Judges Chapter 13 – Heather Marsten and Pastor Don Moore

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Judges Chapter 13 – Heather Marsten and Pastor Don Moore

This Bible study was taught November 11, 2011.  Pastor asked me to start teaching because he was in a meeting.  He came down midway and listened to the teaching. After I finished Chapter 13 of Judges, Pastor Don made a few comments that added depth to what was taught.  What a blessing.  As I was teaching about wives going to their husbands for spiritual advice, he realized that there were widows and unmarried women in the group and he expanded the teaching to incorporate it for them as well. It taught me to make sure to see who is in the group and make sure that what I’m teaching applies to every circumstance.  I loved learning how to be a better teacher.  We are so blessed to sit under Pastor Don’s teaching and also blessed that he pushes us to be even better at our tasks.

One of my sources for Jewish history is a wonderful website:  www.torahclass.com.  I also use Strong’s Concordance  (the number in parenthesis behind the name is the Strong’s number), and Holman’s Bible Dictionary

We’ve been studying the book of Judges, seeing the pattern that the Israelites did: obey God, fall into sin and idolatry, the enemy comes in, the people cry out to God, God raises a judge, and the people line up with God’s will and God helps the judge to remove the enemy.  When the people are obeying God, their land is in peace, but this cycle of sin mentioned twice in the Book of Judges shows that the people continue in the pattern.  Our focus in these studies has been to look at the events around the time of the judge emerging, the meanings of the judges names, the meanings of the enemy’s names, and the meanings of all the cities and places mentioned to see what God is trying to show about each circumstance.  With Samson, we are going to see a brilliant leader being used by God, with God using all of Samson’s weaknesses and temptations to further God’s plan so that the Israelites are not comfortable with the enemy. We can very easily fall into sin, and expect that God’s hand of protection and God’s power will be there only to find out that we have stepped out from underneath the covenant and God does not have to protect us.  If you recall the story of Samson you will remember that in the end Samson’s symbol of power, his hair, was cut. Samson lost his power and he also lost his sight because the Philistines destroyed his sight. Interesting that Samson’s name means sunlight and windows – for Samson became spiritual blinded through his disobedience.  When Samson finally comes to his senses and asks God for one more time to fight the enemy, Samson will do more damage to the enemy in one act of obedience to God than he did in all of his fleshly pursuits against the enemy.  I suggested to the people at the Bible study that this shows us, if we link up to God in obedience, we can do far more than if we keep doing things our way.

Samson is given several chapters in the book of Judges. Some judges only have a few verses.  When God spends so much time on one circumstance, there is an important message He wants us to learn, so let’s see what God has to say about Samson’s birth.

 Samson – (8123) sunlight from 8121  to be brilliant, the sun, the east, a ray, a notched battlement, surprising, windows,

Judges 13:1 Again the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and the LORD delivered them into the hand of the Philistines for forty years.

The Israelites went back to their old ways. Notice, there is no mention of the people crying out to God for deliverance. Until we realize we need God and ask for His help, God does not need to answer our needs. That is not to say that, in some circumstances, He will act even when we are out of order. The people were content to be in the hands of the Philistines for forty years.  Forty years is a long, long time to be in captivity.  Sometimes we get so used to captivity we forget the freedom God offers us.

(torah.com) According to Hebrew History there is some overlap in the various Bible chapters here. The time when Jepthah was judge was the same time that Samuel was functioning.  There wasn’t a single tribe in Israel who wasn’t fighting for their lives.   Samson judged from about 1070 BC to 1050 BC, about the time Eli the High Priest and Samuel lived.  As you can see from the map, the various tribes and judges operated in different parts of Canaan and the judges only affected a few tribes. Samuel operated with Judah and the southern tribes, Abdon operated in the north.   The Ark of the Covenant had been stolen, and Eli and his evil sons die.  Samuel will be the priest.  The Philistines were oppressing the Israelites, but they weren’t seeking to annihilate them.

Dan never firmly held any of the territory it was allotted, they started to move into other secure territories of other Israelite tribes.  Some moved near the Lebanon border and for a time lived in a city called Dan, that was more pagan in nature.  But Samson and the other Danites stayed, living under the government of the Philistines, and many assimilated into Philistine society.

