The appearance of the Angel of Yahweh to Manoah and his wife (Judg 13:8-13:23)

“Then Manoah entreated Yahweh. He said. ‘O, Yahweh, I pray, let the man of God whom you sent come to us again. Let him teach us what we are to do concerning the boy that will be born.’ God listened to the voice of Manoah. The angel of God came again to the woman as she sat in the field. But Manoah her husband was not with her. So the woman ran quickly and told her husband. ‘The man who came to me the other day has appeared to me.’ Manoah got up and followed his wife. They came to the man and said to him. ‘Are you the man who spoke to this woman?’ He said. ‘I am.’ Then Manoah said. ‘Now when your words come true, what is to be the boy’s manner of life? What is he to do?’ The angel of Yahweh said to Manoah. ‘Let the woman give heed to all that I have said to her. She may not eat of anything that comes from the vine. She is not to drink wine or strong drink, or eat any unclean thing. She is to observe everything that I commanded her.”

Manoah prayed to Yahweh for an explanation of what had happened. Manoah wanted the man of God to return and explain what they were supposed to do with this new born boy. The angel of God then returned to the woman in the field. So she went to get Manoah and they both approached this angel. What was to happen to this son after he was born? Instead the angel repeats what he had told Manoah’s wife about not drinking strong drink or wine, and not eating unclean food.

“Manoah said to the angel of Yahweh. ‘Allow us to detain you. We will prepare a kid for you.’ The angel of Yahweh said to Manoah. ‘If you detain me, I will not eat of your food. But if you make ready a burnt offering, then offer it to Yahweh.’ Manoah did not know that he was the angel of Yahweh. Then Manoah said to the angel of Yahweh. ‘What is your name? So we may honor you when your words come true.’ But the angel of Yahweh said to him. ‘Why do you ask my name? It is too wonderful.’”

Manoah wanted to keep the angel and offered him some food. Apparently he did not know that angels do not eat food. The angel replied that a burnt offering to Yahweh would be a good thing to do. Then Manoah asked his name, but the angel replied that his name was too wonderful to mention.

“Manoah took the kid with the grain offering. He offered it on the rock to Yahweh, to him who works wonders. When the flame went up toward heaven from the altar, the angel of Yahweh ascended in the flame of the altar, while Manoah and his wife looked on. They fell on their faces to the ground. The angel of Yahweh appeared again to Manoah and to his wife. Then Manoah realized that it was the angel of Yahweh. Manoah said to his wife. ‘We shall surely die, for we have seen God.’ But his wife said to him. ‘If Yahweh had meant to kill us, he would not have accepted a burnt offering and a grain offering at our hands. He would not have shown us all these things or announced to us such things as these.’”

Manoah then offered the burnt offering to Yahweh on a rock. The angel of Yahweh ascended in the flame of the offering. They fell on their faces. Manoah thought that they were going to die because they had seen God. However, his wife said that the burnt offering was accepted. Everything would be okay since he had made his announcement to them.


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