The first reference in the Bible concerning the Nazarite Vow and its meaning is found in Numbers 6:1-21. The year is BC. 1490 approx., and Jehovah instructed Moses that he should tell the Israelites (as this was applicable only to Jews), that when a man or woman separated themselves to Jehovah by their free will, (for special purpose within the Will of Jehovah), it was to be called a Nazarite Vow. (Nazarite in Hebrew meaning “Separated” or “Consecrated”). Very strict rules were attached to this Vow, and during the period of the Vow the man or woman were "holy (meaning separated) unto the Lord". (Note: in the opinion of the writers, this "Separation", gave the participant a status similar to, but not the same; as Eve and Adam, prior to their sin of disobedience, and placed them into a condition of "Ceremonial Correctness"; which gave them suitability for "service" against the great enemy, Satan. See: Satan's Contest with God).
During the time of this separation, no wine or strong drink was to be drunk, the hair was not to be cut, and no dead body was to be touched. In fact if someone died suddenly and a Jew under a Nazarite Vow touched them, they were to shave their heads on the 7th day of the cleansing. On the 8th day they were to make a sin offering and a burnt offering, which had to be brought to the priest, to make Atonement. Then a trespass offering was to be made by sacrificing a lamb a year old, followed by a meat and drink offering. Also a ram was to be sacrificed as a peace offering. The hair which had been shaved was to be put into the fire of the burnt offering. (This particular requirement has puzzled the writers for many years; but clearly represented the antidote to the "touching of the dead body" by the Sanctified Nazarite, [as Death entered the world at Eden by Satan's subtlety]; rendering him/her suitable for Service to Jehovah again; as seen with Moses sons circumcision by Zipporah in the following Link;) Zipporah and the Circumcision of Gershom and Eliezer.
Then the priest was to make a wave offering from various parts of the sacrifice and wave them before Jehovah. These actions restored the Nazarite to "Ceremonial Suitability", to continue the purpose of his Vow; and in the case of Samson, Jehovah's intentions against the Philistines! Numbers 6:18-21 describes the procedure of the Priest at the end of the Nazarite Vow. After this the Nazarite could again drink wine, (Mark 14:25).
The next reference to this very special Vow is made in Judges 13, the year is BC. 1100. Here an angel appeared to the wife of Manoah, who was a Godly man. She had been barren of children up to that point, however the angel told her that she would bear a son, and that he would be a Nazarite from his birth. Because of this she was not to drink wine or eat anything unclean during the time she was pregnant. She told her husband what the angel had said and Manoah prayed to Jehovah to be shown how to bring up the boy, as he knew this was an unusual and special happening by Jehovah!
The angel appeared again to them and instructed them. They did not realise he was an angel, until they were sacrificing to Jehovah upon a rock afterward, and the angel rose up to Jehovah as the flame went up from the rock (alter).
Manoah was concerned and felt that they would die because they had, seen an angel of God, however his wife showed him that Jehovah had commissioned them to have Samson, and accepted their offering, therefore it was clearly not God's intention that they die!
Their son was born and he was to be called Samson, which means "sun", or "bright" who was to begin the deliverance of Israel from the Philistines. (See: Nephilim; Nephilim, who were they, and why? & Nephilim Rev. Chp. 14:1(b).
Judges 14 records that Samson wanted a woman to be his wife from the Philistines. However his parents did not realise that it was in Jehovah's Will, tried to prevent him. As he was travelling to marry her he was confronted by a lion, which he eventually killed with his bare hands. Later he passed the carcass of the lion, and seeing there was a swarm of bees and honey in the carcass, he ate some of the honey. At the wedding feast Samson presented a riddle to the guests, saying “out of the eater something to eat, out of the strong, something sweet”. He then challenged the Philistines to answer the riddle. Because they could not, they persuade his wife to find out the meaning of the riddle. She did this by complaining to him over a 7 day period, until he told her the answer. Afterwards Samson was very angry at his wife's deception and killed many of the Philistines which increased their anger towards him and Israel. Later his wife is killed and Samson killed a further 1,000 Philistines.
