New European Version: Old Testament

Deeper commentary on this chapter

Audio talks on this chapter:


Video presentations on this chapter


Other material relevant to this chapter:


Hear this chapter read:



About | PDFs | Mobile formats | Word formats | Other languages | Contact Us | What is the Gospel? | Support the work | Carelinks Ministries | | The Real Christ | The Real Devil | "Bible Companion" Daily Bible reading plan

CHAPTER 6 Mar. 25 
The Nazirite Vow
Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, 2Speak 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 Yahweh, 3he 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. 4All the days of his separation he shall eat nothing that is made of the grapevine, from the seeds even to the skins. 5All 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 Yahweh. He shall be holy. He shall let the locks of the hair of his head grow long. 6All the days that he separates himself to Yahweh he shall not go near a dead body. 7He 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. 8All the days of his separation he is holy to Yahweh. 9If 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. 10On the eighth day he shall bring two turtledoves or two young pigeons to the priest, to the door of the Tent of Meeting. 11The 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. 12He shall consecrate to Yahweh 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. 13This 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, 14and he shall offer his offering to Yahweh, one male lamb a year old without blemish for a burnt offering, and one ewe lamb a year old without blemish for a sin offering, and one ram without blemish for peace offerings, 15and a basket of unleavened bread, cakes of fine flour mixed with oil, and unleavened wafers anointed with oil, and their grain offering, and their drink offerings. 16The priest shall present them before Yahweh, and shall offer his sin offering, and his burnt offering. 17He shall offer the ram for a sacrifice of peace offerings to Yahweh, with the basket of unleavened bread. The priest shall offer also its grain offering, and its drink offering. 18The 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. 19The 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; 20and the priest shall wave them for a wave offering before Yahweh. 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. 21This is the law of the Nazirite who vows, and of his offering to Yahweh for his separation, besides that which he is able to put his hand on. According to his vow which he vows, so he must do after the law of his separation’. 22Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, 23Speak to Aaron and to his sons, saying, ‘This is how you shall bless the children of Israel’. You shall tell them, 24‘Yahweh bless you, and keep you. 25Yahweh make His face to shine on you, and be gracious to you. 26Yahweh lift up His face toward you, and give you peace’. 27So they shall put My name on the children of Israel; and I will bless them.


6:3 Any Israelite could vow him or herself to special service to God; we too shouldn’t see our service to God in terms of doing the minimum. Realizing the wonder of His grace and the certainty of our eternal life in His Kingdom, we should be moved to special devotions. In this vow, the ordinary Israelite willingly submitted to some of the regulations specific to the priests on duty. The growing of long hair could be seen as an imitation of the High Priest’s mitre. They were not to see the priesthood as something reserved just for specialists, those born into it; nor were they to see the High Priest as so distant from themselves that he could never be imitated, in spirit at least. We likewise can take to ourselves some aspects of the personal work of the Lord Jesus; for all that is true of Him becomes true of we who are baptized into Him. As He was the light of the world, so are we to be.
6:6 The Nazirite was not only to not touch a corpse, but not go near one; likewise they were not only to not drink wine, but not drink grape juice nor eat seeds or skins of grapes, from which wine is made. This is the classic ‘hedge around the law’- forbidding something not because it unlawful of itself but because the associations may lead to breaking an actual law. We in Christ are freed from all legalism and casuistry; and yet in our daily struggle against temptation, it is no bad idea to remove far from us those things, associations, images etc. which may stimulate temptation and the power of sin. 
6:11 It hardly sounds sinful for a person who has made a special dedication to God to be made unclean by a person unexpectedly falling dead next to him or her. But in this legislation God is seeking to teach us how sensitive He is to uncleanness. This principle can carry over into our lives today; if we love to view, read and talk about unclean things, even if we don’t do them, then we are not respecting the distance which God seeks to set between the clean and unclean, right and wrong, good and evil.
6:14 The need for a sin offering at the end of his period of dedication was maybe to remind him that his extra special devotion didn’t take away his sin and need for grace; for relationship with God depends upon this rather than upon our works and special efforts. Again, we can take that principle to ourselves in our age.