Awesome Hands – Part 126: “To be a Nazir”

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Awesome Hands – Part 126 "To be a Nazir"

December 8, 2017

Our study today finds us with the familiar vow of the Nazarene. Though this is the next mentioning of the Hebrew words “yad”, to be a Nazarene is familiar to a lot of Christians.

Even if the concept of a Nazarene is foreign to some Christians, the word is not usually foreign considering that Jesus was from Nazareth, and therefore He was a Nazarene.

However, being a Nazarite has nothing to do with where you come from physically, and that is why most people confuse what Nazarite is from the place where one lives or originates.

We will attempt to clear this up within the context of the study and to also shed some spiritual light on what it truly means to be a 'Nazir'.

Nazir or Nazarene?

Our verses today will be covering the vow of the Nazarite as it is stated in English in the KJV. However, a Nazarite was very different from a Nazarene which is easily confused. To be a 'Nazir' one had to make a vow, and to be a Nazarene you simply needed to live in a certain place.

Num 6:1  And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
Num 6:2  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:
Num 6:3  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.
Num 6:4  All the days of his separation shall he eat nothing that is made of the vine tree, from the kernels even to the husk.

It is clear in scripture that Jesus drank wine. It is also clear that we do not have any scripture that supports Jesus taking a vow Himself which would qualify as a Nazarite vow. However, His cousin John the Baptist seems to fit the profile.

Luk 7:33  For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine; and ye say, He hath a devil.
Luk 7:34  The Son of man is come eating and drinking; and ye say, Behold a gluttonous man, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners!

Where did Jesus come from after all? It so happens that Jesus spent His youth in Nazareth, and aside from a few scriptures, we know nothing about how He grew up. We do know where He grew up though.

He grew up in an area that today is still not very populated. He grew up in the north of Israel. We talked last study about jealousy, and it is interesting that the ruler of the Jews caused Jesus to be driven from Bethlehem into Egypt, and from there we know He settled in Nazareth. Jesus basically grew up in a small town, probably knew most of the locals where He was, and generally grew up in the small town environment.

With Nazareth being in the north, we know that judgment comes from the north as well, so it is very telling that this is where Jesus would grow up. Jesus tells us that He came not to judge the world but to save it, but we know that God judges the world.

Rom 3:6  God forbid: for then how shall God judge the world?

1Co 6:1  Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints?
1Co 6:2  Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?
1Co 6:3  Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?
1Co 6:4  If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church.

This truly is the spiritual connection between Jesus the Nazarene and the Christ of Jesus bringing judgment. He is in us, and we are in Him, but before judgment goes out to the world, it must first begin at the house of God.

1Pe 4:16  Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.
1Pe 4:17  For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?

Then what is the connection of judgment coming from the north and the Nazarite vow?

Well, it may not seem like they have anything to do with one another, but I submit that to be a 'Nazir' one must be separated from His brethren just as Jesus, from a very early age, was driven out from among His people into hiding. Once we are judged of ourselves, we can then begin to judge the spirits in others.

Be ye separate

2Co 6:16  And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
2Co 6:17  Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,
2Co 6:18  And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

The Hebrew word NazirH5139, means unpruned vine or an undressed vine. To better understand this, we can look at some of the verses where it is used, but I first want to point out the root of H5139.

So, a Nazir is someone who is separate or consecrated, a devotee who is untrimmed. The untrimmed characteristic comes from the vow which causes the Nazir to not cut his or her hair.

The root word of Nazir is:

To dedicate, consecrate and be separate oneself to God is an apt definition of the disciples indeed who follow Christ to His cross, don’t you agree?

One of the most famous Nazarites is Samson, especially in children’s biblical stories.

Jdg 13:4  Now therefore beware, I pray thee, and drink not wine nor strong drink, and eat not any unclean thing:
Jdg 13:5  For, lo, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and no razor shall come on his head: for the child shall be a Nazarite unto God from the womb: and he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines.
Jdg 13:6  Then the woman came and told her husband, saying, A man of God came unto me, and his countenance was like the countenance of an angel of God, very terrible: but I asked him not whence he was, neither told he me his name:
Jdg 13:7  But he said unto me, Behold, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and now drink no wine nor strong drink, neither eat any unclean thing: for the child shall be a Nazarite to God from the womb to the day of his death.

Not even from the womb did Samson partake of wine or strong drink! Notice who it is that receives the blessings of the Lord.

Gen 49:26  The blessings of thy father have prevailed above the blessings of my progenitors unto the utmost bound of the everlasting hills: they shall be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of him that was separateH5139from his brethren.

Deu 33:16  And for the precious things of the earth and fulness thereof, and for the good will of him that dwelt in the bush: let the blessing come upon the head of Joseph, and upon the top of the head of him that was separated from his brethren.

Yes, Joseph is our type for the separation that happens with spiritual Nazarites. Notice, both men and women can take the vow of the Nazir.

Num 6:2  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:

Num 6:8  All the days of his separation he is holy unto the LORD.

Samson, Samuel and John the Baptist were all under a Nazarite vow, and they all were separated for very important work for the Lord.

Knowing that we are being raised up as kings and priests, and that there are prophets and prophetesses, should give us all pause to recognize the immense blessing and calling we have all been given by the Lord while living in this age.

Knowing that John the Baptist was the greatest prophet to ever be born of a woman, and that he lives in the wilderness off of locusts and honey while abstaining from wine and strong drink, what then can we take away from the vow of the Nazarite that was prevalent in the old testament?

