Judges 13The Story of Samson
Samson (Shimshon) in many ways is one of the most difficult heroes in the
Bible. Samson came from the Tribe of Dan. We can understand something of
the character of Dan through the story of Samson. In our studies we trace
Dan mainly to Denmark (Dan-mark), with significant elements also in
Ireland, and Wales. These peoples, especially the Irish, have produced
great warriors and formidable soldiers but more often than not on an
individualistic basis. They appear to achieve their potential either in the
service of other Israelite tribes or through individualistic "guerilla"
type exploits. Samson does not lead other Israelites but acts on his own.
Samson was to become one of the saviors of Israel. Unlike the other saviors
Samson is not recorded as receiving direct instructions from the Almighty.
The instructions for Samson are those given before his birth. Samson
performs his deeds of glory as a reaction to events that occur to him.
Through living his own superhuman existence he fulfils his destiny and acts
as an agent of the Almighty and a savior of Israel. Nowhere does the Bible
say that high and mighty aims were his intention. On the contrary he lives
a life that at the superficial level is in direct contradiction to the will
of the Almighty. He consorts with foreign women and has an apparent
predilection for heathen society.
[Judges 13:1] AND THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL DID EVIL AGAIN IN THE SIGHT OF THE
LORD; AND THE LORD DELIVERED THEM INTO THE HAND OF THE PHILISTINES FORTY
The usual pattern on the Book of Judges is (1) going in the way of the
Almighty and achievement followed by (2) sin and national degradation and
then (3) calling on the Almighty for assistance and subsequent salvation
and achievement and so the cycle continues.
Incidentally, one may call on the Almighty through studying his word and
drawing close to him. Not all of us know how to pray properly or are able
to do so when we need His assistance BUT we can learn the Bible and direct
our hearts to Him and HE will hear us.
In the case of Samson the people fell away from the right path and do not
seem to have repented. Nevertheless some alleviation was effected through
Samson "doing his own thing" but perhaps his intention all along was on
some level directed towards the needs of his people?
[Judges 13:2] AND THERE WAS A CERTAIN MAN OF ZORAH, OF THE FAMILY OF THE
DANITES, WHOSE NAME WAS MANOAH; AND HIS WIFE WAS BARREN, AND BARE
<<ZORAH>>: Probably means "wasp". The wasp is quite an important creature.
Fig trees are pollinated by a type of wasp. "Zorah" was in the area of the
present Bet-Shemesh on the old route between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.
[Judges 13:3] AND THE ANGEL OF THE LORD APPEARED UNTO THE WOMAN, AND SAID
UNTO HER, BEHOLD NOW, THOU ART BARREN, AND BEAREST NOT: BUT THOU SHALT
CONCEIVE, AND BEAR A SON.
[Judges 13:4] NOW THEREFORE BEWARE, I PRAY THEE, AND DRINK NOT WINE NOR
STRONG DRINK, AND EAT NOT ANY UNCLEAN THING.
>>WINE NOR STRONG DRINK>>: These are permitted for ordinary Israelites
but for Samson they were forbidden. No too a priest who drank even a
moderate amount of alcohol before the Temple Service could be put to death
by his fellow priests even though ordinary people were permitted to drink.
The High Priest was only allowed to marry one wife whereas other priests
could marry several. A king was not allowed more than 18 wives. Other
people may have different obligations, possibilities, rights, and
limitations than ourselves. One should not be jealous or compare oneself
overduly with others. We are not aware of the whole picture.
[Judges 13:5] FOR, LO, THOU SHALT CONCEIVE, AND BEAR A SON; AND NO RAZOR
SHALL COME ON HIS HEAD: FOR THE CHILD SHALL BE A NAZARITE UNTO GOD FROM THE
WOMB: AND HE SHALL BEGIN TO DELIVER ISRAEL OUT OF THE HAND OF THE PHILISTINES.
The early kings of France were known as the Merovingians. They never cut
their hair. They had a bear cult. The grave of one of their early kings was
opened and found to contain golden images of bees. Napolean had some of
these bees sewn to his cloak when he was coronated. Some have suggested
that they were from the tribes of Dan, others claim Benjamin.
<<NO RAZOR SHALL COME ON HIS HEAD>>: The laws given to the mother of Samson
regarding her son were similar to those of Nazirite (numbers chapter 6) but
different in certain respects. Whole studies have been done on this
subject. At all events the laws regarding Samson were unique to himself.
What applies to Samson applies in a way to everybody: As human beings we
must all act in a way that all humans should; Beyond that as Israelites we
have extra duties; beyond all else each one of us has a unique destiny and
task in this life that he must find for himself within his own framework.
>>HE SHALL BEGIN TO DELIVER ISRAEL>>: He will begin the process that will
be completed by others. Everything one does is potentially important. You
may not always see the fruits of your deeds but they may yet come forth
long after your own time or in ways you did not dream of. We can only hope
and endeavor that we willmerit that at the least everything we do will have
an ultimate good effect.
[Judges 13:6] THEN THE WOMAN CAME AND TOLD HER HUSBAND, SAYING, A MAN OF
GOD CAME UNTO ME, AND HIS COUNTENANCE WAS LIKE THE COUNTENANCE OF AN ANGEL
OF GOD, VERY TERRIBLE: BUT I ASKED HIM NOT WHENCE HE WAS, NEITHER TOLD HE
ME HIS NAME:
[Judges 13:7] BUT HE SAID UNTO ME, BEHOLD, THOU SHALT CONCEIVE, AND BEAR A
SON; AND NOW DRINK NO WINE NOR STRONG DRINK, NEITHER EAT ANY UNCLEAN THING:
FOR THE CHILD SHALL BE A NAZARITE TO GOD FROM THE WOMB TO THE DAY OF HIS
[Judges 13:8] THEN MANOAH INTREATED THE LORD, AND SAID, O MY LORD, LET THE
MAN OF GOD WHICH THOU DIDST SEND COME AGAIN UNTO US, AND TEACH US WHAT WE
SHALL DO UNTO THE CHILD THAT SHALL BE BORN.
