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Judges 13 Samson’s Mom

I was the first one up on this New Year’s Day and enjoyed my coffee outside with my Bible. I turned to my place and began to read the story of Samson. My eyes were fixed on verse 2:

“And there was a certain man of Zorah, of the family of the Danites,
whose name was Manoah; and his wife was barren and had borne no children.”

barrenI was struck by two things:

  1. The man was named, but the woman was not.
  2. She was not only unnamed, but she was barren as well.

As I continued to read the story, I noted several things. The angel appeared to the woman and not the man. She told her husband about the encounter and the promise of a child who would begin to deliver them from the Philistines. Manoah believe her, but entreated the Lord for more. Note verse 9

“And God listened to the voice of Manoah; and the angel of God came again to the woman as she was sitting in the field, but Manoah her husband was not with her.”

When the angel appeared a second time to the woman, she rose and went to her husband and actually brought him to the angel. After confirming the promise and how to raise the child, Manoah wanted to prepare a kid for him to eat. The angel replied, “Though you detain me, I will not eat your food, but if you prepare a burnt offering, then offer it to the Lord.” Manoah asked his name and the reply was, “Why do you ask my name, seeing it is wonderful?” I immediately thought of Isaiah 9:6,7 “For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, On the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness From then on and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this.”

In both cases, the prophecy of Samson’s birth and the prophecy of a Savior for Israel, the description, wonderful, is used. I looked up the Hebrew word:

Wonderful (Judges 13:18) #6373 piliy from the root #6381
remarkable, secret, wonderful. Used as a description of the name of the angel of the Lord (Judges 13:18) and as a description of the knowledge of the Lord (Psalm 139:6)

Wonderful (Isaiah 9:6) #6382 pele from the root #6381
a miracle, marvelous thing, wonder. Represents unusual or extraordinary. The term always appears in the context of God’s words or deeds.

Root of Wonderful #6381 pala
to separate, distinguish, to be great, difficult, wonderful, hard, hidden, things too high, marvelous, miracles

Thoughts

It often bugs me as I read the Word when I come across “a certain woman” who is unnamed, but who is remarkable in faith, character, and action. Some day it will all make sense, but for now, I’ll just have to trust Holy Spirit Who inspired the men who wrote the books of the Bible. Even though Manoah’s wife is unnamed, she was truly honored and her deepest desire to bare a child was met. I was so encouraged by this chapter. As a woman, I sometimes feel forgotten or not as important as my husband, who is the breadwinner and head of our family. I have often identified with the unnamed women or barren women of the Bible: Sarai, Rebekkah, Rachel, Hannah, Elizabeth, Samson’s mom. I jokingly refer to Noah’s wife as “Mrs. Noah”. She had three sons too! This story also reminds me that in Scripture as in life, it sometimes take the partnership of husband and wife to fulfill the destiny of the whole. I saw in this story that it was the husband’s prayers that were answered supernaturally and in his wife.

Herbert Lockyer has written a wonderful series of “All About…”. One of his books is “All About the Women of the Bible”. He has designated a whole chapter to the unnamed women of the bible that is really enlightening. Here’s a link to the chapter on BibleGateway.com