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Introduction: Again the children of Israel did evil, and the Lord brought the Philistines against them who oppressed them for forty years. And again God raised a deliverer who began to save the children of Israel from their oppressor. The Philistines were a warlike nation occupying the southwest coastal area of Canaan.

One day the angel of the Lord appeared to a certain woman and her husband Manoah of the tribe of Dan. This couple had no children, and the angel told them they would have a son. He said the child was to be consecrated to God as a Nazarite from the womb. An Israelite taking the Nazarite vow was prohibited from cutting the hair, eating or drinking the fruit of the vine, and eating or touching anything unclean. Men and women might take the vow for a specified time, but this child was to have the vow for life, and even his mother must observe the vow while the child was still in her womb.