Listen to this morning’s Scripture Song – Psalm Sixty-One and Verses One – Three
Read the “0216 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.
Read a previous post from this passage – “The Lord Bless Thee”
“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: 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.” (Numbers 6:2 – 3)
Numbers 6 discusses the Nazarite vow. (Note – don’t confuse Nazarite with Nazarene. Jesus was a Nazarene from Nazareth in Galilee) The vow of a Nazarite involved these three things:
- Abstinence from wine, or anything from the vine, including grapes or raisins.
- Hair could not be cut.
- No contact whatever with a dead body, or even a dead animal.
This vow was a temporary vow of separation in most cases, though there were a few who were Nazarites from birth:
- Samson (Judges 13:5 – 7; 16:17) Samson violated his vow by breaking all three of the restrictions of the Nazarite vow. He went to the vineyards, He touched a dead body, and he cut his hair)
- Samuel (1 Samuel 1:11)
- John the Baptist (Luke 1:15 – though the Scriptures only mention that John would not drink wine or strong drink, but he was definitely separated unto the Lord).
When the Apostle Paul returned to Jerusalem after his third missionary journey, he may have been participating in a Nazarite vow by paying the offering for four men who were coming out of their time of separation (see Acts 21:24).
There was no mandate that anybody take part in this season of separation: it was the free-will choice of whoever desired to do it. The application that we can make concerning this vow is that during the time of this vow, the person was to be completely separated from sin and devoted to the Lord. That is a good thing for us to be at all times, but there may be seasons in our lives and ministries where we may want to refrain from certain entertainments and activities and, perhaps even, fast from food. During this period, we could also extend our time in prayer and Bible study.
According to Manners and Customs of the Bible:
This institution was a symbol of a life devoted to God and separated from all sin—a holy life (Numbers 6:2–21).
When the period of the continuance of the vow came to an end, the Nazarite had to present himself at the door of the sanctuary with three things.
- A male lamb of the first year for a burnt-offering.
- A ewe lamb of the first year for a sin-offering.
- A ram for a peace-offering.
After these sacrifices were offered by the priest, the Nazarite cut off his hair at the door and threw it into the fire under the peace-offering.
As to the duration of a Nazarite’s vow, everyone was left at liberty to fix his own time. There is mention made in the Scriptures of only three who were Nazarites for life, Samson, Samuel, and John the Baptist (Judges 13:4, 5; 1 Samuel 1:11, Luke 1:15). In its ordinary form, however, the Nazarite’s vow lasted only thirty and, at most, one hundred, days.
 Freeman, J. M., & Chadwick, H. J. (1998). Manners & Customs of the Bible (pp. 533–535). North Brunswick, NJ: Bridge-Logos Publishers.
Posted in Devotions by Phil Erickson with 2 comments.