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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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Dr. Dilday
Dr. Dilday
Nov 19, 2018

George Swinnock's The Christian Man's Calling: 'Reader, if thou art a wife, improve this privilege for the furtherance of thy husband in piety. It may be he refuseth to pray with thee, or to instruct thee; truly thou hast the more need to pray for him, and to instruct him. When the wife of Manoah had heard good news from heaven, she presently acquainted her husband with it, Judges 13:6. Possibly thou hast heard and embraced the glad tidings of salvation, and hast a carnal husband lying in thy bed and bosom, who neither knoweth nor heedeth them; oh, make it thy first task to tell him of them! Think, as the lepers, This day is a day of goo…

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Dr. Dilday
Dr. Dilday
Nov 19, 2018

Matthew Henry: 'The report which Manoah's wife, in a transport of joy, brings in all haste to her husband, of this surprising message Judges 13:6, 7. The glad tidings were brought her when she was alone, perhaps religiously employed in meditation or prayer; but she could not, she would not, conceal them from her husband, but gives him an account, 1. Of the messenger. It was a man of God, Judges 13:6. His countenance she could describe; it was very awful: he had such a majesty in his looks, such a sparkling eye, such a shining face, so powerfully commanding reverence and respect, that according to the idea she had of an angel he had the very countenance of one…

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