|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
6:1-21 The word Nazarite signifies separation. Some were appointed of God, before their birth, to be Nazarites all their days, as Samson and John the Baptist. But, in general, it was a vow of separation from the world and devotedness to the services of religion, for a limited time, and under certain rules, which any person might make if they pleased. A Nazarite is spoken of as well known; but his obligation is brought to a greater certainty than before. That the fancies of superstitious men might not multiply the restraints endlessly, God gives them rules. They must not drink wine or strong drink, nor eat grapes. Those who separate themselves to God, must not gratify the desires of the body, but keep it under. Let all Christians be very moderate in the use of wine and strong drink; for if the love of these once gets the mastery of a man, he becomes an easy prey to Satan. The Nazarites were to eat nothing that came of the vine; this may teach the utmost care to avoid sin, and all that borders upon it, and leads to it, or may be a temptation to us. They must not cut their hair. They must neither poll their heads, nor shave their beards; this was the mark of Samson being a Nazarite. This signified neglect of the body, and of the ease and ornament of it. Those who separate themselves to God, must keep their consciences pure from dead works, and not touch unclean things. All the days of their separation they must be holy to the Lord. This was the meaning of those outward observances, and without this they were of no account. No penalty or sacrifice was appointed for those who wilfully broke their vow of being Nazarites; they must answer another day for such profane trifling with the Lord their God; but those were to be relieved who did not sin wilfully. There is nothing in Scripture that bears the least resemblance to the religious orders of the church of Rome, except these Nazarites. But mark the difference, or rather how completely opposed! The religious of that church are forbidden to marry; but no such restriction is laid upon the Nazarites. They are commanded to abstain from meats; but the Nazarites might eat any food allowed other Israelites. They are not generally forbidden wine, not even on their fasting days; but the Nazarites might not have wine at any time. Their vow is lasting, even to the end of their lives; the Nazarites' vow was only for a limited time, at their own will; and in certain cases not unless allowed by husbands or parents. Such a thorough difference there is between rules of man's invention and those directed in Scripture, Let us not forget that the Lord Jesus is not only our Surety, but also our example. For his sake we must renounce worldly pleasures, abstain from fleshy lusts, be separate from sinners, make open profession of our faith, moderate natural affections, be spiritually-minded, and devoted to God's service, and desirous to be an example all around us.
Verse 13. - When the days of his separation are fulfilled. The original law contemplated only a vow for a certain period, longer or shorter. All the Nazirites, however, of whom we read in Scripture were lifelong Nazirites: Samson (Judges 13:5), Samuel (1 Samuel 1:11), John the Baptist (Luke 1:15). In all these cases, however, the vow was made for them before their birth. Hegesippus (in Euseb. 2:23) tells us that James, the Lord's brother, was a Nazirite: "He did not drink wine nor strong drink, and no razor came on his head."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And this is the law of the Nazarite,.... This has respect either to what goes before; those are the things he is obliged to that vows the vow of a Nazarite; what he is to abstain from during the time of his vow, and what he is to do in case of any defilement; or to what follows after, what is binding upon him, what offerings he is to bring, and what rites and ceremonies are to be observed by him when he has finished his vow:
when the days of his separation, or Nazariteship:
are fulfilled; whether more or fewer; when the time is quite up, and he has gone through his vow without any breach of it:
he shall be brought unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation; it is not said by whom he should be brought, whether by himself or by the priest; the Targum of Jonathan is,"he shall bring himself;''that is, present himself; and so Jarchi and Aben Ezra; which latter adds, or the priest shall bring him by command, whether he will or not, to offer his offering.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
13-20. when the days of his separation are fulfilled, &c.—On the accomplishment of a limited vow of Nazaritism, Nazarites might cut their hair wherever they happened to be (Ac 18:18); but the hair was to be carefully kept and brought to the door of the sanctuary. Then after the presentation of sin offerings and burnt offerings, it was put under the vessel in which the peace offerings were boiled; and the priest, taking the shoulder (Le 7:32), when boiled, and a cake and wafer of the meat offering, put them on the hands of the Nazarites to wave before the Lord, as a token of thanksgiving, and thus released them from their vow.
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