13 Once again the people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the Lord. So the Lord handed them over to the Philistines for 40 years.
2A certain man from Zorah was named Manoah. He was from the tribe of Dan. Manoah had a wife who wasn’t able to have children.
3The angel of the Lord appeared to Manoah’s wife. He said, “You are not able to have children. But you are going to become pregnant. You will have a baby boy. 4Make sure you do not drink any kind of wine. Also make sure you do not eat anything that is ‘unclean.’
5“You will become pregnant. You will have a son. He must not use a razor on his head. He must not cut his hair. That is because the boy will be a Nazirite. He will be set apart to God from the day he is born. He will begin to save Israel from the power of the Philistines.”
6Then the woman went to her husband. She told him, “A man of God came to me. He looked like an angel of God. His appearance was so amazing that it filled me with great wonder. I didn’t ask him where he came from. And he didn’t tell me his name.
7“But he said to me, ‘You will become pregnant. You will have a son. So do not drink any kind of wine. Do not eat anything that is “unclean.” That is because the boy will be a Nazirite. He will belong to God in a special way from the day he is born until the day he dies.’ ”
8Then Manoah prayed to the Lord. He said, “Lord, I beg you to let the man of God you sent to us come again. He told us we would have a son. We want the man of God to teach us how to bring up the boy.”
9God heard Manoah. And the angel of God came again to the woman. He came while she was out in the field. But her husband Manoah wasn’t with her. 10The woman hurried to her husband. She told him, “He’s here! The man who appeared to me the other day is here!”
11Manoah got up and followed his wife. When he came to the man, he spoke to him. He said, “Are you the one who talked to my wife?”
“I am,” he replied.
12So Manoah asked him, “What will happen when your words come true? What rules should we follow for the boy’s life and work?”
13The angel of the Lord answered him. He said, “Your wife must do everything I have told her to do. 14She must not eat anything that comes from grapevines. She must not drink any kind of wine. She must not eat anything that is ‘unclean.’ She must do everything I have commanded her to do.”
15Manoah spoke to the angel of the Lord. He said, “We would like you to stay and eat. We want to prepare a young goat for you.”
16The angel of the Lord replied, “Even if I stay, I will not eat any of your food. But if you still want to prepare a burnt offering, you must offer it to the Lord.” Manoah didn’t realize it was the angel of the Lord.
17Then Manoah asked the angel of the Lord a question. “What is your name?” he said. “We want to honor you when your word comes true.”
18The angel replied, “Why are you asking me what my name is? You would not be able to understand it.”
19Manoah got a young goat. He brought it together with the grain offering. He sacrificed it on a rock to the Lord.
Then the Lord did an amazing thing. It happened while Manoah and his wife were watching. 20A flame blazed up from the altar toward heaven. The angel of the Lord rose up in the flame. When Manoah and his wife saw it, they fell with their faces to the ground.
21The angel of the Lord didn’t show himself again to Manoah and his wife. Then Manoah realized it was the angel of the Lord.
22“We’re going to die!” he said to his wife. “We’ve seen God!”
23But his wife answered, “The Lord doesn’t want to kill us. If he did, he wouldn’t have accepted a burnt offering and a grain offering from us. He wouldn’t have shown us all of those things. He wouldn’t have told us we’re going to have a son.”
24Later, the woman had a baby boy. She named him Samson. As he grew up, the Lord blessed him. 25The Spirit of the Lord began to work in his life. It happened while he was in Mahaneh Dan. It’s between Zorah and Eshtaol.
About New International Reader’s Version (1998)
The New International Reader’s Version (NIrV) was developed to help early readers understand the Bible. Begun in 1992, the NIrV is a simplification of the New International Version (NIV). The NIrV uses shorter words and sentences so that those with a typical fourth grade reading level can comprehend what they are reading. The chapters have been separated into shorter sections and most have titles that clearly indicate what the section is all about. The NIrV will be a valuable translation to those for whom English is a second language. The NIrV still relies on the best and oldest copies of the Hebrew and Greek manuscripts for its translation, guaranteeing that those who read it are getting the actual Word of God.
Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998 by International Bible Society.
All rights reserved.
The NIrV text may be quoted for non-commercial usage in any form (written, visual, electronic or audio) up to and inclusive of five hundred (500) verses without the express written permission of the publisher, providing the verses quoted do not amount to a complete book of the Bible nor do the verses quoted account for twenty-five percent (25%) or more of the total text of the work in which they are quoted.
Notice of copyright must appear on the title or copyright page of the work as follows:
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL READER’S VERSION™. Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.
When quotations from the NIrV text are used in non-saleable media, such as church bulletins, orders of service, posters, transparencies or similar media, a complete copyright notice is not required, but the initials (NIrV) must appear at the end of each quotation.
Any commentary or other Biblical reference work produced for commercial sale that uses the New International Reader’s Version must obtain written permission for use of the NIrV text.
Permission requests for commercial use within the U.S. and Canada that exceed the above guidelines must be directed to, and approved in writing by, Zondervan, 5300 Patterson Ave. S.E., Grand Rapids, MI 49530.
Permission requests for commercial use within the U.K., EEC, and EFTA countries that exceed the above guidelines must be directed to, and approved in writing by, Hodder Headline Plc., 338 Euston Road, London NW1 3BH, England.
Permission requests for non-commercial usage that exceed the above guidelines must be directed to, and approved in writing by, International Bible Society, 1820 Jet Stream Drive, Colorado Springs, CO 80921.