|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
13:15-23 What Manoah asked for instruction in his duty, he was readily told; but what he asked to gratify his curiosity, was denied. God has in his word given full directions concerning our duty, but never designed to answer other questionings. There are secret things which belong not to us, of which we must be quite contented to be ignorant, while in this world. The name of our Lord is wonderful and secret; but by his wonderful works he makes himself known as far as is needful for us. Prayer is the ascent of the soul to God. But without Christ in the heart by faith, our services are offensive smoke; in him, acceptable flame. We may apply this to Christ's sacrifice of himself for us; he ascended in the flame of his own offering, for by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, Heb 9:12. In Manoah's reflections there is great fear; We shall surely die. In his wife's reflection there is great faith. As a help meet for him, she encouraged him. Let believers who have had communion with God in the word and prayer, to whom he has graciously manifested himself, and who have had reason to think God has accepted their works, take encouragement from thence in a cloudy and dark day. God would not have done what he has done for my soul, if he had designed to forsake me, and leave me to perish at last; for his work is perfect. Learn to reason as Manoah's wife; If God designed me to perish under his wrath, he would not give me tokens of his favour.
Verse 17. - What is thy name? See note to ver. 6. The phrase is very peculiar, literally, Who is thy name? as if he had been going to say, Who art thou? and then changed the form to is thy name. The Hebrews seem to have attached great importance to names, a circumstance due, in part, to every name being significant in the spoken language (see Genesis 4:1, 25; Genesis 5:29; Genesis 16:5, etc.; Genesis 17:19; 25:25, 26; 29 and Genesis 30; 1 Samuel 1:20 Isaiah 9:6; Isaiah 62:4; Jeremiah 23:6; Ephesians 1:21; Philippians 2:9, 10; Revelation 19:16, etc., and. many other passages). Compare also the phrase, the name of the Lord (Isaiah 30:27; Exodus 23:21; Exodus 33:19; Exodus 34:5, 6, 7). Manoah had certainly some suspicious as to the mysterious character of his visitor, and expected the name to reveal his true nature. We may do thee honour. Manoah seems throughout to use ambiguous language, suitable either to a man, if he was speaking to a man, or to a celestial visitant, should he be angel or God.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And Manoah said unto the angel of the Lord, what is thy name,.... Who art thou, and by what name art thou called? for since he could not prevail upon him to stay and eat a meal with him, he desired to know his name, and where he lived, that when he heard his name mentioned he might speak well of him, or send to him upon occasion; or if any message was sent from him, as Jarchi suggests, that he might show a respect to him, and observe it: and particularly:
that when thy sayings come to pass, we may do thee honour? say that such a prophet, whose name is such, and lives in such a place, foretold these things; or that they might send him a present, in gratitude for, and as a reward of his service and trouble; so the reward of a labourer, and the maintenance of a Gospel minister, is called "honour", 1 Timothy 5:17 and thus Josephus (o) understood it, that they might give him thanks, and send him a present.
(o) Antiqu. l. 5. c. 8. sect. 3.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
17-20. Manoah said unto the angel …, What is thy name?—Manoah's request elicited the most unequivocal proofs of the divinity of his supernatural visitor—in his name "secret" (in the Margin, "wonderful"), and in the miraculous flame that betokened the acceptance of the sacrifice.
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