Philistines Oppress Again
1Now Israel again did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, and the Lord gave them into the hands of the Philistines for forty years.
2And there was a certain man of Zorah, of the family of the Danites, whose name was Manoah; and his wife was infertile and had no children. 3And the Angel of the Lord appeared to the woman and said to her, “Behold, you are infertile and have no children, but you shall conceive and give birth to a son. 4Therefore, be careful not to drink wine or [any other] intoxicating drink, and do not eat anything [ceremonially] unclean. 5For behold, you shall conceive and give birth to a son. No razor shall come upon his head, for the boy shall be a Nazirite [dedicated] to God from birth; and he shall begin to rescue Israel from the hands of the Philistines.” 6Then the woman went and told her husband, saying, “A Man of God came to me and his appearance was like the appearance of the Angel of God, very awesome. I did not ask Him where he came from, and he did not tell me his name. 7But He said to me, ‘Behold, you shall conceive and give birth to a son, and now you shall not drink wine or [any other] intoxicating drink, nor eat anything [ceremonially] unclean, for the boy shall be a Nazirite to God from birth to the day of his death.’ ”
8Then Manoah pleaded with the Lord and said, “O Lord, please let the Man of God whom You sent come again to us and teach us what we are to do for the boy who is to be born.” 9And God listened to the voice of Manoah; and the Angel of God came again to the woman as she sat in the field, but Manoah her husband was not with her. 10So the woman ran quickly and told her husband, “Behold, the Man who came to me the other day has appeared to me.” 11Then Manoah got up and followed his wife, and came to the Man and said to him, “Are you the Man who spoke to this woman?” He said, “I am.” 12And Manoah said, “Now when your words come true, what shall be the boy’s manner of life, and his vocation?” 13The Angel of the Lord said to Manoah, “The woman must pay attention to everything that I said to her. 14She may not eat anything that comes from the vine nor drink wine or [any other] intoxicating drink, nor eat anything [ceremonially] unclean. She shall observe everything that I commanded her.”
15Then Manoah said to the Angel of the Lord, “Please let us detain you and let us prepare a young goat for you [to eat].” 16The Angel of the Lord said to Manoah, “Though you detain me, I will not eat your food, but if you prepare a burnt offering, offer it to the Lord.” For Manoah did not know that he was the Angel of the Lord. 17Manoah said to the Angel of the Lord, “What is your name, so that when your words come true, we may honor you?” 18But the Angel of the Lord said to him, “Why do you ask my name, seeing it is wonderful (miraculous)?” 19So Manoah took the young goat with the grain offering and offered it on the rock to the Lord, and He performed miracles while Manoah and his wife looked on. 20For when the flame went up toward heaven from the altar, the Angel of the Lord ascended in the altar flame. When Manoah and his wife saw this they fell on their faces to the ground.
21The Angel of the Lord did not appear again to Manoah or his wife. Then Manoah knew that he was the Angel of the Lord. 22So Manoah said to his wife, “We will certainly die, because we have seen God.” 23But his [sensible] wife said to him, “If the Lord had desired to kill us, He would not have received a burnt offering and a grain offering from our hands, nor would He have shown us all these things, nor would He have announced such things as these at this time.”
24So the woman [in due time] gave birth to a son and named him Samson; and the boy grew and the Lord blessed him. 25And the Spirit of the Lord began to stir him at times in Mahaneh-dan, between Zorah and Eshtaol.