The Book of Judges Chapter 13:6, 11, 18
Geneva Bible Translation Ed. 1599
11 And Manoah arose and went after his wife, and came to the man, and said unto him, Art thou the man that spakest unto the woman? and he said, Yea.
18 And the Angel of the Lord said unto him, Why askest thou thus after my name, which is secret?
Man of God - A prophet, or sacred person, sent with a message from God. Terrible - Or, venerable, awful, full of Majesty. Secret - Hidden from mortal men: or, wonderful, such as thou canst not comprehend: my nature and essence, (which is often signified by name in scripture) is incomprehensible. This shews, that this was the angel of the covenant, the Son of God. - John Wesley
He appeared in an human form, and therefore she calls him a man; and by his mien and deportment, and the message he brought, she concluded he was a man of God, that is, a prophet; by which name such persons went in those days; and so the Targum calls him a prophet of the Lord: but it is a mere conceit of Ben Gersom that it was Phinehas, who in all probability was not living; besides what is after related shows that this was a divine Person, and no other than the Son of God: for though she might never have seen an angel, yet it being a common notion that angels were very illustrious, of a beautiful form and of a shining countenance, and very majestic, she compares the man she saw to one; for by being "very terrible", is not meant that he was frightful, and struck her with horror, but venerable and majestic, which filled her with admiration. And [His name] was not to be known; as his nature and essence as a divine Person, which may be meant by his name, is what passes knowledge, is infinite and incomprehensible; see ( Proverbs 30:4 ) or "wonderful" (See John Gill on Isaiah 9:6), which is one of the names of Christ, and fitly agrees with him, who is wonderful in his person, as God and man; in his incarnation, in his offices and relations, in his love to his people, and in all he is unto them, and has done for them. - John Gill
The Hebrew word for“wonderful”, (Strong’s Concordance), is pala' paw-law' a primitive root; properly, perhaps to separate, i.e. distinguish (literally or figuratively); by implication, to be (causatively, make) great, difficult, wonderful:--accomplish, (arise...too, be too) hard, hidden, things too high, (be, do, do a, shew) marvelous(-ly, -els, things, work), miracles, perform, separate, make singular, (be, great, make) wonderful(-ers, -ly, things, works), wondrous (things, works, -ly).
The report which Manoah’s wife, in a transport of joy, brings in all haste to her husband, of this surprising message verses 6-7The glad tidings were brought her when she was alone, perhaps religiously employed in meditation or prayer; but she could not, she would not, conceal them from her husband, but gives him an account, of the messenger. It was a man of God, His countenance she could describe; it was very awful: he had such a majesty in his looks, such a sparkling eye, such a shining face, so powerfully commanding reverence and respect, that according to the idea she had of an angel he had the very countenance of one. But his name she can give no account of, nor to what tribe or city of Israel he belonged, for he did not think fit to tell her, and, for her part, the very sight of him struck such an awe upon her that she durst not ask him. She was abundantly satisfied that he was a servant of God; his person and message she thought carried their own evidence along with them, and she enquired no further. We have here [also] an account of a second visit which the angel of God made to Manoah and his wife. Manoah earnestly prayed for it, verse 8. He was not incredulous of the story his wife told him; he knew she was a virtuous woman, and therefore the heart of her husband did safely trust in her; he knew she would not go about to impose upon him, much less was he, as Josephus unworthily represents him, jealous of his wife’s conversation with this stranger; but he takes it for granted that this child of promise shall in due time be given them, and speaks without hesitation of the child that shall be born. There was not found so great faith, no, not in Zechariah, a priest, then in waiting at the altar of the Lord, and to whom the angel himself appeared, as was in this honest Danite. Things hidden from the wise and prudent, who value themselves upon the niceness of their enquiries, are often revealed unto babes, who know how to prize God’s gifts and to take God’s word. Blessed are those that have not seen and yet, as Manoah here, have believed.