If his wife was of Nephilim stock, her death can be taken as Jehovah’s Will, as any offspring would have sullied the Jewish seed, and Satan's methods are all aimed at the demise of Israel then and now! See: Satan's Motivation:
Throughout his life Samson showed great weakness regarding women, and when he loved Delilah (Judges 16:4-22), she proved to be his temporary downfall. She was used by the Philistines to find out where his great strength lay. Because he had been under a Nazarite Vow from his birth, his hair had never been cut, however when his hair was cut he would lose his strength (Judges 16). On discovering this Delilah told the Philistines who gave her reward money.
Whilst Samson was asleep she instructed a Philistine to cut off his hair, he then lost his strength. They then gouged out his eyes, and bound him in iron chains. However as his hair grew his strength returned, and as the Philistines were using him to entertain them at a feast, he asked a young servant lad to guide him to where the 2 main pillars were that held up the house. He then prayed to Jehovah that He would give him the strength to push these pillars over. Samson did this and the whole house collapsed, therefore over 3,000 Philistines were killed by him that day. Samson judged Israel for 20 years. Although his life was a mixture of devotion and failure to his Nazarite Vow status, his redeeming feature was his great faith at the moment of crisis against the Philistines, (Judges 16:23-30 and Heb. 11:32).
Amos 2:11 & 12, (approx. BC. 700), records Jehovah giving Judah/Israel Nazarites and prophets, but records their criminal treatment of them. Jehovah stated therefore that Israel would be punished. This was effected by Israel's Babylonian captivity, and eventual dispersion worldwide; and also a great earthquake which befell them (see Amos 1:1).
Lam. 4, (approx. BC 550), relates how Jehovah had sent Israel, Nazarites and prophets, but they had not listened to them. On the contrary, verse 4 shows the extent of the sin of the people and Jehovah's anger with them. The whole of Lamentations records Israel's woes.
Speculative thinking regarding Jesus as a Nazarite
Matt. 2:23 records Jesus would be called a Nazarene.
In Acts 24:5 Paul is accused of being a ring leader of the sect of the Nazarenes.
Nazir, in Hebrew means; to separate.
The Lord stated at the last supper that he was separating Himself at that stage, (Matt. 26:29 and Mark 14:25). There is the implication in that verse that the abstinence from wine in the Nazarite Vow mode, indicated the same Nazarite dedication to purpose, in this case His Father's Kingdom, and elimination of the enemies of Israel and God, (Ezk. 14:21); typified in Judges 14! This idea has much merit in the context of Zech. 14:21, which includes Satan's evil spirits, (Zech. 13:2) as not until then will “The House of the Lord” (i.e. Jehovah) be cleansed of Canaanites!
Canaanites and Philistines are in many interpretations, one and the same. As many Christians consider them polluted by the Nephilim stock; (see earlier links), and Jerusalem and/or therefore Israel would have to be “cleansed” (Isa. 66:16), at the time of Christ Jesus’s Second Advent as the warrior King; as His Father’s Name only can dwell in Jerusalem (Deut. 12:5, 12:11, 12:21, 16:2, 16:6, 16:11, 26:2, Neh. 1:9 & Ezk. 48:35)!
When He met Mary at the tomb on the resurrection morning, (He as the Sacrificial Lamb); was yet to be in the Father’s presence, as Peace Offering and First Fruit, ( as The Wave Offering ), this procedure had to be followed (to fulfil all righteousness in the Mosaic Law) before there could be a Harvest. That Harvest is the one referred to in Revelation 14:15, and is in abeyance, due to Israel's rejection of Jesus as Messiah, finally at Acts 28: 25-28. Israel will not accept/see Jesus as their Messiah; until the events of Zech.12:10!
Therefore He could not be touched by Mary until the Offering of "First Fruit" was complete. Although this may appear pedantic to our understanding, in the conflict between Jehovah and Satan, every step has to be perfect. (See: Satan's contest with God, above; and Zipporah and the Circumcision of Gershom and Eliezer). Hence our Lord's comment to John "Let all righteousness be fulfilled", at His Baptism; just prior to Satan’s direct attempt to coerce Jesus to sin!
His appearance to Mary in the Tomb garden was an expression of His great love for her and the disciples, in an attempt to reduce their grief and suffering; and also to send the same message to Christians world-wide at the present time, and in the future!
