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The Birth of Samson

13 Again the people started doing what the Lord said was wrong. So the Lord allowed the Philistines to rule over them for 40 years.

There was a man named Manoah from the city of Zorah. He was from the tribe of Dan. Manoah had a wife, but she was not able to have any children. The angel of the Lord appeared to Manoah’s wife and said, “You have not been able to have children. But you will become pregnant and have a son. Don’t drink any wine or any other strong drink. Don’t eat any food that is unclean, because you are pregnant, and you will have a son. He will be dedicated to God in a special way. He will be a Nazirite. So you must never cut his hair. He will be God’s special person from before he is born. He will save the Israelites from the power of the Philistines.”

Then the woman went to her husband and told him what had happened. She said, “A man of God came to me. He looked like the angel of God. He frightened me. I didn’t ask him where he was from, and he didn’t tell me his name. But he said to me, ‘You are pregnant and will have a son. Don’t drink any wine or other strong drink. Don’t eat any food that is unclean, because the boy will be dedicated to God in a special way. The boy will be God’s special person from before he is born until the day he dies.’”

Then Manoah prayed to the Lord. He said, “Lord, I beg you to send the man of God to us again. We want him to teach us what we should do for the boy who will soon be born.”

God heard Manoah’s prayer. The angel of God came to the woman again. She was sitting in a field and her husband Manoah was not with her. 10 So the woman ran to tell her husband, “The man is back! The man who came to me the other day is here.”

11 Manoah got up and followed his wife. When he came to the man, he said, “Are you the same man who spoke to my wife before?”

The angel said, “I am.”

12 So Manoah said, “May what you say happen. Tell me, what kind of life will the boy live? What will he do?”

13 The angel of the Lord said to Manoah, “Your wife must do everything I told her. 14 She must not eat anything that grows on a grapevine. She must not drink any wine or strong drink. She must not eat any food that is unclean. She must do everything that I have commanded her to do.”

15 Then Manoah said to the angel of the Lord, “We would like for you to stay a while. We want to cook a young goat for you to eat.”

16 The angel of the Lord said to Manoah, “Even if you keep me from leaving, I will not eat your food. But if you want to prepare something, offer a burnt offering to the Lord.” (Manoah did not understand that the man was really the angel of the Lord.)

17 Then Manoah asked the angel of the Lord, “What is your name? We want to know so that we can honor you when what you have said really happens.”

18 The angel of the Lord said, “Why do you ask my name? It is too amazing for you to believe.[a]

19 Then Manoah sacrificed a young goat on a rock. He offered the goat and a grain offering as a gift to the Lord and to the One Who Does Amazing Things.[b] 20 Manoah and his wife were watching what happened. As the flames went up to the sky from the altar, the angel of the Lord went up to heaven in the fire.

When Manoah and his wife saw that, they bowed down with their faces to the ground. 21 He finally understood that the man was really the angel of the Lord. The angel of the Lord did not appear to Manoah and his wife again. 22 Manoah said to his wife, “We have seen God. Surely we will die because of this.”

23 But his wife said to him, “The Lord does not want to kill us. If he wanted to kill us, he would not have accepted our burnt offering and grain offering. He would not have shown us all these things or told us this.”

24 So the woman had a boy. She named him Samson. He grew and the Lord blessed him. 25 The Spirit of the Lord began to work in Samson while he was in the city of Mahaneh Dan. That city is between the cities of Zorah and Eshtaol.

Footnotes

  1. Judges 13:18 It is … believe Or “It is Pelei.” This means “amazing” or “wonderful.” This is like the name “Wonderful Counselor” in Isa. 9:6.
  2. Judges 13:19 the Lord … Amazing Things Or “the Lord Who Does Amazing Things.” Both of these are names for God, but Manoah didn’t know the man was really the angel of the Lord.

The Birth of Samson

13 Again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord, so the Lord delivered them into the hands of the Philistines(A) for forty years.(B)

A certain man of Zorah,(C) named Manoah,(D) from the clan of the Danites,(E) had a wife who was childless,(F) unable to give birth. The angel of the Lord(G) appeared to her(H) and said, “You are barren and childless, but you are going to become pregnant and give birth to a son.(I) Now see to it that you drink no wine or other fermented drink(J) and that you do not eat anything unclean.(K) You will become pregnant and have a son(L) whose head is never to be touched by a razor(M) because the boy is to be a Nazirite,(N) dedicated to God from the womb. He will take the lead(O) in delivering Israel from the hands of the Philistines.”

Then the woman went to her husband and told him, “A man of God(P) came to me. He looked like an angel of God,(Q) very awesome.(R) I didn’t ask him where he came from, and he didn’t tell me his name. But he said to me, ‘You will become pregnant and have a son. Now then, drink no wine(S) or other fermented drink(T) and do not eat anything unclean, because the boy will be a Nazirite of God from the womb until the day of his death.(U)’”

Then Manoah(V) prayed to the Lord: “Pardon your servant, Lord. I beg you to let the man of God(W) you sent to us come again to teach us how to bring up the boy who is to be born.”

God heard Manoah, and the angel of God came again to the woman while she was out in the field; but her husband Manoah was not with her. 10 The woman hurried to tell her husband, “He’s here! The man who appeared to me(X) the other day!”

11 Manoah got up and followed his wife. When he came to the man, he said, “Are you the man who talked to my wife?”

“I am,” he said.

12 So Manoah asked him, “When your words are fulfilled, what is to be the rule that governs the boy’s life and work?”

13 The angel of the Lord answered, “Your wife must do all that I have told her. 14 She must not eat anything that comes from the grapevine, nor drink any wine or other fermented drink(Y) nor eat anything unclean.(Z) She must do everything I have commanded her.”

15 Manoah said to the angel of the Lord, “We would like you to stay until we prepare a young goat(AA) for you.”

16 The angel of the Lord replied, “Even though you detain me, I will not eat any of your food. But if you prepare a burnt offering,(AB) offer it to the Lord.” (Manoah did not realize(AC) that it was the angel of the Lord.)

17 Then Manoah inquired of the angel of the Lord, “What is your name,(AD) so that we may honor you when your word comes true?”

18 He replied, “Why do you ask my name?(AE) It is beyond understanding.[a] 19 Then Manoah took a young goat, together with the grain offering, and sacrificed it on a rock(AF) to the Lord. And the Lord did an amazing thing while Manoah and his wife watched: 20 As the flame(AG) blazed up from the altar toward heaven, the angel of the Lord ascended in the flame. Seeing this, Manoah and his wife fell with their faces to the ground.(AH) 21 When the angel of the Lord did not show himself again to Manoah and his wife, Manoah realized(AI) that it was the angel of the Lord.

22 “We are doomed(AJ) to die!” he said to his wife. “We have seen(AK) God!”

23 But his wife answered, “If the Lord had meant to kill us, he would not have accepted a burnt offering and grain offering from our hands, nor shown us all these things or now told us this.”(AL)

24 The woman gave birth to a boy and named him Samson.(AM) He grew(AN) and the Lord blessed him,(AO) 25 and the Spirit of the Lord began to stir(AP) him while he was in Mahaneh Dan,(AQ) between Zorah and Eshtaol.

Footnotes

  1. Judges 13:18 Or is wonderful

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