A series in Judges: Ibzan, Elon and Abdon

A series in Judges: Ibzan, Elon and Abdon

As Judges 12 comes to an end, we see the rule of three minor judges. Ibzan, Elon and Abdon each judged Israel for several years as they raised their families in that land. There is little to be said about these men, other than the fact that they judge Israel and keep the peoples’ focus on the Lord. 

Shortly after the deaths of these three men, Judges 13 once again narrates that the Israelites turn from the Lord and chase after idols. The Lord hands them over to the Philistines, and they are under oppression for 40 years. 

The next few verses introduce a married couple who are unable to have children. In a dream, the angel of the Lord appears to the woman and promises her that she will soon have a son. In Judges 13:4-5 the angel said, “Now see to it that you drink no wine or other fermented drink and that you do not eat anything unclean. You will become pregnant and have a son whose head is never to be touched by a razor because the boy is to be a Nazirite, dedicated to God from the womb. He will take the lead in delivering Israel from the hands of the Philistines.”

The angel prophesies that the woman’s son will take a Nazirite vow and one day judge the people of Israel and free them from the Philistines. 

A Nazirite vow is a dedication made by someone to fully yield their life to the Lord. As part of the vow, Nazirites cannot touch grapes or wine, cut their hair or touch any corpse because they would become ceremonially unclean. 

The couple then asks the angel how to raise the child correctly, and the angel tells the wife to follow the Nazirite vow while she is pregnant. They then offer up a sacrifice to the Lord out of respect and thanksgiving for the upcoming child. As chapter 12 closes, we see that Samson, their Nazirite son, is born. As he grows, the Lord continues to bless him.

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  • Audrey Johnson

    Audrey is a sophomore majoring in elementary education. She is the religion section editor and a co-host of Tower Radio's podcast 'our high tops, His steps'.

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