Samson’s birth will be announced by an Angel of the Lord.  Unlike other judges, Samson never raised an army or led his tribe in an uprising against their oppressors.  He assaulted the Philistines on his own, and a lot of the circumstances and battles were caused by his lack of self-control and moral lapses.  He did not follow many of the precepts that God laid down for the Israelites such as no intermarrying.

Judges 13:2  Now there was a certain man from Zorah, of the family of the Danites, whose name was Manoah; and his wife was barren and had no children.

Zorah  (6681) to screech exaultingly, shout
Danites  (Dan – 1835) (1839) so of Jacob, Dan, dawn
Manoah(4495) – same as 4494 – quiet, a settled spot, a home, place of rest.

God often uses barren women to bring forth salvation for Israel – a barren woman was one past childbearing years and past the time when she can naturally bear a child. In those times, it was thought that God had cursed the woman and prevented her from having a child, even though it could also be the man who was at fault.

Judges 13:3 And the Angel of the LORD appeared to the woman and said to her, “Indeed now, you are barren and have borne no children, but you shall conceive and bear a so.

The angel of the LORD, when it is written like that is a pre-incarnate visitation from Christ,   (torah.com) malach YHWH – malach means angel or messenger and YHWH is the formal name of God.

She is not certain who this person is, but she listens carefully to His instructions that follow:

Judges 13:4-5  Now therefore, please be careful not to drink wine or similar drink, and not to eat anything unclean. For behold, you shall conceive and bear a son. And no razor shall come upon his head, for the child shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb; and he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines.”

He is to ba a Nazirite from the day of the womb – drinking no wine, not eating anything unclean, and no razor on his head.  It is normally a vow that is taken for a specific period of time. Samson is to live this vow for life.

We see the details of this vow in Numbers Chapter 6

Numbers 6:1-8 Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘When either a man or woman consecrates an offering to take the vow of a Nazirite, to separate himself to the LORD, he shall separate himself from wine and similar drink; he shall drink neither vinegar made from wine nor vinegar made from similar drink; neither shall he drink any grape juice, nor eat fresh grapes or raisins. All the days of his separation he shall eat nothing that is produced by the grapevine, from seed to skin. ‘All the days of the vow of his separation no razor shall come upon his head; until the days are fulfilled for which he separated himself to the LORD, he shall be holy. Then he shall let the locks of the hair of his head grow.  All the days that he separates himself to the LORD he shall not go near a dead body. He shall not make himself unclean even for his father or his mother, for his brother or his sister, when they die, because his separation to God is on his head. All the days of his separation he shall be holy to the LORD.

The vow:  1) no wine, no similar drink, nothing made from wine or vinegar, nothing from seed to skin, no going into a vineyard.  2. No razor on his head.  3. Not go near a dead body so he doesn’t become unclean, not even if father, mother, or any family member dies.  4. Be holy and separate to the Lord.

Since Samson’s mom was not a Nazirite, why did she have to do these things? This shows that God knows that the child is connected to the mother in the womb and what the mom eats and drinks is passed on to the child.  Since the child is to be a Nazirite from birth and birth begins in the womb, mom needs to follow these food restrictions.

Spoiler alert – Samson will break every one of these vows.

Notice the angel says Samson will BEGIN to rescue Israel. Sadly, he won’t finish the job. And in the time after Samson, Dan still won’t eliminate the Philistines and they will fall back into their old ways.

Judges 13:6-7   So the woman came and told her husband, saying, “A Man of God came to me, and His countenance was like the countenance of the Angel of God, very awesome; but I did not ask Him where He was from, and He did not tell me His name.  And He said to me, ‘Behold, you shall conceive and bear a son. Now drink no wine or similar drink, nor eat anything unclean, for the child shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb to the day of his death.’”

She does not report all that the angel said, she doesn’t mention the Philistines, and the angel only told her Nazirite from the womb, nothing about his death.

