God blessed you with an amazing gift when He gave you Samson. As you read through the accounts of Samson’s life in the Bible, you can’t help but be in awe of the supernatural strength and power God gave this mighty judge.
But have you ever wondered about Samson’s origins and background? Specifically, who was Samson’s father?
Samson’s Conception was Announced by an Angel
The account of Samson’s birth begins in Judges 13. Here the Bible tells you that the Israelites had been serving the Philistines for 40 years when an angel of the Lord appeared to a woman named Manoah’s wife. This woman, who the Bible does not name, was unable to conceive children. But the angel of the Lord promised her, “Behold, you shall conceive and bear a son” (Judges 13:3, NKJV). This was no ordinary promise – it came directly from the Lord!
The angel gave her detailed instructions to abstain from alcohol and unclean foods in order to set apart her son to God from birth. When Manoah’s wife told her husband about the angel’s visit, he prayed that the “Man of God” would return to teach them how to raise the boy properly (Judges 13:8). God graciously answered his prayer.
The Angel Visits Again and Manoah Asks His Name
The angel returned and reiterated the instructions he gave to Manoah’s wife. Upon hearing this, Manoah offered to prepare a young goat for the angel as a sign of hospitality and gratitude. However, the angel refused, saying “Though you detain me, I will not eat your food. But if you offer a burnt offering, you must offer it to the Lord” (Judges 13:16).
Manoah still didn’t realize he was speaking to an angel and asked him his name. The angel replied, “Why do you ask my name, seeing it is wonderful?” (Judges 13:18). This response made Manoah realize he was in the presence of the supernatural. He feared they would die for seeing God, but his wife wisely pointed out that if God intended to kill them He wouldn’t have revealed His plans for their son.
Manoah was Samson’s Father
After this encounter, Manoah offered a burnt offering to God. As the flames ascended toward heaven, the angel ascended in them. Overcome with awe, Manoah declared to his wife, “We shall surely die, because we have seen God!” (Judges 13:22). But she again assured him they would be safe.
This story reveals that Manoah was Samson’s father. He was present when the angel first announced Samson’s birth. Manoah prayed for guidance in how to raise his son and offered a sacrifice as the angel instructed. And the chapter concludes by saying, “And the woman bore a son and called his name Samson. And the young man grew, and the Lord blessed him” (Judges 13:24).
As Samson’s father, Manoah received a tremendous privilege and responsibility. God entrusted him and his wife with raising one of the most influential judges of Israel.
What the Name “Manoah” Means
The name Manoah means “rest” in Hebrew. This was a fitting name for Samson’s father, since Samson would begin delivering Israel from 40 years of oppression under the Philistines. The dominion of the Philistines was coming to an end, and Israel was about to enter a time of “rest” and peace.
God’s choice of Manoah to father Samson shows the sovereignty and wisdom of God’s plans. Out of all the Israelite families suffering under Philistine rule, the Lord opened the womb of Manoah’s wife and appointed them to be Samson’s parents. Even Manoah’s name shows how God foreordained Samson’s destiny to provide Israel deliverance.
Key Facts about Manoah in the Bible
Here are some key facts to remember about Manoah, Samson’s father:
- He was from the tribe of Dan. The town of Zorah, where Manoah lived, was on the border between Judah and Dan.
- He was married to an unnamed woman who was unable to have children. Her barrenness ended when the angel visited her.
- Manoah earnestly sought God on behalf of his son, imploring the “Man of God” for guidance and offering sacrifices.
- He feared God, realizing they might die for seeing the angel. His wife showed wisdom in discerning this wouldn’t happen.
- His name means “rest,” symbolizing the coming liberation Samson would provide Israel by judging the Philistines.
So you see, Manoah wasn’t just a passive figure in the background of Samson’s story. He was Samson’s godly and prayerful father, handpicked by God to parent one of Israel’s greatest leaders.
What can we Learn from Manoah’s Example as a Father?
Though Samson failed to live up to his full potential and indulged in sin, the account of Manoah gives you a model for how to be a godly father. Here are some lessons you can learn from Manoah’s example:
Be prayerful regarding your children – Manoah didn’t just accept the news of his son’s birth passively. He immediately entreated God, “teach us what we shall do for the child who will be born” (Judges 13:8). Cry out to God for wisdom in raising your children.
Aim to raise children who honor God – Manoah sought guidance in order to raise a son devoted to God from birth. Make it your primary goal as a parent to raise children who love, obey and honor the Lord with their lives.
