Numbers 6

Listen to Numbers 6

The Nazirite Vow

1 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,
2 "Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, When either a man or a woman makes a special vow, the vow of 1a Nazirite,[a]2to separate himself to the LORD,
3 he 3shall separate himself from wine and strong drink. He shall drink no vinegar made from wine or strong drink and shall not drink any juice of grapes or eat grapes, fresh or dried.
4 All the days of his separation[b] he shall eat nothing that is produced by the grapevine, not even the seeds or the skins.
5 "All the days of his vow of separation, no 4razor shall touch his head. Until the time is completed for which he separates himself to the LORD, he shall be holy. 5He shall let the locks of hair of his head grow long.
6 "All the days that he separates himself to the LORD 6 he shall not go near a dead body.
7 7Not even for his father or for his mother, for brother or sister, if they die, shall he make himself unclean, because his separation to God is on his head.
8 All the days of his separation he is holy to the LORD.
9 "And if any man dies very suddenly beside him and he defiles his consecrated head, then 8he shall shave his head on the day of his cleansing; on the seventh day he shall shave it.
10 9On the eighth day he shall bring two turtledoves or two pigeons to the priest to the entrance of the tent of meeting,
11 and the priest shall offer one for a sin offering and the other for a burnt offering, and make atonement for him, because he sinned by reason of the dead body. And he shall consecrate his head that same day
12 and separate himself to the LORD for the days of his separation and bring a male lamb a year old 10for a guilt offering. But the previous period shall be void, because his separation was defiled.
13 "And this is the law for the Nazirite, 11when the time of his separation has been completed: he shall be brought to the entrance of the tent of meeting,
14 and he shall bring his gift to the LORD, one male lamb a year old without blemish for a burnt offering, and one ewe lamb a year old without blemish 12as a sin offering, and one ram without blemish 13as a peace offering,
15 and a basket of unleavened bread, 14loaves of fine flour mixed with oil, and unleavened wafers smeared with oil, and their 15grain offering and their 16drink offerings.
16 And the priest shall bring them before the LORD and offer 17his sin offering and his burnt offering,
17 and he shall offer the ram as a sacrifice of peace offering to the LORD, with the basket of unleavened bread. The priest shall offer also its grain offering and its drink offering.
18 And the Nazirite 18shall shave his consecrated head at the entrance of the tent of meeting and shall take the hair from his consecrated head and put it on the fire that is under the sacrifice of the peace offering.
19 And the priest shall take the 19shoulder of the ram, when it is boiled, and one unleavened loaf out of the basket and one unleavened wafer, and 20shall put them on the hands of the Nazirite, after he has shaved the hair of his consecration,
20 and the priest shall wave them for a wave offering before the LORD. 21They are a holy portion for the priest, together with the breast that is waved and the thigh that is contributed. And after that the Nazirite may drink wine.
21 "This is the law of the Nazirite. But if he vows an offering to the LORD above his Nazirite vow, as he can afford, in exact accordance with the vow that he takes, then he shall do in addition to the law of the Nazirite."

Aaron's Blessing

22 The LORD spoke to Moses, saying,
23 "Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, Thus 22 you shall bless the people of Israel: you shall say to them,
24 The LORD 23 bless you and 24 keep you;
25 the LORD 25 make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;
26 the LORD 26 lift up his countenance[c] upon you and give you peace.
27 27 "So shall they put my name upon the people of Israel, and I will bless them."

Images for Numbers 6

Numbers 6 Commentary

Chapter 6

The law concerning the Nazarites. (1-21) The form of blessing the people. (22-27)

