|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 22. - We shall surely die, etc. Similarly Gideon (Judges 6:22, 28) expressed his alarm because he had "seen an angel of the Lord face to face," but was assured, "Thou shalt not die." And so Isaiah said, "Woe is me! for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts" (Isaiah 6:5). So again the Lord said to Moses, "There shall no man see me and live" (Exodus 33:20). The name of the well, Beer-lahai-roi, is also thought to mean the well of him that is alive after seeing God (Genesis 16:14). And Jacob called the name of the place where he wrestled with the angel Peniel, "for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved" (Genesis 32:30). See too Exodus 20:19. The same belief also prevailed amongst the heathen, that seeing a god without his special permission was visited by death or some grave calamity, as Callimachus, quoted by Grotius, says-
"The laws of Saturn thus decree,
Who dares immortal gods to see
Shall suffer loss, whoe'er he be."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And Manoah said unto his wife,.... Being risen from the ground, where they fell on their faces:
we shall surely die, because we have seen God; by which it appears that he not only believed him to be an angel, and not a man, but a divine Person; for though angels are sometimes called "Elohim", the word here used, yet good men were not wont to fear death, or conclude they should die on sight of an angel; but their notion was, that an appearance of God to them was death, and were surprised when it did not follow, Genesis 32:30.
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