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As the preceding chapter contained the law respecting, unclean persons, in this we have the law concerning the Nazarites who were devoted to the LORD by their vows. The chapter is rendered interesting also, from another consideration, in that it closes with the blessing, wherewith the LORD enjoined the priests to bless in his name the people.
It is hardly possible to enter upon the perusal of this chapter, on the subject of the Nazarites, without calling to mind him, who at his entrance into the world, in substance of our flesh, we are told, came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets: He shall be called a Nazarene. Isaiah describes JESUS under this character, of the branch growing out of the roots of Jesse; the word "branch" is Nitzar, signifying of Nazareth. Isaiah 11:1 . Though there are many circumstances in the law concerning Nazarites, which cannot be at all applicable to the blessed JESUS; for he both touched dead bodies and drank wine, and yet was never unclean, but remained as before, holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinners; yet strictly speaking, as being eminently devoted to the LORD; JESUS was the very Nazarene himself, to whom all the law, concerning the Nazarites typically referred. Hence Joseph, as his type, was a Nazarite, being separated from his brethren. Genesis 49:26 . And Samson, a very striking type in this respect, as a Nazarite of the LORD JESUS. I exhort the Reader to beseech the GOD of Israel, to grant him grace, while perusing this chapter, that he may discern the typical circumstances in it, pointing to the ever-blessed JESUS. And may that adored Redeemer, do by both Writer and Reader, as he did by his disciples at Emmaus. Luke 24:44-45 .
And was not JESUS separated, and solemnly set apart to the service of his FATHER? Reader, do not forget what JESUS hath said himself, respecting this, of being sanctified or set apart for his people. John 17:19 .
How precious is it to behold, in this instance also, the blessed JESUS typified. The Church is described by Solomon under this similitude: Her hair is a flock of goats that appear from Mount Gilead. Song 1-8. And are not the LORD'S people like the hairs of his head, a multitude which grow upon him, and on which no razor of separation shall ever cone? Do not his people live upon him, depend upon him, draw all their life, and strength, and nourishment from him, and be part of himself, never to be separated from him? Oh! thou glorious Nazarene! however despised and rejected of men, be thou nearer and dearer to me than language can express; and may it be said of my soul among thy people, as it was of the church of old, by virtue of her union with thee; her Nazarites were purer than snow, they were whiter than milk, they were more ruddy in body than rubies, their polishing was of sapphire. Lamentations 4:7 .
Our dear LORD here manifested his holiness, for though touching a dead body, as in the case of those he raised from the dead, yet he himself contracted no uncleanness! How sweet and delightful it is to see, that in all he did and suffered for us, it conveyed no shadow of taint to him. He was made sin, nay, a curse for us; but yet knew no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth! How precious that scripture! 2 Corinthians 5:21 . Reader! let you and I live upon it.
Secondarily and subordinately to the grand subject, of being typical to the ever blessed Nazarite, the LORD JESUS CHRIST, we may behold in this chapter, several circumstances which had a reference to the character of the Nazarites in general. Those verses particularly point out the law, as it relates to them. Misters especially, and even lower orders in the church, whose lives are engaged about sacred things, nay here observe, how graciously the LORD hath made provision for errors of infirmity, and offenses of oversight. See! what a merciful GOD in CHRIST, we have to do with. Sweet is that scripture to this effect, Psa_103:10; Psa_103:14 .
Let not the Reader overlook in all this process of the sin-offering, and meat-offering, and drink-offering, and peace-offering, now that one grand and all sufficient-offering of the LORD JESUS is shadowed forth. The waving before the LORD evidently manifested to when the offering was made: and while it testified the sense of sin, it proclaimed, that pardon and peace could only be obtained by the Saviour. Dearest JESUS! may the account of all the sacrifices I read of under the law have this happy effect, to lead my heart to thee, who by thy one sacrifice, once offered, forever perfected them that are sanctified. Hebrews 10:14 .
