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There was a certain man from Zorah, of the clan of the Danites,[a] whose name was Manoah. His wife was barren and had borne no children.(A) (B)An angel of the Lord appeared to the woman and said to her: Though you are barren and have had no children, you will conceive and bear a son. (C)Now, then, be careful to drink no wine or beer and to eat nothing unclean, for you will conceive and bear a son. No razor shall touch his head, for the boy is to be a nazirite for God[b] from the womb. It is he who will begin to save Israel from the power of the Philistines.

The woman went and told her husband, “A man of God came to me; he had the appearance of an angel of God, fearsome indeed. I did not ask him where he came from, nor did he tell me his name. But he said to me, ‘You will conceive and bear a son. So drink no wine or beer, and eat nothing unclean. For the boy shall be a nazirite for God from the womb, until the day of his death.’”

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  1. 13:2 The clan of the Danites: before the migration described in chap. 18 the tribe of Dan occupied a small territory west of Benjamin, adjacent to the Philistine plain; see note on 3:3.
  2. 13:5 A nazirite for God: according to the rules for nazirites set forth in Nm 6:2–8, Samson’s vows would have obliged him to abstain from wine and other products of the vine and to keep his hair uncut. As the story that follows shows, the last requirement proved especially fateful in Samson’s life.

24 The woman bore a son and named him Samson, and when the boy grew up the Lord blessed him. 25 The spirit of the Lord came upon him for the first time(A) in Mahaneh-dan, between Zorah and Eshtaol.

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