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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
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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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
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, 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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