The Period Of The Judges

 Chapter 61
The Angels Visitation [13.2-13.7]


Introduction

In Chapter 61, the Israelites corrupt themselves, but there is a consequence for their ungodly idolatry; the Lord delivered them into the hands of the Philistines for forty years. Verses 2-7 tell of an Angel that was sent by God to announce the birth of a deliverer: 
I. An Angel appears to the wife of Manoah, where he foretells the birth of her son, and gives her directions about how to treat both herself and her child, who was to be a deliverer of Israel; verses 2-5.
II. She informs her husband of this transaction; verses 6, and 7.


Scripture (KJV)

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 not.
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.
4 Now therefore beware, I pray thee, and drink not wine nor strong drink, and eat not any unclean thing:
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.
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:
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 death.


Commentary


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 not.—Judges 13:2 (KJV)
2 Now there was a certain man from Zorah, of the family of the Danites, whose name was Manoah; and his wife was barren and had no children.—Judges 13:2 (NKJV)

And there was a certain man of Zorah, of the family of the Danites…If he was a Danite, he was from the tribe of Dan. Zorah, a city of Dan, was situated fifteen miles west of Jerusalem and fifteen miles east of the Philistine city of Ekron, and it seems to have lain on the common boundary between Judah and Dan, so that it was near the Philistine border. At one time Zorah belonged to the tribe of Judah [1](Joshua 15:33), but sometime in the past, it was given the tribe of Dan [2](Joshua19:41). Modern Zorah was the city of Sarah, on the north side of the valley of Sorek.

We can safely conclude that this man and his wife were good, godly people. The time of the judges was one of anarchy and apostasy, but there were still Jewish homes that were dedicated to the Lord and believed in prayer; and God was still working through them; Manoah and his wife were such a couple.

A certain man—this man was not a poor or unimportant man; he was an influential and important man, and he held a high position in the country, according to Josephus; though the Talmudists say he was a [7]plebeian.
of the family refers to the tribe or people; not the family that raised him.

whose name was Manoah;…Manoah stands for "rest", and it has to a great extent the same significance as Noah; and in those times, he was well known by this name, among the people of God.

and his wife was barren, and bare not;…The marriage did not produce any children; therefore, she was said to be barren. Her barrenness is emphasized by adding and bare not; an emphatical repetition of the same thing, but expressed in other words. The Bible tells of several eminent persons that were born to women that had been barren. For instance, there was [3]Isaac, [4]Jacob, [5]Samuel, and [6]John the Baptist; but, it is remarkable, that the strongest man that ever lived was born to such a woman, as the following account relates. The name of this woman, the mother of Samson, is said to be Zalalponith.

___________________________verse 2 notes______________________________
[1](Josh 15:33; GW) “In the foothills they gave Judah 14 cities with their villages: Eshtaol, Zorah, Ashnah,” Eshtaol, and Zoreah—Here Samson was buried, it being the burial-place of his fathers; see Judges 16:31. These places though first given to Judah, afterwards fell to the lot of Dan, Joshua 19:41.—Adam Clarke's Commentary
[2](Joshua 19:41; NKJV)
“The seventh lot came out for the tribe of the children of Dan according to their families. And the territory of their inheritance was Zorah, Eshtaol, Ir Shemesh,”
[3]Isaac (Genesis 16.1; NKJV) “Now Sarai, Abram's wife, had borne him no children…”
[4]Jacob (Gen 25:21; NKJV)
“Now Isaac pleaded with the LORD for his wife, because she was barren; and the LORD granted his plea, and Rebekah his wife conceived.”
[5]Samuel (1 Samuel 1:2-6; NKJV)
“And he had two wives: the name of one was Hannah, and the name of the other Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children. This man went up from his city yearly to worship and sacrifice to the LORD of hosts in Shiloh. Also the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, the priests of the LORD, were there. And whenever the time came for Elkanah to make an offering, he would give portions to Peninnah his wife and to all her sons and daughters. But to Hannah he would give a double portion, for he loved Hannah, although the LORD had closed her womb. And her rival also provoked her severely, to make her miserable, because the LORD had closed her womb.”
[6]John the Baptist (Luke 1.6, 7; GW )
“Zechariah and Elizabeth had God's approval. They followed all the Lord's commands and regulations perfectly. Yet, they never had any children because Elizabeth couldn't become pregnant. Both of them were too old to have children.”
[7]plebeian (1) belonging or pertaining to the common people. Or (2) common, commonplace, or vulgar.

