Daily Tanach, Thursday: Shoftim Chapter 13: The birth of Shimshon the Judge

* The article below is an excerpt from the above Sefer

Chapter 13: The birth of Shimshon the Judge

1.       The Jewish people return to their evil ways:

  • The Jewish people continued to perform evil in the eyes of G-d.
  • Forty years of servitude to the Philistines: As a result G-d handed them to the Philistines for a period of forty years.

2.       An angel informs the wife of Manoach that she will have a child:

  • Who is Manoach? There was a certain man from the town of Tzarah, from the Dani family [i.e. tribe of Dan] whose name was Manoach. His wife was barren and thus had no children.
  • The angel appears and informs her of the pregnancy: An angel of G-d appeared to the wife of Manoach and informed her that although she is barren and has not had any children, she will nevertheless conceive and have a son.
  • The instructions for the pregnancy: The angel told the wife of Manoach to guard the following matters while she is pregnant: She is not to drink any form of wine, or any impure food [which is forbidden for a Nazir[1]], as she will conceive and give birth to a son [who will be a Nazir from birth, and thus requires sanctification from the time of conception[2]].
  • The instructions for the child and his destiny: The angel told the wife of Manoach that her son will be born a Nazir to G-d. He is to never have his hair cut and is to never have a razor placed on his head. The son is destined to save the Jewish people from the hands of the Philistines.

3.       The wife of Manoach informs her husband:

  • The woman approached her husband and told him that a man of G-d who appears like an angel of G-d visited her. His appearance was most overwhelming and imposing. “I did not ask him from where he is from, or what his name was, and he did not tell me. He told me that I will become pregnant and would have a son, and that I should not drink wine or any impure food [for a Nazir] being that the son will be a Nazir of G-d from the day he is born until his death.”

4.       Manoach requests to see the angel:

  • Manoach prayed to G-d asking Him to once again resend the man of G-d in order so he clarify the instructions of what to do with the child.
  • The angel reappears and Manoach is summoned to meet him: G-d heard the prayers of Manoach and an angel of G-d again appeared to his wife. He appeared to her while she was in the field although her husband Manoach was not there. She hurriedly summoned her husband to come, as the man of G-d has returned. So Manoach followed his wife and arrived to the man.

[1] Sotah 9b; See Metzudos Davis 13:4

[2] See Radak 13:4

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