Answer to Manoah’s Request [13.9-13.14]
Scripture (KJV) Judges 13:9-14
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.
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.
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.
12 And Manoah said, Now let thy words come to pass. How shall we order the child, and how shall we do unto him?
13 And the angel of the LORD said unto Manoah, Of all that I said unto the woman let her beware.
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.
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.—Judges 13:9 (KJV)
9 God answered Manoah’s prayer, and the angel of God appeared once again to his wife as she was sitting in the field. But her husband, Manoah, was not with her.—Judges 13:9 (NLT)
And God hearkened unto the voice of Manoah…God heard his prayer and graciously granted it. Note, God will not fail, in some way or the other, to guide and counsel those that sincerely desire to know their duty, and submit themselves to His teaching, Psalms 25:8,9.
and the angel of God came again unto the woman as she sat in the field;…it is very likely she returned to the same place where she was before, because she believed her husband's prayers would be heard, and the man would return to the same place he had met her before. It is equally possible that she might have gone there for meditation and prayer (Solitude is often a good opportunity for communion with God; good people have thought they were never less alone than when they were alone with God.); unless it can be assumed that she had something to do there, such as shepherding a flock of sheep. That is one service open to women in those times and countries. Even the wives and daughters of great men could be found tending sheep; seeing that Rebekah the sister of Laban, and the daughters of Jethro, prince of Midian were employed as such.
but Manoah her husband was not with her;…the angel appeared to the woman again, because only she would know if he was the same person; however, if he had appeared while Manoah was alone, he could not have known whether he was the same one or not.
_________________________verse 9 notes__________________________
hearkened: to give heed or attention to what is said; listen.
a) Psalms 65:2; (NLT): for you answer our prayers. All of us must come to you. All are encouraged to pray by God's readiness to hear.—Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
b) Matthew 7:7-11(NLT): “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. “You parents—if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.
Psalms 25:8,9 (KJV): Good and upright is the LORD: therefore will he teach sinners in the way. The meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way. Therefore will he teach sinners—Because he is good, he will teach sinners, though they deserve nothing but destruction: and because he is right, he will teach them the true way.
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 13:10 (KJV)
10 So she quickly ran and told her husband, “The man who appeared to me the other day is here again!”—Judges 13:10 (NLT)
And the woman made haste, and ran… partly due to her eagerness to have Manoah meet him, and partly because she did not want this holy man to wait too long. She ran as fast as she could to where her husband was waiting and praying for the man to return. But before she left, she almost certainly humbly pleaded with the blessed messenger to stay there until she returned with her husband. She did not want him to go with her, since the proper thing to do was to bring her husband to him. Those that desire to meet with God must go to wherever he chooses to manifest himself.
and showed her husband, and said unto him ...Behold, the man hath appeared unto me, that came unto me the other day.—;…or "this day", as the Targum states (see Article 11.10, page 507 for info on the Targum). Kimchi and Ben Melech are of the same opinion, since the word "other" is not in the original text. It is very probable he came again on the same day; perhaps he came the first time in the morning, and when she went home to tell her husband, he prayed for the Lord to send him again; and then she returned to her place in the field, and in the latter part of the day the angel appeared again.
How do you suppose she told her husband? "Oh," says she, being overjoyed, "my dear love, thy prayers are answered--yonder is the man of God; he has come to visit us again.” The man of God is very willing for her to fetch her husband, John 4:16. Those that have an acquaintance with the things of God should invite others to the same acquaintance, John 1:45,46.
______________________verse 10 notes_______________________
The man of God: The man was the Angel of the Lord, Jesus in human flesh; Manoah and his wife have not yet recognized the true identity of this Messenger.
John 4:16 (KJV): Jesus saith unto her, Go, call thy husband, and come hither. Call thy husband—Our Lord appears to have spoken these words for two purposes:
1. To make the woman consider her own state.
2. To show her that he knew her heart and the secret actions of her life; and was therefore well qualified to teach her heavenly truths
John 1:45,46 (NLT:) Philip went to look for Nathanael and told him, “We have found the very person Moses and the prophets wrote about! His name is Jesus, the son of Joseph from Nazareth.” “Nazareth!” exclaimed Nathanael. “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” “Come and see for yourself,” Philip replied. Come and see—Invite the lost to Come and see, because He who candidly examines the evidences of the religion of Christ will infallibly become a believer. No history ever published among men has so many external and internal proofs of authenticity as this has.
