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Judges 13:3-5

Context
13:3 The Lord’s angelic 1  messenger appeared to the woman and said to her, “You 2  are infertile and childless, 3  but you will conceive and have a son. 13:4 Now be careful! Do not drink wine or beer, and do not eat any food that will make you ritually unclean. 4  13:5 Look, you will conceive and have a son. 5  You must never cut his hair, 6  for the child will be dedicated to God 7  from birth. He will begin to deliver Israel from the power 8  of the Philistines.”

1 tn The adjective “angelic” is interpretive (also in vv. 6, 9).

2 tn Heb “Look, you.”

3 tn Heb “and have not given birth.”

4 tn Heb “eat anything unclean.” Certain foods were regarded as ritually “unclean” (see Lev 11). Eating such food made one ritually “contaminated.”

5 tn Another option is to translate, “you are already pregnant and will have a son.” The earlier reference to her being infertile (v. 3) suggests that her conception is still future, but it is possible that the earlier statement only reflects her perspective (as far as she is concerned, she is infertile). According to this interpretation, in v. 5 the angel reveals the truth to her – actually she has recently conceived and is now pregnant (see the translation in R. G. Boling, Judges [AB], 217). Usage favors this interpretation. The predicate adjective הָרָה (harah, “[be/become] pregnant”) elsewhere has a past (1 Sam 4:19) or present (Gen 16:11; 38:25; 2 Sam 11:5) translation value. (The usage in Isa 7:14 is debated, but a present translation is definitely possible there.) A final, but less likely possibility, is that she miraculously conceived during the angel’s speech, sometime between his statements recorded in vv. 3 and 5.

6 tn Heb “a razor should not go up on his head.”

7 tn Or “set apart to God.” Traditionally the Hebrew term נָזִיר (nazir) has been translated “Nazirite.” The word is derived from the verb נָזַר (nazar, “to dedicate; to consecrate; to set apart”).

8 tn Heb “hand.”



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