Manoah’s wife, Samson’s Mother: Parashat Naso

The outline of how nazirite vows are made in Numbers connects this week’s halftarah selection to the story of Samson’s mother who is also known as Manoah’s wife (Judges 13:2-13:25). Nazarites are men and women who make a demanding vow to not cut their hair, drink wine, eat unclean foods nor touch the dead. In exchange, the oath-maker expected God to fulfill a specific promise. Throughout chapter 13 of Judges the mother/wife remains unnamed. Later commentators provide her with a moniker: Eluma (Pseudo-Philo), Zlelpnith and Hazlelponi (the ancient rabbis). Since she plays a central role and is more favorably depicted than her husband, I began my study by wondering why the author seemed to go out of the way to keep her “the woman.” To follow are my findings. Read more… 

 

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