|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 19. - Offered it, etc. He had the angel's sanction for doing so in ver. 16. But we must not look for strict compliance with the Levitical law in the lawless days of the Judges, though we find many of its prescribed ordinances in use, as, for instance, the institution of Nazarites, and here the offering of the meat offering with the burnt offering (Leviticus 2:1, etc.). And the angel. These words are rightly inserted, to give the sense of the original, as more fully explained in the following verse. Did wonderously - literally, was wondrous in his doing. The verb here is the same root as the substantive or adjective wonder, or wonderful, in ver. 18. Compare the similar account in Judges 6:21.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
So Manoah took a kid with a meat offering,.... The kid which he proposed to make an entertainment with, for the man of God, he took him to be, he fetched and brought for a burnt offering, at the hint which the angel had given him, and joined to it a meat offering, as was usual whenever burnt offerings were made; see Numbers 15:3,
and offered it upon a rock unto the Lord; for though Manoah was not a priest, nor was this a proper place for sacrifice; high places were now forbidden, and only at the tabernacle in Shiloh were offerings to be brought; yet all this was dispensed with, and Manoah was justified in what he did by the warrant of the angel, Judges 13:16. The rock was probably near the place where this meeting of Manoah and his wife with the angel was, and where the discourse between them passed; and which served instead of an altar, and on which Manoah sacrificed, not to idols, but to the true Jehovah, as the angel directed:
and the angel did wondrously; agreeably to his name, which was "Wonderful", Judges 13:18 or "he, Jehovah, did wondrously" for this angel was no other than Jehovah the Son. The instance in which he did wondrously was, as Kimchi observes, by bringing fire out of the rock, which consumed the flesh of the kid, and the meat offering; and so Josephus (q) says, that he touched the flesh with a rod he had, and fire sparkled out, and consumed it with the bread, or meat offering; just in the same manner as the angel did with the kid and cakes that Gideon brought, Judges 6:21.
and Manoah and his wife looked on; to see either fire come down from heaven, or spring up out of the rock, which consumed the sacrifice, and showed the Lord's acceptance of it, and also the angel's ascending in it, as follows.
(q) Ut supra. (Antiqu. l. 5. c. 8. sect. 3.)
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