Judges 13

Samson is born

1 Again the Israelites did many wrong things. The Lord was angry. So he let the Philistines fight them, and win. The Philistines ruled Israel for 40 years.

2 Manoah, of the tribe of Dan, lived in Zorah. His wife could not have children. 3 The Lord sent an angel to her. He said, ‘You have no children. You thought that you could not have children. But you will have a son. 4 You must drink no wine or other strong drink. You must eat nothing that is not clean. 5 You must not cut the boy's hair. He is to be a Nazirite. He will belong to God from the time that he is born. He will begin to save Israel from the Philistines’.

13:5Nazirites were men who had made a promise to God. They could not drink wine or cut their hair. Nor must they touch dead bodies. Samson's parents promised that he would be a Nazirite.

6 The woman went and told her husband. She said, ‘A man of God came to me. He looked like someone sent by God. He was very powerful. I did not ask where he came from. He did not tell me his name. 7 He said to me, “You will give birth to a son. You must not drink any wine or strong drink. You must not eat any food that is not clean. The boy is to be a Nazirite from the day he is born until he dies!” ’

13:6People often thought that angels were men. Sometimes people thought that they were gods. But God sends them to do his work and to carry his messages.

8 Manoah asked the Lord God, ‘Please, Lord send your man again. Let him tell us how to teach the boy that is to be born’.

9 God heard Manoah. The angel came again to the woman. She was working in the field. Her husband was not with her. 10 She ran to tell her husband, ‘He is here! The man that I saw the other day has come!’ 11 Manoah got up and followed his wife. When he came to the man, he said, ‘Are you the person who talked to my wife?’ ‘I am,’ he said.

12 So Manoah asked, ‘When your words come true, how is the boy to live? What rules must he obey?’

13 The angel of the Lord answered, ‘Your wife must do everything that I told her. 14 She must not eat anything from the vine. She must not drink wine or other strong drink. She must obey all the rules that I have taught her’.

15 Manoah said to him, ‘Please stay here. We would like to make a meal for you. We will kill and cook a young goat’.

16 The angel of the Lord replied, ‘I will not eat any of your food, even if you keep me here. If you make a gift, give it to the Lord’. (Manoah did not know that he was the angel of the Lord.)

17 Then Manoah asked the angel, ‘What is your name? I want to thank you for being so kind. I will do this when your word comes true’.

18 He replied, ‘Why do your ask my name? You could not understand it’. 19 Then Manoah took a young goat and some grain. He burnt them on a rock as a gift to the Lord. The Lord surprised them. 20 As the fire burnt up, the angel rose up over the light of the fire. When Manoah and his wife saw this, they fell to the ground. 21 They did not see the angel again. Then Manoah understood that it was the angel of the Lord.

22 ‘We are sure to die!’ Manoah said to his wife. ‘We have seen God’.

23 But his wife answered, ‘The Lord accepted our gift of meat and bread. He would not have shown us these things if he had wanted to kill us. He would not have said anything’.

24 The woman had a baby. She called him Samson. He became a man, and the Lord was good to him. 25 The Lord's Holy Spirit began to work in him. Samson lived in Mahaneh Dan. This is between Zorah and Eshtaol.

13:25The Holy Spirit is God. We cannot see him. Before the Lord Jesus Christ was born, he gave some men special power. This might be power to fight very well. This might give a person special power to understand. Or it might give them something to tell God's people. After Jesus Christ came to earth, the Holy Spirit came to live in every Christian. The Holy Spirit lives in everyone who trusts and obeys Jesus, the Son of God.