Numbers 6:1
And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Numbers 6:1. The foregoing law about women, suspected of adultery, is here followed by another relating to the conduct of those who, by a singular course of religious devotion, were desirous to prevent all such sins; namely, by making vows of uncommon purity, and devoting themselves to God in an extraordinary manner. These persons were called Nazarites; that is, persons voluntarily separated from the world, and dedicated to the worship and service of God, with peculiar strictness. With respect to these, God appointed the following rules to be observed.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.The law of the Nazarite is appropriately added to other enactments which concern the sanctity of the holy nation. That sanctity found its highest expression in the Nazarite vow, which was the voluntary adoption for a time of obligations to high and strict modes of self-dedication resembling, and indeed in some particulars exceeding, those under which the priests were placed. The present enactments do not institute a new kind of observance, but only regulate one already familiar to the Israelites Numbers 6:2.CHAPTER 6

Nu 6:1-22. The Law of the Nazarite in His Separation.The law of the Nazarites; from what they should abstain; how, becoming unclean, they were to be purified, Numbers 6:1-12. The vow of separation being fulfilled, the ceremonies to be observed, Numbers 6:13-21. The form of blessing to be used by the priest in the congregation, Numbers 6:22-27.

No text from Poole on this verse.

And the Lord spake unto Moses,.... At the same time, or immediately after the law concerning the woman suspected of adultery was given; with which the following law concerning Nazarites may be thought to have a close connection, as some Jewish writers observe, women being concerned in it as well as men; and as wine leads to adultery, as Jarchi observes, abstinence from it, which the Nazarite's vow obliged to, and forbearance of trimming and dressing the hair, and a being more strictly and closely devoted to the service of God, were very likely means of preserving from unchastity, and any suspicion of it:

saying; as follows.

And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
verses 1-21 - Note. - The Hebrew Nazir has been written Nazarite in English under the mistaken impression that there is some connection between Nazir and Nazarene (Matthew 2:23). A very little reflection will show that "the Nazarene" not only was no Nazir, but that he even took pains to let it be seen that he was not. John the Baptist was the Nazir of the New Testament, and in all outward things the contrast was strongly marked between them (Luke 7:14, 33, 34; John 2:2). After the woman's Amen, the priest was to write "these curses," those contained in the oath, in a book-roll, and wash them in the bitter water, i.e., wash the writing in the vessel with water, so that the words of the curse should pass into the water, and be imparted to it; a symbolical act, to set forth the truth, that God imparted to the water the power to act injuriously upon a guilty body, though it would do no harm to an innocent one. The remark in Numbers 5:24, the priest was to give her this water to drink is anticipatory; for according to Numbers 5:26 this did not take place till after the presentation of the sacrifice and the burning of the memorial of it upon the altar. The woman's offering, however, was not presented to God till after the oath of purification, because it was by the oath that she first of all purified herself from the suspicion of adultery, so that the fruit of her conduct could be given up to the fire of the holiness of God. As a known adulteress, she could not have offered a meat-offering at all. But as the suspicion which rested upon her was not entirely removed by her oath, since she might have taken a false oath, the priest was to give her the curse-water to drink after the offering, that her guilt or innocence might be brought to light in the effects produced by the drink. This is given in Numbers 5:27 as the design of the course prescribed: "When he hath made her to drink the water, then it shall come to pass, that if she be defiled, and have done trespass against her husband, the water that causeth the curse shall come (enter) into her as bitterness (i.e., producing bitter sufferings), namely, her belly shall swell and her hip vanish: and so the woman shall become a curse in the midst of her people."
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