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Wednesday, February 20 2019

A Bible Journey, 123: The Vow Of A Nazarite

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

The English-language rendering of "Nazarite" (also rendered as "Nazirite") is from the Hebrew word, pronounced naw-zeer, that means separated, or consecrated (despite its similarity to Nazareth and Nazarene, it has no actual relation).

The word was used to indicate someone (male or female i.e. "When either man or woman shall separate themselves to vow a vow of a Nazarite, to separate themselves unto the LORD") who was separated from the general population and consecrated to the LORD (Who was and is Jesus Christ; see The Real Jesus: The Word Of The LORD God and A Bible Journey, 56: The Sacred Name).

The dedicated Nazarite vow, while it was in effect, involved 3 things:

  • No alcohol, including all products of the grape vine.
  • Uncut hair during the time of the vow.
  • No contact with the dead.

Samson

Although Samson (see the Fact Finder question below) was the first Nazarite specifically mentioned by name in the Holy Scriptures, there are references to the principles of Nazarites much earlier in Bible history.

"6:1 And the LORD 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 Nazarite 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)

John The Baptist

The Levites (see A Bible Journey, 121: The Three Branches Of Levi and A Bible Journey, 120: Why Was The House Of Aaron Made Holy?), 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

This Day In History, February 20

1339: The Battle of Parabiago between the Milanese army and the St. George's (San Giorgio) Mercenaries of Lodrisio Visconti.

1547: Edward VI was crowned King of England at Westminster Abbey.

Westminster

1579: Sir Nicholas Bacon died at age 70. He was a high official in the government of Queen Elizabeth I (reigned 1558-1603) and the father of the philosopher Francis Bacon.

Elizabeth

1685: Rene-Robert Cavelier established Fort St. Louis (St. Louis was named after French King Louis IX), thereby establishing the "New France" claim to Texas.

New France

1653: During the first English-Dutch War, the Dutch fleet under Van Tromp fought the British at the Battle of Portland.

1707: Aurangzeb died at age 89. He was the last of the great Mughal emperors of India (1658-1707). Under him the Mughal empire reached its greatest extent, although his policies helped lead to its end.

1790: Holy Roman emperor Joseph II died at age 49 (see The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation).

1811: Austria declared itself bankrupt.

1831: Polish revolutionaries defeated the Russians at the Battle of Growchow.

1862: William Lincoln, age 11, son of President Abraham Lincoln, died at the White House.

1895: Frederick Douglas, escaped slave and U.S. antislavery leader, died at age 78.

1920: At the end of the First World War (1914-1918; see also The Assassination That Triggered Two World Wars), when Britain inherited the Middle East nations that had been under the Ottoman Empire for centuries (see A History Of Jerusalem: The British Mandate and listen to our Sermon The Ottoman Empire), Britain recognized the government of Trans-Jordan (listen to our Sermon The Balfour Declaration).

1938: British Foreign Minister Anthony Eden resigned in protest because of Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain's appeasement of Adolf Hitler (see Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion).

1943: During the Second World War (1939-1945), U.S. movie studio executives agreed to allow the Office of War Information to censor movies and integrate nationalistic and political propaganda in "entertainment" films (a practice that has never stopped; see also The Art Of War and Fake News - News, Or Noose?).

1947: Louis Mountbatten was appointed the last British Viceroy of India.

1959: "Black Friday" for the Canadian aviation industry of the 1950s. Prime Minister John Diefenbaker ended the CF-105 Arrow project. Built in Toronto by Avro Canada, the delta-winged interceptor Arrow was one of the fastest, most advanced fighters in human history (Mach 2 at altitude of 50,000 feet). Fighter aircraft designed and built over 50 years later (including the McDonnell-Douglas F-15 and F-18, both of which are slower and have a lower maximum operational height than the Arrow) are still inferior to the Arrow in some performance characteristics. When the Arrow was canceled, many of the Canadian Arrow engineers found work at NASA where elements of Arrow design and technology were used in the U.S. Space Shuttle.

1962: John Glenn became the second U.S. astronaut in space (after Alan Shepherd in May 1961) and the first U.S. astronaut to orbit the earth. Although almost totally ignored by U.S. historians and news media (leaving many of the U.S. population with a very inward-looking, limited awareness of the genuine accomplishments of other people), Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin was actually the first man in space, in April 1961. Russia also put the first woman in space - 20 years before Sally Ride of the U.S. (see also The Rockets' Red Glare and Who Was The First To Fly?)

Cosmonauts

1965: Charles Woolley died at age 80. The British archaeologist spent over 40 years in the field; he excavated Ur of the Chaldees (birthplace of Abraham; see The Journey From Ur Of The Chaldees) and discovered the ancient Sumerian civilization.

1984: Harris Shoerats, the oldest man in Britain, died at age 111.

1986: The Soviet space station Mir was launched into Earth orbit. It was the world's first space station.

Mir Space Station

1990: Soviet Parliamentary leaders proposed a draft law which would allow the republics the right to break away from the Soviet Union.

2005: Spain became the first European nation to hold a referendum on ratification of the Constitution of the European Union.


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