The Israelites again did what was evil in the LORD’s sight, so the LORD handed them over to the Philistines 40 years. There was a certain man from Zorah, from the family of Dan, whose name was Manoah; his wife was unable to conceive and had no children. The Angel of the LORD appeared to the woman and said to her, “It is true that you are unable to conceive and have no children, but you will conceive and give birth to a son. Now please be careful not to drink wine or beer, or to eat anything unclean; for indeed, you will conceive and give birth to a son. You must never cut his hair, because the boy will be a Nazirite to God from birth, and he will begin to save Israel from the power of the Philistines.”
Then the woman went and told her husband, “A man of God came to me. He looked like the awe-inspiring Angel of God. I didn’t ask Him where He came from, and He didn’t tell me His name. He said to me, ‘You will conceive and give birth to a son. Therefore, do not drink wine or beer, and do not eat anything unclean, because the boy will be a Nazirite to God from birth until the day of his death.’ ”
Manoah prayed to the LORD and said, “Please Lord, let the man of God you sent come again to us and teach us what we should do for the boy who will be born.”
God listened to Manoah, and the Angel of God came again to the woman. She was sitting in the field, and her husband Manoah was not with her. The woman ran quickly to her husband and told him, “The man who came to me today has just come back! ”
So Manoah got up and followed his wife. When he came to the man, he asked, “Are You the man who spoke to my wife? ”
“I am,” He said.
Then Manoah asked, “When Your words come true, what will the boy’s responsibilities and mission be? ”
The Angel of the LORD answered Manoah, “Your wife needs to do everything I told her. She must not eat anything that comes from the grapevine or drink wine or beer. And she must not eat anything unclean. Your wife must do everything I have commanded her.”
“Please stay here,” Manoah told Him, “and we will prepare a young goat for You.”
The Angel of the LORD said to him, “If I stay, I won’t eat your food. But if you want to prepare a burnt offering, offer it to the LORD.” For Manoah did not know He was the Angel of the LORD.
Then Manoah said to Him, “What is Your name, so that we may honor You when Your words come true? ”
“Why do you ask My name,” the Angel of the LORD asked him, “since it is wonderful.”
Manoah took a young goat and a grain offering and offered them on a rock to the LORD, and He did a wonderful thing while Manoah and his wife were watching. When the flame went up from the altar to the sky, the Angel of the LORD went up in its flame. When Manoah and his wife saw this, they fell facedown on the ground. The Angel of the LORD did not appear again to Manoah and his wife. Then Manoah realized that it was the Angel of the LORD.
“We’re going to die,” he said to his wife, “because we have seen God! ”
But his wife said to him, “If the LORD had intended to kill us, He wouldn’t have accepted the burnt offering and the grain offering from us, and He would not have shown us all these things or spoken to us now like this.”
So the woman gave birth to a son and named him Samson. The boy grew, and the LORD blessed him. Then the Spirit of the LORD began to direct him in the Camp of Dan, between Zorah and Eshtaol.