Thoughts and Reflection
In today’s reading, the Lord comes to Manoah and his wife and will bless them with a son. It is rare that a person is consecrated as a Nazirite from birth and lives this way for his or her entire life. Samson is consecrated this way. Samson is not particularly a good guy. He is looked upon as a hero because he is strong but he is not wise. He does not live a consecrated life. After killing the lion, Samson eats honey from its carcass. This is forbidden under the Law since it is a dead thing. He gives some honey to his parents which makes them unclean also.
Samson has many weaknesses, in particular his passions for anger and lust. This is a good reminder that we all have weaknesses and we should not dismiss them. We should take them to the Lord and ask him to heal and purify us.
About This Project
For the year 2022, I decided that my New Year’s Resolution was to read the whole Bible following the Bible in the Year plan presented by Fr. Mike Schmitz. It is a big and bold undertaking. You can follow along by subscribing. Feel free to look at previous day’s post and comment. It’s something we can all learn from together!
1 The men of Ephraim mobilised; they crossed the Jordan near Zaphon and said to Jephthah, ‘Why did you go and make war on the Ammonites without asking us to go with you? We shall burn down your house over your head!’
4 Jephthah then mustered all the men of Gilead and made war on Ephraim, and the men of Gilead defeated Ephraim — since the latter used to say, ‘You are only fugitives from Ephraim, you Gileadites in the heart of Ephraim and Manasseh.’
6 they then said, ‘Very well, say Shibboleth.’ If anyone said, “Sibboleth”, because he could not pronounce it, then they would seize him and kill him by the fords of the Jordan. Forty-two thousand Ephraimites fell on this occasion.
8 After him, Ibzan of Bethlehem was judge in Israel.
13 After him, Abdon son of Hillel of Pirathon was judge in Israel.
15 Abdon son of Hillel of Pirathon then died and was buried at Pirathon in the territory of Ephraim, in the Amalekite highlands.
2 There was a man of Zorah of the tribe of Dan, called Manoah. His wife was barren; she had borne no children.
5 For you are going to conceive and give birth to a son. No razor is to touch his head, for the boy is to be God’s nazirite from his mother’s womb; and he will start rescuing Israel from the power of the Philistines.’
6 The woman then went and told her husband, ‘A man of God has just come to me, who looked like the Angel of God, so majestic was he. I did not ask him where he came from, and he did not tell me his name.
7 But he said to me, “You are going to conceive and will give birth to a son. From now on, drink no wine or fermented liquor, and eat nothing unclean. For the boy is to be God’s nazirite from his mother’s womb to his dying day.” ‘
12 Manoah then said, ‘When your words come true, what will be the boy’s way of life?’
19 Manoah then took the kid and the oblation and offered it on the rock as a burnt offering to Yahweh the Wonderworker. Manoah and his wife looked on.
23 His wife replied, ‘If Yahweh had meant to kill us, he would not have accepted a burnt offering and oblation from us, he would not have let us see all this and, at the same time, have told us such things.’
1 Samson went down to Timnah, and at Timnah he noticed a woman, a Philistine girl.
3 His father and mother said to him, ‘Is there no woman among your brothers’ daughters or in our entire nation, for you to go and take a wife among these uncircumcised Philistines?’ But Samson said to his father, ‘Get that one for me; she is the one I am for me; she is the one I am fond of.’
8 Not long after this, Samson went back to marry her. He went out of his way to look at the carcase of the lion, and there was a swarm of bees in the lion’s body, and honey.
9 He took up some honey in his hand and ate it as he went along. On returning to his father and mother, he gave some to them, which they ate too, but he did not tell them that he had taken it from the lion’s carcase.
10 His father then went down to the woman, and Samson made a feast there, as is the custom for young men.
11 And when the Philistines saw him, they chose thirty companions to stay with him.
15 On the fourth day they said to Samson’s wife, ‘Cajole your husband into explaining the riddle to us, or we shall burn you and your father’s family to death. Did you invite us here to rob us?’
16 Samson’s wife then went to him in tears and said, ‘You only hate me, you do not love me. You have asked my fellow countrymen a riddle and told not even me the answer.’ He said to her, ‘I have not told even my father or mother; why should I tell you?’
18 So on the seventh day, before he went into the bedroom, the men of the town said to him: What is sweeter than honey, and what stronger than a lion? He retorted: If you had not ploughed with my heifer, you would never have solved my riddle.
19 Then the spirit of Yahweh seized on him. He went down to Ashkelon, killed thirty men there, took what they wore and gave the festal robes to those who had answered the riddle, then burning with rage returned to his father’s house.
4 So Samson went off and caught three hundred foxes, then took torches and, turning the foxes tail to tail, put a torch between each pair of tails.
6 The Philistines asked, ‘Who has done this?’ and received the answer, ‘Samson, who married the Timnite’s daughter; his father-in-law took the wife back again and gave her to his companion instead.’ The Philistines then went and burned the woman and her father’s family to death.
7 Samson said to them, ‘If that is how you behave, I swear I will not rest till I have had my revenge on you.’
9 The Philistines came up and encamped in Judah and made a foray against Lehi.
10 The men of Judah said to them, ‘Why are you attacking us?’ They replied, ‘We have come to seize Samson and to treat him as he has treated us.’
11 Three thousand men of Judah then went down to the cave of the Rock of Etham and said to him, ‘Don’t you know that the Philistineshave us in their power? Now what have you done to us?’ He replied, ‘I have treated them only as they treated me.’
14 As he was approaching Lehi, and the Philistines came running towards him with triumphant shouts, the spirit of Yahweh was on him; the ropes on his arms became like burnt strands of flax and the cords round his hands came untied.
16 And Samson said: With the jawbone of a donkey I have laid them in heaps, with the jawbone of a donkey I have felled a thousand men.
18 And as he was very thirsty, he called on Yahweh and said, ‘You yourself have worked this great deliverance by the hand of your servant; and now must I die of thirst and fall into the hands of the uncircumcised?’
19 Then God opened a hollow in the ground, the hollow there is at Lehi, and water gushed out of it. Samson drank; his vigour returned and he revived. And therefore this spring was called En-ha-Kore; it is still at Lehi today.
20 Samson was judge in Israel in the days of the Philistines for twenty years.
1 Alleluia! Praise Yahweh, my soul!
4 When his spirit goes forth he returns to the earth, on that very day all his plans come to nothing.
9 Yahweh protects the stranger, he sustains the orphan and the widow. Yahweh loves the upright,but he frustrates the wicked.