 

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 13:3 (KJV)
3 And the Angel of the LORD appeared to the woman and said to her, "Indeed now, you are barren and have borne no children, but you shall conceive and bear a son.—Judges 13:3 (NKJV)

When the lord wants to do something truly great in His world, He doesn’t send an army, but an angel. The angel often visits a couple and promises to send them a baby. His great plan of salvation got underway when he called Abraham and Sarah and gave them a baby. When He wanted to deliver Israel from Egyptian bondage, God sent baby Moses to Amram and Jochobed; and when in later years Israel desperately needed revival, God gave baby Samuel to Hannah. When the fullness of time arrived God Gave baby Jesus to Mary; and that baby grew up to die on a cross for the sins of the world.
And the angel of the Lord appeared unto the woman…According to Josephus, the angel met with this woman on a plain outside of the city; and he appeared in the form of a man according to (Judges 13:6). But, He was not a mere man, a prophet of the Lord, or a created angel; He was none other than the uncreated one, the same person that appeared to Moses, Joshua, and Gideon, the second person of the ever-blessed Trinity, the Angel/Messenger of the covenant, the Son and Word of God, who often appeared in a human form; since his name is said to be "Wonderful", and He did wonderful things, and is called "Jehovah", [8](Judges 13:18,23).  The rest of the chapter supports the opinion that we should regard this Angel as Jesus on a special mission, appearing as a man before His incarnation in Bethlehem (as previously seen in [9]Judges 2:1-5. Here, Jesus is distinguished from the LORD, because he appeared in the form of a servant, as a messenger sent from God. The great Redeemer did in a particular manner involve himself with this future redeemer.

Other Appearances by the Angel of the Lord
• Judges 2.1; (NKJV)— “Then the Angel of the LORD came up from Gilgal to Bochim, and said: "I led you up from Egypt and brought you to the land of which I swore to your fathers; and I said, 'I will never break My covenant with you.” The Angel of the Covenant, the Captain of the Lord's host, which had appeared unto Joshua, Judges 5:14, was no less than the Lord Jesus Christ himself. —Adam Clarke's Commentary
• Judges 6:11-12 (KJV) “And there came an angel of the LORD, and sat under an oak which was in Ophrah, that pertained unto Joash the Abiezrite: and his son Gideon threshed wheat by the winepress, to hide it from the Midianites. And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him, and said unto him, The LORD is with thee, thou mighty man of valour.” There came an angel of the Lord—The prophet came to teach and exhort, the angel comes to confirm the word of the prophet, to call and commission him who was intended to be their deliverer, and to work miracles, in order to inspire him with supernatural courage and a confidence of success.                                                                                                                        
• Genesis 16.7 (KJV) “And the angel of the LORD found her by a fountain of water in the wilderness, by the fountain in the way to Shur.” The angel of the Lord—That Jesus Christ, in a body suited to the dignity of his nature, frequently appeared to the patriarchs, has been already intimated. That the person mentioned here was greater than any created being is sufficiently evident from the following particulars:—Adam Clarke's Commentary
• Luke 1.11 (KJV) “And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense.” There appearedan angel of the Lord—there had been neither prophecy nor angelic ministry vouchsafed to this people for about 400 years. But now, as the Sun of righteousness is about to arise upon them, the day-spring from on high visits them, that they may be prepared for that kingdom of God which was at hand.—Adam Clarke's Commentary

and said unto her, behold now, thou art barren, and bearest not;…The woman was barren at that time, and she had been so ever since she was married to Manoah; and this is her condition; and it was a shameful condition at that time for a Jewish woman to be barren. And therefore, the Lord chose her for the mother of Israel’s deliverer, so that it might appear even more wonderful that she would, after this, have a child. He assures her that she would conceive and bear a son, and then He repeats the assurance, (see Judges 13:5). Many a woman, after having been barren for a long time, has borne a son by providence, but Samson was by promise, because he was a figure of the promised seed, so long expected by the Old-Testament saints.

Why does the Angel pick this time to tell her that she will have a son? He certainly did not tell her of it to scold her, but perhaps at this time she was actually thinking about her affliction and she was upset. God often sends comfort to his people, when they hurt the most from their troubles. "Now thou art barren, but thou shalt not be always so," as she feared, "nor long so."

Note, Mercies long waited for often prove to be mercies that bless more than once, since they are made to appear to be worth waiting for, and by them others may be encouraged to continue their hope in God's mercy.

The great Redeemer, by His presence, showed that He was concerned about this particular redeemer. It was not so much for the sake of Manoah and his wife, two obscure Danites that this extraordinary message was brought by the Lord, but it was for Israel's sake. He was to be Israel’s deliverer, though his accomplishments never measured up to the grandeur of his entry into the world. But it was also for the Messiah's sake, because He would be a type of Messiah, whose birth must be foretold by an angel, as his was. The Angel’s message, takes notice of the woman’s affliction: Behold now, thou art barren and bearest not. As is the case with so many women who are unable to bear children, the barrenness of Manoah's wife undoubtedly hung heavy on her heart. But God is here to answer her deepest desire. And so she might conclude that he was a prophet, since though He was a stranger to her, yet he knew why she was so miserable.

but thou shalt conceive, and bear a son;…For her to have a son, it must be ascribed to divine power, and for his birth to be predicted could only be the outcome of divine omniscience, and his birth would prove it. The messenger that brought the glad tidings to his mother was an angel of the Lord, yet he appeared as a man dressed in the garb of a prophet, or man of God. And this angel (as the learned bishop Patrick supposes) was the Lord himself, that is, the Word of the Lord, who was to be the Messiah, for his name is called Wonderful, [10]Judges 13:18, and Jehovah,[11]Judges 13:19.