Nazirite – (5139) separated from 5144 to hold aloof, abstain (from food, drink, impurity).  To set apart to sacred purposes, consecrate.  Earliest use of Nazir is Genesis 49:28 blessings of the father shall be on he head of Joseph, separated from his brothers, and he was for he became the savior of his father, his brothers, and their families.  Two types of Nazirite vows, one was temporary and the other perpetual.  There were only three in the Bible who had perpetual vows – Samson, John the Baptist, and Samuel

According to the torahclass.com the wife felt it was a man of God, an ish elohim – which is what they called a prophet.  She thought He was human, not a spiritual being, but she felt He had a face of an angel of God.

She was wise. She went to her husband and reported what was said to her.  She did not ask where he came from or his name.  In those days, as we have been seeing, a name tells us a lot about their physical and spiritual heritage, and the names had meaning.

One of the best things about marriage is having a spouse to bounce ideas and experiences on. When we share with our spouse, we have their wisdom and experience to help us to not make mistakes. My husband is awesome. He helps me not to worry about unnecessary things.  He points out paths I didn’t consider. If I’m saying or doing something that would hurt my cause, he points it out.  I’m also able to help him and give him ideas. We have three kids and sometimes we joke that between us we have one mind. Other godly perspectives can prevent a multitude of errors.

Judges 13:8  Then Manoah prayed to the LORD, and said, “O my Lord, please let the Man of God whom You sent come to us again and teach us what we shall do for the child who will be born.”

Manoah asked God to let this Man of God come again, so that he could find out the important information they would need to raise the child the way God wanted. We need to do that with our children.  God has entrusted them (spiritual and physical children) into our lives and we should continually ask God’s guidance for how we should rule them.

Judges 13:9-12  And God listened to the voice of Manoah, and the Angel of God came to the woman again as she was sitting in the field; but Manoah her husband was not with her. Then the woman ran in haste and told her husband, and said to him, “Look, the Man who came to me the other day has just now appeared to me!”  So Manoah arose and followed his wife. When he came to the Man, he said to Him, “Are You the Man who spoke to this woman?”  And He said, “I am.”  Manoah said, “Now let Your words come to pass! What will be the boy’s rule of life, and his work?

So God answers Manoah’s prayer and he asks God for more information.

Judges 13:13-14  So the Angel of the LORD said to Manoah, “Of all that I said to the woman let her be careful. She may not eat anything that comes from the vine, nor may she drink wine or similar drink, nor eat anything unclean. All that I commanded her let her observe.”

The Angel of the Lord repeats what He told the woman.  He does not answer Manoah’s question about the boy’s rule of life and his work.  The Angel of the Lord’s concern was that the mother obey all the rules.  Sometimes God gives us an instruction, but how the outcome is, remains a mystery.  We must follow Him step by step, walking in faith.  God doesn’t give us a road map. We want the whole picture and God wants us to walk by faith doing the next step that He tells us, then God will give us the next step.  We want the total picture, but sometimes it is in our best interest to only know our next step. God won’t give us more than we can handle at one time.  If we lose our place, all we need to do is to go back to where we lost our focus and take the next step. God wants obedience in faith.

Judges 13:15  Then Manoah said to the Angel of the LORD, “Please let us detain You, and we will prepare a young goat for You.”

Manoah offers to honor the Angel of the Lord with hospitality and to prepare a special meal. A young goat is an acceptable sacrifice to God.

Judges 13:16  And the Angel of the LORD said to Manoah, “Though you detain Me, I will not eat your food. But if you offer a burnt offering, you must offer it to the LORD.” (For Manoah did not know He was the Angel of the LORD.)

The Angel of the Lord refuses and says it should be offered as a burnt offering to the Lord. This lets Manoah realize that this meeting wasn’t what it initially appeared, that this man/angel was special.

Judges 13:17  Then Manoah said to the Angel of the LORD, “What is Your name, that when Your words come to pass we may honor You?

Manoah finally gets around to asking the Angel of the Lord His name.  He wants to honor the Angel of the Lord, but is thinking he is a human prophet.

Judges 13:18  And the Angel of the LORD said to him, “Why do you ask My name, seeing it is wonderful?”

King James says, “seeing it is secret”  (6383)  remarkable, secret, wonderful, it means incomprehensible, extraordinary, beyond one’s ability to understand.  Another versions say his name is unknowable.  So, in a way, the Angel of the Lord is saying what difference does it mean to know my Shem (name) it is beyond anything you can comprehend. (Torah.com – great source for the Hebrew interpretation of a passage)

Jesus is also called wonderful, counselor….

