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Judges 13:12: Manoah's Request for Further Instructions

Verse 12:[1] And Manoah said, Now let thy words come to pass. How shall we order the child (Heb. what shall be the manner of the child[2]), and how shall we do unto him (or, what shall he do?; Heb. what shall be his work?[3])?

[When thy word will have been fulfilled, עַתָּ֖ה יָבֹ֣א דְבָרֶ֑יךָ] Verbatim: Now let it come thy words (Montanus), that is, Let each of thy words come (Junius and Tremellius). Or it is simply an anomaly of number (Piscator). Thy word shall be done (Syriac, similarly Jonathan, Arabic). They are the words of one declaring that he embraces the promise of God with a settled faith (Junius). Let it be even as thou hast foretold (Vatablus).

Let thy words come to pass; or, thy words shall come to pass; I firmly believe that thy promises shall be fulfilled.

[What willest thou that he should do, etc.? מַה־יִּֽהְיֶ֥ה מִשְׁפַּט־הַנַּ֖עַר וּמַעֲשֵֽׂהוּ׃] What shall be the judgment (rule [Syriac], law [Vatablus], institute [Castalio], order [Munster]) of the child, and his work? (Montanus, Pagnine, Castalio, Vatablus). That is, What then shall be the manner of the education of the child? and what should we do to him? how shall we handle him? (Vatablus). Reveal to me the matter of the boy and his work (Arabic). What is the judgment?, that is, the manner, practice. It is noted that judgment is put in the place of custom (Drusius). What shall be the manner toward that child, and what work is to be applied to him? (Junius and Tremellius). His work, in the place of, work toward him. For, by relative and possessive pronouns affixed is often denoted the appropriating subject, which they call the object. Thus, in Genesis 50:4, the days בְכִיתוֹ, of his mourning, that is, mourning over him, were past: in Ecclesiastes 9:6, אַהֲבָתָם, their love, has now perished, that is, that love wherewith those morals are loved, as it is evident in verse 5. Thus in the same place the suffix is made use of, added to the nouns שִׂנְאָה/hatred, and קִנְאָה/envy.[4] Likewise, in Job 41:9, תֹּחַלְתּוֹ, the hope of him (that is, of capturing him) is deceitful: for it is speech concerning the Leviathan. That the suffix is thus to be taken in this place is evident from the following verse, and from verse 8, מַֽה־נַּעֲשֶׂ֖ה לַנַּ֥עַר, what shall we do to the child? (Glassius’ “Grammar” 109.

How shall we order the child? what rules shall we observe about his education?

[1] Hebrew: וַיֹּ֣אמֶר מָנ֔וֹחַ עַתָּ֖ה יָבֹ֣א דְבָרֶ֑יךָ מַה־יִּֽהְיֶ֥ה מִשְׁפַּט־הַנַּ֖עַר וּמַעֲשֵֽׂהוּ׃

[2] Hebrew: מַה־יִּֽהְיֶ֥ה מִשְׁפַּט־הַנַּ֖עַר.

[3] Hebrew: וּמַעֲשֵׂהוּ.

[4] Ecclesiastes 9:6: “Also their love, and their hatred, and their envyאַהֲבָתָ֧ם גַּם־שִׂנְאָתָ֛ם) גַּם־קִנְאָתָ֖ם), is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun.”

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Dr. Dilday
Dr. Dilday
Nov 26, 2018

Matthew Henry: 'Manoah having come to the angel, and being satisfied by him that he was the same that had appeared to his wife, does, with all humility, (1.) Welcome the promise (Judges 13:12): Now let thy words come to pass; this was the language, not only of his desire, but of his faith, like that of the blessed Virgin, Luke 1:38. "Be it according to thy word. Lord, I lay hold on what thou hast said, and depend upon it; let it come to pass." (2.) Beg that the prescriptions given might be repeated: How shall we order the child? The directions were given to his wife, but he looks upon himself as concerned to assist her in th…

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