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Judges 13 Good News Translation (GNT)

The Birth of Samson

13 The Israelites sinned against the Lord again, and he let the Philistines rule them for forty years.

At that time there was a man named Manoah from the town of Zorah. He was a member of the tribe of Dan. His wife had never been able to have children. The Lord's angel appeared to her and said, “You have never been able to have children, but you will soon be pregnant and have a son. Be sure not to drink any wine or beer, or eat any forbidden food; and after your son is born, you must never cut his hair, because from the day of his birth he will be dedicated to God as a nazirite.[a] He will begin the work of rescuing Israel from the Philistines.”

Then the woman went and told her husband, “A man of God has come to me, and he looked as frightening as the angel[b] of God. I didn't ask him where he came from, and he didn't tell me his name. But he did tell me that I would become pregnant and have a son. He told me not to drink any wine or beer, or eat any forbidden food, because the boy is to be dedicated to God as a nazirite as long as he lives.”

Then Manoah prayed to the Lord, “Please, Lord, let the man of God that you sent come back to us and tell us what we must do with the boy when he is born.”

God did what Manoah asked, and his angel came back to the woman while she was sitting in the field. Her husband Manoah was not with her, 10 so she ran at once and told him, “Look! The man who came to me the other day has appeared to me again.”

11 Manoah got up and followed his wife. He went to the man and asked, “Are you the man who talked to my wife?”

“Yes,” he answered.

12 Then Manoah said, “Now then, when your words come true, what must the boy do? What kind of a life must he lead?”

13 The Lord's angel answered, “Your wife must be sure to do everything that I have told her. 14 She must not eat anything that comes from the grapevine; she must not drink any wine or beer, or eat any forbidden food. She must do everything that I have told her.”

15-16 Not knowing that it was the Lord's angel, Manoah said to him, “Please do not go yet. Let us cook a young goat for you.”

But the angel said, “If I do stay, I will not eat your food. But if you want to prepare it, burn it as an offering to the Lord.”

17 Manoah replied, “Tell us your name, so that we can honor you when your words come true.”

18 The angel asked, “Why do you want to know my name? It is a name of wonder.”[c]

19 So Manoah took a young goat and some grain, and offered them on the rock altar to the Lord who works wonders.[d] 20-21 While the flames were going up from the altar, Manoah and his wife saw the Lord's angel go up toward heaven in the flames. Manoah realized then that the man had been the Lord's angel, and he and his wife threw themselves face downward on the ground. They never saw the angel again.

22 Manoah said to his wife, “We are sure to die, because we have seen God!”

23 But his wife answered, “If the Lord had wanted to kill us, he would not have accepted our offerings; he would not have shown us all this or told us such things at this time.”

24 The woman gave birth to a son and named him Samson. The child grew and the Lord blessed him. 25 And the Lord's power began to strengthen him while he was between Zorah and Eshtaol in the Camp of Dan.

Footnotes:

  1. Judges 13:5 A person who showed devotion to God by taking vows not to drink wine or beer or allow any hair to be cut or touch corpses (see Nu 6.1-8).
  2. Judges 13:6 the angel; or an angel.
  3. Judges 13:18 name of wonder; or mysterious name.
  4. Judges 13:19 Some ancient translations who works wonders; Hebrew and working wonders while Manoah and his wife watched.
Good News Translation (GNT)

Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

Judges 13 New International Version (NIV)

The Birth of Samson

13 Again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord, so the Lord delivered them into the hands of the Philistines for forty years.

A certain man of Zorah, named Manoah, from the clan of the Danites, had a wife who was childless, unable to give birth. The angel of the Lord appeared to her and said, “You are barren and childless, but you are going to become pregnant and give birth to a son. Now see to it that you drink no wine or other fermented drink and that you do not eat anything unclean. You will become pregnant and have a son whose head is never to be touched by a razor because the boy is to be a Nazirite, dedicated to God from the womb. He will take the lead in delivering Israel from the hands of the Philistines.”

Then the woman went to her husband and told him, “A man of God came to me. He looked like an angel of God, very awesome. I didn’t ask him where he came from, and he didn’t tell me his name. But he said to me, ‘You will become pregnant and have a son. Now then, drink no wine or other fermented drink and do not eat anything unclean, because the boy will be a Nazirite of God from the womb until the day of his death.’”

Then Manoah prayed to the Lord: “Pardon your servant, Lord. I beg you to let the man of God you sent to us come again to teach us how to bring up the boy who is to be born.”

God heard Manoah, and the angel of God came again to the woman while she was out in the field; but her husband Manoah was not with her. 10 The woman hurried to tell her husband, “He’s here! The man who appeared to me the other day!”

11 Manoah got up and followed his wife. When he came to the man, he said, “Are you the man who talked to my wife?”

“I am,” he said.

12 So Manoah asked him, “When your words are fulfilled, what is to be the rule that governs the boy’s life and work?”

13 The angel of the Lord answered, “Your wife must do all that I have told her. 14 She must not eat anything that comes from the grapevine, nor drink any wine or other fermented drink nor eat anything unclean. She must do everything I have commanded her.”

15 Manoah said to the angel of the Lord, “We would like you to stay until we prepare a young goat for you.”

16 The angel of the Lord replied, “Even though you detain me, I will not eat any of your food. But if you prepare a burnt offering, offer it to the Lord.” (Manoah did not realize that it was the angel of the Lord.)

17 Then Manoah inquired of the angel of the Lord, “What is your name, so that we may honor you when your word comes true?”

18 He replied, “Why do you ask my name? It is beyond understanding.[a] 19 Then Manoah took a young goat, together with the grain offering, and sacrificed it on a rock to the Lord. And the Lord did an amazing thing while Manoah and his wife watched: 20 As the flame blazed up from the altar toward heaven, the angel of the Lord ascended in the flame. Seeing this, Manoah and his wife fell with their faces to the ground. 21 When the angel of the Lord did not show himself again to Manoah and his wife, Manoah realized that it was the angel of the Lord.

22 “We are doomed to die!” he said to his wife. “We have seen God!”

23 But his wife answered, “If the Lord had meant to kill us, he would not have accepted a burnt offering and grain offering from our hands, nor shown us all these things or now told us this.”

24 The woman gave birth to a boy and named him Samson. He grew and the Lord blessed him, 25 and the Spirit of the Lord began to stir him while he was in Mahaneh Dan, between Zorah and Eshtaol.

Footnotes:

  1. Judges 13:18 Or is wonderful
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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