Numbers 6:2
Parallel Verses
New International Version
"Speak to the Israelites and say to them: 'If a man or woman wants to make a special vow, a vow of dedication to the LORD as a Nazirite,

New Living Translation
"Give the following instructions to the people of Israel. "If any of the people, either men or women, take the special vow of a Nazirite, setting themselves apart to the LORD in a special way,

English Standard Version
“Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, When either a man or a woman makes a special vow, the vow of a Nazirite, to separate himself to the LORD,

New American Standard Bible
"Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, 'When a man or woman makes a special vow, the vow of a Nazirite, to dedicate himself to the LORD,

King James Bible
Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When either man or woman shall separate themselves to vow a vow of a Nazarite, to separate themselves unto the LORD:

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Speak to the Israelites and tell them: When a man or woman makes a special vow, a Nazirite vow, to consecrate himself to the LORD,

International Standard Version
"Tell the Israelis that a man or woman who commits to the vow of the Nazirite, is to be separated to the LORD,

NET Bible
"Speak to the Israelites, and tell them, 'When either a man or a woman takes a special vow, to take a vow as a Nazirite, to separate himself to the LORD,

GOD'S WORD® Translation
"Speak to the Israelites and tell them: A man or a woman may make a special vow to live as a Nazirite dedicated to the LORD.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Speak unto the sons of Israel and say unto them, When either man or woman shall separate themselves to vow a vow of a Nazarite, to dedicate themselves unto the LORD,

King James 2000 Bible
Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When either man or woman shall separate themselves to vow a vow of a Nazarite, to separate themselves unto the LORD:

American King James Version
Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them, When either man or woman shall separate themselves to vow a vow of a Nazarite, to separate themselves to the LORD:

American Standard Version
Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When either man or woman shall make a special vow, the vow of a Nazirite, to separate himself unto Jehovah,

Douay-Rheims Bible
Speak to the children of Israel, and thou shalt say to them: When a man, or woman, shall make a vow to be sanctified, and will consecrate themselves to the Lord:

Darby Bible Translation
Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, If a man or a woman have vowed the special vow of a Nazarite, to consecrate themselves to Jehovah;

English Revised Version
Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When either man or woman shall make a special vow, the vow of a Nazirite, to separate himself unto the LORD:

Webster's Bible Translation
Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them, When either man or woman shall separate themselves to vow a vow of a Nazarite, to separate themselves to the LORD.

World English Bible
"Speak to the children of Israel, and tell them: 'When either man or woman shall make a special vow, the vow of a Nazirite, to separate himself to Yahweh,

Young's Literal Translation
'Speak unto the sons of Israel, and thou hast said unto them, When a man or woman doeth singularly, by vowing a vow of a Nazarite, to be separate to Jehovah;
Parallel Commentaries
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.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 2. - Either man or woman. It was not a little remarkable that women could be Nazirites, because, generally speaking, the religious condition of women under the law was so markedly inferior and so little considered. But this is altogether consistent with the true view of the Nazirite vow, viz., that it was an exceptional thing, outside the narrow pale of the law, giving scope and allowance to the free movements of the Spirit in individuals. In this too it stood on the same plane as the prophetic office, for which room was left in the religious system of Moses, and which was designed to correct and supplement in its spiritual freedom the artificial routine of that system. As the prophetic office might be exercised by women, so the Nazirite vow might be taken by women. In either case we find a tribute to and a recognition of the Divine liberty of the Holy Ghost, and an anticipation of the time when the spirit of self-devotion should be poured out without distinction upon men and women. Shall separate themselves to vow a vow of a Nazarite, to separate themselves unto the Lord. Rather, "shall make a solemn vow, a Nazirite vow, to live consecrated unto the Lord." The two words translated "separate" are not the same. The first (from pala, to sever, to consecrate, to distinguish as exceptional) is of somewhat doubtful use here. In Judges 13:19 it appears to be used as an intensitive, "did wonderously," and the Septuagint has here μεγάλως εὔξηται εὐχὴν. The other word (from נזר, to separate) is used in a general sense in Genesis 49:26; Deuteronomy 33:16, or with the addition, "unto the Lord," as in Judges 13:5. It had, however, acquired a technical sense before this, as appears from Leviticus 25:5, 11, where the undressed vines are called "Nazirites," as recalling the unshorn locks of those who had taken the vow. It is evident indeed, from the way in which the Nazirite vow is here spoken of, that it had been, perhaps long, familiar among the people. All that this commandment did was to recognize the practice, to regulate it minutely, and to adopt it into the religious code of Israel. Whence the custom was derived is wholly uncertain, for although the separate elements existed in many different quarters, yet the peculiar combination of them which made the law of the Nazirite is entirely peculiar. Vows of abstinence have, of course, been common among all religions. Mingled with much of superstition, self-will, and pride, they have sprung in the main from noble impulses and yearnings after a higher life, prompted by the Holy Spirit of God; and it may be said with some confidence, that in spite of all reproaches (deserved or undeserved), such voluntary vows of abstinence have done more than anything else to save religion from becoming an unreal profession. Hair offerings, on the other hand, springing from a simple and natural sentiment, have been common enough amongst the heathen. Compare the sacred locks of Achilles ('Iliad,' 23:142, sqq.), and the various use of the tonsure in pursuance of vows among the ancient Egyptians (Herod., 2:65) and amongst modern Mahomedans and Christians. The physical fact on which all these hair offerings rest is that the hair is the only portion of oneself which can be conveniently detached and presented.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them,.... Whom the following law only concerned, and not Gentiles; so runs the Jewish canon,"the Gentiles have no Nazariteship, though they may bring their vows and freewill offerings as an Israelite, yet if they vow the vow of a Nazarite, the law of the Nazarite is not obliging on them, or they bound by it; but it is free for them to drink wine, and defile themselves for the dead; for it is written, "speak unto the children of Israel" (q):"

