The circumstances of the birth of Samson are similar to that of John the Baptist – Luke 1:15. An angel announces the coming birth to Manoah and his wife. Samson was to be a Nazirite from birth. Samson and Israel are both examples of the lowest point reached by God’s people. Like people like judge! The book of Judges opens with Israel having it all together, and ends with everything falling apart.
Here we see the origin story of Samson, the broken strong man.
Once again, as is often the case, women are approached by heavenly means first (have a read through the gospels keeping this in mind, it’s pretty cool).
Samson’s mum gets a visit. And how cool is the glimpse of heavenly realities we get in this reading!
He brings good news! The barren womb will conceive.
Samson’s dad then enters, and how wonderful is v9, “And God listened to the voice of Manoah,”! God listened to his voice!
Now comes a couple of paragraphs of pretty interesting dialogue between man and God / God’s messenger.
The angel answers very clearly in v11, but then it seems like he kind of side-steps the “What will be Samson’s mission” question, calling his mum to obedience. He’d already told mum in v7 what the child was to do (be raised a Nazarite).
It could be that Manoah wanted confirmation (like Gideon), but the angel instead points to active obedience now (what the mum had to do).
While we know Samson was, like most of the judges, a broken fellow – This is a wonderful origin story of hope, that points us with joy to the best and most precious hero – Jesus, the one who was perfect and unbroken.