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Bible Dictionaries

People's Dictionary of the Bible


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Nazarites (năz'a-rîtes), properly Nazirites, Numbers 6:2, from a Hebrew word signifying "to separate." A Nazirite, under the ancient law, was one, either male or female, under a vow to abstain from wine and all intoxicating liquors and the fruit of the vine. The hair should be allowed to grow without being shorn, and all contamination with dead bodies should be avoided. The Nazirite was not even to approach the corpse of father or mother, Numbers 6:7, and if by accident this should occur, he was required to shave his head, make offerings, and renew the vow. When the time of the vow expired, the person brought an offering to the temple; the priest then cut off his hair and burnt it; after which the Nazirite was free from his vow and might again drink wine. The term of the vow is left indefinite. "The days of the vow" is the expression in Numbers 6:1-27. We know, however, that there were perpetual Nazirites. Samson and probably Samuel and John the Baptist were perpetual Nazirites. Hannah promised the Lord that no razor should touch the head of her child if the Lord would give her one, 1 Samuel 1:11, and the angel predicted to Zacharias that John would abstain entirely from wine and strong drink. Luke 1:15.

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Rice, Edwin Wilbur, DD. Entry for 'Nazarites'. People's Dictionary of the Bible. 1893.

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