Judges 13:22 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Judges 13:22, NIV: We are doomed to die!' he said to his wife. 'We have seen God!'

Judges 13:22, ESV: And Manoah said to his wife, “We shall surely die, for we have seen God.”

Judges 13:22, KJV: And Manoah said unto his wife, We shall surely die, because we have seen God.

Judges 13:22, NASB: So Manoah said to his wife, 'We will certainly die, for we have seen God.'

Judges 13:22, NLT: and he said to his wife, 'We will certainly die, for we have seen God!'

Judges 13:22, CSB: "We're certainly going to die," he said to his wife, "because we have seen God! "

What does Judges 13:22 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

This expression of fear comes after Manoah and his wife witnessed a "man" vanishing into the flame of a burnt offering (Judges 13:15–21). After this "man" made a prophecy about their unborn child (Judges 13:2–14), the supernatural disappearance brought realization: this was no mere man, at all. It was the "angel of the LORD." Manoah turns to his wife and states what this implies: they have seen God—or at least some temporary manifestation. For at least a moment, he assumes this means they are doomed.

Manoah was not being melodramatic. God said to Moses very clearly that "man shall not see me and live" (Exodus 33:20). Even before that, it was commonly held that seeing God—in all His glory and power—resulted in death. Gideon's response to seeing the angel of the Lord vanish before his eyes was similar to Manoah's: "Alas, O LORD God! For now I have seen the angel of the Lord face to face" (Judges 6:22). The Lord quickly reassured Gideon, though, by saying, "Do not fear; you shall not die."

Neither Gideon nor Manoah had seen the glory of the Lord directly. They had seen Yahweh in a short-term human form meant to interact with people. Theologians refer to such incidents as "theophanies." Manoah's wife will answer his fear of death with reason, including confidence in the Lord's purposes (Judges 13:23).