Henry (1662-1714), still world-famous amongst Christians for his Commentary,
was a Presbyterian minister born in Flintshire,
. His father was a renowned pastor of
the Puritan era.
was in this distress Samson was born; and here we
have his birth foretold by an angel. Observe,
His extraction. He was of the tribe of Dan, v.
2. Dan signifies a judge
or judgement, Gen. 30:6. And, probably, it was with an eye to Samson,
that dying Jacob foretold, Dan
shall judge his people, that is, “he shall produce a judge for his
people, though one of the sons of the handmaids, as one, as well as any one,
of the tribes of
,” Gen. 49:16. The lot of the tribe of Dan lay
next to the country of the Philistines, and therefore one of that tribe was
most fit to make a bridle upon them. His parents had been long childless. Many
eminent persons were born of mothers that had been kept a great while in the
want of the blessing of children, as Isaac, Joseph, Samuel, and John Baptist,
that the mercy might be the more acceptable when it did come. Sing, O
barren! thou that didst not bear, Isa.
54:1. Mercies long waited for often prove signal mercies, and it is made to
appear that they were worth waiting for, and by them others may be encouraged
to continue their hope in God’s mercy.
The glad tidings brought to his mother, that she should have a son. The
messenger was an angel of the Lord,
(v. 3.) yet appearing as a man, with
the aspect and garb of a prophet, or man of God. And this angel (as the
learned Bishop Patrick supposes, on v.
18) was the Lord himself, that is, the Word
of the Lord, who was to be the Messiah, for his name is called Wonderful,
(v. 18.) and Jehovah, v.
19. The great Redeemer did in a particular manner concern himself about this
typical redeemer. It was not so much for the sake of Manoah
and his wife, obscure Danites, that this
extraordinary message was sent, but for Israel’s sake, whose deliverer he
was to be; and not only so, his services to Israel not seeming to answer to
the grandeur of his entry, but for the Messiah’s sake, whose type he was to
be, and whose birth must be foretold by an angel, as his was.
angel, in the message he delivers, 1. Takes notice of her affliction: Behold
now, thou art barren and bearest not. From
hence she might gather he was a prophet, that, though a stranger to her, and
one she had never seen before, yet he knew this to be her grievance. He tells
her of it, not to upbraid her with it, but because perhaps at this time she
was actually thinking of this affliction, and bemoaning herself as one written
childless. God often sends comfort to his people very seasonably, when they
feel most from their troubles. 'Now
thou art barren, but thou shalt not be always so,' as she feared, 'nor long
so.' 2. He assures her that she should conceive
and bear a son, (v. 3.) and
repeats it, v. 5. To show the power
of a divine word, the strongest man that ever was,
was a child of promise, as Isaac, born by force and virtue of a promise, and
faith in that promise, Heb. 11:11. Gal. 4:23. Many a woman, after having been
long barren, has born a son by providence, but Samson was by promise, because
a figure of the promised Seed, so long expected by the faith of the
Commentary on the Holy Bible,” Ward, Lock & Co., Vol 2, pp 633-634.