Listen to this chapter in Hebrew:
1B'nei Yisrael again did what was offensive to Hashem, and Hashem delivered them into the hands of the Philistines for forty years.
אוַיֹּסִפוּ בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל לַעֲשׂוֹת הָרַע בְּעֵינֵי יְהֹוָה וַיִּתְּנֵם יְהֹוָה בְּיַד־פְּלִשְׁתִּים אַרְבָּעִים שָׁנָה׃
2There was a certain man from Tzora, of the stock of Dan, whose name was Manoach. His wife was barren and had borne no children.
בוַיְהִי אִישׁ אֶחָד מִצָּרְעָה מִמִּשְׁפַּחַת הַדָּנִי וּשְׁמוֹ מָנוֹחַ וְאִשְׁתּוֹ עֲקָרָה וְלֹא יָלָדָה׃
3An angel of Hashem appeared to the woman and said to her, “You are barren and have borne no children; but you shall conceive and bear a son.
גוַיֵּרָא מַלְאַךְ־יְהֹוָה אֶל־הָאִשָּׁה וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלֶיהָ הִנֵּה־נָא אַתְּ־עֲקָרָה וְלֹא יָלַדְתְּ וְהָרִית וְיָלַדְתְּ בֵּן׃
4Now be careful not to drink wine or other intoxicant, or to eat anything unclean.
דוְעַתָּה הִשָּׁמְרִי נָא וְאַל־תִּשְׁתִּי יַיִן וְשֵׁכָר וְאַל־תֹּאכְלִי כָּל־טָמֵא׃
5For you are going to conceive and bear a son; let no razor touch his head, for the boy is to be a nazirite to Hashem from the womb on. He shall be the first to deliver Yisrael from the Philistines.”
KEE hi-NAKH ha-RAH v'-yo-LAD-t' BAYN u-mo-RAH lo ya-a-LEH al ro-SHO kee n'-ZEER e-lo-HEEM yih-YEH ha-NA-ar min ha-BA-ten v'-HU ya-KHAYL l'-ho-SHEE-a et yis-ra-AYL mi-YAD p'-lish-TEEM
הכִּי הִנָּךְ הָרָה וְיֹלַדְתְּ בֵּן וּמוֹרָה לֹא־יַעֲלֶה עַל־רֹאשׁוֹ כִּי־נְזִיר אֱלֹהִים יִהְיֶה הַנַּעַר מִן־הַבָּטֶן וְהוּא יָחֵל לְהוֹשִׁיעַ אֶת־יִשְׂרָאֵל מִיַּד פְּלִשְׁתִּים׃
13:5 For the boy is to be a nazirite to Hashem from the womb on
The promised child, who will be the strong and fearless judge Shimshon, is to be a nazirite from birth. This is an unusual situation; most nazirites choose this status temporarily, for a limited period. Though typically people do not take such vows nowadays, a famous exception was Rabbi David Cohen (1887-1972). Known as “The Nazir,” ‘nazirite,’ he was a close student of Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook, and was a nazirite for most of his life. Following his move to Eretz Yisrael, Rabbi Cohen also refused to leave Jerusalem. Along with Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda Kook, he was brought by his students serving in the Israeli Army to the Western Wall shortly after its liberation during the Six Day War. When secular Israeli soldiers saw Rabbis Cohen and Kook at the Kotel in the midst of the war, they gasped and pointed, assuming the two saintly rabbis were none other than the Mashiach and the Prophet Eliyahu. The Nazir of Yerushalayim was a reminder of the holiness that special people can achieve, even today.
6The woman went and told her husband, “A man of Hashem came to me; he looked like an angel of Hashem, very frightening. I did not ask him where he was from, nor did he tell me his name.
ווַתָּבֹא הָאִשָּׁה וַתֹּאמֶר לְאִישָׁהּ לֵאמֹר אִישׁ הָאֱלֹהִים בָּא אֵלַי וּמַרְאֵהוּ כְּמַרְאֵה מַלְאַךְ הָאֱלֹהִים נוֹרָא מְאֹד וְלֹא שְׁאִלְתִּיהוּ אֵי־מִזֶּה הוּא וְאֶת־שְׁמוֹ לֹא־הִגִּיד לִי׃
7He said to me, ‘You are going to conceive and bear a son. Drink no wine or other intoxicant, and eat nothing unclean, for the boy is to be a nazirite to Hashem from the womb to the day of his death!'”
