The Nazirite Vow. The Aaronic Blessing.
VERSE 1. The LORD spoke to Moses, saying,
VERSE 2. “Speak to the children of Israel, and tell them: ‘When either man or woman shall make a special vow, the vow of a Nazirite, to separate himself to the LORD,
either man or woman. The Nazirite vow is open to any Jewish person, male or female.
Nazirite. The Hebrew word is נָזִ֔יר (“nazir”). It means one who is consecrated or separated. They are holy to the LORD God.
Later in the biblical narrative, Sampson will be a famous Nazirite:
Judges 13:5. for, behold, you shall conceive and give birth to a son. No razor shall come on his head, for the child shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb. He shall begin to save Israel out of the hand of the Philistines.”
VERSE 3. he shall separate himself from wine and strong drink. He shall drink no vinegar of wine, or vinegar of fermented drink, neither shall he drink any juice of grapes, nor eat fresh grapes or dried.
separate himself from wine. A Nazirite may not drink alcohol.
and strong drink. A Nazirite may not drink strong drinks.
Back then, they did not have coffee. But most people consider coffee a strong drink.
VERSE 4. All the days of his separation he shall eat nothing that is made of the grapevine, from the seeds even to the skins.
VERSE 5. “ ‘All the days of his vow of separation no razor shall come on his head, until the days are fulfilled in which he separates himself to the LORD. He shall be holy. He shall let the locks of the hair of his head grow long.
no razor shall come on his head. A Nazirite may not cut their hair. Eventually, they will have very long hair. And if they can grow a beard, it will be very long.
In our day, most Christians often look down with disdain on men with long hair. However, that is unbiblical.
The biblical model of zeal for the LORD God requires long hair.
Later in the biblical narrative, a famous Nazirite will emerge. His name is Sampson. His long hair will be the source of his superhuman strength.
There are many religious movements that require long hair:
- Jewish Nazirite
- Hindu Sadhu
Later in the biblical narrative, Samson will violate this verse:
Judges 14:9. He took it into his hands, and went on, eating as he went. He came to his father and mother and gave to them, and they ate, but he didn’t tell them that he had taken the honey out of the lion’s body.
VERSE 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 his separation to God is on his head.
God. The Hebrew word rendered “God” is “אֱלֹהִ֑ים” (Elohim).
VERSE 8. All the days of his separation he is holy to the LORD.
VERSE 10. On the eighth day he shall bring two turtledoves or two young pigeons to the priest, to the door of the Tent of Meeting.
VERSE 11. 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, and shall make his head holy that same day.
VERSE 12. He shall separate to the LORD the days of his separation, and shall bring a male lamb a year old for a trespass offering; but the former days shall be void, because his separation was defiled.
VERSE 13. “ ‘This is the law of the Nazirite: when the days of his separation are fulfilled, he shall be brought to the door of the Tent of Meeting,
VERSE 14. and he shall offer his offering to the LORD: one male lamb a year old without defect for a burnt offering, one ewe lamb a year old without defect for a sin offering, one ram without defect for peace offerings,
VERSE 15. a basket of unleavened bread, cakes of fine flour mixed with oil, and unleavened wafers anointed with oil with their meal offering and their drink offerings.
VERSE 16. The priest shall present them before the LORD, and shall offer his sin offering and his burnt offering.
VERSE 17. He shall offer the ram for a sacrifice of peace offerings to the LORD, with the basket of unleavened bread. The priest shall offer also its meal offering and its drink offering.
VERSE 18. The Nazirite shall shave the head of his separation at the door of the Tent of Meeting, take the hair of the head of his separation, and put it on the fire which is under the sacrifice of peace offerings.
put it on the fire. The Nazirite’s hair is burnt as an offering.
In the New Testament, Paul shaved his head:
Acts 18:18. Paul, having stayed after this many more days, took his leave of the brothers, and sailed from there for Syria, together with Priscilla and Aquila. He shaved his head in Cenchreae, for he had a vow.
VERSE 19. The priest shall take the boiled shoulder of the ram, 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 the head of his separation;
VERSE 20. and the priest shall wave them for a wave offering before the LORD. They are holy for the priest, together with the breast that is waved and the thigh that is offered. After that the Nazirite may drink wine.
VERSE 21. “ ‘This is the law of the Nazirite who vows and of his offering to the LORD for his separation, in addition to that which he is able to afford. According to his vow which he vows, so he must do after the law of his separation.’ ”
VERSE 22. The LORD spoke to Moses, saying,
VERSE 23. “Speak to Aaron and to his sons, saying, ‘This is how you shall bless the children of Israel.’ You shall tell them,
This is how. This passage reveals a text called “The Aaronic Blessing.”
There is an extant text of this from 1,700 BC.
you shall bless the children of Israel. The LORD God wished to bless people by means of a human agent.
VERSE 24. ‘The LORD bless you, and keep you.
VERSE 25. The LORD make his face to shine on you, and be gracious to you.
VERSE 26. The LORD lift up his face toward you, and give you peace.’
I will bless them. It was Aaron who said the words of blessing. But it was the LORD God who actually who did the blessing.
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.