The Israelites again did what was offensive to the LORD, and the LORD delivered them into the hands of the Philistines for forty years.
There was a certain man from Zorah, of the stock of Dan, whose name was Manoah. His wife was barren and had borne no children.
An angel of the LORD appeared to the woman and said to her, “You are barren and have borne no children; but you shall conceive and bear a son.
Now be careful not to drink wine or other intoxicant, or to eat anything unclean.
For you are going to conceive and bear a son; let no razor touch his head, for the boy is to be a nazirite to God from the womb on. He shall be the first to deliver Israel from the Philistines.”
The woman went and told her husband, “A man of God came to me; he looked like an angel of God, very frightening. I did not ask him where he was from, nor did he tell me his name.
He said to me, ‘You are going to conceive and bear a son. Drink no wine or other intoxicant, and eat nothing unclean, for the boy is to be a nazirite to God from the womb to the day of his death!’”
Manoah pleaded with the LORD. “Oh, my Lord!” he said, “please let the man of God that You sent come to us again, and let him instruct us how to act with the child that is to be born.”
God heeded Manoah’s plea, and the angel of God came to the woman again. She was sitting in the field and her husband Manoah was not with her.
The woman ran in haste to tell her husband. She said to him, “The man who came to me before has just appeared to me.”
Manoah promptly followed his wife. He came to the man and asked him: “Are you the man who spoke to my wife?” “Yes,” he answered.
Then Manoah said, “May your words soon come true! What rules shall be observed for the boy?”
The angel of the LORD said to Manoah, “The woman must abstain from all the things against which I warned her.
She must not eat anything that comes from the grapevine, or drink wine or other intoxicant, or eat anything unclean. She must observe all that I commanded her.”
Manoah said to the angel of the LORD, “Let us detain you and prepare a kid for you.”
But the angel of the LORD said to Manoah, “If you detain me, I shall not eat your food; and if you present a burnt offering, offer it to LORD.”—For Manoah did not know that he was an angel of the LORD.
So Manoah said to the angel of the LORD, “What is your name? We should like to honor you when your words come true.”
The angel said to him, “You must not ask for my name; it is unknowable!”
Manoah took the kid and the meal offering and offered them up on the rock to the LORD; and a marvelous thing happened while Manoah and his wife looked on.
As the flames leaped up from the altar toward the sky, the angel of the LORD ascended in the flames of the altar, while Manoah and his wife looked on; and they flung themselves on their faces to the ground.—
The angel of the LORD never appeared again to Manoah and his wife.—Manoah then realized that it had been an angel of the LORD.
And Manoah said to his wife, “We shall surely die, for we have seen a divine being.”
But his wife said to him, “Had the LORD meant to take our lives, He would not have accepted a burnt offering and meal offering from us, nor let us see all these things; and He would not have made such an announcement to us.”
The woman bore a son, and she named him Samson. The boy grew up, and the LORD blessed him.
The spirit of the LORD first moved him in the encampment of Dan, between Zorah and Eshtaol.