Numbers 6

1 The LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 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, 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. 4 All the days of his separation he shall eat nothing that is made of the grapevine, from the seeds even to the skins. 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. 6 “‘All the days that he separates himself to the LORD he shall not go near a dead body. 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. 8 All the days of his separation he is holy to the LORD. 9 “‘If any man dies very suddenly beside him, and he defiles the head of his separation; then he shall shave his head in the day of his cleansing. On the seventh day he shall shave it. 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. 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. 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. 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, 14 and he shall offer his offering to the LORD, one male lamb a year old without defect for a burnt offering, and one ewe lamb a year old without defect for a sin offering, and one ram without defect for peace offerings, 15 and a basket of unleavened bread, cakes of fine flour mixed with oil, and unleavened wafers anointed with oil, and their meal offering, and their drink offerings. 16 The priest shall present them before the LORD, and shall offer his sin offering, and his burnt offering. 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. 18 The Nazirite shall shave the head of his separation at the door of the Tent of Meeting, and shall take the hair of the head of his separation, and put it on the fire which is under the sacrifice of peace offerings. 19 The priest shall take the boiled shoulder of the ram, 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 the head of his separation; 20 and the priest shall wave them for a wave offering before the LORD. This is holy for the priest, together with the breast that is waved and the thigh that is offered. After that the Nazirite may drink wine. 21 “‘This is the law of the Nazirite who vows, and of his offering to the LORD for his separation, besides that which he is able to get. According to his vow which he vows, so he must do after the law of his separation.’” 22 The LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 23 “Speak to Aaron and to his sons, saying, ‘This is how you shall bless the children of Israel.’ You shall tell them, 24 ‘The LORD bless you, and keep you. 25 The LORD make his face to shine on you, and be gracious to you. 26 The LORD lift up his face towards you, and give you peace.’ 27 “So they shall put my name on the children of Israel; and I will bless them.”

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Questions about today’s reading? See if Matthew Henry can help.
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, 1706

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. (Nu 6:22-27)

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 Holy Ghost, 2Co 13:14; each of which Persons is Jehovah, and yet they are not three Lords, but one Lord.

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