A Humanist perspective on what we can learn about what is morality from the Bible.
Judges 13: Samson is born
The Israelites sin and are ruled by the Philistines for 40 years. A Danite named Manoah had a barren wife. One day she was visited by an angel of the Lord who told her she would bear a son who would be a Nazarite for his entire life. They were not to cut his hair and she was not to drink wine or eat unclean things while she bore him. She told her husband and he asked the Lord to bring the angel again so he could talk to him directly. The angel came again when the woman was alone. She ran to get her husband. Her husband Manoah asked the angel for the directions again – and he said, a little bit annoyed he had to repeat it – what he had told the woman – don’t eat unclean things and don’t drink wine. And when the baby is born, don’t cut his hair ever. So Manoah offers him food. Angel doesn’t take it. Manoah - Let me make a sacrifice to you. Angel – make it to the Lord. Manoah – can’t we know your name so when the baby is born we can praise you? Angel – no. Manoah sacrifices a goat on an altar – the angel ascends the flames into heaven and doesn’t return. Eventually the baby is born and named Samson.
In other words:
An angel comes to a woman to tell her she will bear a special child so don’t cut his hair, ever.
Judges 13:19,20 So Manoah took a kid with a meat offering, and offered it upon a rock unto the Lord: and the angel did wondrously and Manoah and his wife looked on. For it came to pass, when the flame went up toward heaven from off the altar that the angel of the Lord ascended in the flame of the altar: and Manoah and his wife looked on it, and fell on their faces to the ground. Only then did Manoah realize they were talking to an angel.
Least favorite bit:
That Manoah’s wife is never named. Sure, she gave birth to Samson, but she isn’t important enough to have a name. Sexist. Manoah isn’t even important here – aside from the fact he doesn’t believe is wife.