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Manoah and his barren wife sacrifice a ram to the angel of the Lord (above); Manoah's wife wears a wimple in Eustache Le Sueur's The Sacrifice of Manoah, 1640-1650.

Manoah (Hebrew: מָנ֫וֹחַ Mānoaḥ) is a figure from the Book of Judges 13:1-23 and 14:2-4 of the Hebrew Bible. His name means "rest" or "quiet".[1]


According to the Bible, Manoah was of the tribe of Dan and lived in the city of Zorah. He married one woman, who was barren. Her name is not mentioned in the Bible, but according to tradition she was called Hazelelponi or Zʻllpunith.[2] She was a daughter of Etam and sister of Ishma.

Manoah and his wife[3] were the parents of famous judge Samson. According to Rabbinic tradition, they also had a daughter called Nishyan or Nashyan.[4][5]

Birth of Samson[edit]

Manoah and his wife were childless, but an angel of the Lord appeared to Manoah’s wife and told her that she would give birth to a son. The child was to be dedicated from the womb as a Nazirite, which entailed restrictions on his diet, which the angel spelled out in detail. The woman (whose name is not mentioned in the Bible) told her husband, "A man of God came to me". Manoah prayed and the angel returned to instruct the both of them. After the angel left, Manoah tells his wife, "We shall surely die, because we have seen God."[6]

Together with his wife, Manoah subsequently tried to dissuade Samson from marrying a Philistine woman, but traveled with him to Timnah for the wedding ceremony when they were unable to do so.

Samson's birth has special importance for some Christians (primarily Catholics), because of its similarity to the Annunciation to the Virgin Mary.

After Samson's death, his family recovers his body and buries him near the tomb of Manoah.

In culture[edit]


  1. ^ Manoah by Wayne Blank
  2. ^ Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Bava Batra Folio 91.
  3. ^ Manoah's wife
  4. ^ Samson, Jewish Encyclopedia. "The mother of Samson [was named] Zlelponith, and his sister, Nashyan."
  5. ^ Porter, J. R. (2000). The Illustrated Guide to the Bible. New York: Barnes & Noble Books. p. 75. ISBN 0-7607-2278-1.
  6. ^ Judges 13:22
  7. ^ Samson on IMDb

External links[edit]