When He walked with two of His disciples (unknown to them, Luke 24) and also broke bread with them a little later, He had been to the Father to perform the above mentioned as First Fruit, so that His communion with the disciples both on the Emmaus road and their later meal, was not harming His First Fruit status.
Luke 1:26 records that Mary lived in Nazareth when the angel Gabriel visited her, and in Luke 2:4, both Mary and Joseph left Nazareth because of the census for taxes, therefore Joseph too came from Nazareth.
Luke 2:39, confirms Nazareth as their city of abode.
In Luke 4:16 we learn that Jesus came to Nazareth where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day went to the Synagogue to pray as was His custom. He then read from Isaiah 61, which was the beginning of His Earthly Ministry. It is significant that He stopped mid verse 2 prior to "the Day of Vengeance of Our God". (See conclusion below).
John 1:45 & 46 records how Nathanael does not believe that anything good could come out of Nazareth. However on meeting Jesus, he soon acknowledged that He is the Son of God, the King of Israel.
There are many references to Jesus of Nazareth. Matt. 2:2, and 4:13. Mark 1:24, records that the evil spirits called Him Jesus of Nazareth.
Mark 10:47, the blind Bartimaeus also called Him Jesus of Nazareth.
Mark 16, records that the women who were seeking the body of Jesus after His execution and internment, were told by an angel that Jesus of Nazareth had risen.
John 19:19 records the writing on the cross was “Jesus of Nazareth the King of the Jews”, which had been ordered by Pilate!
Acts 2:22 refers to Jesus of Nazareth.
Again in Acts 3:6 Peter refers to Jesus of Nazareth when he healed a lame man.
Acts 6 records that Stephen refers to Jesus as being of Nazareth.
Acts 22:8 records Jesus himself using the term Jesus of Nazareth when He speaks to Paul, saying He was the One whom Paul was persecuting, (i.e. His Body, Christians world-wide)! (See: The Body of Christ and the Bride of Christ: ).
A Nazarite = one separate.
The Encyclopaedia Britannica, Micropaedia 7 page 232 records that Nazoraios may imply that Jesus was viewed as a Nazarite; consecrated, (separated) to God, such as Samson. In adopting Vows to maintain an ascetic way of life, their specific purpose was to react against Canaanites religious beliefs and practices; which are Satanic in origin, and probably genetics!
It is clear from Scripture that the Nazarite Vow was first instigated by Jehovah God! The only man named in the Bible to have been under such a Vow was Samson, and this was for the whole of his life and was designated prior to his birth, by Almighty God!
The fact that his mother was told prior to his birth that Samson would be a lifelong Nazarite (therefore not by his own will); may well be, (in the Wisdom of Jehovah); to show that a human Nazarite was to have the same failure as all human endeavours, due to the Fall of Eden; and to show the comparison between Samson’s eventual limited success at this death, and that of Christ Jesus as the “Second Adam”; at His Second Advent; which will be Universal in its reach and success; including Heavenly places; not just on Earth!
Many men and women would have been under a Nazarite Vow for various periods of time, for the purpose of opposing God’s enemies.
The importance of Jesus being known as coming from Nazareth seems also clear, and must have much significance. If the Nazoraios is correct, when Christ returns to set up His Kingdom, He will finally vanquish the Canaanite (Nephilim) or its equivalent influence from the Earth, which will be the only time it has been completed, as Saul and David did not complete the task; see : Zech. 13:2!
Substance is found for this idea from Matt. 26:29 where Jesus says that He would not drink wine again until he would drink it new in His Father's Kingdom. (This also being the Millennial Reign, including annihilating all the influence of the Nephilim). Also when Jesus was on the Earth teaching and speaking with His disciples after his resurrection from the dead, Luke 24:30 records that He took bread with them but no wine. Also in John 21:13 He ate fish and bread, but not wine.
Therefore when Christ returns, if this hypothesis is correct He will complete the Nazarite Vow taken at the Last Supper recorded in Matt. 26:29, and this is what He would have meant by not drinking wine again until He would drink it new in His Father's Kingdom.
Samson is the first named Nazarite, a man of great imperfection regarding his failings, and who lost his vision when he lost his strength (literally). It seems of great significance that when he lost his vision, his Earthly failings were in check. When Christ (Our Lord, Saviour and Friend) returns, He will complete the verse 2 of Isaiah 61, and the rest, AS THE PERFECT NAZARITE, as the opposite of Samson, the imperfect Nazarite.