Verse 2 established that the parents were from the tribe of Dan. Dan signifies a judge or judgment, [12]Genesis 30:6. And probably it was with an eye to Samson that dying Jacob foretold, Dan shall judge his people, that is, "he shall produce a judge for his people, though one of the sons of the handmaids, as one, as well as any one, of the tribes of Israel," Genesis 49:16. The lot of the tribe of Dan lay next to the country of the Philistines, and therefore one of that tribe was most fit to be made a bridle upon them.

_____________________________verse 3 notes_______________________

[8](Judges 13:18-23; KJV) “And the angel of the LORD said unto him, Why askest thou thus after my name, seeing it is secret? So Manoah took a kid with a meat offering, and offered it upon a rock unto the LORD: and the angel did wondrously; and Manoah and his wife looked on. 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 the ground. 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 LORD. And Manoah said unto his wife, We shall surely die, because we have seen God. 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.”
[9](Judges 2.1-5; NKJV) “Then the Angel of the LORD came up from Gilgal to Bochim, and said: "I led you up from Egypt and brought you to the land of which I swore to your fathers; and I said, 'I will never break My covenant with you. And you shall make no covenant with the inhabitants of this land; you shall tear down their altars.' But you have not obeyed My voice. Why have you done this? Therefore I also said, 'I will not drive them out before you; but they shall be thorns in your side, and their gods shall be a snare to you.' " So it was, when the Angel of the LORD spoke these words to all the children of Israel, that the people lifted up their voices and wept. Then they called the name of that place Bochim; and they sacrificed there to the LORD.”
[10](Judges 13:18; KJV) “And the angel of the LORD said unto him, Why askest thou thus after my name, seeing it is secret?” 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 ‏הוא פלאי‎  hu peli it is WONDERFUL; the very character that is given to Jesus Christ, Isaiah 9:6: His name shall be called, ‏פלא‎ Wonderful; and it is supposed by some that the angel gives this as his name, and consequently that he was our blessed Lord.—Adam Clarke's Commentary
[11]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 wondrously; and Manoah and his wife looked on.” 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.—Adam Clarke's Commentary
[12](Genesis 30:6; NKJV) “Then Rachel said, "God has judged my case; and He has also heard my voice and given me a son." Therefore she called his name Dan”.


4 Now therefore beware, I pray thee, and drink not wine nor strong drink, and eat not any unclean thing:—Judges 13:4 (KJV)
4 Now therefore, please be careful not to drink wine or similar drink, and not to eat anything unclean.—Judges 13:4 (NKJV)

Now therefore beware, I pray thee, and drink not wine nor strong drink…Manoah’s wife is given these very specific instructions by the Angel. She cannot drink inebriating and intoxicating liquor; that would include both new wine and old wine, according to the Targum, and also Jarchi. The reason for this appears in the next verse; because the child she would conceive and give birth to was to be a Nazarite, and should be one from his mother's womb (see verse 5); and according to the law, Nazarites, were to abstain from all such liquors [13](see Numbers 6.2-4). "The words `strong drink' must mean `beer,' because there were no distilled liquors in ancient times ... the Philistines used an awesome amount of beer."

It is important that she follows these instructions, thus the warning, Beware. Beware… and drink not wine nor strong drink, as of this time. Because the mother's pollution extends to the child, she is required to observe the following rules belonging to the Nazarites. Since 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 herself, neither drinking wine nor any inebriating liquor.

and eat not any unclean thing;…meaning first, that they are to abstain from the same foods that are forbidden by the Law for all Israelites to eat; but, there were some foods that were particularly forbidden to Nazarites, such as moist and dried grapes, or anything made from the grape vine, from the seed to the skin, [13](Numbers 6:2-4). The reason for this is, because the child in the womb is nourished with the same food as the mother is; and as this child was to be a Nazarite from the womb, and even in it, his mother was to abstain both from all foods and drinks forbidden to a Nazarite by the law. Any of those meats listed in [14]Leviticus 11:1-47 were forbidden to all Israelites, but especially to the Nazarites

One of the most appealing aspects of this story is the preparation on the part of Samson’s parents, in order that they might effectively perform their duties to God and to their forthcoming son. It’s too bad every expectant mother doesn’t exercise caution; for in recent years, the news media has informed us of the sad consequences babies suffer when their mothers use tobacco, alcohol, and narcotics during a pregnancy.

