Numbers 6 Commentary

Numbers 6 Commentary

The laws regarding nazirite vows are detailed here. We know that Samson was a Nazirite, hence his long hair. The key line was holiness for the Nazirite. It’s like the LORD is providing a way for non-priests, male or female, to experience a closeness to God which only priests enjoyed. Again we see the seriousness of the vows. Being in the presence of the dead, even unintentionally cancelled the deal and one needed to restart. During a time when people are quick to want to have explanations for sin, we do well to appreciate the nature of sin and how the LORD treats sin. It is always serious, regardless of whether you caused it or not.

By looking at details from this chapter we can now understand more about the life and work of Samson who was a nazirite. He is a mystical figure with his long hair thought to be the source of his strength. This chapter says no. His hair was simply a symbol of his dedication to God. His strength came from this special relationship with the Creator God.

“…After that, the nazirite may drink wine. Numbers 6:20. GNT.

After what? It’s after they are released from the vow or after their consecration is ended. A Christian who considers themselves consecrated full time should not probably continue to take wine. There is simply no chance to relax holiness as the saint today is on a 24/7 consecration program. Keeping long hair isn’t required any more, though. The general understanding underlines the importance of holiness on a continuous basis.

The chapter closes with details on priestly blessings. It is a beautiful ending but raises questions on Israel’s spirituality. Why should blessings come from the priests? Isn’t Israel blessed already? We expect the blessings to flow from Israel to the nations but here we are with Israel in need of the blessing herself. Strange. The LORD had envisioned the entire nation as a nation of priests. The failure by Israel to keep the special relationship with the LORD has brought us here. Now a select few must bless the rest. Nazirite laws are therefore another attempt to draw Israel back to the LORD in separation from the normal life by the ordinary Israelite man. Here we see the door opened for women. It’s an important statement that women are also required to have the same standards of holiness as the men.

The closing lines make a call to the saint of today to practice the ‘Blessing Act’. It is our calling. Have you blessed someone today?

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Published by Joseph Malekani

Joseph Malekani is a born-again Christian with a strong PAOG/Baptist background. He is heavily involved in student ministry with ZAFES – an IFES movement with focus on student ministry in Zambia. He is married to Audrey and they have two lovely children.

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