1 Again the Israelites began doing what is evil in Yahweh's eyes, and Yahweh delivered them into the power of the Philistines for forty years.
2 There was a man of Zorah of the tribe of Dan, called Manoah. His wife was barren; she had borne no children.
3 The Angel of Yahweh appeared to this woman and said to her, 'You are barren and have had no child, but you are going to conceive and give birth to a son.
4 From now on, take great care. Drink no wine or fermented liquor, and eat nothing unclean.
5 For you are going to conceive and give birth to a son. No razor is to touch his head, for the boy is to be God's nazirite from his mother's womb; and he will start rescuing Israel from the power of the Philistines.'
6 The woman then went and told her husband, 'A man of God has just come to me, who looked like the Angel of God, so majestic was he. I did not ask him where he came from, and he did not tell me his name.
7 But he said to me, "You are going to conceive and will give birth to a son. From now on, drink no wine or fermented liquor, and eat nothing unclean. For the boy is to be God's nazirite from his mother's womb to his dying day." '
8 Manoah then pleaded with Yahweh and said, 'I beg you, Lord, let the man of God that you sent come to us again and instruct us what to do about the child when he is born.'
9 Yahweh heard Manoah's prayer, and the Angel of Yahweh visited the woman again while she was sitting in a field and when her husband Manoah was not with her.
10 The woman quickly ran and told her husband, 'Look,' she said, 'the man who came to me the other day has appeared to me again.'
11 Manoah got up, followed his wife, came to the man and said to him, 'Are you the man who spoke to this woman?' He replied, 'I am.'
12 Manoah then said, 'When your words come true, what will be the boy's way of life?'
13 The Angel of Yahweh replied to Manoah, 'From everything that I forbade this woman, let her abstain.
14 Let her swallow nothing that comes from the vine, let her drink no wine or fermented liquor, let her eat nothing unclean and let her obey all the orders that I have given her.'
15 Manoah then said to the Angel of Yahweh, 'Allow us to detain you while we prepare a kid for you' -- for Manoah did not know that this was the Angel of Yahweh.
16 The Angel of Yahweh said to Manoah, 'Even if you did detain me, I should not eat your food; but if you wish to prepare a burnt offering, offer it to Yahweh.'
17 Manoah then said to the Angel of Yahweh, 'What is your name, so that we may honour you when your words come true?'
18 The Angel of Yahweh replied, 'Why ask my name? It is a name of wonder.'
19 Manoah then took the kid and the oblation and offered it on the rock as a burnt offering to Yahweh the Wonderworker. Manoah and his wife looked on.
20 Now, as the flame rose heavenwards from the altar, the Angel of Yahweh ascended in this flame before the eyes of Manoah and his wife, and they fell face downwards on the ground.
21 After this, the Angel of Yahweh did not appear any more to Manoah and his wife, but Manoah understood that this had been the Angel of Yahweh.
22 And Manoah said to his wife, 'We are certain to die, because we have seen God.'
23 His wife replied, 'If Yahweh had meant to kill us, he would not have accepted a burnt offering and oblation from us, he would not have let us see all this and, at the same time, have told us such things.'
24 The woman gave birth to a son and called him Samson. The child grew, and Yahweh blessed him;
25 and the spirit of Yahweh began to stir him in the Camp of Dan, between Zorah and Eshtaol.