_________________________verse 4 notes_____________________________
[13](Numbers 6.2-4; NKJV)
“Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: 'When either a man or woman consecrates an offering to take the vow of a Nazirite, to separate himself to the LORD, he shall separate himself from wine and similar drink; he shall drink neither vinegar made from wine nor vinegar made from similar drink; neither shall he drink any grape juice, nor eat fresh grapes or raisins. All the days of his separation he shall eat nothing that is produced by the grapevine, from seed to skin. All the days of the vow of his separation no razor shall come upon his head; until the days are fulfilled for which he separated himself to the LORD, he shall be holy. Then he shall let the locks of the hair of his head grow. All the days that he separates himself to the LORD he shall not go near a dead body.”
[14](Leviticus 11:1-47; GW): Laws About Animals the Israelites May and May Not Eat
1  The LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron, 2 “Tell the Israelites: Here are the kinds of land animals you may eat: 3 all animals that have completely divided hoofs and that also chew their cud. 4 However, from those that either chew their cud or have divided hoofs, these are the kinds you must never eat: You must never eat camels. (Camels are unclean because they chew their cud but do not have divided hoofs.) 5 You must never eat rock badgers. (Rock badgers are unclean because they chew their cud but do not have divided hoofs.) 6 You must never eat rabbits. (Rabbits are unclean because they chew their cud but do not have divided hoofs.) 7 You must never eat pigs. (Because pigs have completely divided hoofs but do not chew their cud, they are also unclean.) 8 Never eat the meat of these animals or touch their dead bodies. They are unclean for you. 9 “Here are the kinds of creatures that live in the water which you may eat—anything in the seas and streams that has fins and scales. 10 However, you must consider all swarming creatures living in the seas or the streams that have no fins or scales disgusting. 11 They must remain disgusting to you. Never eat their meat. Consider their dead bodies disgusting. 12 Every creature in the water without fins or scales is disgusting to you. 13 “Here are the kinds of birds you must consider disgusting and must not eat. They are eagles, bearded vultures, black vultures, 14 kites, all types of buzzards, 15 all types of crows, 16 ostriches, nighthawks, seagulls, all types of falcons, 17 little owls, cormorants, great owls, 18 barn owls, pelicans, ospreys, 19 storks, all types of herons, hoopoes, and bats. 20 “Every swarming, winged insect that walks across the ground like a four-legged animal is disgusting to you. 21 However, you may eat winged insects that swarm if they use their legs to hop on the ground. 22 You may eat any kind of locust, cricket, katydid, or grasshopper. 23 Every kind of winged insect that walks across the ground like a four-legged animal is disgusting to you. 24 “Regarding the creatures mentioned above, this is how you would become unclean: Whoever touches their dead bodies will be unclean until evening. 25 Whoever carries any part of their dead bodies must wash his clothes. He will be unclean until evening. 26 All animals whose hoofs are not completely divided or that don't chew their cud are unclean for you. Whoever touches them is unclean. 27 All four-legged animals that walk on their paws are unclean for you. Whoever touches their dead bodies will be unclean until evening. 28 Those who carry the dead body of any of these animals must wash their clothes and will be unclean until evening. These animals are unclean for you. 29 “The following swarming creatures that move on the ground are unclean for you—moles, mice, and all types of lizards: 30 geckos, monitors, lizards, skinks, and chameleons. 31 Among all the swarming creatures that move on the ground, these are unclean for you. Whoever touches their dead bodies will be unclean until evening. 32 When the dead body of one of these creatures falls on something, that thing will be unclean. It may be a wooden article, clothing, leather, a sack, or anything used for any purpose. It should be put in water and will be unclean until evening. Then it will be clean {again}. 33 “If any of these creatures falls into a piece of pottery, break the pottery because everything in it is unclean. 34 If water {from that pottery} touches any food, the food is unclean. Any liquid that you drink from that pottery is unclean. 35 Anything on which their dead bodies fall is unclean. If it is an oven or a stove, smash it. It is unclean and will remain unclean for you. 36 However, a spring or a cistern holding water will remain clean. But anyone who touches their dead bodies will be unclean. 37 If their dead bodies fall on seed that is to be planted, the seed is clean. 38 But if water is poured on the seed and their dead bodies fall on it, the seed is unclean for you. 39 “When any animal that you are allowed to eat dies, whoever touches its dead body will be unclean until evening. 40 Those who eat any of its dead body must wash their clothes and will be unclean until evening. Those who carry its dead body away will wash their clothes and will be unclean until evening. 41 “Any creature that swarms on the ground is disgusting and must not be eaten. 42 Don't eat any creature with many legs that goes on its belly or on the ground like a four-legged animal, or any creature that swarms on the ground. Consider them disgusting. 43 Don't become disgusting by eating anything that swarms on the ground. Never allow yourselves to become unclean because of them. 44 “Here is the reason: I am the LORD your God. You must live holy lives. Be holy because I am holy. Never become unclean by touching anything that swarms or crawls on the ground. 45 Here is the reason {again}: I am the LORD. I brought you out of Egypt to be your God. Be holy because I am holy. 46 “These are the instructions about animals, birds, and every living creature that swims in the water and every creature that swarms on the ground. 47 These instructions help you distinguish between clean and unclean, the animals you may eat and those you may not eat.”


