Judges 13:14 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Judges 13:14, NIV: She must not eat anything that comes from the grapevine, nor drink any wine or other fermented drink nor eat anything unclean. She must do everything I have commanded her.'

Judges 13:14, ESV: She may not eat of anything that comes from the vine, neither let her drink wine or strong drink, or eat any unclean thing. All that I commanded her let her observe.”

Judges 13:14, KJV: She may not eat of any thing that cometh of the vine, neither let her drink wine or strong drink, nor eat any unclean thing: all that I commanded her let her observe.

Judges 13:14, NASB: She shall not eat anything that comes from the vine nor drink wine or strong drink, nor eat any unclean thing; she shall keep all that I commanded.'

Judges 13:14, NLT: She must not eat grapes or raisins, drink wine or any other alcoholic drink, or eat any forbidden food.'

Judges 13:14, CSB: She must not eat anything that comes from the grapevine or drink wine or beer. And she must not eat anything unclean. Your wife must do everything I have commanded her."

What does Judges 13:14 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

In response to Manoah's plea for more information about how to raise their prophesied son (Judges 13:2–12), God has stated that Manoah's wife must responsibly follow all prior instructions. These basics are now graciously repeated to Manoah.

"The angel of the LORD" leaves no room for doubt. Manoah's wife must not eat any part of any of grapes, fermented or otherwise. She must not drink any alcohol of any kind. She must not eat anything declared unclean by the law of Moses. The implication is that she must refuse all these things at least until the baby is born.

These rules are not a simple religious exercise for Manoah's wife. Instead, they correspond to the Nazarite vow (Numbers 6:1–21). The Lord's intent is that Samson remains untouched by any violation of this status from conception until death. This is not a normal part of the Nazirite vow. In fact, this child—later named Samson (Judges 13:24)—is the only one in Scripture explicitly labelled as a Nazirite from his very conception. The boundaries are given to keep restricted things away from the child, even through the body of his mother.