Value your children as gifts from God – Manoah recognized Samson as a gracious gift after years of infertility. No matter the circumstances around their birth, receive your children as blessings from the Lord.
Commit to raise children in God’s ways – Manoah’s example highlights the responsibility parents have to raise children according to biblical principles. Make regular Bible study, prayer and ethical training core parts of your parenting.
Rely on your spouse for wisdom – Manoah initially reacted in fear after seeing the angel. But his wife wisely assured him that God meant them no harm. Lean on your spouse’s spiritual insights when facing challenging situations in parenting.
Model sacrifice and worship of God – The burnt offering Manoah gave models putting God first in all things, even before your children. Let your kids see you sacrificing time and resources to worship the Lord.
There is so much wisdom you can apply from Manoah’s approach to parenting the mighty Samson. While your child might not be destined to defeat a foreign army like Samson, Manoah’s example still speaks volumes to moms and dads today.
Samson’s Birth Brought Joy After Suffering
Judges 13:2 tells you Manoah’s wife “was barren and had no children.” Bearing children was a woman’s greatest joy in Jewish culture, so Manoah’s wife likely carried a deep sense of shame and disappointment over her inability to conceive.
But God’s timing is perfect. After years of waiting, He opened her womb and gave her the child who would begin delivering Israel from oppression under the Philistines. The angel’s announcement to this barren woman foreshadowed the joy and freedom Christ’s birth would also bring after centuries of spiritual darkness and oppression.
As you read through Samson’s story, remember how God brought joy, celebration and renewed purpose to Manoah and his wife after a long period of aimlessness and emptiness. They’d been waiting and praying for a child for many years with no answer in sight. Yet God was at work behind the scenes to bless them in His perfect timing.
Your current season of difficulty will not last forever. God hears your prayers and knows the plans He has for you (Jeremiah 29:11). Trust Him to act at just the right time to turn your weeping into rejoicing as He did for Manoah and his wife. Your deliverance could be right around the corner!
Manoah’s Encounter with the Angel
It’s easy to breeze over the story of Manoah and his wife encountering the angel. But looking closer, you see the awe-inspiring nature of this event. An angel – a heavenly being – appeared physically on earth and interacted with Manoah just as he would another person.
The angel refused to eat food but told Manoah to offer up a burnt sacrifice, revealing his spiritual nature. And when Manoah asked the angel his name, the angel replied, “Why do you ask my name, seeing it is wonderful?” The Hebrew word translated “wonderful” in Judges 13:18 means incomprehensible, extraordinary, and incomparable.
This was no ordinary angel – it was the pre-incarnate Christ appearing in angelic form! The Son of God Himself visited Manoah and his wife to announce the supernatural birth of Samson. No wonder Manoah feared death after this heavenly encounter!
But Christ’s visitation shows God’s favor toward faithful parents who glorify Him through their children. The Lord rewards those who faithfully pray for their children and teach them to walk in His ways. When you instill God’s truth in your children’s hearts, you make your home a place where angels love to dwell.
Don’t underestimate the eternal importance of your role as a parent. God may send a divine messenger at just the right time with a promise that will sustain you, as He did for Manoah and his wife. Keep praying through the disappointments and trusting His perfect timing. Your faithfulness will reap generational rewards for you, your children and beyond!
Key Takeaways on Samson’s Father Manoah
To recap the key truths about Manoah, Samson’s father:
- Manoah was an ordinary Israelite living under Philistine oppression who had a barren wife.
- An angel prophesied that Manoah’s wife would bear a son who would begin delivering Israel.
- Manoah earnestly sought God on behalf of his promised son, Samson.
- The angel visited a second time, appearing as a Christophany, and Manoah offered a burnt sacrifice.
- Manoah means “rest,” symbolizing the rest Samson would bring Israel from the Philistines.
- As a father, Manoah models prayerfulness for children, aiming to raise godly offspring, relying on a spouse’s wisdom and sacrificially worshipping the Lord.
- Though suffering from infertility, Manoah and his wife found joy and purpose through the gift of Samson.
- Manoah had a divine encounter with the pre-incarnate Christ, showing God’s favor on faithful parents.
May Manoah’s example inspire you to trust God’s timing in the gifts He grants. Keep pursuing His heart for your life and family. God bless you as you lead your household in the ways of the Lord!