[Judges 13:9] AND GOD HEARKENED TO THE VOICE OF MANOAH; AND THE ANGEL OF
GOD CAME AGAIN UNTO THE WOMAN AS SHE SAT IN THE FIELD: BUT MANOAH HER
HUSBAND WAS NOT WITH HER.
The angel came a second time as a result of the request of Manoah and in
honor of him. When dealing with husband and wife one should always give
respect to the husband since, apart from anything else, this reflects on
the wife as well.
[Judges 13:10] AND THE WOMAN MADE HASTE, AND RAN, AND SHEWED HER HUSBAND,
AND SAID UNTO HIM, BEHOLD, THE MAN HATH APPEARED UNTO ME, THAT CAME UNTO ME
THE OTHER DAY.
[Judges 13:11] AND MANOAH AROSE, AND WENT AFTER HIS WIFE, AND CAME TO THE
MAN, AND SAID UNTO HIM, ART THOU THE MAN THAT SPAKEST UNTO THE WOMAN? AND
HE SAID, I AM.
The "man" was a spiritual being, an angel. Manoah thought he only a was
holy man. One should also avoid criticizing or disagreeing with someone in
the presence of their spouse. In this cae we can see that the message was
given primarily to the wife and the husband was only incidentally included.
The woman gives birth and bears most responsibility in that area and also
in raising the child. One cannot really just tell the husband and expect
him to instruct his wife. The women must be motivated on her own accout.
Nevertheless we are not told the name of the woman. We know her only as the
wife of Manoah and the mother of Samson.
[Judges 13:12] AND MANOAH SAID, NOW LET THY WORDS COME TO PASS. HOW SHALL
WE ORDER THE CHILD, AND HOW SHALL WE DO UNTO HIM?
[Judges 13:13] AND THE ANGEL OF THE LORD SAID UNTO MANOAH, OF ALL THAT I
SAID UNTO THE WOMAN LET HER BEWARE.
[Judges 13:14] SHE MAY NOT EAT OF ANY THING THAT COMETH OF THE VINE,
NEITHER LET HER DRINK WINE OR STRONG DRINK, NOR EAT ANY UNCLEAN THING: ALL
THAT I COMMANDED HER LET HER OBSERVE..
[Judges 13:15] AND MANOAH SAID UNTO THE ANGEL OF THE LORD, I PRAY THEE, LET
US DETAIN THEE UNTIL WE SHALL HAVE MADE READY A KID FOR
[Judges 13:16] AND THE ANGEL OF THE LORD SAID UNTO MANOAH, THOUGH THOU
DETAIN ME, I WILL NOT EAT OF THY BREAD: AND IF THOU WILT OFFER A BURNT
OFFERING, THOU MUST OFFER IT UNTO THE LORD. FOR MANOAH KNEW NOT THAT HE WAS
AN ANGEL OF THE LORD.
[Judges 13:17] AND MANOAH SAID UNTO THE ANGEL OF THE LORD, WHAT IS THY
NAME, THAT WHEN THY SAYINGS COME TO PASS WE MAY DO THEE
[Judges 13:18] AND THE ANGEL OF THE LORD SAID UNTO HIM, WHY ASKEST THOU
THUS AFTER MY NAME, SEEING IT IS SECRET?
[Judges 13:19] SO MANOAH TOOK A KID WITH A MEAT OFFERING, AND OFFERED IT
UPON A ROCK UNTO THE LORD: AND THE ANGEL DID WONDEROUSLY; AND MANOAH AND
HIS WIFE LOOKED ON.
[Judges 13:20] FOR IT CAME TO PASS, WHEN THE FLAME WENT UP TOWARD HEAVEN
FROM OFF THE ALTAR, THAT THE ANGEL OF THE LORD ASCENDED IN THE FLAME OF
THE ALTAR. AND MANOAH AND HIS WIFE LOOKED ON IT, AND FELL ON THEIR FACES TO
[Judges 13:21] BUT THE ANGEL OF THE LORD DID NO MORE APPEAR TO MANOAH AND
TO HIS WIFE. THEN MANOAH KNEW THAT HE WAS AN ANGEL OF THE
[Judges 13:22] AND MANOAH SAID UNTO HIS WIFE, WE SHALL SURELY DIE, BECAUSE
WE HAVE SEEN GOD.
[Judges 13:23] BUT HIS WIFE SAID UNTO HIM, IF THE LORD WERE PLEASED TO KILL
US, HE WOULD NOT HAVE RECEIVED A BURNT OFFERING AND A MEAT OFFERING AT OUR
HANDS, NEITHER WOULD HE HAVE SHEWED US ALL THESE THINGS, NOR WOULD AS AT
THIS TIME HAVE TOLD US SUCH THINGS AS THESE.
[Judges 13:24] AND THE WOMAN BARE A SON, AND CALLED HIS NAME SAMSON: AND
THE CHILD GREW, AND THE LORD BLESSED HIM.
[Judges 13:25] AND THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD BEGAN TO MOVE HIM AT TIMES IN THE
CAMP OF DAN BETWEEN ZORAH AND ESHTAOL.