זוַיֹּאמֶר לִי הִנָּךְ הָרָה וְיֹלַדְתְּ בֵּן וְעַתָּה אַל־תִּשְׁתִּי יַיִן וְשֵׁכָר וְאַל־תֹּאכְלִי כָּל־טֻמְאָה כִּי־נְזִיר אֱלֹהִים יִהְיֶה הַנַּעַר מִן־הַבֶּטֶן עַד־יוֹם מוֹתוֹ׃
8Manoach pleaded with Hashem. “Oh, my Lord!” he said, “please let the man of Hashem that You sent come to us again, and let him instruct us how to act with the child that is to be born.”
חוַיֶּעְתַּר מָנוֹחַ אֶל־יְהֹוָה וַיֹּאמַר בִּי אֲדוֹנָי אִישׁ הָאֱלֹהִים אֲשֶׁר שָׁלַחְתָּ יָבוֹא־נָא עוֹד אֵלֵינוּ וְיוֹרֵנוּ מַה־נַּעֲשֶׂה לַנַּעַר הַיּוּלָּד׃
9Hashem heeded Manoach's plea, and the angel of Hashem came to the woman again. She was sitting in the field and her husband Manoach was not with her.
טוַיִּשְׁמַע הָאֱלֹהִים בְּקוֹל מָנוֹחַ וַיָּבֹא מַלְאַךְ הָאֱלֹהִים עוֹד אֶל־הָאִשָּׁה וְהִיא יוֹשֶׁבֶת בַּשָּׂדֶה וּמָנוֹחַ אִישָׁהּ אֵין עִמָּהּ׃
10The woman ran in haste to tell her husband. She said to him, “The man who came to me before has just appeared to me.”
יוַתְּמַהֵר הָאִשָּׁה וַתָּרָץ וַתַּגֵּד לְאִישָׁהּ וַתֹּאמֶר אֵלָיו הִנֵּה נִרְאָה אֵלַי הָאִישׁ אֲשֶׁר־בָּא בַיּוֹם אֵלָי׃
11Manoach promptly followed his wife. He came to the man and asked him: “Are you the man who spoke to my wife?” “Yes,” he answered.
יאוַיָּקָם וַיֵּלֶךְ מָנוֹחַ אַחֲרֵי אִשְׁתּוֹ וַיָּבֹא אֶל־הָאִישׁ וַיֹּאמֶר לוֹ הַאַתָּה הָאִישׁ אֲשֶׁר־דִּבַּרְתָּ אֶל־הָאִשָּׁה וַיֹּאמֶר אָנִי׃
12Then Manoach said, “May your words soon come true! What rules shall be observed for the boy?”
יבוַיֹּאמֶר מָנוֹחַ עַתָּה יָבֹא דְבָרֶיךָ מַה־יִּהְיֶה מִשְׁפַּט־הַנַּעַר וּמַעֲשֵׂהוּ׃
13The angel of Hashem said to Manoach, “The woman must abstain from all the things against which I warned her.
יגוַיֹּאמֶר מַלְאַךְ יְהֹוָה אֶל־מָנוֹחַ מִכֹּל אֲשֶׁר־אָמַרְתִּי אֶל־הָאִשָּׁה תִּשָּׁמֵר׃
14She must not eat anything that comes from the grapevine, or drink wine or other intoxicant, or eat anything unclean. She must observe all that I commanded her.”
ידמִכֹּל אֲשֶׁר־יֵצֵא מִגֶּפֶן הַיַּיִן לֹא תֹאכַל וְיַיִן וְשֵׁכָר אַל־תֵּשְׁתְּ וְכָל־טֻמְאָה אַל־תֹּאכַל כֹּל אֲשֶׁר־צִוִּיתִיהָ תִּשְׁמֹר׃
15Manoach said to the angel of Hashem, “Let us detain you and prepare a kid for you.”
טווַיֹּאמֶר מָנוֹחַ אֶל־מַלְאַךְ יְהֹוָה נַעְצְרָה־נָּא אוֹתָךְ וְנַעֲשֶׂה לְפָנֶיךָ גְּדִי עִזִּים׃
16But the angel of Hashem said to Manoach, “If you detain me, I shall not eat your food; and if you present a burnt offering, offer it to Hashem.”—For Manoach did not know that he was an angel of Hashem.