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.—Judges 13:5 (KJV)
5 For behold, you shall conceive and bear a son. And no razor shall come upon his head, for the child shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb; and he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines."—Judges 13:5 (NKJV)

For, lo, thou shalt conceive and bear a son… Boling rendered this as, "Actually, you are already pregnant and bearing a son." However, no other writer whose works we have consulted agrees with this.

This announcement to the wife of Manoah was similar to the announcements made to Hannah, Elizabeth, and the Virgin Mary, except that this communication was made by the Angel of Jehovah, whereas the announcement made to Mary was by the angel Gabriel. The author of this account is careful to let the reader know from the first the true identity of the Angel of Jehovah, although Manoah does not catch on to this until later in the narrative.

The Angel repeats the message given earlier (see verse 3), but not for the purpose of confirming it, but to emphasize it, so that she may take notice that he was to be a Nazarite (see Article 13.3), and therefore he must conform to everything pertaining to the law of the Nazarites, and she had the responsibility to make sure that he complied with those laws.

and no razor shall come on his head;…Here we have a barbers worst nightmare; his hair was never to be cut, not from the time of his birth to his death; for he was to be a perpetual Nazarite: other Nazarites during the time of their Nazariteship were not to permit a razor to cut their hair, but afterwards they might; but as for Samson, it was not lawful to cut his hair for as long as he lived; see [15](Numbers 6:5).

or the child shall be a Nazarite unto God from the womb;… He declares that the child should be a Nazarite from his birth, and therefore that the mother should be subject to the law of the Nazarites (though not under the vow of a Nazarite) and should drink no wine or strong drink for as long as this child was to have its nourishment from her, either in the womb or from the breast. Notice, This deliverer of Israel must be in the strictest sense devoted to God and an example of holiness. It was said by the prophet Amos that it was for a kindness to the people that God raised up of their young men for Nazarites; “I raised up some of your sons as prophets, And some of your young men as Nazirites. Is it not so, O you children of Israel?" Says the LORD” (Amos 2:11; NKJV).

Other judges had rectified their apostasies with God, but Samson, more than any of them, must appear to be consecrated to God; and, in spite of what we read of his faults, we have reason to think that being a Nazarite of God's making he eventually did come to exemplify, not only the ceremony, but the substance of that separation to the Lord in which the Nazariteship consisted; [13]Numbers 6:2. Those that would save others must distinguish themselves by extraordinary faithfulness. Samuel, who carried on Israel's deliverance from the Philistines, was a Nazarite by his mother's vow [16](1 Samuel 1:11), just as Samson was by divine appointment. The mother of this deliverer must therefore deny herself, and not eat any unclean thing; what was lawful at another time was now to be forbidden. While the promise tested her faith, this precept tried her obedience; for God requires both from those on whom he will bestow his favors. Women with children should conscientiously avoid whatever they have reason to think will, in any way be prejudicial to the health of their body. And perhaps Samson's mother was to refrain from wine and strong drink, not only because she was a Nazarite for the time being, but because he was destined to be a man of great strength, which his mother's temperance would contribute to.

The common Nazarite vow was for a limited time; Paul's was such, according to [17]Acts 18:18. There we are told: So Paul still remained a good while. Then he took leave of the brethren and sailed for Syria, and Priscilla and Aquila were with him. He had his hair cut off at Cenchrea, for he had taken a vow, which he wanted to end after a short time. Others, like Samuel [16]1 Samuel 1:11, were Nazarites for life. The Mosaic Law concerning Nazarites is found in Num. 6, but the rules given there apply to persons taking the Nazarite vow for a limited number of days or weeks. These were called `Nazarites of days.' A Nazarite for life was called a perpetual Nazarite, of which class Samuel, Samson and John the Baptist are mentioned in the Bible. It is of interest that Paul became a Nazarite of days [18](Acts 21:26).

Article 13.3: The Nazarite
NAZARITE Naz'arite, more properly Naz'irite (one separated), one of either sex who was bound by a vow of a peculiar kind to be set apart from others for the service of God. The obligation was either for life or for a defined time. There is no notice in the Pentateuch of Nazarites for life; but the regulations for the vow of a Nazarite of days are given; Numb 6:1-21 (see below). The Nazarite, during-the term of has consecration, was bound to abstain from wine grapes, with every production of the vine and from every kind of intoxicating drink. He was forbidden to cut the hair of his head, or to approach any dead body, even that of his nearest relation. When the period of his vow was fulfilled he was brought to the door of the tabernacle, and was required to offer a he lamb for a burnt offering, a ewe lamb for a sin offering, and a ram for a peace offering, with the usual accompaniments of peace offerings, Levit 7:12, 13; and of the offering made at the consecration of priests; Exod 29:2, Numb 6:15. He brought also a meat offering and a drink offering, which appear to have been presented by themselves as a distinct act of service; Numb 6:17. He was to cut off the hair of "the head of his separation "(that is, the hair which had grown during the period of his consecration) at the door of the tabernacle, and to put it into the fire under the sacrifice on the altar. Of the Nazarites for life three are mentioned in the Scriptures—Samson, Samuel and St. John the Baptist. The only one of these actually called a Nazarite is Samson. We do not know whether the vow for life was ever voluntarily taken by the individual. In all the cases mentioned in the sacred history, it was made by the parents before the birth of the Nazarite himself. The consecration of the Nazarite bore a striking resemblance to that of the nigh priest; Levit 21:10-12. The meaning of the Nazarite vow has been regarded in different lights. It may be regarded as an act of self-sacrifice. That it was essentially a sacrifice of the person to the Lord is obviously in accordance with the terms of the law; Numb 6:2. As the Nazarite was a witness for the straitness of the law, as distinguished from the freedom of the gospel, his sacrifice of himself was a submission to the letter of the rule. Its outward manifestations were restraints and eccentricities. The man was separated from his brethren that he might be peculiarly devoted to the Lord. This was consistent with the purpose of divine wisdom for the time for which it was ordained.—Smith's Bible Dictionary

