(muh noh' uh) HEBREW: MANOAH
"rest/resting place"

Samson's father, Manoah, was a member of the tribe of Dan who lived at Zorah. Manoah's unnamed wife - like such earlier Old Testament figures as Sarah and Rachel and like Elizabeth in the New Testament - was promised divine relief from her barrenness. "Behold, you are barren," an angel of the Lord said to her, "...but you shall conceive and bear a son" (Judges 13:3). The child, the angel revealed, would help deliver Israel from the Philistines.

As soon as Manoah heard his wife's good news, he prayed for the angel to return and instruct the couple on how to raise their son, but he was again absent when the heavenly messenger reappeared. Manoah finally encountered the angel and invited him to eat with them. The angel rejected the offer, urging Manoah to make the food into a burnt offering instead. Then the angel ascended in the flames from the sacrifice, proving his supernatural identity.

Samson's parents later criticized his resolve to marry a Philistine woman, unaware that the union was also a part of God's plan. Nonetheless, Manoah apparently arranged the wedding feast. Samson did not tell his parents about killing the lion and later finding its carcass swarming with bees - events that inspired the riddle he offered at the feast. When Samson died, he was buried beside Manoah in the family tomb at Zorah.

{E2 Dictionary of Biblical People}