New Defender's Study Bible Notes
13:1 hands of the Philistines. The Philistines attacked and subjugated the Israelite tribes on the west as the Ammonites did from the east (Judges 10:7). The Lord raised up Samson for deliverance from the Philistines and Jephthah from the Ammonites. It is possible that, to some extent, the judgeships of Jephthah and Samson were contemporaneous, although this is still quite uncertain.
13:5 Nazarite unto God. On the Nazarite vow and its obligations, see Numbers 6:1-21.
13:18 secret. The Hebrew word here for “secret” is the same as for “wonderful” in Isaiah 9:6: “His name shall be called Wonderful.” This angel of the LORD was actually the pre-incarnate Christ. This appearance was a theophany, an indication that God was preparing once again to deliver His people, this time from their forty-year subjugation to the pagan Philistines.
13:22 have seen God. That the Angel who appeared to Samson’s parents was really God is here recognized by Manoah.
13:25 move him at times. Samson’s incredible strength was more than the natural strength that the strongest of men could develop in their own bodies. The “Spirit of the LORD” came on him “at times,” giving him supernatural strength, enabling him gradually to deliver Israel practically single-handedly from the Philistines. Three times scripture records the Lord’s spirit coming upon Samson (Judges 14:6; 14:19; 15:14), but it is implied for his other exploits as well. His final feat of superhuman strength, pulling down the temple of Dagon and thereby slaying over three thousand of the Philistine leaders and their people, came in answer to his final prayer to God (Judges 16:28). His right to call upon God like this in these times of great need was contingent upon his obedience to his Nazaritic vows, specifically never to cut his hair (Judges 16:17; Numbers 6:5). In some ways, he was a man given to fleshly lust, but he was always a man of strong faith, so characterized in Scripture (Hebrews 11:32).