Taking the Vow of the Nazarite- Num 6:1-21 (GW)
1 The LORD said to Moses, 2 “Speak to the Israelites and tell them: A man or a woman may make a special vow to live as a Nazirite dedicated to the LORD. 3 Nazirites must never drink wine, liquor, vinegar made from wine or liquor, or any kind of grape juice, and they must never eat fresh grapes or raisins. 4 As long as they are Nazirites, they must never eat anything that comes from a grapevine, not even grape seeds or skins. 5 “As long as they are under the Nazirite vow, no razor may touch their heads. During the entire time that they are dedicated to the LORD as Nazirites, they will be holy. They must let their hair grow long. 6 While they are dedicated to the LORD as Nazirites, they must never go near a dead body. 7 Even if their own father, mother, brother, or sister dies, they must not make themselves unclean by going near them. Nazarites show their vow to God with their long hair. 8 As long as they are Nazirites, they will be holy to the LORD. 9 “Someone might suddenly drop dead next to a Nazirite and make the Nazirite's hair unclean. Seven days later he must shave his head in order to be declared clean. 10 On the eighth day he must bring two mourning doves or two young pigeons to the priest at the entrance to the tent of meeting. 11 The priest will sacrifice one as an offering for sin and the other one as a burnt offering. The priest will make peace with the LORD for the person who touched the dead body. That same day the person must dedicate his head again. 12 Once again he will dedicate himself to the LORD as a Nazirite for the same length of time as before. He must bring a one-year-old male lamb as an offering for guilt. The first time period won't count. He has to start over from when he became unclean. 13 “These are the instructions for Nazirites who complete their vows: They must come to the entrance of the tent of meeting. 14 They must bring these offerings to the LORD: a one-year-old male lamb as a burnt offering, a one-year-old female lamb as an offering for sin, and a ram as a fellowship offering. All of these animals must have no defects. 15 They must also bring a basket of unleavened bread containing some rings of bread made with olive oil and wafers of unleavened bread brushed with olive oil, along with other grain offerings and wine offerings. 16 “The priest will bring these offerings to the LORD and make the offering for sin and the burnt offering. 17 He will sacrifice the ram as a fellowship offering to the LORD, offer the basket of unleavened bread along with it, and make the grain offerings and wine offerings. 18 “Then the Nazirites will shave their heads at the entrance to the tent of meeting, take the hair as proof that they had made this vow, and put it on the fire under the fellowship offering. 19 “Then the priest will take one of the shoulders from a boiled ram, one ring of unleavened bread from the basket, and one wafer of unleavened bread and hand them to the Nazirites after they have shaved off their hair. 20 The priest will present them as an offering to the LORD. They are holy and belong to the priest, along with the ram's breast that is presented and the thigh that is given. After that, the Nazirites may drink wine. 21 “These are the instructions for those who have vowed to bring their offerings to the LORD because they were Nazirites. They must bring these offerings in addition to anything else they can afford. They must fulfill the requirements of these instructions for Nazirites and finish whatever they vowed to do.”

and he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines;… a prophecy encouraging to a patriotic man; the terms of it, however, indicated that the period of deliverance was still to be in the distant future. We can only say of Samson that the salvation he engendered for Israel was not complete and perfect; it was only begun by him, and carried on in the times of Eli, Samuel, and Saul, and then perfected by David. However, there is a great resemblance between Samson and our Lord Jesus, in that what he did he did alone; not at the head of an army, and with forces under him, as was the situation with other judges; likewise Christ was alone when He was crucified for the sins of his people; see [19](Isaiah 63:5). Samson can be identified as a type of Christ for he was sanctified by the Lord, separated from sinners, and called a "Nazirite”, and his birth was foretold by an Angel: Whereas Christ was sanctified by the Lord, separated from sinners, called a "Nazarene", and his birth foretold by an angel. The big difference is that Christ was born of a virgin, and Samson was the son of a barren woman.

The Angel foretells the service which this child would do for his country: He shall begin to deliver Israel.

Note, it would be very wonderful if our children were devoted entirely to God, actively working for the good of others—not recluses, candles under a bushel, but on a candlestick. Please Lord!—I wish I were such a Christian.

