This post follows the Bible reading plan available at oaktreechurch.com/soap.
Chapter thirteen begins the famous story of Samson, who served for twenty years. Samson is the only judge whose story is recorded from birth to death. After forty years of Philistine oppression, God visited an infertile woman from the tribe of Dan and promised her a son to deliver Israel (Judges 13:1-7). The boy was to be a Nazirite, dedicated to God, even from his conception, meaning that even his mother had to remain ceremonially clean during her pregnancy (Numbers 6:1-8). When the woman told her husband, Manoah, about the news, he prayed that he would be able to hear it as well and get further information (Judges 13:8-14). God allowed the messenger to return, but no new information was necessary. They were to follow what he had told the woman originally.
Not knowing he was the angel of the Lord, Manoah asked if the man would stay for a meal (Judges 13:15-23). The messenger refused but encouraged the couple to present an offering to God. Wishing to honor this “prophet” when the baby was born, Manoah asked him his name. However, the name of God is incomprehensible, so he declined to give it. 1 As the offering burned, the messenger ascended to heaven in the flame. Realizing who they had been talking with, Manoah became afraid for his life, until his wife encouraged him, noting that they could easily have been killed and that the baby was promised to be born, which he was.
- This story offers several reasons to understand the angel of the LORD in the Old Testament to be the pre-incarnate Son of God. ↩