased Bob Dylan songs, but at no time since the early 1960s was he so prolific as he was in 1982-1983 when he was preparing material for Infidels. As impressive a record as Infidels undoubtedly is, a handful of exceptional songs didn't make it on to the LP. Two of the outtakes were, it seems, at one time originally intended for inclusion. "Foot of Pride" is one of them, a lyrically enigmatic song in which Dylan shows once again just what a great singer he is, coping with the song's metrical complexities with impressive ease. Only one commentator has ever been bold (or foolhardy) enough to tackle an appreciation of "Foot of Pride." Writing in The Telegraph, Terry Gans fully admitted the difficulties that face the listener who hopes to come to terms with what's going on in the song. Nevertheless, he observed that "Foot of Pride" comes across as another of Dylan's "The wicked are gonna get it; propaganda all is phony; and those who allow themselves to be manipulated by those who would manipulate deserve what they get" songs.
Well please put me down as a second commentator willing to boldly go where few have dared go before…..but surely we can certainly do a little better than this short summary of Terry Gans in the Telegraph can’t we?
And let not the hand of the wicked drive me away.
When you gonna wake up and strengthen the things that remain?
2 Wake up, and strengthen the things that remain, which were about to die; for I have not found your deeds completed in the sight of My God.
And let not the hand of the wicked drive me away.
Cast down from heaven and he’s out of his head
He feeds off of everyone that he can touch
He said he only deals in cash or sells tickets to a plane crash
He’s not somebody that you play around with much
Miss Delilah is his, a Philistine is what she is
She’ll do wondrous works with your fate, feed you coconut bread,
spice buns in your bed
If you don’t mind sleepin’ with your head face down in a grave
"You write a story that has Mr. Trump’s name in it, with the word ‘rape,’ and I’m going to mess your life up … for as long as you’re on this frickin’ planet … you’re going to have judgments against you, so much money, you’ll never know how to get out from underneath it."
Mr. Cohen is trying to be one of those guys that “you don’t mess around with much.” I think we have all met people like this.
These guys are the same group that Dylan lashes out at in his song 1979 song Slow Train:
"Big-time negotiators, false healers and woman haters
Masters of the bluff and masters of the proposition."
Now spending time with “Miss Delilah” – and notice that she isn’t married – is not any safer, and in fact, messing with her can be even more as dangerous. Be especially mindful of her “spiced buns in bed” which is an extraordinary double entendre going on here! This sexual siren will pull you down (Main Route) and mess with you as much as Red, to whom she belongs.
We learn from National Geographic that burying the dead face down in ancient times didn't mean RIP, according to new research that says the practice was both deliberate and widespread. Experts have assumed such burials were either unusual or accidental. But the first global study on the facedown burials suggests that it was a custom used across societies to disrespect or humiliate the dead.
But being disrespected and humiliated in death is not the only thing that the lovely Miss Delilah can do to you! She can also “do wondrous works with your [eternal] fate.” At first you think there has been some misprint in the lyrics, is “fate” the right word to be used here? But if you see that Dylan is focusing on heaven and hell and one's eternal destiny in this song, then I guess this is the right word after all. “When da Foot of Pride comes down, Ain’t no coming back!”
No, how to carry a burden too heavy to be yours”
But we get to the crux of the song when we try to understand What does Bob Dylan mean when he says Jesus was “Struck down by the strength of the will”?
I can still see him in my mind, climbing that hill,
Did he make it to the top, well, he probably did and dropped,
Struck down by the strength of the will.”
The prophet Isaiah spoke prophetically of this in the 7th Century BC, hundreds of years before the coming of Christ:
"But the enemy I see
All nonbelievers and men stealers talkin’ in the name of religion
And there’s a slow, slow train comin’ up around the bend"
"God knows there’s gonna be no more water
But fire next time."
Now a furnace, in order to keep it nice and hot is always inside a container and to access it you have to open the door or lift a shade, so this is a reference to the land of endless torment "from now on this will be where you're from" for those who haven’t lived for Christ and instead spent their time scoffing at God and loving the pleasures of Red, Delilah and their ilk. To these, the preacher [i.e. Dylan] warns……. “Your time will come.”