I have often considered the blessing here appointed by GOD himself, as being a very striking form of expression. This is what may be considered as the great standard for blessing GOD'S people, in the Old Testament dispensation, as that expressed by the apostle Paul, is the order under the New: 2 Corinthians 13:14 . And a little attention to both will show that they are only different methods of expressing one, and the same thing. Reader! observe the manner and form made use of, and then judge for yourself, whether the words of the blessing do not particularly express the several distinct and special mercies which each person of the GODHEAD is said, in other parts of scripture, to manifest towards the people of GOD in CHRIST. First, remark with me, that the incommunicable and glorious name of JEHOVAH, or LORD, is thrice repeated. Next observe, how each time the form is altered. The LORD bless thee, and keep thee. The blessing and keeping of GOD'S heritage, is in a very peculiar and express manner ascribed to GOD the FATHER. See in proof of this, these scriptures. Ephesians 1:3 ; 1 Peter 1:5; 1 Peter 1:5 ; John 17:11 . So again, when it is said; the LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee. Is not this the peculiar blessing of GOD our Saviour? when the light of the knowledge of the glory of GOD is given to us in the face of JESUS CHRIST? See 2 Corinthians 3:18; 2 Corinthians 3:18 ; John 1:18; John 1:18 . And is it not through the grace that is in CHRIST JESUS, that we find mercy from GOD even the FATHER? Romans 5:11 ; Colossians 1:20 . And is not the peculiar office of GOD the HOLY GHOST, very strikingly adverted to in this expression; the LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace. Among the special offices of GOD the SPIRIT, that of comforting his people with the light of his countenance, is very eminently striking; and of making peace in the soul, by the application of all the sweet graces and blessings of the LORD JESUS? See the church's lamentation, when under the want of this; Lamentations 1:16 . Hence the LORD JESUS's promise, John 14:26 . Hence also the prayer of the apostle, Romans 15:13 . When the Reader hath made his own remarks upon these things, I would beg him to take with him another observation on this precious blessing; and that is, that the blessing is personal; the LORD bless thee, and keep thee. Yes! Reader, you and I must not be content with general things, we must see and know our own personal interest in them. Dearest LORD! grant this to both Writer and Reader! And let me beg the Reader to bear with me, while I add another observation on this sweet passage. The priests, the sons of Aaron, who were appointed to bless the people in this way, could only pray the LORD that it might be so, and that the LORD'S blessing would follow. But our JESUS, whom they represented, commands the blessing which he pronounceth; for we are told by an authority not to be questioned, that GOD having raised up his Son JESUS, sent him to bless us. Acts 3:26 . Dear JESUS! how precious is it to see that in all things, thou hast the pre-eminence. Colossians 1:18 . Let me detain the Reader only with a prayer over the whole, that the blessed promise in the close of this chapter, may be our portion; that JESUS our High Priest, may put the name of our GOD upon us, as his children, and we shall be blessed indeed! Revelation 2:12 .
HERE, my soul, let me stand and view, in the contemplation of the Nazarites, that holy Nazarite, that unequalled spotless SON of GOD, who for my sake separated himself from all that was corrupt in our nature, when in that nature he undertook and accomplished, the salvation of his people. Well is it for me that thou, blessed JESUS, hast fulfilled all righteousness on my behalf; for I groan daily, being burthened with the weight of corruption in my nature; and I feel that in me, that is in my flesh, dwelleth no good thing. LORD, what power hath the remains of indwelling corruption in my nature over me! How little of the principles of the true Nazarite do I find in my heart! And yet, how earnestly do I desire to be dedicated unto GOD. Oh! precious JESUS! how sweet and endearing is it to my soul, that thou art here, as in every other instance, the LORD my righteousness.
Reader! let us not close the chapter, until that we have jointly bent the knee of prayer together, that our great High Priest and Saviour may pour upon us the precious blessing contained in it. FATHER of mercies! do thou bless us and keep us! Holy Saviour! cause thy face to shine upon us, and be gracious unto us! Eternal SPIRIT! lift up thy countenance upon us, and we shall be whole. LORD give us peace, even that peace in the blood of the cross, which shall both in time and in eternity keep our hearts and souls, in and through JESUS CHRIST. Amen.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Numbers 6". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 9 / Ordinary 14