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Sunday, November 24 2013

Numbers 6: The Nazarite Vow

"When either man or woman shall separate themselves to vow a vow of a Nazarite, to separate themselves unto the LORD"

A "Nazarite" (also rendered as "Nazirite") originated from the Hebrew word pronounced naw-zeer, meaning separated, or consecrated (despite its similarity to Nazareth and Nazarene, it has no actual relation). The word was used to indicate someone who was separated from the general population and consecrated to God. Although Samson (see the Fact Finder question below) is the first Nazarite specifically mentioned in the Holy Scriptures, there are general references to Nazarites much earlier.

The Nazarite vow, while it was in effect, involved 3 things - no alcohol, including all products of the grape vine, uncut hair for a time, and no contact with the dead. Notice also that it was open to any adult: "When either man or woman shall separate themselves to vow a vow of a Nazarite, to separate themselves unto the LORD."

John The Baptist

"6:1 And the LORD [Who was and is Jesus Christ; see Genesis 1: In The Beginning Was The Word and The Kingdom Of The LORD God] spake unto Moses, saying, 6:2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When either man or woman shall separate themselves to vow a vow of a Nazarite, to separate themselves unto the LORD: 6:3 He shall separate himself from wine and strong drink, and shall drink no vinegar of wine, or vinegar of strong drink, neither shall he drink any liquor of grapes, nor eat moist grapes, or dried. 6:4 All the days of his separation shall he eat nothing that is made of the vine tree, from the kernels even to the husk.

6:5 All the days of the vow of his separation there shall no razor come upon his head: until the days be fulfilled, in the which he separateth himself unto the LORD, he shall be holy, and shall let the locks of the hair of his head grow. 6:6 All the days that he separateth himself unto the LORD he shall come at no dead body. 6:7 He shall not make himself unclean for his father, or for his mother, for his brother, or for his sister, when they die: because the consecration of his God is upon his head. 6:8 All the days of his separation he is holy unto the LORD." (Numbers 6:1-8 KJV)

The terms of the vow applied during the duration of the vow e.g. "after that the Nazarite may drink wine."

"6:9 And if any man die very suddenly by him, and he hath defiled the head of his consecration; then he shall shave his head in the day of his cleansing, on the seventh day shall he shave it. 6:10 And on the eighth day he shall bring two turtles, or two young pigeons, to the priest, to the door of the tabernacle of the congregation: 6:11 And the priest shall offer the one for a sin offering, and the other for a burnt offering, and make an atonement for him, for that he sinned by the dead, and shall hallow his head that same day. 6:12 And he shall consecrate unto the LORD the days of his separation, and shall bring a lamb of the first year for a trespass offering: but the days that were before shall be lost, because his separation was defiled.

6:13 And this is the law of the Nazarite, when the days of his separation are fulfilled: he shall be brought unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation: 6:14 And he shall offer his offering unto the LORD, one he lamb of the first year without blemish for a burnt offering, and one ewe lamb of the first year without blemish for a sin offering, and one ram without blemish for peace offerings, 6:15 And a basket of unleavened bread, cakes of fine flour mingled with oil, and wafers of unleavened bread anointed with oil, and their meat offering, and their drink offerings.

6:16 And the priest shall bring them before the LORD, and shall offer his sin offering, and his burnt offering: 6:17 And he shall offer the ram for a sacrifice of peace offerings unto the LORD, with the basket of unleavened bread: the priest shall offer also his meat offering, and his drink offering.

6:18 And the Nazarite shall shave the head of his separation at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and shall take the hair of the head of his separation, and put it in the fire which is under the sacrifice of the peace offerings.

6:19 And the priest shall take the sodden shoulder of the ram, and one unleavened cake out of the basket, and one unleavened wafer, and shall put them upon the hands of the Nazarite, after the hair of his separation is shaven: 6:20 And the priest shall wave them for a wave offering before the LORD: this is holy for the priest, with the wave breast and heave shoulder: and after that the Nazarite may drink wine.

