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Haftarah Nasso: Reading the Text V Print E-mail

Shimshon Hagibbor“And Manoach prayed to God, and he said, Please God, the man of the Lord whom You sent should please come again to us, and let him teach us what we should do with the boy who will be born.”


Why does Manoach want the Man of the Lord to reappear? He says that he wants the man to teach them what to do with the boy, yet, all the instructions were already given. In fact, when the angel reappears, he says, “as all I have commanded your wife.” And the angel will repeat the wife’s version rather than the original!

Did Manoach not want to rely on his wife? Why should the man appeared to her and not him if she was not reliable? Why does Manoach say, “come again to us,” if the man had not appeared to them but only to her?

If we examine Manoach’s words carefully we will see that he is not asking for further instructions of Samson’s nezirut but rather how to raise the child. It was obvious to him that if God was setting the boy aside even before birth as a Nazir that this would be no typical child. Manoach sensed that his wife was leaving something out; the explanation that the boy would start to save Israel from the hands of the Philistines. Why did Manoach not ask his wife if she had left anything out? Why would he believe that God would send and incomplete message?

Manoach may have understood the appearance of the man to his wife simply as a means of giving instruction to the one presently responsible; her restrictions while pregnant. The angel had left no instructions for the child’s upbringing.

The term used to describe Manoach’s prayer is unusual. We find it when Isaac and Rebeccah were praying for a child. It is a term used to signify that the supplicate her wants to change what has already been set. Why is this term used here?

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