He therefore prays to God to send the same blessed messenger again, to give them further instructions concerning the management of this Nazarite, fearing lest his wife’s joy for the promise might have made her forget some part of the precept, in which he was desirous to be fully informed, and lie under no mistake: "Lord, let the man of God come again unto us, for we desire to be better acquainted with him.’’ Note, Those that have heard from heaven cannot but wish to hear more thence, again and again to meet with the man of God. Observe, He does not go or send his servants abroad, to find out this man of God, but seeks him upon his knees, prays to God to send him, and, thus seeking, finds him. Would we have God’s messengers, the ministers of his gospel, to bring a word proper for us, and for our instruction? (Entreat the Lord to send them to us, to teach us, Romans 15:30) God graciously granted it: God hearkened to the voice of Manoah, v. 9. Note, God will not fail some way or other to guide those by his counsel that are sincerely desirous to know their duty, and apply themselves to him to teach them, Psalm 25:8-9. The angel appears the second time also to the wife, when she is sitting alone, probably tending the flocks, or otherwise well employed in the field where she has retired. Solitude is often a good opportunity of communion with God; good people have thought themselves never less alone than when alone, if God be with them. hose that would meet with God must attend where he is pleased to manifest himself. "Oh,’’ says she, overjoyed, "my dear love, thy prayers are answered—yonder is the man of God, come to make us another visit—he that came the other day,’’ or, as some read it, this day, for other is not in the original, and it is probable enough that both these visits were on the same day, and at the same place, and that the second time she sat expecting him. The man of God is very willing she should call her husband, John 4:16 . Those that have an acquaintance with the things of God themselves should invite others to the same acquaintance, John 1:45-46. Now let thy words come to pass; this was the language, not only of his desire, but of his faith, like that of the blessed Virgin, Luke 1:38 . "Be it according to thy word. Lord, I lay hold on what thou hast said, and depend upon it; let it come to pass.’’
Of what further passed between Manoah and the angel at this interview. It was in kindness to him that while the angel was with him it was concealed from him that he was an angel; for, had he known it, it would have been such a terror to him that he durst not have conversed with him as he did (verse 16): He knew not that he was an angel. So Christ was in the world, and the world knew him not. Verily thou art a God that hidest thyself. We could not bear the sight of the divine glory unveiled. God having determined to speak to us by men like ourselves, prophets and ministers, even when he spoke by his angels, or by his Son, they appeared in the likeness of men, and were taken but for men of God. Now,1. The angel declined to accept his treat, and appointed him to turn it into a sacrifice. Manoah, being desirous to show some token of respect and gratitude to this venerable stranger who had brought them these glad tidings, begged he would take some refreshment with him (verse 15): We will soon make ready a kid for thee. Those that welcome the message will be kind to the messengers for his sake that sends them, 1 Thessalonians 5:13 . But the angel told him (verse 16) he would not eat of his bread, any more than he would of Gideon’s, but, as there, directed him to offer it to God, Chronicles 6:20-21. Angels need not meat nor drink; but the glorifying of God is their meat and drink, and it was Christ’s, John 4:34 . And we in some measure do the will of God as they do it if, though we cannot live without meat and drink, yet we eat and drink to the glory of God, and so turn even our common meals into sacrifices.2. The angel declined telling him his name, and would not so far gratify his curiosity. Manoah desired to know his name (verse 17), and of what tribe he was, not as if he doubted the truth of his message, but that they might return his visit, and be better acquainted with him (it is good to increase and improve our acquaintance with good men and good ministers); and he has a further design: "That when thy sayings come to pass, we may do thee honour, celebrate thee as a true prophet, and recommend others to thee for divine instructions,—that we may call the child that shall be born after thy name, and so do thee honour,—or that we may send thee a present, honouring one whom God has honoured.’’ But the angel denies his request with something of a check to his curiosity (verse 18): Why askest thou thus after my name? Jacob himself could not prevail for this favour, Genesis 32:29 . Note, We have not what we ask when we ask we know not what. Manoah’s request was honestly meant and yet was denied. God told Moses his name (Exodus3:13-14 ), because there was a particular occasion for his knowing it, but here there was no occasion. What Manoah asked for instruction in his duty he was readily told (verses 12-13), but what he asked to gratify his curiosity was denied. God has in his word given us full directions concerning our duty, but never designed to answer all the enquiries of a speculative head. He gives him a reason for his refusal: It is secret. - Matthew Henry