when either man or woman shall separate themselves to vow a vow of a Nazarite; or "do a wonderful thing" (r); something unusual and uncommon, and what is out of the way of the men of the world, who give themselves up to pleasure, and have little regard to the worship and service of God; wherefore for a person, a man or woman, to vow abstinence from wine and dress, and from the company of others, and to oblige themselves to strict and close devotion to God, was something singular and surprising. This is to be understood of such persons who were at their own disposal; for such that were in their minority, and under the power of parents, or were married women, if they vowed, their vows did not stand, and their parents or husbands could disannul them, unless they had consented to them by their silence, when they heard them made, Numbers 30:3. There were various sorts of Nazarites; some were appointed by God, as Samson; some were devoted by their parents, as Samuel; and some by themselves, concerning whom is this law more especially; some were perpetual Nazarites, a Nazarite for life, as the two persons just mentioned; though the Jews distinguish between a Samsonian Nazarite, and a perpetual one (s); and some were only for a certain time, according as they vowed:

to separate themselves unto the Lord; the Targum of Jonathan is, "to the name of the Lord"; to the honour of his name. Such persons devoted themselves, and set apart their time to serve the Lord in a stricter and purer manner than others, and therefore were had in great account, Lamentations 4:7; they were types of Christ, who, though he was not strictly a Nazarite, but a Nazarene, yet answered to the Nazarites in his being set apart in divine predestination by his Father to the office of Mediator; in the sanctification of himself, and devoting himself, his time and service, to his Father's glory; and in his being holy and harmless in his life and conversation, and separate from sinners: and they were also emblems of the special people of God, who are a separate people in election, redemption, and calling, and in the intercession of Christ; and as they will be at the last judgment, and to all eternity, and should be now separate from others in their lives and conversations.

(q) Misn. Nazir, c. 9. sect. 1. Maimon & Bartenora in ib. (r) "mirificaverit", Montanus; "si mirandum aliquid fecerit", Munster; and some in Fagius and Vatablus; so Aben Ezra. (s) Misn. Nazir, c. 1. sect. 2.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

