Who told Samson that he was a Nazarite?

Samson is a well-known figure in the Old Testament of the Bible, famous for his incredible strength and his role as a judge of Israel. According to the book of Judges, Samson was a Nazarite from birth, which meant that he was set apart for God's service and was required to follow certain rules and restrictions. But who told Samson that he was a Nazarite?

The book of Judges tells us that Samson was born to a woman named Manoah, who was unable to have children until an angel of the Lord appeared to her and promised her a son. The angel gave specific instructions for the child's upbringing, including the command that he should be a Nazarite from birth.

A Nazarite was a person who had taken a special vow of consecration to God. According to the Old Testament, a Nazarite was required to abstain from wine, avoid coming into contact with dead bodies, and refrain from cutting their hair. The vow was usually taken for a limited period of time, but Samson's Nazarite status was unique because he was a Nazarite from birth.

It is not clear who specifically told Samson that he was a Nazarite, but it is likely that his parents, Manoah and her husband, would have been responsible for teaching him about his special status. The angel of the Lord had given them specific instructions on how to raise their son, including the command to raise him as a Nazarite. It is likely that they would have communicated this information to Samson as he grew up.

In the book of Judges, there is a story in which Samson encounters a lion on his way to Timnah. The spirit of the Lord comes upon him, and he tears the lion apart with his bare hands. Later, on his return journey, Samson sees that bees have nested in the carcass of the lion and have produced honey. He takes some of the honey and eats it, breaking his Nazarite vow by coming into contact with a dead body.

This incident suggests that Samson was aware of the rules of the Nazarite vow and understood the consequences of breaking it. It is likely that his parents had taught him about his special status as a Nazarite and the restrictions that came with it.

Subscribe to Bible Analysis

Sign up now to get access to the library of members-only issues.
Jamie Larson