6:21 This is the law of the Nazarite who hath vowed, and of his offering unto the LORD for his separation, beside that that his hand shall get: according to the vow which he vowed, so he must do after the law of his separation." (Numbers 6:9-21 KJV)

The Levites (see Leviticus 8: The Prophecy Of The Blood Upon The Anointed One and Numbers 3: When Were The Levites Set Apart?), although not required to be Nazarites (although some were e.g. John the Baptist was a Levite and a Nazarite), were "set apart" by the same principle. Hence the Levite blessing (that listeners of the Sermons at Daily Bible Study are familiar with - all Sermons close with the blessing quoted below) that was instructed to the Levites, at the same time as the instructions for Nazarite vows.

"6:22 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 6:23 Speak unto Aaron and unto his sons, saying, On this wise ye shall bless the children of Israel, saying unto them,

6:24 The LORD bless thee, and keep thee: 6:25 The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: 6:26 The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.

6:27 And they shall put my name upon the children of Israel; and I will bless them." (Numbers 6:22-27 KJV)

Fact Finder: How was Samson's Nazarite vow directly-related to his famous hair-cutting by Delilah?
See Delilah: Why The Fatal Attraction?

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This Day In History, November 24

166 BC: The beginning of the Maccabees era of Judah (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Hasmonean Judea). The Maccabees fought the Greek-Syrian occupiers of Judah-Israel (see A History Of Jerusalem: Greeks, Ptolemies, Seleucids) in the period prior to the rise of the Roman empire (see A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars). The first "abomination of desolation" of the Temple (see A History Of Jerusalem: Abomination Of Desolation), from which Hanukkah originated (see Why Did The Messiah Observe Hanukkah?), occurred during the time of the Maccabees.

380: Theodosius I made his entry into Constantinople. Also known as Theodosius the Great, Theodosius was the last Roman emperor to reign over both of the eastern and western divisions ("legs" - see The Prophet Daniel: Nebuchadnezzar's Image) of the Roman Empire.

The Roman Empire
1227: Polish Prince Leszek I was assassinated at an assembly of Piast dukes at Gasawa.

1542: English forces clashed with the Scots at the Battle of Solway Moss, in England.

1572: Scottish Protestant reformer John Knox died. He was the founder of Scottish Presbyterianism and was author of the History of the Reformation in Scotland.

1639: The first recorded transit (passing across the Sun as seen from space) of Venus was made, by English astronomer Jeremiah Horrocks.

1642: Dutch explorer Abel Tasman discovered Van Diemen's Land, later named after him - Tasmania.

1859: Charles Darwin published his famous On the Origin of Species. Darwin did not actually believe many of the ideas of evolution that later "scientists" claim that he did (listen to our Sermon Darwin's Theory of Evolution; also The First Scientist and No 'Flat Earth' In The Bible).

1963: Accused John F. Kennedy assassin Lee Harvey Oswald, 24, was fatally shot at Dallas Police headquarters by Jacob Rubenstein (who changed his name to "Jack Ruby"). Rubenstein grew up in Chicago (as a boy, he ran errands for Al Capone) with his Polish-immigrant Jewish parents.

1971: A hijacker calling himself Dan Cooper (or D. B. Cooper) parachuted from a Northwest Orient Airlines plane with $200,000 in ransom money. He was never found.

1976: An earthquake struck Turkey, killed nearly 5,300 and injured over 5,000 others.

1977: The tomb of King Philip II, father of Alexander the Great, was found. Alexander the Great was referred-to extensively in Bible Prophecy, especially in the book of Daniel (e.g. see Daniel's Statue). Alexander's four successors were prominent in the affairs of Israel in the time between the Old and New Testaments (see The Ptolemies and The Seleucids).

1979: After years of denials to medical and veteran's groups, the U.S. government admitted that thousands of U.S. troops in Vietnam (and many more thousands of civilian men, women and children in Vietnam) were exposed to the toxic chemical "Agent Orange."


Copyright © Wayne Blank