Judges 13:19-20 So Manoah took the young goat with the grain offering, and offered it upon the rock to the LORD. And He did a wondrous thing while Manoah and his wife looked on— it happened as the flame went up toward heaven from the altar—the Angel of the LORD ascended in the flame of the altar! When Manoah and his wife saw this, they fell on their faces to the ground.

So the food was offered on a rock as a burnt offering.  What was brought for an offering was acceptable to God – a goat, and grain.  So it fit the Law of the sacrifice.  Now this is interesting because God in Leviticus instructed that people were to bring their sacrifice to the Tabernacle and that they would offer their sacrifice on the bronze altar, not their private altars. So, in this instance, Manoah is sacrificing to God on a stone.  Remember what is happening in Israel’s history at this time. Eli, Eli’s sons, and the priesthood were not acting in accord with the law.  The priests had limited power, and didn’t fully follow the regulations of the Torah – they did what was right in their own hearts.

And the Angel ascended in the flame of the altar, the sacrifice was acceptable to God, and Manoah and his wife fell on the ground and worshipped.

Judges 13:21-22  When the Angel of the LORD appeared no more to Manoah and his wife, then Manoah knew that He was the Angel of the LORD.  And Manoah said to his wife, “We shall surely die, because we have seen God!”

Here, they realize that they have seen an Angel of the Lord, God.  They were afraid because no one was to see the face of God and live.

Judges 13:23  But his wife said to him, “If the LORD had desired to kill us, He would not have accepted a burnt offering and a grain offering from our hands, nor would He have shown us all these things, nor would He have told us such things as these at this time.

This is another good reason for marriage bond, the ability to talk things over with one’s spouse and sort things out.  She points out The Angel of the Lord accepted the offering and told them wonderful prophesies. If He was going to kill them, he would have done so before this.

Judges 13:24-25  So the woman bore a son and called his name Samson; and the child grew, and the LORD blessed him. And the Spirit of the LORD began to move upon him at Mahaneh Dan between Zorah and Eshtaol.

Well, they acted in faith, the husband and wife beyond childbearing years believed, acted, and produced their son, and God blessed him.

Mahaneh Dan  (4265)  camp of Dan from 4264 encampment, army of men or angels, cattle, locusts, stars, host

Zorah (6678)  a station, a region

Eshtaol  (847)  intreaty, from 7592 a request, demand, desire, require, borrow, salute, earnestly beg, lay to charge, consult.

As we watch Samson’s life, we will see that He will disobey every one of the vows, will toy with the power he has. It won’t be until much later that he effectively acts for God’s Kingdom.  He will squander a lot of what God had for him in his lifestyle. He will ultimately end up blind – sort of a spiritual blindness and darkness that is similar to what is happening today. We are operating in spiritual blindness to what is happening in these end times.

Samson will begin to eliminate the oppression of the Philistines, King David will be the one to complete it.  It will take God’s king (David) to subdue the Philistines, and in our day and time it will take our King, Jesus Christ to subdue the Philistines of our day.


There is safety in a multitude of counsel.  Better to have the right answer with agreement, so that we use our wise counselor’s discernment and make sure that we aren’t missing something.

If you do not have a spouse, or help-meet, find a spiritual person to stand in for you.  Make sure that it is someone who is able to help you.  For example, if you are asking questions about marriage, seek someone who is successfully married, not someone who has been through many divorces.

You want to find people who will challenge you if you are making a false assumption, not someone who will agree with you when they know you are making a mistake.

If you seek help from people who operate in faith you will get a faith answer, not a flesh answer.  Don’t seek someone who fills you with doubt and unbelief.

Ask for wisdom so you can hear the truth of God.

Pastor Don pointed out that Manoah was full of doubt and unbelief.  He sought guidance and brings balance to the situation.

Judges 13:22-23 – he lost balance when he thought that because He saw the face of God that he would die.

Judges 13:18 And the Angel of the Lord said to him, “Why do you ask My name, seeing it is wonderful?”

This is a spiritual secret beyond understanding. This occurs 1500 years before the Messiah, the Word of God. This prophesy will come true.

We need to be aware that there are times when we’ve entertained angels unaware.

