And Manoah said, Now let your words come to pass. How shall we order the child, and how shall we do to him?
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)How shall we order the child . . .?—The literal rendering is given in the margin, What shall be the ordering (mishpat; LXX., krima) of the child, and his work?Jdg 13:12. Now let thy words come to pass — Or, thy words shall come to pass. I firmly believe thy promises shall be fulfilled. How shall we order the child? — Houbigant renders this, What shall be the method of educating the child? What rules shall we observe in bringing him up? How shall we do unto him? — What profession shall we prepare him for, or how shall we instruct him, so as to make him fit to be the deliverer of Israel?
(1) how the child was to be brought up, namely, as a Nazarite;
(2) what he should do, namely, begin to deliver Israel.
11. Art thou the man that spakest unto the woman?—Manoah's intense desire for the repetition of the angel's visit was prompted not by doubts or anxieties of any kind, but was the fruit of lively faith, and of his great anxiety to follow out the instructions given. Blessed was he who had not seen, yet had believed.Let thy words come to pass; or, thy words shall come to pass; I firmly believe that thy promises shall be fulfilled.
How shall we order the child? what rules shall we observe about his education?
how shall we order the child? and how shall we do unto him? he believed a child would be born, and as he was to be a Nazarite, he knew what were the rules and orders to be observed concerning one in common; but as he was to be an extraordinary one, he was desirous of knowing what particular laws and rules were to be observed with respect to him, or what more was to be done to him than to another: the words may be rendered, as in the margin of our Bibles, "what shall be the judgment of the child, and his work?" and seems to relate not to what should be done to it, but what that should do; for being an extraordinary Nazarite, he supposed that some extraordinary work would be done by him, and he was curious to know it; and so Abarbinel interprets it of his request to know things future and wonderful, that should be done after the child was grown up; but this the angel chose not to inform him of, since it might have been prejudicial to them, should the Philistines get knowledge that this child would be a judge and saviour of Israel, and do such and such things to them as he did, they would have sought to have slain his wife while she bare him, or the child when born; and it may be observed, that though the angel told the woman at first, that he should "begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines", Judges 13:5, yet she said nothing of it to her husband, nor did the angel repeat it.And Manoah said, Now let thy words come to pass. How shall we order the child, and how shall we do unto him?
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)12. Now let thy words come to pass] The marg. is to be preferred; for a conditional clause without the conditional particle in Hebrew cf. Numbers 12:14, and see Driver, Tenses, § 155. To relieve the obscurity, it is proposed to read ‘eth for ‘attah, ‘at the time when’ (König, Syntax, § 385 k), but this is a rather poetical and late construction, Deuteronomy 32:35, Job 6:17 etc.
the manner] i.e. what description of child shall he be? cf. 2 Kings 1:7. By his work is meant business, occupation, cf. Genesis 46:33, 1 Samuel 25:2 RVm. Cf. St.Luke 1:66.Verse 12. - Let thy words come, etc. The verb is singular in the Hebrew here and in ver. 17. Possibly the true reading is word, as in the Septuagint. If the text is correct, words must be taken collectively, as making one promise. The saying marks Manoah's earnest desire for a son. Some, however, construe it, If thy words come. How shall we order, etc. - literally, What will be the manner of the child, and what will be his doing? i.e. either, What will be his manner (cf. 1 Samuel 8:11, and following verses), and what will be his action or work? or, What will be his proper treatment, and what shall be done to him? The former is the most natural rendering of the words, and though the latter seems at first more suitable to the angel's reply, yet if we take the angel's reply as referring Manoah to what he had said before in vers. 4 and 5, we have a distinct answer to the questions. His manner will be to live as a Nazarite, and his action or work will be to begin to deliver israel (cf. Genesis 16:12, where both the manner and the actione of Ishmael are foretold). In fact, Manoah's question refers directly to vers. 4 and 5, and is a request to have a confirmation of what was then said; just as David asked again and again, What shall be done to the man that killeth this Philistine? (1 Samuel 17:26, 30). Deuteronomy 33:1). "Angel of God" is equivalent to "angel of the Lord" (Judges 2:1; Judges 6:11), the angel in whom the invisible God reveals himself to men. The woman therefore imagined the person who appeared to her to have been a prophet, whose majestic appearance, however, had produced the impression that he was a superior being; consequently she had not ventured to ask him either his name or where he came from.
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