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Judges 13:2: Samson's Parents

Verse 2:[1] And there was a certain man of (Josh. 19:41) Zorah, of the family of the Danites, whose name was Manoah; and his wife was barren, and bare not.

[Of Zorah] This city, Joshua 15:33; 19:41, is reckoned among the border cities of Judah and Dan. But here the name of the city is put for its territory, for the parents of Samson were dwelling in the countryside among the camps of Dan, concerning which Judges 13:25,[2] between Zorah and Eshtaol, as it is there (Malvenda, Menochius). See also Judges 18:12.[3] Between Zorah and Eshtaol his grave is also placed[4] (Menochius). Now, Manoah, having been born in Zorah, was able to have remained in the countryside outside of Zorah (Bonfrerius).

Zorah; a city, of which see Joshua 15:33; 19:41.

[Of the stock of Dan, מִמִּשְׁפַּ֥חַת הַדָּנִ֖י] Of the kinship, or family, of Dan, or of the Danites (Syriac, Arabic, Pagnine, Tigurinus, Junius and Tremellius, Drusius, English, Munster). הַדָּנִי, of the Danite, a singular in the place of the plural. It is to noted here that family is here put in the place of tribe. Thus in Joshua 7:17, the family of Judah. Thus family is taken in the place of nation, Jeremiah 8:3; 10:25; Amos 3:1; Micah 2:3; Zechariah 14:18 (Drusius).

Of the family, that is, of the tribe or people, as family sometimes signifies, Joshua 7:17; Jeremiah 8:3; 10:25; Amos 3:1; Micah 2:3; Zechariah 14:18.

[Having a barren wife] Hebrew: his wife was barren, and she bare not.[5] The Hebrews call this תוֹסְפַת הַבִּיאוּר, when for the sake of explanation is added something that appears redundant, as it were. Thus, Sarai was barren, and there was no וָלָד/child born to her:[6] She was a virgin, neither knew she a man:[7] He confessed, and denied not.[8] In which manner of speech John appears to have peculiarly delighted (Drusius). God is wont often to raise up extraordinary and excellent men from barren women, as we see in Samson, Samuel, John the Baptist, etc., so that the work might appear to be altogether Divine (Martyr).

Barren, and bare not; an emphatical repetition of the same thing in divers words, which is a usual elegancy, both in Scripture and other authors.

[1] Hebrew: וַיְהִי֩ אִ֙ישׁ אֶחָ֧ד מִצָּרְעָ֛ה מִמִּשְׁפַּ֥חַת הַדָּנִ֖י וּשְׁמ֣וֹ מָנ֑וֹחַ וְאִשְׁתּ֥וֹ עֲקָרָ֖ה וְלֹ֥א יָלָֽדָה׃

[2] Judges 13:25: “And the Spirit of the Lord began to move him at times in the camp of Dan (בְּמַחֲנֵה־דָן) between Zorah and Eshtaol.”

[3] Judges 18:12: “And they went up, and pitched (וַיַּחֲנוּ) in Kirjath-jearim, in Judah: wherefore they called that place Mahaneh-dan (מַחֲנֵה־דָן, camp of Dan) unto this day: behold, it is behind Kirjath-jearim.”

[4] Judges 16:31.

[5] Hebrew: וְאִשְׁתּ֥וֹ עֲקָרָ֖ה וְלֹ֥א יָלָֽדָה׃.

[6] Genesis 11:30: “But Sarai was barren; she had no child (וַתְּהִ֥י שָׂרַ֖י עֲקָרָ֑ה אֵ֥ין לָ֖הּ וָלָֽד׃).”

[7] Genesis 24:16a: “And the damsel was very fair to look upon, a virgin, neither had any man known her (בְּתוּלָ֕ה וְאִ֖ישׁ לֹ֣א יְדָעָ֑הּ)…”

[8] John 1:20.

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