Lectionary Calendar
Friday, June 21st, 2024
the Week of Proper 6 / Ordinary 11
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Bible Commentaries
Judges 13

Hampton's Commentary on Selected BooksHampton's Commentary

Verse 1

By now, the words this chapter begins with are all too familiar. Whenever God's people strayed from worshiping the true God to serving idols, God let them be oppressed by some enemy. In this case, it is the Philistines who God used to discipline his people for forty years ( Jdg_13:1 ).

Verses 1-7

Thomas says Zorah was on the border of Dan and Judah, which was close to the area the Philistines occupied. Interestingly, Dan means "a judge" and Jacob had foretold Dan would judge his people ( Gen_49:16-17 ). Whether this has specific reference to Samson, we cannot say for sure. It is plain, from the directions given to his mother, that Samson was to be a Nazarite ( Num_6:1-21 ). A Nazarite was a man or woman consecrated to the Lord for a set period of time, which could even extend to a lifetime as it did in Samson's and Samuel's case ( Jdg_13:1-7 ; 1Sa_1:11 ; 1Sa_1:28 ).

Verses 8-25

The one who took a Nazarite vow was not to partake of the fruit of grape vines at all. The hair was not to be cut until the time of the vow was completed when it would be shaved and burned before the Lord. The Nazarite was not to touch any dead bodies, even those of close loved ones since that would make him unclean.

Manoah's wife came to him and said a man had told her she was to bear a son who would be consecrated to God from the womb and would begin to deliver God's people from the hand of the Philistines. Thus, he prayed God would again send his messenger so he could learn more about God's plan. When the Angel of the Lord again appeared to her, Manoah's wife ran to tell him. He learned the consecration of this child would begin with the mother while he was still in her womb.

Manoah then sought to detain the man so they could prepare a young goat for him to eat. He said he would not eat but they could offer it to the Lord. Still not knowing the identity of their visitor, Manoah asked his name that they might honor him with some gifts when the child was born. The angel of the Lord simply said his name was wonderful, or secret, indicating his relationship with God (compare Isa_9:6 ). He then ascended to heaven in the flame of the offering Manoah made to God. Realizing the true identity of the messenger made him fear, but the child was born as foretold and moved among the people of Dan as the Spirit directed him ( Jdg_13:8-25 ; Jdg_14:6 ; Jdg_15:14 ).

Bibliographical Information
Hampton, Gary. "Commentary on Judges 13". "Hampton's Commentary on Selected Books". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghc/judges-13.html. 2014.
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