Aug 27, 2012 – Study Session: Vow of the Nazarite

Num 30:6-7  And if she had at all an husband, when she vowed, or uttered ought out of her lips, wherewith she bound her soul; and her husband heard it, and held his peace at her in the day that he heard it: then her vows shall stand, and her bonds wherewith she bound her soul shall stand.

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Excerpt, Matthew Henry, Commentary on the Whole Bible:

It is very probable that there were those before the making of this law who went under the character of Nazarites, and were celebrated by that title as persons professing greater strictness and zeal in religion than other people; for the vow of a Nazarite is spoken of here as a thing already well known, but the obligation of it is reduced to a greater certainty than hitherto it had been. Joseph is called a Nazarite among his brethren (Gen_49:26), not only because separate from them, but because eminent among them. Observe,

I. The general character of a Nazarite: it is a person separated unto the Lord,

Num_6:2. Some were Nazarites for life, either by divine designation, as Samson (Jdg_13:5), and John Baptist (Luk_1:15), or by their parents’ vow concerning them, as Samuel, 1Sa_1:11. Of these this law speaks not. Others were so for a certain time, and by their own voluntary engagement, and concerning them rules are given by this law. A woman might bind herself with the vow of a Nazarite, under the limitations we find, Num_30:3-15, where the vow which the woman is supposed to vow unto the Lord seems to be meant especially of this vow. The Nazarites were,

1. Devoted to the Lord during the time of their Nazariteship, and, it is probable, spent much of their time in the study of the law, in acts of devotion, and instructing others. An air of piety was thereby put upon them, and upon their whole conversation.

2. They were separated from common persons and common things. Those that are consecrated to God must not be conformed to this world. They distinguished themselves, not only from others, but from what they themselves were before and after.

3. They separated themselves by vowing a vow. Every Israelite was bound by the divine law to love God with all his heart, but the Nazarites by their own act and deed bound themselves to some religious observances, as fruits and expressions of that love, which other Israelites were not bound to. Some such there were, whose spirits God stirred up to be in their day the ornaments of the church, the standard-bearers of religion, and patterns of piety. It is spoken of as a great favour to their nation that God raised up of their young men for Nazarites, Amo_2:11. The Nazarites were known in the streets and respected as purer than snow, whiter than milk, Lam_4:7.

Christ was called in reproach a Nazarene, so were his followers: but he was no Nazarite according to this law; he drank wine, and touched dead bodies, yet in his this type had its accomplishment, for in him all purity and perfection met;

And every true Christian is a spiritual Nazarite, separated by vow unto the Lord.

2 thoughts on “Aug 27, 2012 – Study Session: Vow of the Nazarite

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