The Purpose of a Nazarite
Someone under the Nazarite vow really only had one purpose, and it is found in these words: “‘All the days of his separation he is holy to the Lord” (Numbers 6:8).
This was a vow of becoming untrimmed by the world, unhindered by the world’s pleasures, and undeterred from the Lord’s service. The High Priest was to be Holy to the Lord at all times, but a Nazirite could come into this holy dedication by choice, for a time, and serve a holy purpose.
Except for Samson, a Nazirite vow was only for a short time. According to Jewish Rabbinical teaching, the vow was typically for 30 to 60 days. After this time, the Nazirite fulfilled the following obligations—
- Offering a male lamb without defect for a burnt offering. This signified the totality of his commitment.
- Offering a ewe lamb without defect for a sin offering. This sin offering was for unintentional sin that may have been committed, and was only effective with a corresponding confession of the sin.
- Offering a ram without defect for a peace offering. This offering, eaten together with the Priest, showed the restoration of relationships after the time of separation.
- Offering a grain and drink offering. This offering signified the humanity of the Nazirite and foreshadowed the Messiah.
- Shave the head completely, and burn the dedicated hair on the altar. This was a dramatic means of showing that the time of the vow was complete.
- The Nazirite was instructed to drink wine. In Jewish life, the symbolism of wine is rich, speaking of the bounty of God. The drinking of wine did not have the same cultural issues as in our modern day.
If you have ever made a vow to the Lord, make sure you have concluded it with honor and a testimony to God’s goodness!
In His Grace;
Dr. Randy White
For more solid Biblical teaching, including a daily radio broadcast
from Dr. White, please visit Randy White Ministries.