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Judges 13:3

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

The angel of the Lord - Generally supposed to have been the same that appeared to Moses, Joshua, Gideon, etc., and no other than the second person of the ever-blessed Trinity.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Israel did evil: then God delivered them again into the hands of the Philistines. When Israel was in this distress, Samson was born. His parents had been long childless. Many eminent persons were born of such mothers. Mercies long waited for, often prove signal mercies; and by them others may be encouraged to continue their hope in God's mercy. The angel notices her affliction. God often sends comfort to his people very seasonably, when they feel their troubles most. This deliverer of Israel must be devoted to God. Manoah's wife was satisfied that the messenger was of God. She gave her husband a particular account, both of the promise and of the precept. Husbands and wives should tell each other their experiences of communion with God, and their improvements in acquaintance with him, that they may help each other in the way that is holy.
Ellen G. White
The Desire of Ages, 149

The word of Christ supplied ample provision for the feast. So abundant is the provision of His grace to blot out the iniquities of men, and to renew and sustain the soul. DA 149.1

At the first feast He attended with His disciples, Jesus gave them the cup that symbolized His work for their salvation. At the last supper He gave it again, in the institution of that sacred rite by which His death was to be shown forth “till He come.” 1 Corinthians 11:26. And the sorrow of the disciples at parting from their Lord was comforted with the promise of reunion, as He said, “I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father's kingdom.” Matthew 26:29. DA 149.2

The wine which Christ provided for the feast, and that which He gave to the disciples as a symbol of His own blood, was the pure juice of the grape. To this the prophet Isaiah refers when he speaks of the new wine “in the cluster,” and says, “Destroy it not; for a blessing is in it.” Isaiah 65:8. DA 149.3

It was Christ who in the Old Testament gave the warning to Israel, “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.” Proverbs 20:1. And He Himself provided no such beverage. Satan tempts men to indulgence that will becloud reason and benumb the spiritual perceptions, but Christ teaches us to bring the lower nature into subjection. His whole life was an example of self-denial. In order to break the power of appetite, He suffered in our behalf the severest test that humanity could endure. It was Christ who directed that John the Baptist should drink neither wine nor strong drink. It was He who enjoined similar abstinence upon the wife of Manoah. And He pronounced a curse upon the man who should put the bottle to his neighbor's lips. Christ did not contradict His own teaching. The unfermented wine which He provided for the wedding guests was a wholesome and refreshing drink. Its effect was to bring the taste into harmony with a healthful appetite. DA 149.4

As the guests at the feast remarked upon the quality of the wine, inquiries were made that drew from the servants an account of the miracle. The company were for a time too much amazed to think of Him who had performed the wonderful work. When at length they looked for Him, it was found that He had withdrawn so quietly as to be unnoticed even by His disciples. DA 149.5

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Ellen G. White
The Ministry of Healing, 333

The Bible nowhere sanctions the use of intoxicating wine. The wine that Christ made from water at the marriage feast of Cana was the pure juice of the grape. This is the “new wine ... found in the cluster,” of which the Scripture says, “Destroy it not; for a blessing is in it.” Isaiah 65:8. MH 333.1

It was Christ who, in the Old Testament, gave the warning to Israel, “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.” Proverbs 20:1. He Himself provided no such beverage. Satan tempts men to indulgence that will becloud reason and benumb the spiritual perceptions, but Christ teaches us to bring the lower nature into subjection. He never places before men that which would be a temptation. His whole life was an example of self-denial. It was to break the power of appetite that in the forty days’ fast in the wilderness He suffered in our behalf the severest test that humanity could endure. It was Christ who directed that John the Baptist should drink neither wine nor strong drink. It was He who enjoined similar abstinence upon the wife of Manoah. Christ did not contradict His own teaching. The unfermented wine that He provided for the wedding guests was a wholesome and refreshing drink. This is the wine that was used by our Saviour and His disciples in the first Communion. It is the wine that should always be used on the Communion table as a symbol of the Saviour's blood. The sacramental service is designed to be soul-refreshing and life-giving. There is to be connected with it nothing that could minister to evil. MH 333.2

In the light of what the Scriptures, nature, and reason teach concerning the use of intoxicants, how can Christians engage in the raising of hops for beer making, or in the manufacture of wine or cider for the market? If they love their neighbor as themselves, how can they help to place in his way that which will be a snare to him? MH 333.3

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Ellen G. White
Temperance, 292