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.—Judges 13:11 (KJV)
11 Manoah ran back with his wife and asked, “Are you the man who spoke to my wife the other day?” “Yes,” he replied, “I am.”—Judges 13:11 (NLT)
And Manoah arose and went after his wife…As soon as she had informed her husband that the man had returned and was waiting to speak with him, she hurried back to where the man was waiting, for she did not want him to become impatient and leave. Manoah is not offended because the angel did not appear to him this second time, and he willingly follows his wife to the man of God. It is a common situation found in many homes today that the wife must lead in all that involves religious expression; but, if the wife will lead, the husband should not think it belittles him to follow her in that which is good and praiseworthy.
and came to the man, and said unto him, art thou the man that spakest unto the woman? …of course, he means his wife, who is present. Manoah's intense desire to see the man of God was not prompted by doubts or anxieties of any kind, but was the fruit of lively faith, and of his great yearning to follow any instructions given by this angel. Blessed was he who had not seen, yet had believed.
and he said, I am;…the very same person; for though he was not a man, yet he appeared in human form, and therefore, he was taken for one; and for that reason he answers according to the supposition of him; that he was the same person that had appeared before. (See Judges 13:3-5).
_________________________verse 11 notes____________________________
man: He calls him man, because that’s what he seemed, but he was Christ the eternal word, which at his appointed time became a man.
Judges 13:3-5 (ASV) And the angel of Jehovah appeared unto the woman, and said unto her, Behold now, thou art barren, and bearest not; but thou shalt conceive, and bear a son. Now therefore beware, I pray thee, and drink no wine nor strong drink, and eat not any unclean thing: for, lo, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and no razor shall come upon his head; for the child shall be a Nazirite unto God from the womb: and he shall begin to save Israel out of the hand of the Philistines.
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 13:12 (KJV)
12 So Manoah asked him, “When your words come true, what kind of rules should govern the boy’s life and work?”—Judges 13:12 (NLT)
And Manoah said, now let thy words come to pass…Which was not only a wish that they might, but a prayer of faith that they would come to pass. This is an indication of Manoah's faith in the word of the messenger from God as previously reported to him by his wife; therefore, we know he was satisfied, by him; that he was the same one that had appeared to his wife.
Manoah’s words, Now let thy words come to pass sounds like the familiar words of the blessed mother of Jesus: "Be it according to thy word” (Luke 1:38).
how shall we order the child? and how shall we do unto him?...he believed a child would be born, and that he was to be a Nazarite. He knew what rules were to be observed concerning an ordinary Nazarite; but as he was to be an extraordinary one, he wanted to know if there were any particular laws and rules to be observed in raising him, or what more was to be done for him than for any other Nazarite. The words may also be rendered, "what shall be the duty of the child, and his work (or exploits)?" The question seems to relate more to what he will do than to what shall be done for him; seeing that he will be an extraordinary Nazarite, Manoah supposed that some extraordinary work would be done by him, and he was curious to know more about it; and so Abarbinel interprets his request as his desire to know future things. These things would be done after the child was grown up; but the angel chose to keep it a secret, since it might have been detrimental to them for the Philistines to learn that this child would be a judge and savior of Israel. Such knowledge would be dangerous and inspire Israel’s enemies to do such and such things to them; they might have sought to kill his wife while she was pregnant, or kill the child when he was born.
It may be observed, that though the angel told the woman that he would "begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines", (Judges 13:5), nevertheless she said nothing of it to her husband, and the angel didn’t repeat it. Furthermore, the Lord did not elaborate on the instructions He had already given, but merely repeated them, adding nothing whatever to what had already been commanded.
