Judges 13:16 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Judges 13:16, NIV: The angel of the LORD replied, 'Even though you detain me, I will not eat any of your food. But if you prepare a burnt offering, offer it to the LORD.' (Manoah did not realize that it was the angel of the LORD.)

Judges 13:16, ESV: And the angel of the LORD said to Manoah, “If you detain me, I will not eat of your food. But if you prepare a burnt offering, then offer it to the LORD.” (For Manoah did not know that he was the angel of the LORD.)

Judges 13:16, KJV: And the angel of the LORD said unto Manoah, Though thou detain me, I will not eat of thy bread: and if thou wilt offer a burnt offering, thou must offer it unto the LORD. For Manoah knew not that he was an angel of the LORD.

Judges 13:16, NASB: But the angel of the LORD said to Manoah, 'Though you detain me, I will not eat your food, but if you prepare a burnt offering, offer it to the LORD.' For Manoah did not know that he was the angel of the LORD.

Judges 13:16, NLT: 'I will stay,' the angel of the LORD replied, 'but I will not eat anything. However, you may prepare a burnt offering as a sacrifice to the LORD.' (Manoah didn't realize it was the angel of the LORD.)

Judges 13:16, CSB: The angel of the Lord said to him, "If I stay, I won't eat your food. But if you want to prepare a burnt offering, offer it to the Lord." (Manoah did not know he was the angel of the Lord.)

What does Judges 13:16 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Manoah has asked someone he identifies as a "man of God" (Judges 13:8) to stay long enough for him and his wife to prepare a young goat for him as a meal. This visitor has given them amazing news about their future son (Judges 13:2–15). As this verse shows, both Manoah and his wife assume they are speaking to a man; in fact, this is "the angel of the LORD," almost certainly a temporary manifestation of the Lord God, Himself.

Responding to the offer of a meal, "the angel of the LORD" says that even if he stays, He won't eat. He does not say why. A possible explanation involves the circumstances of the visit. Israel is in a pattern of sin and defiance against God (Judges 2:16–19). They are currently suffering under the Philistines for their betrayal (Judges 13:1). As this angelic figure is likely a representation of the Lord, Himself, it may be inappropriate to share a meal—symbolically expressing friendship—with a rebellious people.

Rather than eating a meal, the "angel of the LORD" suggests an alternative: a burnt offering as a sacrifice to God. Manoah still doesn't understand, yet this would be a more appropriate expression of gratitude, in this circumstance.