The Lord would have the wife of Manoah adhere to strict habits of temperance. “And the angel of the Lord appeared unto the woman, and said unto her, Behold now, thou art barren, and bearest not: but thou shalt conceive, and bear a son. Now therefore beware, I pray thee, and drink not wine nor strong drink, and eat not any unclean thing.” The angel who appeared to Zacharias and Elisabeth said, “Thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John. And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth. For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost.” Here we have the child taken before his birth and after. You mothers should place value on these things. The appetites of the mother are transmitted to the children. Many of you who indulge in things to satisfy appetite are taking the underpinning out of your house. There are men who might have had as clear a record as Daniel. Satan is playing his cards for your soul. We want to stand free and pure from the degradations of this world. “He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before My Father, and before His angels.” Christ overcame in our behalf. We may overcome through the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Te 292.1

As the redeemed enter in through the gates into the city, Jesus Christ welcomes all, and they will have harps of gold and will sing to the glory of Jesus Christ, and will wear robes woven in the loom of heaven with not one thread of humanity in them. Te 292.2

We want heaven, and Jesus Christ means that we shall have it, if we co-operate with Him.—Manuscript 27, 1893. Te 292.3

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Ellen G. White
Child Guidance, 303

We Sustain Terrible Losses—At times I find myself wishing that God would speak to parents with an audible voice as He spoke to the wife of Manoah, telling them what they must do in training their children. We are sustaining terrible losses in every branch of the work through the neglect of home training. It was this that impressed upon our minds the need of schools where a religious influence should predominate. If anything can be done to counteract the great evil, in the strength of Jesus we will do it.1 CG 303.1

Facing a Momentous Issue—Parents, guardians, place your children in training schools where the influences are similar to those of a rightly conducted home school; schools in which the teachers will carry them forward from point to point, and in which the spiritual atmosphere is a savor of life unto life.... Whether or not our youth who have received wise instruction and training from godly parents will continue to be sanctified through the truth depends largely upon the influence that, after leaving their homes, they meet among those to whom they look for Christian instruction.2 CG 303.2

Which Class of Educators?—There are two classes of educators in the world. One class is those whom God makes channels of light, and the other class is those whom Satan uses as his agents, who are wise to do evil. One class contemplates the character of God and increases in the knowledge of Jesus, whom God hath sent into the world. This class becomes wholly given up to those things which bring heavenly enlightenment, heavenly wisdom, to the uplifting of the soul. Every capability of their nature is submitted to God, and their thoughts are brought into captivity to Christ. The other class is in league with the prince of darkness, who is ever on the alert that he may find an opportunity to teach others the knowledge of evil.3 CG 303.3

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Ellen G. White
The Ministry of Healing, 372

Especially does responsibility rest upon the mother. She, by whose lifeblood the child is nourished and its physical frame built up, imparts to it also mental and spiritual influences that tend to the shaping of mind and character. It was Jochebed, the Hebrew mother, who, strong in faith, was “not afraid of the king's commandment” (Hebrews 11:23), of whom was born Moses, the deliverer of Israel. It was Hannah, the woman of prayer and self-sacrifice and heavenly inspiration, who gave birth to Samuel, the heaven-instructed child, the incorruptible judge, the founder of Israel's sacred schools. It was Elizabeth the kinswoman and kindred spirit of Mary of Nazareth, who was the mother of the Saviour's herald. MH 372.1

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Ellen G. White
Patriarchs and Prophets, 561-2

God had an important work for the promised child of Manoah to do, and it was to secure for him the qualifications necessary for this work that the habits of both the mother and the child were to be carefully regulated. “Neither let her drink wine or strong drink,” was the Angel's instruction for the wife of Manoah, “nor eat any unclean thing. All that I commanded her let her observe.” The child will be affected for good or for evil by the habits of the mother. She must herself be controlled by principle and must practice temperance and self-denial, if she would seek the welfare of her child. Unwise advisers will urge upon the mother the necessity of gratifying every wish and impulse, but such teaching is false and mischievous. The mother is by the command of God Himself placed under the most solemn obligation to exercise self-control. PP 561.1

And fathers as well as mothers are involved in this responsibility. Both parents transmit their own characteristics, mental and physical, their dispositions and appetites, to their children. As the result of parental intemperance children often lack physical strength and mental and moral power. Liquor drinkers and tobacco users may, and do, transmit their insatiable craving, their inflamed blood and irritable nerves, to their children. The licentious often bequeath their unholy desires, and even loathsome diseases, as a legacy to their offspring. And as the children have less power to resist temptation than had the parents, the tendency is for each generation to fall lower and lower. To a great degree parents are responsible not only for the violent passions and perverted appetites of their children but for the infirmities of the thousands born deaf, blind, diseased, or idiotic. PP 561.2