Observe, He shall begin to deliver Israel. This implied that the oppression of the Philistines would last a long time; meaning that Israel's deliverance from the Philistines could not begin, not one step would be taken towards it, until this child, who was now unborn, has grown and matured to the point of having the capacity to beginning it. And yet he must not complete the deliverance: he will only begin to deliver Israel, which suggests that Israel’s trouble would be prolonged. God chooses to carry on his work gradually and by several hands. One lays the foundation of a good work, another builds, and perhaps a third brings forth the top stone.

________________________verse 5 notes_________________________
[15](Num 6:5; GW) “As long as they are under the Nazirite vow, no razor may touch their heads. During the entire time that they are dedicated to the LORD as Nazirites, they will be holy. They must let their hair grow long” There shall no razor come upon his head—the vow of the Nazarite consisted in the following particulars:—
1.  He consecrated himself in a very especial and extraordinary manner to God.
2.  This was to continue for a certain season, probably never less than a whole year, that he might have a full growth of hair to burn in the fire which is under the sacrifice of the peace-offering, verse 18.
3.  During the time of his separation, or nazarate, he drank no wine nor strong drink; nor used any vinegar formed from any inebriating liquor, nor ate the flesh or dried grapes, nor tasted even the kernels or husks of anything that had grown upon the vine.
4.  He never shaved his head, but let his hair grow, as the proof of his being in this separated state, and under vows of peculiar austerity.
5.  He never touched any dead body, nor did any of the last offices, even to his nearest kin; but was considered as the priests, who were wholly taken up with the service of God, and regarded nothing else.
6.  All the days of his separation he was holy, verse 8.
During the whole time he was to be incessantly employed in religious acts.
—Adam Clarke's Commentary
[16](1 Samuel 1:11; KJV) “And she vowed a vow, and said, O LORD of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child, then I will give him unto the LORD all the days of his life, and there shall no razor come upon his head.” she prayed . . . she vowed a vow -- Here is a specimen of the intense desire that reigned in the bosoms of the Hebrew women for children. This was the burden of Hannah's prayer; and the strong preference she expressed for a male child originated in her purpose of dedicating him to the tabernacle service. The circumstance of his birth bound him to this; but his residence within the precincts of the sanctuary would have to commence at an earlier age than usual, in consequence of the Nazarite vow.—Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
[17](Acts 18:18; KJV) “And Paul after this tarried there yet a good while, and then took his leave of the brethren, and sailed thence into Syria, and with him Priscilla and Aquila; having shorn his head in Cenchrea: for he had a vow.” Paul leaves the city of Corinth with Aquila and Priscilla. So Paul still remained a good while. Then he took leave of the brethren and sailed for Syria, and Priscilla and Aquila were with him. He had his hair cut off at Cenchrea, for he had taken a vow.

a. He had his hair cut off at Cenchrea, for he had taken a vow: The vow was undoubtedly the vow of a Nazirite (Numbers 6). Usually, the vow of a Nazirite was taken for a certain period of time, and when completed, the hair (which had been allowed to freely grow) was cut off and offered to the Lord at a special ceremony at the temple in Jerusalem.

i. The purpose of the vow of a Nazirite was to express a unique consecration to God, promising to abstain from all products from the grapevine, to not cut one's hair, and to never come near a dead body.
ii. Why did Paul do this at this time? William Barclay suggests, "No doubt Paul was thinking of all God's goodness to him in Corinth and took this vow to show his gratitude." But the purpose of a Nazirite vow seems to be more of consecration than thanksgiving. Perhaps the intense worldliness of Corinth made Paul want to express his dedication and separation unto the Lord more than ever.

b. Then he took leave of the brethren and sailed: Paul's intention is to travel to Jerusalem to offer this hair in a prescribed ceremony for those who had completed the vow of a Nazirite.
c. Apparently, though Paul was adamant that Jewish ceremonies and rituals must not be required of Gentiles, he saw nothing wrong with Jewish believers who wished to observe such ceremonies, presumably if their fulfillment in Jesus was also recognized.

i. By tradition, a Nazirite vow could only be fulfilled in Judea. Paul began this vow at Cenchrea, not in Judea. Paul's adoption of the vow out of the bounds dictated by Jewish tradition could indicate a desire to practice a more purely Biblical observance of Jewish ritual.

[18](Acts 21.26; GW) “The next day, Paul took the men and went through the purification ceremony with them. Then he went into the temple courtyard to announce the time when the purification would be over and the sacrifice would be offered for each of them.” “to announce the time when the purification would be over and the sacrifice would be offered for each of them.” Declaring the accomplishment…when the purification would be over etc. As this declaration was made to the priest, the sense of the passage is the following, if we suppose Paul to have made an offering for himself, as well as the four men: "The next day, Paul, taking the four men, began to purify, set himself apart, or consecrate himself with them; entering into the temple, he publicly declared to the priests that he would observe the separation of a Nazarite, and continue it for seven days, at the end of which he would bring an offering for himself and the other four men, according to what the law prescribed in that case."—Adam Clarke's Commentary

[19](Isaiah 63:5; NKJV) “I looked, but there was no one to help, And I wondered That there was no one to uphold; Therefore My own arm brought salvation for Me; And My own fury, it sustained Me.”


