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Bible Commentaries
Numbers 6

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

Verses 1-12


Verses 1-12:

This chapter defines the Law of the Nazarite. Internal evidence of Scripture suggests that this custom had long been familiar among the Israelites. This law embodies it into Israel’s legal code, and regulates its practice.

"Nazarite," from nazar, "to separate." There is no connection between this word and "Nazarene." The term occurs in Le 25:5, 11, where it is translated "vine undressed." Its use implies a person or thing separated to God.

In verse 2, the first word "separate" is palah, "to consecrate, to distinguish as special." It occurs in Jg 13:19, where it is translated "did wondrously."

The second word "separate" is nazar, "to separate," in this case, "to the Lord." It is used in a general sense in Ge 49:26; De 33:16; Jg 13:5.


1. Either a man or a woman might take a Nazarite vow.

2. Strictly forbidden in the Nazarite diet was any product of the grape: wine, vinegar, grapes, raisins, or anything else made from grapes.

3. The Nazarite vow forbade drinking any intoxicating drink, of any kind.

4. The hair of the head must be unshorn for the duration of the vow. This was to be the outward sign of the vow. It represented the full strength and virility of the man as dedicated wholly to the Lord. The hair of the Nazarite was to him what the mitre was to the high priest: the distinguishing badge of his consecration.

5. The Nazarite was to avoid ceremonial defilement by contact with any dead body, even that of parents or brothers or sisters.

If the Nazarite vow were breached by accidental contact with a corpse, there must be a sacrifice in expiation of the violation. This sacrifice consisted of two "turtles" (turtle-doves), or two young pigeons to be brought to the priest, the same as for any ceremonial uncleanness, Le 12:8; 15:1-33. One of the birds was offered as a Sin Offering (Le 5:7-10), and the other as a Burnt Offering (Le 1:14-17).

If the vow were for a specific period of time, any uncleanness that violated the vow meant that one must start anew; the time prior to the violation was not counted.

Verses 13-21

Verses 13-21:

The Nazarite Vow Fulfilled.

The Nazarite Vow might be permanent, as in the cases of Samson (Jg 13:5), Samuel (1Sa 1:11), and John the Baptist (Lu 1:15). Or, it might be temporary, for a limited time. In the latter case, certain rituals were necessary when the vow was fulfilled. ,

1. A public announcement, before the priest at the Tabernacle, of the fulfillment of the vow.

2. Four offerings must be made:

(1) Burnt Offering, consisting of a male lamb, Le 1:10-13.

(2) Sin Offering, consisting of a female lamb, Le 4:33-35.

(3) Peace Offering, consisting of a ram, Le 3:12-17.

(4) Meat (food) Offerings, consisting of cakes made from fine flour mixed with oil, and wafers of unleavened bread dressed with oil, Le 2:1-16, along with drink offerings.

3. The Nazarite’s hair must be shorn, presented to the Lord in token of the fulfillment of the vow, and burned in the fire of the peace offering.

4. Portions of the offerings were offered as wave offerings before the Lord.

After the necessary rituals were performed, the Nazarite was free from his vow, and he could partake of wine once more.

Verses 22-27

Verses 22-27:

"Lord," Jehovah, occurs three times in this triune benediction which the priests were to pronounce upon Israel. This could imply the doctrine of the Triune God.

1. The Father. "The Lord bless ... keep." The Father is the Source of blessing, Jas 1:17. He is the Power who keeps, Joh 10:27-29.

2. The Son. "The Lord make His face shine . . . be gracious." The face of Jehovah denotes His relationship to man:

(1) Hidden or turned away, it is despair, De 31:16-18.

(2) Against one, it is death, Le 17:10; Ps 34:16.

(3) Turned toward one, it is life and salvation, Ps 27:1; 49:3. The Son manifests God’s grace toward man, and it is through Him that salvation comes to fallen man.

3. The Holy Spirit. "The Lord lift up His countenance . . . give thee peace." To lift up the face toward one is to regard that one with personal interest. It is to encourage, comfort, console, correct. This is the ministry of the Holy Spirit, Joh 16:7-13.

The Name of God came by Divine revelation, Ex 3:13, 14; 6:3. This Name expresses the nature of God, and His reputation. To put this Name upon a people is a mark of high honor. It is to confirm His covenant with that people. It is a seal of God’s promise of perpetual blessing upon them, Ge 12:1-3.

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Numbers 6". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/numbers-6.html. 1985.
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