Judges 13:6, 7: Manoah's Wife's Awe-filled Report

Verse 6:[1] Then the woman came and told her husband, saying, (Deut. 33:1; 1 Sam. 2:27; 9:6; 1 Kings 17:24) A man of God came unto me, and his (Matt. 28:3; Luke 9:29; Acts 6:15) countenance was like the countenance of an angel of God, very terrible: but I (Judg. 13:17, 18) asked him not whence he was, neither told he me his name…


[A man of God] That is, some Divine Prophet (Vatablus, Drusius). She did not know that it was an Angel (Drusius, Lapide).


A man of God; a prophet, or sacred person, sent with a message from God.


[Terrible, נוֹרָא[2]] To be feared, to be revered (Drusius), with an appearance to be venerated (Vatablus). It also signifies admirable (Martyr).


Very terrible, or, venerable, or awful, full of majesty.


[Whom, when I had asked, וְלֹ֤א שְׁאִלְתִּ֙יהוּ֙] And I did not ask him (Montanus, Junius and Tremellius, thus the Septuagint, Jonathan, Syriac, Arabic). But, in the place of לֺא/not our translation better reads לוֹ, to him (Lapide). [That is always to be held, although all cry in protest, both ancient and more recent, that the Vulgate retains its own honor in good repair.]


Verse 7:[3] 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.


[Thou shalt bear, וְיֹלַדְתְּ] They think that this is a composite of the participle of the present tense, which they call a Benoni,[4] and of the preterite/ perfect.[5] Others refer it to the squared form, יוֹלֵד, she brought forth, like לוֹשֵׁן, to plough with the tongue[6] (Drusius).

[From the womb to the day of his death] How is this true, since his Nazarite status was interrupted by the shaving of his head? Response: These words are spoken, not as a prediction, but as a precept (Bonfrerius on verse 5, Lapide).

[1] Hebrew: וַתָּבֹ֣א הָאִשָּׁ֗ה וַתֹּ֣אמֶר לְאִישָׁהּ֮ לֵאמֹר֒ אִ֤ישׁ הָאֱלֹהִים֙ בָּ֣א אֵלַ֔י וּמַרְאֵ֕הוּ כְּמַרְאֵ֛ה מַלְאַ֥ךְ הָאֱלֹהִ֖ים נוֹרָ֣א מְאֹ֑ד וְלֹ֤א שְׁאִלְתִּ֙יהוּ֙ אֵֽי־מִזֶּ֣ה ה֔וּא וְאֶת־שְׁמ֖וֹ לֹֽא־הִגִּ֥יד לִֽי׃


[2] It is a Niphal (passive) form of יָרֵא, to fear.


[3] Hebrew: וַיֹּ֣אמֶר לִ֔י הִנָּ֥ךְ הָרָ֖ה וְיֹלַ֣דְתְּ בֵּ֑ן וְעַתָּ֞ה אַל־תִּשְׁתִּ֣י׀ יַ֣יִן וְשֵׁכָ֗ר וְאַל־תֹּֽאכְלִי֙ כָּל־טֻמְאָ֔ה כִּֽי־נְזִ֤יר אֱלֹהִים֙ יִהְיֶ֣ה הַנַּ֔עַר מִן־הַבֶּ֖טֶן עַד־י֥וֹם מוֹתֽוֹ׃


[4] The active participle is sometimes called a Benoni. It can be treated as a verb or a noun, depending upon context. בֵּינוֹנִי/Benoni signifies central or middle, standing between the past and future tenses.


[5] The expect form of the participle would be יֺלֶדֶת or יֺלְדָה; of the prefect, יָלַדְתְּ.


[6] לָשַׁן signifies to speak evil of; לָשׁוֹן, tongue.

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ABOUT US

Dr. Steven Dilday holds a BA in Religion and Philosophy from Campbell University, a Master of Arts in Religion from Westminster Theological Seminary (Philadelphia), and both a Master of Divinity and a  Ph.D. in Puritan History and Literature from Whitefield Theological Seminary.  He is also the translator of Matthew Poole's Synopsis of Biblical Interpreters and Bernardinus De Moor’s Didactico-Elenctic Theology.

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