Law of the Nazirites
1Again the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Say to the sons of Israel, ‘When a man or a woman makes a special vow, the vow of a Nazirite, that is, one separated and dedicated to the Lord, 3 he shall abstain from wine and strong drink; he shall drink no vinegar, whether made from wine or strong drink, nor shall he drink any grape juice nor eat fresh or dried grapes. 4 [a]All the time of his separation he shall not eat anything produced from the grapevine, from the seeds even to the skins.
5 ‘All the time of the vow of his separation no razor shall be used on his head. Until the time of his separation to the Lord is completed, he shall be holy, and shall let the hair of his head grow long.
6 ‘All the time that he separates himself to the Lord he shall not go near a dead body. 7 He shall not make himself [ceremonially] unclean for his father, mother, brother, or sister, when they die, because [the responsibility for] his separation to God is on his head. 8 All the time of his separation he is holy to the Lord.
9 ‘If a man dies very suddenly beside him, and he defiles his dedicated head, then he shall shave his head on the day that he becomes [ceremonially] clean; he shall shave it on the seventh day [the end of the purification period]. 10 On the eighth day he shall bring two turtledoves or two young pigeons to the priest, to the doorway of the Tent of Meeting (tabernacle). 11 The priest shall offer the one as a sin offering and the other as a burnt offering and make atonement for him concerning his sin because of the [dead] body. He shall consecrate his head the same day, 12 and he shall dedicate himself to the Lord for the time of his separation and shall bring a male lamb a year old as a guilt offering; but the previous days will be void and lost, because his separation was defiled.
13 ‘Now this is the law of the Nazirite when the days of his separation and dedication are fulfilled: he shall bring the offering to the doorway of the Tent of Meeting (tabernacle). 14 and he shall offer his gift to the Lord: one male lamb a year old without blemish as a burnt offering, and one female lamb a year old without blemish as a sin offering, and one ram without blemish as a peace offering, 15 and a basket of unleavened bread, cakes of fine flour mixed with oil, and wafers of unleavened bread spread with oil, along with their grain offering and their drink offering. 16 Then the priest shall present them before the Lord and shall offer the person’s sin offering and his burnt offering. 17 He shall also offer the ram as a sacrifice of peace offerings to the Lord, together with the basket of unleavened bread; the priest shall offer also its grain offering and its drink offering. 18 The Nazirite shall shave his dedicated head at the doorway of the Tent of Meeting (tabernacle), and take the dedicated hair of his head and put it on the fire which is under the sacrifice of the peace offerings. 19 The priest shall take the boiled shoulder of the ram, and one unleavened [ring-shaped] loaf out of the basket, and one unleavened flat cake and shall put them on the hands of the Nazirite after he has shaved his dedicated hair. 20 Then the priest shall wave them as a wave offering before the Lord; they are a holy portion for the priest, together with the breast that is waved and the thigh that is offered by lifting up; and afterward the Nazirite may drink wine.’
21 “This is the law for the [b]Nazirite who vows his offering to the Lord for his separation, besides what else [c]he is able to afford, according to the vow which he has vowed; so shall he do according to the law for his separation and abstinence [as a Nazirite].”
22 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 23 “Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, ‘This is the way you shall bless the Israelites. Say to them:
The Lord bless you, and keep you [protect you, sustain you, and guard you];
The Lord make His face shine upon you [with favor],
And be gracious to you [surrounding you with lovingkindness];
The Lord lift up His countenance (face) upon you [with divine approval],
And give you peace [a tranquil heart and life].’
27 So Aaron and his sons shall put My name upon the children of Israel, and I will bless them.”
- Numbers 6:4 Lit All the days of his consecration and so throughout.
- Numbers 6:21 Normally, the Nazirite vow was for a limited duration (usually two weeks). Samson’s Nazirite vow was special in that it seemed to have involved a lifetime commitment (Judg 13:1-16:31).
- Numbers 6:21 Lit his hand can reach.