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 13:6 (KJV)
6 So the woman came and told her husband, saying, "A Man of God came to me, and His countenance was like the countenance of the Angel of God, very awesome; but I did not ask Him where He was from, and He did not tell me His name.—Judges 13:6 (NKJV)

Then the woman came and told her husband…To whom it would be joyful news, as it was to her. The report which Manoah's wife brings hastily to her husband is a surprising message that will fill them with delight. The glad tidings were brought to her when she was alone, perhaps religiously engaged in meditation or prayer; but she could not, she would not, conceal them from her husband.

saying, a man of God came unto me;…He appeared in human form, and therefore she calls him a man; and by his appearance and demeanor, and the message he brought, she concluded he was a man of God, that is, a prophet; the name given in those days to those persons that bring a prophetic message. The Targum calls him a prophet of the Lord: but Ben Gersom errs when he says that it was Phinehas, who in all probability was not living at that time; what's more, what is related afterwards shows that this was a divine Person, and none other than the Son of God.

Man of God - A prophet, or sacred person, sent with a message from God. The term is in frequent use in the books of Samuel and Kings: 1 Samuel 2:27; 1 Samuel 9:6-8, 1 Samuel 9:10; 1 Kings 12:22; 1 Kings 13:1, 1 Kings 13:5-6, 1 Kings 13:11, and applied to Timothy by Paul in the New Testament 1 Timothy 6:11; 2 Timothy 3:17.

and his countenance (or rather, his appearance) was like the countenance of an angel of God, very terrible; …Although she might never have seen an angel, and the same can be said for you and I, yet it is a common notion that angels are very remarkable, with a beautiful form and a shining countenance, and very majestic.  She compares the man she saw to an Angel; and by being "very terrible", she doesn’t mean that he was frightful, and struck her with horror, but that he was imposing and majestic, which filled her with admiration. He fit her idea of an angel perfectly. But, we know from the context that in this case the messenger was Jesus Christ. The reaction to seeing an angel is usually a frightful experience; which was the case with the guards posted at Christ’s tomb—“His countenance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow.  And the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men” (Matt 28:3, 4; NKJV). What would you and I do if we saw an angel? Well, you may be braver than I am, but I know I would be scared and become like a dead man. Note: If flesh is not able to endure the sight of an angel, how much less the presence of God?

but I asked him not whence he [was], neither told he me his name;…she added this to prevent her husband inquiring about his name and where he was staying; and perhaps, as she was on her way home, she wonder about why she didn’t ask those questions. It’s possible that it escaped her mind, because his arrival was such a surprise to her, and partly because of the awful and imposing appearance of the person, and partly because of the joyful news he brought her; though it seems as if she did ask his name, but he did not tell her what it was. She didn’t know his name or what tribe or city of Israel he belonged to, for he did not think she should know such things, and, for her part, the very sight of him struck such wonder and fright that she dared not ask him. The reality is that she was abundantly satisfied that he was a servant of God; his person and message she thought carried their own evidence along with them, and therefore, she didn’t enquired any further.

This clause is rendered very differently by the Vulgate; the negative “NOT” having been omitted; it becomes, "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."

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 death.—Judges 13:7 (KJV)
7 And He said to me, 'Behold, you shall conceive and bear a son. Now drink no wine or similar drink, nor eat anything unclean, for the child shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb to the day of his death.' "—Judges 13:2-7 (NKJV)

But he said unto me, behold, thou shalt conceive and bear a son…She doesn’t mention her barrenness, which was such a great reproach to her, but the angel mentioned it when he said to her; “Behold now, thou art barren, and bearest not: but thou shalt conceive, and bear a son.”

and now drink no wine nor strong drink;…neither new wine nor old wine; she must avoid all products of the grape.
neither eat any unclean thing;…This was said in a ceremonial sense with respect to that which was forbidden for Nazarites to eat; but Jesus said, every creature of God is good, and not to be called common or unclean; here it respects what was forbidden Nazarites to eat.

for the child shall be a Nazarite to God from the womb; If the first part of the message brought joy to this couple, then this part was a shock; that their son would be a special gift from God. He would be one who in his might was to wage an almost singlehanded warfare against the Philistines. From the very beginning the child was dedicated to God. Before he had the chance to choose for himself, he was set aside as a Nazarite to God. God’s call to Samson was part of his very being; his sole and whole reason for his very being was to demonstrate the spiritual as well as the physical power which would again make Israel free.
unto his death; …he was to be a perpetual Nazarite; some were only Nazarites for a time, for so many days or months, according to their vow; but this son was mandated by God to be a Nazarite all his life. The stage of Samson’s exploits, with the exception of that at Gaza, was about seven miles in length, and less than three miles in width.
 

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