טזוַיֹּאמֶר מַלְאַךְ יְהֹוָה אֶל־מָנוֹחַ אִם־תַּעְצְרֵנִי לֹא־אֹכַל בְּלַחְמֶךָ וְאִם־תַּעֲשֶׂה עֹלָה לַיהֹוָה תַּעֲלֶנָּה כִּי לֹא־יָדַע מָנוֹחַ כִּי־מַלְאַךְ יְהֹוָה הוּא׃
17So Manoach said to the angel of Hashem, “What is your name? We should like to honor you when your words come true.”
יזוַיֹּאמֶר מָנוֹחַ אֶל־מַלְאַךְ יְהֹוָה מִי שְׁמֶךָ כִּי־יָבֹא דבריך [דְבָרְךָ] וְכִבַּדְנוּךָ׃
18The angel said to him, “You must not ask for my name; it is unknowable!”
יחוַיֹּאמֶר לּוֹ מַלְאַךְ יְהֹוָה לָמָּה זֶּה תִּשְׁאַל לִשְׁמִי וְהוּא־פֶלִאי׃
19Manoach took the kid and the meal offering and offered them up on the rock to Hashem; and a marvelous thing happened while Manoach and his wife looked on.
יטוַיִּקַּח מָנוֹחַ אֶת־גְּדִי הָעִזִּים וְאֶת־הַמִּנְחָה וַיַּעַל עַל־הַצּוּר לַיהֹוָה וּמַפְלִא לַעֲשׂוֹת וּמָנוֹחַ וְאִשְׁתּוֹ רֹאִים׃
20As the flames leaped up from the mizbayach toward the sky, the angel of Hashem ascended in the flames of the mizbayach, while Manoach and his wife looked on; and they flung themselves on their faces to the ground.
כוַיְהִי בַעֲלוֹת הַלַּהַב מֵעַל הַמִּזְבֵּחַ הַשָּׁמַיְמָה וַיַּעַל מַלְאַךְ־יְהֹוָה בְּלַהַב הַמִּזְבֵּחַ וּמָנוֹחַ וְאִשְׁתּוֹ רֹאִים וַיִּפְּלוּ עַל־פְּנֵיהֶם אָרְצָה׃
21The angel of Hashem never appeared again to Manoach and his wife.—Manoach then realized that it had been an angel of Hashem.
כאוְלֹא־יָסַף עוֹד מַלְאַךְ יְהֹוָה לְהֵרָאֹה אֶל־מָנוֹחַ וְאֶל־אִשְׁתּוֹ אָז יָדַע מָנוֹחַ כִּי־מַלְאַךְ יְהֹוָה הוּא׃
22And Manoach said to his wife, “We shall surely die, for we have seen a divine being.”
כבוַיֹּאמֶר מָנוֹחַ אֶל־אִשְׁתּוֹ מוֹת נָמוּת כִּי אֱלֹהִים רָאִינוּ׃
23But his wife said to him, “Had Hashem meant to take our lives, He would not have accepted a burnt offering and meal offering from us, nor let us see all these things; and He would not have made such an announcement to us.”
כגוַתֹּאמֶר לוֹ אִשְׁתּוֹ לוּ חָפֵץ יְהֹוָה לַהֲמִיתֵנוּ לֹא־לָקַח מִיָּדֵנוּ עֹלָה וּמִנְחָה וְלֹא הֶרְאָנוּ אֶת־כָּל־אֵלֶּה וְכָעֵת לֹא הִשְׁמִיעָנוּ כָּזֹאת׃
24The woman bore a son, and she named him Shimshon. The boy grew up, and Hashem blessed him.
כדוַתֵּלֶד הָאִשָּׁה בֵּן וַתִּקְרָא אֶת־שְׁמוֹ שִׁמְשׁוֹן וַיִּגְדַּל הַנַּעַר וַיְבָרְכֵהוּ יְהֹוָה׃
25The spirit of Hashem first moved him in the encampment of Dan, between Tzora and Eshtaol.
כהוַתָּחֶל רוּחַ יְהֹוָה לְפַעֲמוֹ בְּמַחֲנֵה־דָן בֵּין צָרְעָה וּבֵין אֶשְׁתָּאֹל׃