When considering Zech. 14:21 the very last words of that verse, "and in that Day there shall be no more Canaanite in the house of the Jehovah of Hosts"! If the above comments re. Christ as the perfect Nazarite are correct, and as the Canaanite in this quote is the absolute elimination, the concept tends towards the positive, re. Jesus Christ as the perfect Nazarite. Whether that is correct or not the Canaanite peoples appear not to have been eliminated until that future time.
ADDENDUM (2012 & 2017)
The fact that the Jews of the time (Acts 28:25-28) rejected Christ Jesus as their Messiah meant their prophetic entry into the (Lo-Ammi state) Hosea 1 & 2. The conflict between the Christian Jews and Paul’s teachings prior to the Jerusalem Council seem to entail Paul’s actions (to prove his Jewish knowledge etc., and the fact he was not an heretic), which are described as ‘Vows’, but not specifically described as Nazarite Vows, as those were specific to resisting God's enemies!
Paul was certainly undertaking these actions to demonstrate his sincerity to the Jews i.e. his adherence to the Mosaic Code as per Acts 21:21-24 as at that time the Jews were prime object, which did not change until Acts 28:28, when they finally rejected Christ Jesus as Messiah. These actions in the full knowledge that the Lord was in constant contact with him, as He had promised on the Damascus road as to changes, in is mission. (See: Paul's Changing Mission!).
As Acts 28:28 clearly shows the Age of the Jew came to an end, and that of the Gentile commenced, in the sense of the 'Good News of Christ’s Sacrifice' was sent to them. This puts the Gentiles into the position of prime object, instead of the Jews, until the Gentile Age is completed, (Rom. 11:25), and they again are "Ammi", Hosea 2.
The letters that Paul wrote post Acts 28:28, Paul’s last 7 letters, (Philippians, Philemon, Colossians, Ephesians, 1 & 2 Timothy and Titus), all clearly show that a new set of instructions and understanding prevailed and still do to this date. Ephesians in particular gives great clarity regarding what is applicable to Christians of this Age, and there is no mention of a 'Vow' of any sort, especially Nazarite, as this is specifically Jewish, of the Old Testament.
There is the interesting thought that if Jesus the Christ Himself is a Nazarite and the last verse of Zech. is applicable to Him, (Zech. 14:21) in that case He would in the Jewish context already have completed His Nazarite function (de-jure) due to His sinless nature, (as a Nazarite Vow cannot be completed without a Jewish Temple in Jerusalem), but the effect is withheld until that future time of 'God’s Kingdom on Earth (de-facto)', where the New Temple in Jerusalem (that of Ezk. ¹⁄7th larger in all dimensions) would be the de-facto completion as per the Nazarite format.
A further interesting quote towards these thinking's is Psm 22:25: "I will pay My Vows before them that fear Him"!
A rendering of this verse to Jehovah God: "I will complete My Vows before them that revere God, and know Him"!
This Psm. is about the crucifixion of Christ Messiah in its first part up to verse 21. From then on to verse 31 it refers to the Lord's glorious return to Earth, and particularly to Israel! Verse 31 in particular refers to Israel's role as "a Kingdom of Priests" to the Earth, and particularly to the then yet unborn, which for the first time they will teach truth, which they were mandated to do in Deut. 4:9-10 & 11:19 and 31:19. Teaching the children is very special to Jehovah God, hence His emphasis on it for the future in the "Kingdom", when Israel has come "to right mind", and truth.
Further substance for the remaining prevalence of Nephilim stock is Psm. 22:12; where the reference "BASHAN" is the kingdom and kingship of "Og". King Og and his people were the subject of a direct order from Jehovah to Israel for elimination as Nephilim. The fact of their mention in Psm. 22:12 puts the time context at the Lord's crucifixion, as from vs 1 to 21, is related to that event. The implication is therefore that they still existed in AD 30.
The fact of the mention of "Bashan" again in Ezk. 39:18; and working on the assumption that this period is just pre-Millennial (which is almost certainly correct); then clearly Nephilim residue is still on Earth, and to be dealt with by the return of Christ Jesus!
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