Judges 13

CHAPTER XIII

The Israelites corrupt themselves, abut are delivered into the

hands of the Philistines forty years, 1.

An Angel appears to the wife of Manoah, foretells the birth of

her son, and gives her directions how to treat both herself and

her child, who was to be a deliverer of Israel, 2-5.

She informs her husband of this transaction, 6, 7.

Manoah prays that the Angel may reappear; he is heard, and the

Angel appears to him and his wife, and repeats his former

directions concerning the mother and the child, 8-14.

Manoah presents an offering to the Lord, and the Angel ascends

in the flame, 15-20.

Manoah is alarmed, but is comforted by the judicious rejections

of his wife, 21-23.

Samson is born, and begins to feel the influence of the Divine

Spirit, 24, 25.

NOTES ON CHAP. XIII

Verse 1. Delivered them into the hand of the Philistines] It

does not appear that after Shamgar, to the present time, the

Philistines were in a condition to oppress Israel, or God had not

permitted them to do it; but now they have a commission, the

Israelites having departed from the Lord. Nor is it evident that

the Philistines had entirely subjected the Israelites, as there

still appears to have been a sort of commerce between the two

people. They had often vexed and made inroads upon them, but they

had them not in entire subjection; see Jud 15:11.

Verse 2. A certain man of Zorah] A town in the tribe of Judah,

but afterwards given to Dan.

Verse 3. The angel of the Lord] Generally supposed to have been

the same that appeared to Moses, Joshua, Gideon, &c., and no other

than the second person of the ever-blessed Trinity.

Verse 4. Beware-drink not wine] As Samson was designed to be a

Nazarite from the womb, it was necessary that, while his mother

carried and nursed him, she should live the life of a Nazarite,

neither drinking wine nor any inebriating liquor, nor eating any

kind of forbidden meat. See the account of the Nazarite and his

vow, see in Clarke's notes on "Nu 6:2", &c.

Verse 5. He shall begin to deliver Israel] Samson only began

this deliverance, for it was not till the days of David that the

Israelites were completely redeemed from the power of the

Philistines.

Verse 6. But I asked him not whence he was, neither told he me

his name] This clause is rendered very differently by the Vulgate,

the negative NOT being omitted: Quem cum interrogassem quis esset,

et unde venisset, et quo nomine vocaretur, noluit mihi dicere; sed

hoc respondit. "Who, when I asked who he was and whence he came,

and by what name he was called, would not tell me; but this he

said," &c.

The negative is also wanting in the Septuagint, as it stands in

the Complutensian Polyglot: καιηρωτωναυτονποθενεστινκαιτο

ονομααυτουουκαπηγγειλεμοι; "And I asked him whence he was, and

his name, but he did not tell me." This is also the reading of the

Codex Alexandrinus; but the Septuagint, in the London Polyglot,

together with the Chaldee, Syriac, and Arabic, read the negative

particle with the Hebrew text, I asked NOT his name, &c.

Verse 9. The angel of God came again] This second appearance of

the angel was probably essential to the peace of Manoah, who might

have been jealous of his wife had he not had this proof that the

thing was of the Lord.

Verse 15. Until we shall have made ready a kid] Not knowing his

quality, Manoah wished to do this as an act of hospitality.

Verse 16. I will not eat of thy bread] As I am a spiritual

being, I subsist not by earthly food.

And if thou wilt offer a burnt-offering] Neither shall I receive

that homage which belongs to God; thou must therefore offer thy

burnt-offering to Jehovah.

Verse 18. Seeing it is secret?] It was because it was secret

that they wished to know it. The angel does not say that it was

secret, but hu peli, it is WONDERFUL; the very character

that is given to Jesus Christ, Isa 9:6:

His name shall be called, Wonderful; and it is supposed by

some that the angel gives this as his name, and consequently that

he was our blessed Lord.

Verse 19. The angel did wondrously] He acted according to his

name; he, being wonderful, performed wonderful things; probably

causing fire to arise out of the rock and consume the sacrifice,

and then ascending in the flame.

Verse 22. We shall surely die, because we have seen God.]

See Clarke on Jud 6:22.

Verse 23. If the Lord were pleased to kill us, &c.] This is

excellent reasoning, and may be of great use to every truly

religious mind, in cloudy and dark dispensations of Divine

Providence. It is not likely that God, who has preserved thee so

long, borne with thee so long, and fed and supported thee all thy

life long, girding thee when thou knewest him not, is less willing

to save and provide for thee and thine now than he was when,

probably, thou trustedst less in him. He who freely gave his Son

to redeem thee, can never be indifferent to thy welfare; and if he

give thee power to pray to and trust in him, is it at all likely

that he is now seeking an occasion against thee, in order to

destroy thee? Add to this the very light that shows thee thy

wretchedness, ingratitude, and disobedience, is in itself a proof

that he is waiting to be gracious to thee; and the penitential

pangs thou feelest, and thy bitter regret for thy unfaithfulness,

argue that the light and fire are of God's own kindling, and are

sent to direct and refine, not to drive thee out of the way and

destroy thee. Nor would he have told thee such things of his love,

mercy, and kindness, and unwillingness to destroy sinners, as he

has told thee in his sacred word, if he had been determined not to

extend his mercy to thee.

Verse 24. And called his name Samson] The original

shimshon, which is from the root shamash, to serve, (whence

shemesh, the sun,) probably means either a little sun, or a

little servant; and this latter is so likely a name to be

imposed on an only son, by maternal fondness, that it leaves but

little doubt of the propriety of the etymology.

And the Lord blessed him.] Gave evident proofs that the child

was under the peculiar protection of the Most High; causing him to

increase daily in stature and extraordinary strength.

Verse 25. The Spirit of the Lord began to move him] He felt the

degrading bondage of his countrymen, and a strong desire to

accomplish something for their deliverance. These feelings and

motions he had from the Divine Spirit.

Camp of Dan] Probably the place where his parents dwelt; for

they were Danites, and the place is supposed to have its name from

its being the spot where the Danites stopped when they sent some

men of their company to rob Micah of his teraphim, &c. See

Jud 18:13-20.

As he had these influences between Zorah and Eshtaol, it is

evident that this was while he dwelt at home with his parents; for

Zorah was the place where his father dwelt; see Jud 13:2. Thus

God began, from his infancy, to qualify him for the work to which

he had called him.

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