2-8. When either man or woman … shall vow a vow of a Nazarite—that is, "a separated one," from a Hebrew word, "to separate." It was used to designate a class of persons who, under the impulse of extraordinary piety and with a view to higher degrees of religious improvement, voluntarily renounced the occupations and pleasures of the world to dedicate themselves unreservedly to the divine service. The vow might be taken by either sex, provided they had the disposal of themselves (Nu 30:4), and for a limited period—usually a month or a lifetime (Jud 13:5; 16:17). We do not know, perhaps, the whole extent of abstinence they practised. But they separated themselves from three things in particular—namely, from wine, and all the varieties of vinous produce; from the application of a razor to their head, allowing their hair to grow; and from pollution by a dead body. The reasons of the self-restrictions are obvious. The use of wine tended to inflame the passions, intoxicate the brain, and create a taste for luxurious indulgence. The cutting off the hair being a recognized sign of uncleanness (Le 14:8, 9), its unpolled luxuriance was a symbol of the purity he professed. Besides, its extraordinary length kept him in constant remembrance of his vow, as well as stimulated others to imitate his pious example. Moreover, contact with a dead body, disqualifying for the divine service, the Nazarite carefully avoided such a cause of unfitness, and, like the high priest, did not assist at the funeral rites of his nearest relatives, preferring his duty to God to the indulgence of his strongest natural affections.

Numbers 6:2 Additional Commentaries
Context
The Nazarite Vow
1Again the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 2"Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, 'When a man or woman makes a special vow, the vow of a Nazirite, to dedicate himself to the LORD, 3he 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.…
Cross References
Acts 18:18
Paul stayed on in Corinth for some time. Then he left the brothers and sisters and sailed for Syria, accompanied by Priscilla and Aquila. Before he sailed, he had his hair cut off at Cenchreae because of a vow he had taken.

Leviticus 27:2
"Speak to the Israelites and say to them: 'If anyone makes a special vow to dedicate a person to the LORD by giving the equivalent value,

Numbers 6:1
The LORD said to Moses,

Judges 13:4
Now see to it that you drink no wine or other fermented drink and that you do not eat anything unclean.

Judges 13:5
You will become pregnant and have a son whose head is never to be touched by a razor because the boy is to be a Nazirite, dedicated to God from the womb. He will take the lead in delivering Israel from the hands of the Philistines."

Judges 16:17
So he told her everything. "No razor has ever been used on my head," he said, "because I have been a Nazirite dedicated to God from my mother's womb. If my head were shaved, my strength would leave me, and I would become as weak as any other man."

Jeremiah 35:6
But they replied, "We do not drink wine, because our forefather Jehonadab son of Rekab gave us this command: 'Neither you nor your descendants must ever drink wine.

Amos 2:11
"I also raised up prophets from among your children and Nazirites from among your youths. Is this not true, people of Israel?" declares the LORD.

Amos 2:12
"But you made the Nazirites drink wine and commanded the prophets not to prophesy.
Treasury of Scripture

Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them, When either man or woman shall separate themselves to vow a vow of a Nazarite, to separate themselves to the LORD:

when

Numbers 6:5,6 All the days of the vow of his separation there shall no razor come …

Exodus 33:16 For wherein shall it be known here that I and your people have found …

Leviticus 20:26 And you shall be holy to me: for I the LORD am holy, and have severed …

Proverbs 18:1 Through desire a man, having separated himself, seeks and intermeddles …

Romans 1:1 Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated …

2 Corinthians 6:16 And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? for you are …

Galatians 1:15 But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, …

Hebrews 7:27 Who needs not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, …

separate themselves. The word yaphli, rendered 'shall separate themselves,' signifies, 'the doing of something extraordinary,' and is the same word as is used concerning the making a singular vow. It seems to convey the idea of a person's acting from extraordinary zeal for God and religion.

to vow

Leviticus 27:2 Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them, When a man shall …

Judges 13:5 For, see, you shall conceive, and bear a son; and no razor shall …

1 Samuel 1:28 Therefore also I have lent him to the LORD; as long as he lives he …

Amos 2:11,12 And I raised up of your sons for prophets, and of your young men …

Luke 1:15 For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither …

Acts 21:23,24 Do therefore this that we say to you: We have four men which have …

to separate themselves. or to make themselves Nazarites. Lahazzir, from Nazar, to be separate; hence nazir, a Nazarite, a person separated; one peculiarly devoted to the service of God by being separated from all servile employments. The Nazarites were of two kinds' such as were devoted to God by their parents in their infancy, or even sometimes before they were born; and such as devoted themselves. The former were Nazarites for life; and the latter commonly bound themselves to observe the laws of the Nazarites for a limited time. The Nazarites for life were not bound to the same strictness as the others, concerning whom the laws relate.

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