The inquiry of every father and mother should be, “What shall we do unto the child that shall be born unto us?” The effect of prenatal influences has been by many lightly regarded; but the instruction sent from heaven to those Hebrew parents, and twice repeated in the most explicit and solemn manner, shows how this matter is looked upon by our Creator. PP 561.3

And it was not enough that the promised child should receive a good legacy from the parents. This must be followed by careful training and the formation of right habits. God directed that the future judge and deliverer of Israel should be trained to strict temperance from infancy. He was to be a Nazarite from his birth, thus being placed under a perpetual prohibition against the use of wine or strong drink. The lessons of temperance, self-denial, and self-control are to be taught to children even from babyhood. PP 561.4

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Ellen G. White
Counsels on Diet and Foods, 218-9

334. When the Lord would raise up Samson as a deliverer of His people, He enjoined upon the mother correct habits of life before the birth of her child. And the same prohibition was to be imposed, from the first, upon the child; for he was to be consecrated to God as a Nazarite from his birth. CD 218.1

The angel of God appeared to the wife of Manoah, and informed her that she should have a son; and in view of this he gave her the important directions: “Now therefore beware, I pray thee, and drink not wine nor strong drink, and eat not any unclean thing.” CD 218.2

God had important work for the promised child of Manoah to do, and it was to secure for him the qualifications necessary for this work, that the habits of both the mother and the child were to be so carefully regulated. “Neither let her drink wine nor strong drink,” was the angel's instruction for the wife of Manoah, “nor eat any unclean thing; all that I commanded her let her observe.” The child will be affected for good or evil by the habits of the mother. She must herself be controlled by principle, and must practice temperance and self-denial, if she would seek the welfare of her child.—Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, 37, 38, 1890 CD 218.3

335. The words spoken to the wife of Manoah contain a truth that the mothers of today would do well to study. In speaking to this one mother, the Lord spoke to all the anxious, sorrowing mothers of that time, and to all the mothers of succeeding generations. Yes, every mother may understand her duty. She may know that the character of her children will depend vastly more upon her habits before their birth and her personal efforts after their birth, than upon external advantages or disadvantages. CD 218.4

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Ellen G. White
Counsels on Diet and Foods, 225

339. The inquiry of fathers and mothers should be, “What shall we do unto the child that shall be born unto us?” We have brought before the reader what God has said concerning the course of the mother before the birth of her children. But this is not all. The angel Gabriel was sent from the heavenly courts to give directions for the care of children after their birth, that parents might fully understand their duty. CD 225.1

About the time of Christ's first advent the angel Gabriel came to Zacharias with a message similar to that given to Manoah. The aged priest was told that his wife should bear a son, whose name should be called John. “And,” said the angel, “thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth. For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost.” This child of promise was to be brought up with strictly temperate habits. An important work of reform was to be committed to him, to prepare the way for Christ. CD 225.2

Intemperance in every form existed among the people. Indulgence in wine and luxurious food was lessening physical strength, and debasing the morals to such an extent that the most revolting crimes did not appear sinful. The voice of John was to sound forth from the wilderness in stern rebuke for the sinful indulgences of the people, and his own abstemious habits were also to be a reproof of the excesses of his time.—The Signs of the Times, September 13, 1910 CD 225.3

The efforts of our temperance workers are not sufficiently far-reaching to banish the curse of intemperance from our land. Habits once formed are hard to overcome. The reform should begin with the mother before the birth of her children; and if God's instructions were faithfully obeyed, intemperance would not exist. CD 225.4

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Ellen G. White
Temperance, 90

Examples From Old and New Testament—When the Lord would raise up Samson as a deliverer of His people, He enjoined upon the mother correct habits of life before the birth of her child. And the same prohibition was to be imposed, from the first, upon the child; for he was to be consecrated to God as a Nazarite from his birth. Te 90.1

The angel of God appeared to the wife of Manoah, and informed her that she should have a son; and in view of this He gave her the important directions: “Now therefore beware, I pray thee, and drink not wine nor strong drink, and eat not any unclean thing.” Judges 13:4, 14. Te 90.2

God had important work for the promised child of Manoah to do, and it was to secure for him the qualifications necessary for this work, that the habits of both the mother and the child were to be so carefully regulated. “Neither let her drink wine or strong drink,” was the angel's instruction for the wife of Manoah, “nor eat any unclean thing: all that I commanded her let her observe.” The child will be affected for good or evil by the habits of the mother. She must herself be controlled by principle, and must practice temperance and self-denial, if she would seek the welfare of her child. Te 90.3

In the New Testament we find a no less impressive example of the importance of temperate habits. Te 90.4

John the Baptist was a reformer. To him was committed a great work for the people of his time. And in preparation for that work, all his habits were carefully regulated, even from his birth. The angel Gabriel was sent from heaven to instruct the parents of John in the principles of health reform. He “shall drink neither wine nor strong drink,” said the heavenly messenger; “and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost.” Luke 1:15. Te 90.5

