Judges 13:25 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Judges 13:25, NIV: and the Spirit of the LORD began to stir him while he was in Mahaneh Dan, between Zorah and Eshtaol.

Judges 13:25, ESV: And the Spirit of the LORD began to stir him in Mahaneh-dan, between Zorah and Eshtaol.

Judges 13:25, KJV: And the Spirit of the LORD began to move him at times in the camp of Dan between Zorah and Eshtaol.

Judges 13:25, NASB: And the Spirit of the LORD began to stir him when he was in Mahaneh-dan, between Zorah and Eshtaol.

Judges 13:25, NLT: And the Spirit of the LORD began to stir him while he lived in Mahaneh-dan, which is located between the towns of Zorah and Eshtaol.

Judges 13:25, CSB: Then the Spirit of the Lord began to stir him in the Camp of Dan, between Zorah and Eshtaol.

What does Judges 13:25 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Israel's newest deliverer is unlike all the judges used by God before him (Judges 2:16–19). For one thing, Samson is the only judge called by God before he was even born (Judges 13:2–7). He is the only one set apart through Nazirite vows (Numbers 6:1–21) from conception to death. He is the only one said, directly, to receive power from the Holy Spirit before his career as a judge has even begun. The Bible is short on details in this passage, however. We're not told exactly how this "stirring" presented itself, or what exactly it means.

As a young man, the Lord's Spirit begins to work in Samson while he is at a specific place. The name Mahaneh-dan means "camp of Dan" and probably refers to a region inside the territory of Dan. This was close to the heart of the Philistine strongholds. Samson is thus influenced while he is between his hometown of Zorah and the town of Eshtaol, close by. Scholars point out a spring that flowed between these two towns and suggest Samson was there when the Holy Spirit began to work to fulfill God's purpose.

Unfortunately, the record of Samson's life immediately takes an ungodly turn (Judges 14:1–2). The book of Judges presents rescuers who are flawed, fallible people. Samson is not unique in this way; however, other than his supernatural strength (Judges 14:6, 19; 15:14–15; 16:3), he is often considered among the least "heroic" of all God's appointed servants. The next two chapters describe a messy, often ugly life which is nevertheless used by God to accomplish His purposes (Judges 14:4).