I was reading the story of Samson and it mentioned that he was going to be a Nazirite and I wondered what that was. So I looked up what it meant, what it stood for, what the bible says it is and I found some really interesting information when I studied it. The simplest way that I found to define Nazirite; it is to fully pledge yourself to God. Some of the synonyms would be:
agreement, assurance, covenant, guarantee, oath, promise, vow, word.
Promise of a Nazirite
The diet of a Nazirite was very specific, a Nazirite cannot drink grape based alcohol or eat grapes, grape skins, or dried grapes you name it. Grapes were an important community in those days, I found 31 references to grapes in the ESV. If you were a Nazirite you could not be around a dead person. No funerals even if your Mother, Father or siblings died, if you did then the vow that the Nazirite took would have to start over. A Nazirite would set themselves apart from some daily tasks and give it over to God as a form of worship. Not like a fast where you give up something for days or weeks but a way of life for a certain amount of time, sometimes like Samson even a life time.
Vow of a Nazirite
The Nazirite vow was originally a life-long obligation. Young and enthusiastic men were moved by the Spirit of God to take it up, as others were inspired to be prophets, and it was an offence against Him to tempt them to break it. The only “Nazirites for life” that we know by name are Samson, Samuel and John the Baptist, but to these Jewish tradition adds Absalom in virtue of his long hair.
What does the bible say about a Nazirite
Numbers 6:1-21 ESV And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, When either a man or a woman makes a special vow, the vow of a Nazirite, to separate himself to the Lord, he shall 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. All the days of his separation he shall eat nothing that is produced by the grapevine, not even the seeds or the skins. “All the days of his vow of separation, no razor shall touch his head. Until the time is completed for which he separates himself to the Lord, he shall be holy. He shall let the locks of hair of his head grow long. “All the days that he separates himself to the Lord he shall not go near a dead body. Not 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. All the days of his separation he is holy to the Lord. “And if any man dies very suddenly beside him and he defiles his consecrated head, then he shall shave his head on the day of his cleansing; on the seventh day he shall shave it. On the eighth day he shall bring two turtledoves or two pigeons to the priest to the entrance of the tent of meeting, 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 and separate himself to the Lord for the days of his separation and bring a male lamb a year old for a guilt offering. But the previous period shall be void, because his separation was defiled. “And this is the law for the Nazirite, when the time of his separation has been completed: he shall be brought to the entrance of the tent of meeting, 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 as a sin offering, and one ram without blemish as a peace offering, and a basket of unleavened bread, loaves of fine flour mixed with oil, and unleavened wafers smeared with oil, and their grain offering and their drink offerings. And the priest shall bring them before the Lord and offer his sin offering and his burnt offering, 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. And the Nazirite shall 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. And the priest shall take the shoulder of the ram, when it is boiled, and one unleavened loaf out of the basket and one unleavened wafer, and shall put them on the hands of the Nazirite, after he has shaved the hair of his consecration, and the priest shall wave them for a wave offering before the Lord. They 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. “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.”
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“Sword: Free Bible Study for the PC.” Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary , e-sword.net/.
“BibleGateway.” BibleGateway.com: A Searchable Online Bible in over 150 Versions and 50 Languages., http://www.biblegateway.com/.
Roget’s 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.