Since Exodus the Jews have talked to the Angel of the Lord.  We need to remember that Jesus is the Angel of the Lord, and nobody ever spoke like this man.

Judges 13:6-7  So the woman came and told her husband, saying, “A Man of God came to me, and His countenance was like the countenance of the Angel of God, very awesome; but I did not ask Him where He was from, and He did not tell me His name.  And He said to me, ‘Behold, you shall conceive and bear a son. Now drink no wine or similar drink, nor eat anything unclean, for the child shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb to the day of his death.’”

Notice the sentence in verse 3 when the Angel of the Lord tells her about the child, she tries to determine if he is a prophet or man of God.

In verse 23 But his wife said to him, “If the LORD had desired to kill us, He would not have accepted a burnt offering and a grain offering from our hands, nor would He have shown us all these things, nor would He have told us such things as these at this time.

Pastor Don pointed out that if we discern the actions and activity of God, our personalities will draw the proper conclusion. The husband’s fear of seeing the face of the Lord shows he didn’t have an accurate interpretation of events. Fortunately the husband listened to his wife and changed his attitude. But, if you are married and have a husband (or wife) that is negative, know that you can say what you want, but be prepared for his negative reaction.

Discern your expectations, and know that if you are expecting something negative to happen, your expectations are projected by fear. Don’t let your expectations ruin your day.

Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.

If you keep the fruits of the Spirit and stay humble then you cannot violate the Law. Stay humble when offering your opinion.

You don’t see Jesus rebuff people until He hears them speak.  He listens and then questions their opinions. He offers His opinion nicely.  When the rich young ruler spoke with Jesus he spoke gently letting the man realize he was close to the Kingdom of Heaven, but there was one thing he needed.  Jesus was always humble.

Judges 13:23 (see above) She held on to the truth. When we feel cut off from the Lord, we need to get back to the truth, to remind ourselves of the Words of God and what God has said.

Manoah could kill God’s plan if he persisted in the negative.  But he did what he needed to do to further the birth of this son.

I hope this teaching blesses you.


About Heather Marsten

Welcome to Heather's Blog. I'm looking forward to meeting you and checking out your sites. I just moved about nine years of material over from another blog site, Xanga, who may close down mid-July. At first I was disappointed to make the move because I had a lifetime membership at Xanga and had to spend weeks transferring posts. But now I'm thrilled. Already I've met new bloggers and read many new websites. Blogging is a wonderful way to expand my horizons and garner new ideas. I'm a happily married mom of three young adults. My husband and I are proud to watch our children grow and venture out into the world. My daughter is still in college but my two sons have graduated. One has a job and the other just graduated and is in the process of finding a job in his field, physics. Anyone know of any jobs out there? I'm proud of our children and love watching them grow and mature. They've become fine, compassionate, and loving people. Empty nest? Nah, I'm too busy to let an empty nest bother me. Not enough hours in the day. My husband and I enjoy quiet time together and I have many interests to pursue - one of which is blogging :D I am a born-again believer and love God. As you read this blog, you will discover that Bible studies thrill me. There is so much wisdom contained between the covers of the Bible and I am fortunate to sit under the teachings of a remarkable pastor, Pastor Don Moore. Members of our church (Living Word Chapel in West Hurley, New York) are encouraged to teach and there are visiting pastors who stop by our church, I also study the Bible on my own and love sharing what I learn. One other passion is writing. My current work in process is a memoir. A scene from my memoir was published in a book called: Heavenly Company: Entertaining Angels Unaware - an anthology of angelic encounters compiled by Cecil Murphy. I'm hoping my memoir will encourage other survivors of abuse. I grew up in a home filled with abuse, including incest. For most of my life I was searching for something that would fill the void of not being loved by my parents. I tried many ways to find that love -- therapy, relationships, occult studies, and keeping my life so filled I had no way to think about my past. It was only when I discovered God that I was able to put the pieces of my life back together and walk forward in a joyous life. My nickname - wondering has changed from wondering where the heck God was in my life, to wondering what incredible adventure is going to happen next. I hope you enjoy my site. Please say hi, share some thoughts, and ask questions. I look forward to meeting you and checking out your sites. Have a blessed day. Heather
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