Judges 13:23 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Judges 13:23, NIV: But his wife answered, 'If the LORD had meant to kill us, he would not have accepted a burnt offering and grain offering from our hands, nor shown us all these things or now told us this.'

Judges 13:23, ESV: But his wife said to him, “If the LORD had meant to kill us, he would not have accepted a burnt offering and a grain offering at our hands, or shown us all these things, or now announced to us such things as these.”

Judges 13:23, KJV: But his wife said unto him, If the LORD were pleased to kill us, he would not have received a burnt offering and a meat offering at our hands, neither would he have shewed us all these things, nor would as at this time have told us such things as these.

Judges 13:23, NASB: But his wife said to him, 'If the LORD had desired to kill us, He would not have accepted a burnt offering and a grain offering from our hands, nor would He have shown us all these things, nor would He have let us hear things like this at this time.'

Judges 13:23, NLT: But his wife said, 'If the LORD were going to kill us, he wouldn't have accepted our burnt offering and grain offering. He wouldn't have appeared to us and told us this wonderful thing and done these miracles.'

Judges 13:23, CSB: But his wife said to him, "If the Lord had intended to kill us, he wouldn't have accepted the burnt offering and the grain offering from us, and he would not have shown us all these things or spoken to us like this."

What does Judges 13:23 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

In the shock of seeing their visitor disappear into flames (Judges 13:15–21), Manoah and his wife have come to realize the visitor was actually "the angel of the LORD," meaning that they have seen Yahweh, the One True God. It was common knowledge among Jewish people that nobody could see the Lord and live. After all, the Lord had shown Moses only His back while giving that exact warning (Exodus 33:20). In that case, however, God was showing Himself to Moses in His glory and not in the human, concealed form of the "angel of the LORD." This leads Manoah to a moment of panic and fear of death.

Manoah's wife might have been just as terrified, at first. Here, however, she comes to a very reasonable conclusion. She quickly explains why she is confident that God has no plans to kill them. In fact, she gives three reasons.

First, she points out that the Lord accepted their offering. He was the one who suggested they make the offering in the first place. Then He ascended to heaven in the flame of their offering. Those are signs of full acceptance.

Second, the Lord would not have allowed them to see Him in that form or to see Him ascend into heaven if He meant to kill them. He chose to show Himself to them in this way for a reason. He wanted them to see Him.

Third, why would the Lord tell them of the son they would have and how he must be raised (Judges 13:2–14) if He meant to kill them? God would be contradicting His own promise by destroying them after promising them a future.

Manoah's wife looked past fear to discern what she could of the Lord's purpose. She trusted the character of God to act with intention and reason. No response is recorded, but one would expect her wise words to have quickly eased Manoah's fears. And, as the end of this chapter shows, her trust was well-placed (Judges 13:24–25).