The Agora
Bible Commentary

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Numbers 6

Num 6:1

See Lesson, Nazirite (poem).

The law of the Nazirite gives one the opportunity to emulate the High Priest of Israel for a period of one's own choosing. Israel was to be a kingdom of priests, a holy nation (Exo 19:6). Typ us (1Pe 2:5,9). So Nazirite vow looked toward future, when the ordinary man could be a priest with God!

Num 6:2

IF A MAN OR WOMAN WANTS TO MAKE A SPECIAL VOW...: The law of The Nazarite is an occasion when either man or woman could dedicate himself or herself to the Lord. This marks an almost unique feature of the Law of Moses. Tabernacle service was a male preserve -- at the ordinance of the Lord. However, the Nazarite vow provided women as well as men the opportunity to lead a life of dedication.

Num 6:3

Typ of High Priest, to put difference between holy and unholy (Lev 10:8-11). To think soberly (Phi 1:9,10). Example of Rechabites: Jer 35:5. Poor examples: Isa 28:7; 29:4,13; Amo 2:11,12. God is to be worshiped in spirit and truth (Joh 4:24), not in overwrought emotions.

Num 6:4

...NOT EVEN THE SEEDS OR SKINS: "Nazarites had taken, among other vows, one which debarred them from the use of wine. In order that they might not violate the obligation, they were forbidden to drink the vinegar of wine or strong liquors, and to make the rule still more clear, they were not to touch the unfermented juice of grapes, nor even to eat the fruit either fresh or dried. In order, altogether, to secure the integrity of the vow, they were not even allowed anything that had to do with the vine; they were, in fact, to avoid the appearance of evil.

"Surely this is a lesson to the Lord's separated ones, teaching them to come away from sin in every form, to avoid not merely its grosser shapes, but even its spirit and similitude. Strict walking is much despised in these days, but... it is both the safest and the happiest. He who yields a point or two to the world is in fearful peril; he who eats the grapes of Sodom will soon drink the wine of Gomorrah. A little crevice in the sea-bank in Holland lets in the sea, and the gap speedily swells till a province is drowned. Worldly conformity, in any degree, is a snare to the soul, and makes it more and more liable to presumptuous sins.

"Moreover, as the Nazarite who drank grape juice could not be quite sure whether it might not have endured a degree of fermentation, and consequently could not be clear in heart that his vow was intact, so the yielding, temporizing Christian cannot wear a conscience void of offence, but must feel that the inward monitor is in doubt of him. Things doubtful we need not doubt about; they are wrong to us. Things tempting we must not dally with, but flee from them with speed. Better be sneered at as a Puritan than be despised as a hypocrite. Careful walking may involve much self-denial, but it has pleasures of its own which are more than a sufficient recompense" (CHS).

Num 6:5

For priests, long hair sym holiness (Lev 21:5,6).

Num 6:6

The High Priest could have no contact with the dead (Lev 21:10). Christ to the young man: "Let dead bury dead" (Mat 8:22). Do not come near "dead works" (Heb 9:14).

Num 6:19

The Nazirite receives the portion ordinarily belonging to the High Priest!

Num 6:24

Vv 24-26: All the "you's" are singular: The priest blesses individuals, not just the community!

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