Verses 1-21 The word Nazarite signifies separation. Some were appointed of God, before their birth, to be Nazarites all their days, as Samson and John the Baptist. But, in general, it was a vow of separation from the world and devotedness to the services of religion, for a limited time, and under certain rules, which any person might make if they pleased. A Nazarite is spoken of as well known; but his obligation is brought to a greater certainty than before. That the fancies of superstitious men might not multiply the restraints endlessly, God gives them rules. They must not drink wine or strong drink, nor eat grapes. Those who separate themselves to God, must not gratify the desires of the body, but keep it under. Let all Christians be very moderate in the use of wine and strong drink; for if the love of these once gets the mastery of a man, he becomes an easy prey to Satan. The Nazarites were to eat nothing that came of the vine; this may teach the utmost care to avoid sin, and all that borders upon it, and leads to it, or may be a temptation to us. They must not cut their hair. They must neither poll their heads, nor shave their beards; this was the mark of Samson being a Nazarite. This signified neglect of the body, and of the ease and ornament of it. Those who separate themselves to God, must keep their consciences pure from dead works, and not touch unclean things. All the days of their separation they must be holy to the Lord. This was the meaning of those outward observances, and without this they were of no account. No penalty or sacrifice was appointed for those who wilfully broke their vow of being Nazarites; they must answer another day for such profane trifling with the Lord their God; but those were to be relieved who did not sin wilfully. There is nothing in Scripture that bears the least resemblance to the religious orders of the church of Rome, except these Nazarites. But mark the difference, or rather how completely opposed! The religious of that church are forbidden to marry; but no such restriction is laid upon the Nazarites. They are commanded to abstain from meats; but the Nazarites might eat any food allowed other Israelites. They are not generally forbidden wine, not even on their fasting days; but the Nazarites might not have wine at any time. Their vow is lasting, even to the end of their lives; the Nazarites' vow was only for a limited time, at their own will; and in certain cases not unless allowed by husbands or parents. Such a thorough difference there is between rules of man's invention and those directed in Scripture, Let us not forget that the Lord Jesus is not only our Surety, but also our example. For his sake we must renounce worldly pleasures, abstain from fleshy lusts, be separate from sinners, make open profession of our faith, moderate natural affections, be spiritually-minded, and devoted to God's service, and desirous to be an example all around us.

Verses 22-27 The priests were solemnly to bless the people in the name of the Lord. To be under the almighty protection of God our Saviour; to enjoy his favour as the smile of a loving Father, or as the cheering beams of the sun; while he mercifully forgives our sins, supplies our wants, consoles the heart, and prepares us by his grace for eternal glory; these things form the substance of this blessing, and the sum total of all blessings. In so rich a list of mercies worldly joys are not worthy to be mentioned. Here is a form of prayer. The name Jehovah is three times repeated. The Jews think there is some mystery; and we know what it is, the New Testament having explained it. There we are directed to expect the blessing from the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of the Father, and the communion of the ( 2 Corinthians. 13:14 ) yet they are not three Lords, but one Lord.

Cross References 27

  • 1. Judges 13:5; [Acts 21:23]
  • 2. [Romans 1:1]
  • 3. Amos 2:12; Luke 1:15
  • 4. Judges 13:5; Judges 16:17; 1 Samuel 1:11
  • 5. Ezekiel 44:20; [1 Corinthians 11:14]
  • 6. Numbers 19:11, 16; Leviticus 21:11
  • 7. Lev. 21:1, 2, 11
  • 8. Acts 18:18; Acts 21:24
  • 9. Leviticus 5:7; Leviticus 14:22; Leviticus 15:14, 29
  • 10. Leviticus 5:6
  • 11. Acts 21:26
  • 12. Leviticus 4:32
  • 13. Leviticus 3:6
  • 14. Exodus 29:2; Leviticus 2:4
  • 15. See Exodus 29:41
  • 16. Numbers 15:5, 7, 10
  • 17. ver. 14
  • 18. Acts 18:18; Acts 21:24
  • 19. 1 Samuel 2:15
  • 20. Exodus 29:23, 24
  • 21. [Numbers 5:25; Exodus 29:27, 28]
  • 22. Leviticus 9:22; Deuteronomy 21:5; 1 Chronicles 23:13
  • 23. Psalms 134:3
  • 24. See Psalms 121:3-8
  • 25. Psalms 31:16; Psalms 67:1; Psalms 80:3, 7, 19; Psalms 119:135; [Daniel 9:17]
  • 26. Psalms 4:6
  • 27. Deuteronomy 28:10; 2 Chronicles 7:14; Daniel 9:18, 19

Footnotes 3

Chapter Summary


In this chapter is given the law concerning Nazarites, Nu 6:1,2; which directs what they were to abstain from, from drinking wine, or any strong liquors, from shaving their heads, and defiling themselves with the dead, Nu 6:3-8; and in case of a defilement, directions are given what offerings a Nazarite should bring to be offered for him, Nu 6:9-12; and when the time of his Nazariteship was up, an account is given of what rites and ceremonies should then be performed, Nu 6:13-21; and the chapter is concluded with the form of blessing the children of Israel, to be used by Aaron and his sons, Nu 6:22-27.

Numbers 6 Commentaries

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.