Manoah's Wife, Samson's Mother

This Old Testament mother is not named in the Bible, but she is referred to as Manoah's wife. Like Ann and Elisabeth, Manoah's wife was barren. Judges 13:2 states, “And there was a certain man of Zorah, of the family of the Danites, whose name was Manoah; and his wife was barren, and bare not.” Again, like Ann and Elisabeth, the angel of the Lord appeared and told her that she would give birth to a child. In the case of this mother, however, the angel gave some prenatal advice.

Manoah's wife ran and told her husband what the angel had told her, but Manoah wanted to hear it for himself; he prayed that the angel would return. So, the angel came again. This time Manoah's wife was sitting in a field, and again, her husband wasn't with her. So she ran to find her husband and bring him to where the angel remained standing. The angel repeated the message to the husband that he had given the wife. Manoah wasn't sure that the man standing before him was truly a messenger of the Lord, so he offered to prepare food for the angel. The divine being refused, saying it had to be offered to God. Then Manoah asked the angel for his name, and was told it was secret. However, the Lord's messenger finally proved he was an angel when Manoah placed a meat offering upon a rock, and the angel entered the flame and ascended to heaven.

Now therefore beware, I pray thee, and drink not wine nor strong drink, and eat not any unclean thing: For, lo, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and no razor shall come on his head: for the child shall be a Nazarite unto God from the womb: and he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines. (Judges 13:4–5)

Manoah's Wife Gives Birth to a Son

Manoah's wife fell to the ground at the sight of the angel's ascension to heaven. The angel never returned, but Manoah's wife believed the heavenly messenger. Indeed, she bore Manoah a son, and they called the child Samson. They made him a Nazarite as they had been instructed to do by the angel.

Manoah and His Wife Receive a Request

one day, Samson went to Timnath. There, he noticed a woman that he desired to have as his wife. He went to his father and mother and asked them to get the woman for him. His parents were not opposed to finding a wife for him (marriages were arranged during that time), however, they wanted him to marry a woman from among their tribe, not someone belonging to the “uncircumcised Philistines” (Judges 14:3).

Samson Kills a Lion

Samson took his father and mother to Timnath. In some vineyards, a young lion roared, “And the spirit of the Lord came mightily upon him…” and he killed the lion barehanded (Judges 14:5–6). He didn't tell his father or mother, but continued on until he met with the woman. On the way back, he saw the lion carcass filled with swarming bees and honey. Samson took the honey and gave it to his parents, never telling them that he had killed a lion and taken the honey from its carcass.

In ancient biblical times, Tinmath was a Philistine city in the land of Canaan. In Samson's story found in the Old Testament Book of Judges, Chapter 14, Samson goes to Timnath, where he sees the Philistine woman he desires for a wife.

Samson's Wife Betrays Him

Samson asked the Philistines a riddle they couldn't answer. They went to Samson's wife and asked for her help. Samson told her that if he hadn't told his own mother and father the answer, he wouldn't tell her. She cried, and because he felt sorry for her, he told her the answer to the riddle, which she then told to the Philistines. When the Philistines gave him the answer to his riddle, Samson knew his wife had betrayed him. In anger, Samson slew thirty Philistines and gave his wife to his friend.

Samson's mother may have been the only woman who didn't betray him, for Samson met another woman, a harlot named Delilah, who also betrayed him.

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