The wife of Manoah

Manoah’s wife, the mother of Samson, is never named (see Judges 13 primarily). Why? She is the center of the story. Even when Manoah prays and God hears him, the answer is to send the angel to his wife when he is not with her.

Please post insightful comments… I need this itch scratched.

July 13 update:

Madeleine asks some very pertinent questions in the comments, as well as raising some good points. I thought I would respond here to her question regarding the source of my curiousity, because my answer should have been part of the original post.

In the first part of Hebrews 7, the author makes a theological point about Jesus based on the fact that Melchizedek doesn’t have any geneological information in the text of Genesis 14. Why? Because any character of Melchizedek’s stature would have received a “son of” in the literature of Genesis unless the author purposefully excluded it. In other words, the exclusion of words from Genesis 14 undergirds a significant theological point in the New Testament.

Now Samson’s mother falls into two patterns (at least two, I should say) seen in the Bible: she has a barren womb that gives birth to a baby; and she gives birth to a permanent Nazerite. All the other women that follow these patterns (that I can think of) are named: Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel, Hannah, Elizabeth, Mary, and others.

So I am tentatively assuming that the author of Judges intentionally left out her name (i.e. he knew her name and purposefully did not use it), and that he did this in spite of the norm. And if he purposefully left out her name, I’m curious as to his purpose.

2 Comments

  1. Madeleine
    Jul 12, 2006

    Interesting that this puzzles you. The answer is that we don’t know. Some thoughts ~ Judges 13 is the account of the circumstances surrounding the birth of Samson. The instructions about his care, being very important, were given to each of his parents. Personally, the omission of Manoah’s wife’s name is not offensive or important to me. The scriptures do not give the names of Lot’s wife or Job’s wife either, yet these two women are very memorable characters. Eve doesn’t appear to have a name until after her encounter with the serpent and God’s gracious provision for Adam and his wife. She’s the woman. Samson’s mother is Manoah’s wife. Samson probably called him “mom” and Manoah probably called her “dear.” We all know who she is ~ women are more used to their names changing and to being known by many names over their lifetimes. Hope I haven’t made this worse for you. :-)

  2. velvet dishmond
    Jan 24, 2009

    when i am a part of any sunday school i try to fine as much inforamtion as i can about the people of subject. to get a better insight in to the lession. But we must all understand that not every thing is for use to know yet. give me some more sight to go to to get some information thanks.