When we look at the mandates the Lord gave the Israelites, we can get a clearer understanding of what was expected.

Num 6:5  All the days of the vow of his separation there shall no razor come upon his head: until the days be fulfilled, in the which he separateth himself unto the LORD, he shall be holy, and shall let the locks of the hair of his head grow.
Num 6:6  All the days that he separateth himself unto the LORD he shall come at no dead body.
Num 6:7  He shall not make himself unclean for his father, or for his mother, for his brother, or for his sister, when they die: because the consecration of his God is upon his head.
Num 6:8  All the days of his separation he is holy unto the LORD.

Taking it at “face value”, what is the significance of letting the locks of his hair grow? We know that the hair was where Samson’s strength was, but it is much more than just the physical hair. It is what the hair represents that brought about his strength.

The hair is the covering of the head. It is the beauty of the head. For Jewish men and women, vitality was seen in the hair, which was opposite for the Gentiles (and the Greeks) whom Paul was accustomed to being around.

1Co 11:12  For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of God.
1Co 11:13  Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered?
1Co 11:14  Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him?
1Co 11:15  But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.

The royalty of the Egyptians actually shaved their heads and used wigs to decorate their head, and Paul is telling us here that it was a shame for a man to have long hair. For the Jews, this vow would signify their full and outward commitment to God via their vow.

It should not be lost on us that this vow, and outward representation of it, was a separation from what the “every day” Jew did.

We also learn another valuable lesson from the Nazarite vow found in touching a dead body.

Num 6:6  All the days that he separateth himself unto the LORD he shall come at no dead body.
Num 6:7  He shall not make himself unclean for his father, or for his mother, for his brother, or for his sister, when they die: because the consecration of his God is upon his head.

Though this specifically mentions becoming unclean through touching a dead person, it is very easy to see the spiritual application of this message to Christians today. When we are separated to the Lord, NO ONE should come between us and the Lord, ESPECIALLY THE DEAD.

Mat 8:21  And another of his disciples said unto him, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.
Mat 8:22  But Jesus said unto him, Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead.

Luk 9:59  And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.
Luk 9:60  Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God.
Luk 9:61  And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house.
Luk 9:62  And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.

When being separated unto the Lord, we are not to want to be reunited with the old traditions and lives that we once knew.

The Lord is not silent when it comes to knowing what this will do with our relationships and the actions and reactions our loved ones and friends will have toward us.

It is no coincidence that right after being told to let the dead bury their dead and telling His disciple not to BURY HIS FATHER, which was a BIG DEAL, that we then are told about Jesus calming the storm that surely is going to kill us, right?

Mat 8:23  And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him.
Mat 8:24  And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep.
Mat 8:25  And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish.
Mat 8:26  And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.
Mat 8:27  But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!

We just need to believe that what happens to us, when the Lord puts a coat a many colors on us as Joseph had put on him by his father, that we are LOVED and the Lord is separating us to His glorious work.

Num 6:8  All the days of his separation he is holy unto the LORD.

The connection to this vow, being a Nazir and having uncut hair is very important to realize. This was the same significance as being a priest. The root of both is the same.

The consecration of the priests was done with placing the holy crown, the holy “NEZER” upon the mitre which went upon the head.

Exo 29:6  And thou shalt putH7760 the mitreH4701 uponH5921 his head,H7218 and putH5414 (H853) the holyH6944 crownH5145 uponH5921 the mitre.H4701

The same word as 'separation' is used when talking about the Nazarite vow.

Num 6:8  All the days of his separationH5145 he is holy unto the LORD.

This vow was also very particular in that is shows us that sin is sin to the Lord, even if it is involuntary or accidental. You may be saying that no sin is involuntary or accidental, but I declare to you that this cannot always be true. There are times when we may sin without meaning to sin or having premeditated to do so.

Num 6:9  And if any man die very suddenly by him, and he hath defiled the head of his consecration; then he shall shave his head in the day of his cleansing, on the seventh day shall he shave it.
Num 6:10  And on the eighth day he shall bring two turtles, or two young pigeons, to the priest, to the door of the tabernacle of the congregation:
Num 6:11  And the priest shall offer the one for a sin offering, and the other for a burnt offering, and make an atonement for him, for that he sinned by the dead, and shall hallow his head that same day.

Now, if I am riding my horse and my friend suddenly falls of his horse because he just hit a branch or had a heart attack, and I run to his aid to find him dead, if I touch him while under this vow, I would be guilty of sin according to verse 8.

If I find someone on the side of the road, and I go to look to see if they are okay due to simple humanity and I touch them when they are dead, I have sinned according to this vow.

In other words, there are times when this could happen, but the Lord also made a way to atone for this without the actual vow being broken. Your time of having the vow upon you would start over.

Num 6:12  And he shall consecrate unto the LORD the days of his separation, and shall bring a lamb of the first year for a trespass offering: but the days that were before shall be lost, because his separation was defiled.

One of the last steps to a successful time of this vow was to cut the hair off and burn it in the fire.

Being that there are so many references to fire in scripture, we will just sum it up that even vows will have their end, and whatsoever can be purified and burned up by fire, will be.

Whatever remains, the person who successfully kept their vow in this case, would be saved.

As you can see, there is a lot more than meets the eye when it comes to the Nazarite vow. Though being a Nazarite and Nazarene are not the same, they are connected somewhat in that they are done through Jesus Christ and His Christ.

Jesus was a Nazarene and was separated from the bulk of His Jewish brethren, and we, too, are spiritually separated by being spiritual 'Nazir' from our spiritual births in the Christ.

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