The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Book of Judges
Then, once again, the sons of Israel defied the Lord, and for forty years he left them at the mercy of the Philistines.
There was a certain tribesman of Dan called Manue, who lived at Saraa, and had a wife that bore him no children.
To her the Lord’s angel appeared, and said, Poor barren one, poor childless one, thou art to conceive, and bear a son.
See to it that no wine or strong drink, no unclean food passes thy lips,
for this son whom thou art to conceive and bear is to be a Nazirite from his birth; even when he is a child, no razor must come near his head. And he shall strike the first blow to deliver Israel from the power of the Philistines.
So when she met her husband she told him, I have been speaking with a messenger from God, who might have been an angel, such awe his look inspired in me. Who he was, his home, his name, he would not tell,
but the message he gave me was that I should conceive, and have a son. And I must abstain from wine and all strong drink, and from all unclean food, because this son of mine was to be a Nazirite from his childhood up, bound to the Lord by his vow from the day of his birth to the day of his death.
Thereupon Manue entreated the Lord to send his messenger again, and tell them how this child, once born, should be nurtured.
And the Lord granted his prayer; once more the angel of God appeared to his wife, as she sat resting in a field. Her husband was not with her, and she, upon sight of the angel,
ran off to fetch him; He has come back, she told him, the man I saw a few days since.
So he rose and followed her, and asked the angel whether it was he that had brought the message to his wife; Yes, he said, it was I.
Tell me, then, said Manue, when thy promise is fulfilled, what life is the boy to lead, what things are they he must shun?
But the angel of the Lord answered, Enough that thy wife should observe the warnings I gave her,✻
eating nothing that grows in the vineyard, drinking no wine or strong drink, abstaining from all unclean food; these commands of mine she must carry out faithfully.
And now Manue said to the angel of the Lord, Pray do me one favour; allow us to cook a kid for thy eating.
Detain me if thou wilt, said the angel, but of thy food I must not eat; offer burnt-sacrifice, if thou wilt, to the Lord. And still Manue did not recognize that it was the Lord’s angel;
What is thy name? he asked. If thy words come true, we would fain give thee some token of gratitude.
My name? said he. Do not ask my name; it is a high mystery.
So Manue brought the kid, and a bread-offering with it, and laid it on the rock, presenting it before the Lord; and mystery indeed there was, before the eyes of Manue and his wife;✻
as flames went up to heaven from the altar, the angel of the Lord went up too, there amid the flames.
At the sight, Manue and his wife fell down face to earth. Now that he had disappeared from their view, Manue knew him for what he was,
and said to his wife, This is certain death; we have seen the Lord.
Nay, answered his wife, if the Lord meant us harm, he would not have accepted our sacrifice and our bread-offering; he would not have shewn us this marvellous sight, nor told us what is to befall.
And so she bore a son, and called him Samson. As the lad grew, the Lord’s blessing was on him.
It was at the Encampment of Dan, between Saraa and Esthaol, that the spirit of the Lord first visited him.
The Holy Bible