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First Reading for the Advent Weekday on December 19

Judges 13:2-7, 24-25a

Summary: Manoah's wife, barren, is visited by an angel who foretells Samson's birth. Consecrated from the womb, he's destined to begin Israel's deliverance from the Philistines, blessed by God.

Birth of Samson

There was a certain man from Zorah, of the clan of the Danites, whose name was Manoah. His wife was barren and had borne no children.

An angel of the LORD appeared to the woman and said to her, “Though you are barren and have had no children, yet you will conceive and bear a son. Now, then, be careful to take no wine or strong drink and to eat nothing unclean. As for the son you will conceive and bear, no razor shall touch his head, for this boy is to be consecrated to God from the womb. It is he who will begin the deliverance of Israel from the power of the Philistines.”

The woman went and told her husband, “A man of God came to me; he had the appearance of an angel of God, terrible indeed. I did not ask him where he came from, nor did he tell me his name. But he said to me, ‘You will be with child and will bear a son. So take neither wine nor strong drink, and eat nothing unclean. For the boy shall be consecrated to God from the womb, until the day of his death.’”

The woman bore a son and named him Samson. The boy grew up and the LORD blessed him; the Spirit of the LORD stirred him.

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