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Samson's Parents: a model couple
Bible Passage Judges 13: 2-25
This content is part of a series Bright Morning Reflections, in topic 2023 & book Judges.

Samson’s Parents: a model couple

  • Rev. Bright Mawuena Nfodzo
Date preached April 25, 2023

2 There was one man from Zorah, from the family of the descendants of Dan, whose name was Manoah. Since his wife was infertile, she hadn’t borne children.

3 One day the angel of the LORD presented himself to the woman. “Hello!” he greeted her. “Though you are infertile at this time and haven’t borne a child, you’re about to conceive and give birth to a son.

4 So be sure that you don’t drink wine or anything intoxicating, and don’t eat anything unclean

5 because—surprise!—you’re going to conceive and give birth to a son! Don’t put a razor to his head, because the young man will be a Nazirite, dedicated to God from inside the womb. He will begin to deliver Israel from domination by the Philistines.”

6 Then the woman went to tell her husband. She said, “A man of God appeared to me. He looked like what an angel of God would look like—very frightening. I didn’t ask him where he had come from and he didn’t tell me his name.

7 He told me, ‘Surprise!—you’re going to conceive and give birth to a son!’ and as for you, ‘Be sure that you don’t drink wine or anything intoxicating, and don’t eat anything unclean,’ ‘because the young man will be a Nazirite dedicated to God from inside the womb’ until the day he dies.”

8 So Manoah prayed to the LORD, “Please, Lord, have the man of God whom you sent before come again so he can instruct us what to do on behalf of the child who is to be born.”

9 God listened to Manoah’s request, and the angel of God came again to the woman as she was sitting out in the pasture. But her husband Manoah wasn’t with her,

10 so the woman ran quickly to tell her husband, “Look! The man who came the other day appeared to me!”

11 So Manoah got up quickly and followed his wife, and when he came to the man he told him, “Are you the man who spoke to my wife?” He replied, “I am.”

12 Manoah asked, “Now, when what you’ve said occurs, what is to be the young man’s way of life and work?”

13 The angel of the LORD replied to Manoah, “Just have your wife be careful to carry out everything that I told her.

14 She must not consume anything extracted from grape vines, including wine or anything intoxicating, and she must not eat anything unclean, doing everything that I commissioned her to do.”

15 Manoah responded to the angel of the LORD, “Please, let us detain you while we prepare a young goat for you.”

16 The angel of the LORD answered Manoah, “If you detain me, I won’t be eating your food, but if you prepare a burnt offering, you’ll be making a sacrifice to the LORD.” The angel of the LORD said this because Manoah didn’t know that he was the angel of the LORD.

17 Manoah asked the angel of the LORD, “What’s your name, because when what you’ve said happens, we’ll glorify you?”

18 The angel of the LORD answered him, “Why are you asking this about my name? It’s ‘Wonderful.’”

19 So Manoah prepared a young goat and a grain offering and offered it on a boulder to the LORD, who kept on performing miracles while Manoah and his wife watched continually.

20 When the burnt offering was engulfed in flames that sprang up from the altar toward heaven, the angel of the LORD ascended in the flame that came from the altar. When Manoah and his wife observed this, they collapsed on their faces to the ground.

21 The angel of the LORD did not appear again to Manoah or to his wife, and then Manoah knew confidently that the visitor had been the angel of the LORD.

22 Then Manoah told his wife, “We’re going to die for sure, because we’ve seen God!”

23 But his wife replied to him, “If the LORD had intended to kill us, he wouldn’t have accepted a burnt offering and a grain offering from us, he wouldn’t have shown us all these things, and he wouldn’t have permitted us to hear things like this, now would he?”

24 Later on, the woman gave birth to a son and named him Samson. The child grew strong and the LORD blessed him.

25 Then the Spirit of the LORD began to rouse him where the tribe of Dan was encamped, between Zorah and Eshtaol.


The Philistines were by far the strongest enemy that Israel had yet met. Their forty years of rule lasted until the time of Samuel, and they continued to give trouble during the reigns of Saul and David.

The Philistines lived in Gaza, Ashkelon, Ashdod, Ekron and Gath. Before that time, Dan’s tribe had lived near them, but because of the Philistines’ power, very many people from Dan’s tribe went away. They went to live in the north. (Judges 18.)

Samson was the man God chose to begin the job of breaking the Philistines’ rule. Before he was born, his mother was told by a messenger from God that she was to dedicate the child to God as a Nazirite for life. This meant that Samson was not to drink alcohol, touch anything dead, or cut his hair. These restrictions were to be a constant reminder to him and to others that he was totally dedicated to the service of God (verse 2-7; compare Num 6:1-21).

God’s messenger repeated the instructions for the benefit of Samson’s father (verse 8-14), who then prepared to offer a sacrifice to God (verse 15-16).

When the messenger ascended towards heaven in the flames of the altar, Samson’s parents realized that he was a supernatural figure, the angel of the Lord (verse 17-23).

In due course Samson was born. As he grew to manhood, God’s special power worked in him to prepare him for the tasks ahead (verse 24-25). Samson became the 12th and last Judge of Israel.

In the Bible, God promised to give son to the most unlikely people. It seemed impossible that they could have a child, so to have one was a miracle. Manoah believed what the person with the message had said. He asked what they should do. He believed in a very simple way. Neither Manoah nor his wife knew that the messenger was God’s angel. They welcomed an angel, although they did not know it. (See Hebrews 13:2.)

Manoaj asked what the visitor’s name was. The visitor told him that it was ‘wonderful’. In other words, it was something that they would not be able to understand. The visitor called ‘Wonderful’ acted in a wonderful way. He went up to heaven in a flame. This was the flame that came up from the altar. Manoah was afraid, but his wife was more understanding about how things were in reality. She had gained this from experience of life. She said that God would not kill them. He would not kill them because He had planned special things for them in the future.


🔷 God can miraculously elect people and bless them

🔷 Marriage is expected to be a collaboration of the husband and wife to support and encourage each other

🔷 We must only pray for our requests, and not sit to lament over them

💥 Pray that you will do the will of God
💥 Pray for those who are after the fruit of the womb

The couple most likely were going to glorify the angel of God. But the angel knew that He was only carrying a message and directed the couple to rather offer a sacrifice to God. Christian leaders must help their followers to understand the plan of God and give honour to God, instead of the leaders.

In series Bright Morning Reflections