This all happens in response to Manoah's prayer in verse 8. When we call out to the Lord for confirmation and guidance, we can expect Him to answer. However, Manoah asked for more than God wanted him to know: what kind of rules should govern the boy’s life and work? The Angel of the Lord never answered that question; He simply called on Manoah and his wife to obey what God had already told them to do
The following applications can be made from Manoah's enquiry:
1. In general, that, when God is pleased to confer any mercy upon us, we must take great care to see that it is used well, because it will only be a mercy if it is managed rightly. God has given us bodies, souls, property; what should we do with them, so that we answer the intent of the donor.
2. In particular, those to whom God has given children must be very careful how they raise them, and what they do to them; to skillfully form their minds and manners, and train them in the way wherein they should go. Christian parents will ask for divine assistance. "Lord, teach us how to raise our children, so that they may be Nazarites, and living sacrifices to thee."
______________________________verse 12 notes_____________________________
verse 8 (ASV): Then Manoah entreated Jehovah, and said, Oh, Lord, I pray thee, let the man of God whom thou didst send come again unto us, and teach us what we shall do unto the child that shall be born.
13 And the angel of the LORD said unto Manoah, Of all that I said unto the woman let her beware.—Judges 13:13 (KJV)
13 The angel of the LORD replied, “Be sure your wife follows the instructions I gave her.—Judges 13:13 (NLT)
And the angel of the Lord said unto Manoah…Giving him no direct answer to his question, “what kind of rules should govern the boy’s life and work?” Manoah either inquired of the angel, “How should I go about raising this child?” or “What kinds of acts will he do?” The angel merely reminds Manoah of what he had said to his wife, and then he says she should be careful to abide by his instructions; and that is all he had to say.
of all that I said to the woman, let her beware; …The angel repeats the directions he had given before in Judges 13:4, simply adding to the prohibition of wine and strong drink (v. 14) the caution not to eat anything that came from the vine, in accordance with Numbers 6:3: Of all that I forbad let her beware; and all that I commanded her let her observe. Note, There is the need for both a good deal of caution and observation, if we are to honor God with our life, and bring up our children in the way they should live. Add to that the uncommon instructions given to Manoah’s wife: Beware and observe; take heed not only of drinking wine or strong drink, but of eating anything that comes from the vine. Those that want to appear pure to God must keep at a distance, all those things which border upon sin or leads to it. When she was pregnant with a child that’s a Nazarite, she must not eat any unclean thing; likewise, those in whom Christ’s Spirit resides must carefully cleanse themselves from all filthiness of flesh and spirit, and do nothing that would prejudice someone against that new man.
__________________________verse 13 notes_____________________________
Judges 13:4 (KJV) Now therefore beware, I pray thee, and drink not wine nor strong drink, and eat not any unclean thing. See commentary and notes on Judges 13.4.
Numbers 6:3 (NLT) they must give up wine and other alcoholic drinks. They must not use vinegar made from wine or from other alcoholic drinks, they must not drink fresh grape juice, and they must not eat grapes or raisins
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 13:14 (KJV)
14 She must not eat grapes or raisins, drink wine or any other alcoholic drink, or eat any forbidden food.”—Judges 13:14 (NLT)
She may not eat of anything that cometh from the vine,…Grapes moist or dried, kernels, or husks, or anything made from them: All the days of his separation shall he eat nothing that is made of the vine tree, from the kernels even to the husk. (Numbers 6:4; KJV). The subject is the grape-bearing vine - to distinguish it from the wild cucumber vine 2 Kings 4:39, or other plants to which the name vine was applied.
neither let her drink wine, or strong drink;…while she was to be careful to abstain from such liquors, her husband is instructed not to allow her to drink any.
nor eat any unclean thing;…those things determined to be unclean by the Law of Moses, and particularly by the law of the Nazarites.
all that I commanded her, let her observe;…both with respect to herself and the child.
___________________________verse 14 notes______________________________
2 Kings 4:39 (KJV) And one went out into the field to gather herbs, and found a wild vine, and gathered thereof wild gourds his lap full, and came and shred them into the pot of pottage: for they knew them not.