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Numbers 6

Law of the Nazirites

1 Again the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,
2 "Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, 'When a man or woman makes a special vow, the vow of 1a Nazirite, to dedicate himself to the LORD,
3 he shall 2abstain from wine and strong drink; he shall drink no vinegar, whether made from wine or strong drink, nor shall he drink any grape juice nor eat fresh or dried grapes.
4 'All the days of his separation he shall not eat anything * that is produced by the grape vine, from the seeds even to the skin.
5 'All the days of his vow of separation 3no razor shall pass over his head. He shall be holy until the days are fulfilled for which he separated himself to the LORD; he shall let the locks of hair on his head grow long.
6 '4All the days of his separation to the LORD he shall not go near to a dead person.
7 'He 5shall not make himself unclean for his father or for his mother, for his brother or for his sister, when they die, because his separation to God is on his head.
8 'All the days of his separation he is holy to the LORD.
9 'But if a man dies very suddenly beside him and he defiles his dedicated head of hair, then 6he shall shave his head on the day when he becomes clean; 7he shall shave it on the seventh day.
10 'Then on the eighth day he shall bring 8two turtledoves or two young pigeons to the priest, to the doorway of the tent of meeting.
11 'The priest shall offer 9one for a sin offering and the other for a burnt offering, and make atonement for him concerning * his sin because of the dead person. And that same day he shall consecrate his head,
12 and shall dedicate to the LORD his days as a Nazirite, and shall bring a male lamb a year old for a guilt offering; but the former days will be void because his separation was defiled.
13 'Now this is the law of the Nazirite 10when the days of his separation are fulfilled, he shall bring the offering to the doorway of the tent of meeting.
14 'He shall present his offering to the LORD: one male lamb a year old without defect for a burnt offering and one 11ewe-lamb a year old without defect for a sin offering and one ram without defect for a peace offering,
15 and a basket of 12unleavened cakes of fine flour mixed with oil and unleavened wafers spread with oil, along with 13their grain offering and their drink offering.
16 'Then the priest shall present them before the LORD and shall offer his sin offering and his burnt offering.
17 'He shall also offer the ram for a sacrifice of peace offerings to the LORD, together with the basket of unleavened cakes; the priest shall likewise offer its grain offering and its drink offering.
18 '14The Nazirite shall then shave his dedicated head of hair at the doorway of the tent of meeting, and take the dedicated hair of his head and put it on the fire which is under the sacrifice of peace offerings.
19 '15The priest shall take the ram's shoulder when it has been boiled, and one unleavened cake out of the basket and one unleavened wafer, and shall put them on the hands of the Nazirite after he has shaved his dedicated hair.
20 'Then the priest shall wave them for a wave offering before the LORD. It is holy for the priest, together with the breast offered by waving and the thigh offered by lifting up; and 16afterward the Nazirite may drink wine.'
21 "This is the law of the Nazirite who vows his offering to the LORD according to his separation, in addition * to what else he can afford *; according to his vow which he takes, so he shall do according to the law of his separation."

Aaron's Benediction

22 Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,
23 "Speak to Aaron and to his sons, saying, 'Thus 17you shall bless the sons of Israel. You shall say to them:
24 The LORD 18bless you, and 19keep you;
25 The LORD 20make His face shine on you, And 21be gracious to you;
26 The LORD 22lift up His countenance on you, And 23give you peace.'
27 "So they shall 24invoke My name on the sons of Israel, and I then will bless them."

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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 24

  • 1. Judges 13:5; Judges 16:17; Amos 2:11, 12
  • 2. Luke 1:15
  • 3. 1 Samuel 1:11
  • 4. Leviticus 21:1-3; Numbers 19:11-22
  • 5. Numbers 9:6
  • 6. Leviticus 14:8, 9
  • 7. Numbers 6:18
  • 8. Leviticus 5:7; Leviticus 14:22
  • 9. Leviticus 5:7
  • 10. Acts 21:26
  • 11. Leviticus 14:10; Numbers 15:27
  • 12. Exodus 29:2; Leviticus 2:4
  • 13. Numbers 15:1-7
  • 14. Numbers 6:9; Acts 21:23, 24
  • 15. Leviticus 7:28-34
  • 16. Ecclesiastes 9:7
  • 17. 1 Chronicles 23:13
  • 18. Deuteronomy 28:3-6; Psalms 28:9
  • 19. 1 Samuel 2:9; Psalms 17:8
  • 20. Ps 80:3, 7, 19
  • 21. Psalms 86:16
  • 22. Psalms 4:6; Psalms 44:3
  • 23. Psalms 29:11; Psalms 37:37
  • 24. 2 Samuel 7:23; 2 Chronicles 7:14

Footnotes 12

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

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