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Ellen G. White
Temperance, 233-4

As we face these things, and see the terrible consequences of liquor drinking, shall we not do all in our power to rally to the help of God in fighting against this great evil?—Evangelism, 265. Te 233.1

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Ellen G. White
Temperance, 269

Instruction to Manoah and Zacharias—There is a lesson for parents in the instruction given to the wife of Manoah, and to Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist. The angel of the Lord brought the tidings that Manoah should become the father of a son who was to deliver Israel; and in reply to the anxious inquiry, “How shall we order the child, and how shall we do unto him?” the angel gave special directions for the mother: “Neither let her drink wine or strong drink, nor eat any unclean thing: all that I commanded her let her observe.” The child will be affected, for good or evil, by the habits of the mother. She must herself be controlled by principle, and must practice temperance and self-denial, if she would seek the welfare of her child. Te 269.1

And fathers as well as mothers are included in this responsibility. Both parents transmit their own characteristics, mental and physical, their dispositions and appetites, to their children. As the result of parental intemperance, the children often lack physical strength and mental and moral power. Liquor drinkers and tobacco lovers hand down their own insatiable craving, their inflamed blood and irritated nerves, as a legacy to their offspring. And as the children have less power to resist temptation than had the parents, each generation falls lower than the preceding. Te 269.2

The inquiry of every father and mother should be, “What shall we do unto the child that shall be born unto us?” Many are inclined to treat this subject lightly; but the fact that an angel of heaven was sent to those Hebrew parents, with instruction twice given in the most explicit and solemn manner, shows that God regards it as one of great importance. Te 269.3

When the angel Gabriel appeared to Zacharias, foretelling the birth of John the Baptist, this was the message which he brought: “He shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost.” God had an important work for the promised child of Zacharias to do; a work that required active thought and vigorous action. He must have a sound physical constitution, and mental and moral strength; and it was to secure for him these necessary qualifications that his habits were to be carefully regulated, even from infancy. The first steps in intemperance are often taken in childhood and early youth; therefore most earnest efforts should be directed toward enlightening parents as to their responsibility. Those who place wine and beer upon their tables are cultivating in their children an appetite for strong drink. We urge that the principles of temperance be carried into all the details of home life; that the example of parents be a lesson of temperance; that self-denial and self-control be taught to the children and enforced upon them, so far as possible, even from babyhood. Te 269.4

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Ellen G. White
Patriarchs and Prophets, 560

Amid the widespread apostasy the faithful worshipers of God continued to plead with Him for the deliverance of Israel. Though there was apparently no response, though year after year the power of the oppressor continued to rest more heavily upon the land, God's providence was preparing help for them. Even in the early years of the Philistine oppression a child was born through whom God designed to humble the power of these mighty foes. PP 560.1

On the border of the hill country overlooking the Philistine plain was the little town of Zorah. Here dwelt the family of Manoah, of the tribe of Dan, one of the few households that amid the general defection had remained true to Jehovah. To the childless wife of Manoah “the Angel of Jehovah” appeared with the message that she should have a son, through whom God would begin to deliver Israel. In view of this the Angel gave her instruction concerning her own habits, and also for the treatment of her child: “Now therefore beware, I pray thee, and drink not wine nor strong drink, and eat not any unclean thing.” And the same prohibition was to be imposed, from the first, upon the child, with the addition that his hair should not be cut; for he was to be consecrated to God as a Nazarite from his birth. PP 560.2

The woman sought her husband, and, after describing the Angel, she repeated His message. Then, fearful that they should make some mistake in the important work committed to them, the husband prayed, “Let the Man of God which Thou didst send come again unto us, and teach us what we shall do unto the child that shall be born.” PP 560.3

When the Angel again appeared, Manoah's anxious inquiry was, “How shall we order the child, and how shall we do unto him?” The previous instruction was repeated—“Of all that I said unto the woman let her beware. She may not eat of anything that cometh of the vine, neither let her drink wine or strong drink, nor eat any unclean thing: all that I commanded her let her observe.” PP 560.4

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Ellen G. White
Conflict and Courage, 130.2

God Himself appeared to the wife of Manoah and told her that she should have a son, and that he should be a great man and should deliver Israel. Then He gave her special instructions regarding her diet.... Let us regard this as instruction given to every mother in our world. If you want your children to have well-balanced minds, you must be temperate yourselves. Keep your own heart and affections sound and healthful, that you may impart to your offspring a healthful mind and body.7 Manuscript 18, 1887. CC 130.2

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