And on the eighth day he shall bring two turtles, or two young pigeons, to the priest, to the door of the tabernacle of the congregation:
EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
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.
Prescriptions to meet the case of a sudden death taking place "by him" (i. e. in his presence). The days of the dedication of the Nazarite had to be recommenced.
9-12. If any man die very suddenly by him, and he hath defiled the head of his consecration—Cases of sudden death might occur to make him contract pollution; and in such circumstances he was required, after shaving his head, to make the prescribed offerings necessary for the removal of ceremonial defilement (Le 15:13; Nu 19:11). But by the terms of this law an accidental defilement vitiated the whole of his previous observances, and he was required to begin the period of his Nazaritism afresh. But even this full completion did not supersede the necessity of a sin offering at the close. Sin mingles with our best and holiest performances, and the blood of sprinkling is necessary to procure acceptance to us and our services.
As in the case of him that had a running issue, Leviticus 15:14
And on the eighth day he shall bring two turtles or two young pigeons to the priest,.... Not a turtledove and a young pigeon, as Ben Gersom observes, but two of one of the sorts, which was the offering of the poorer sort of childbearing women at their purification, and of profluvious persons, men or women, Leviticus 12:8
; and this case of the Nazarite's being an uncleanness, could not be purged away but by sacrifice; which was typical of the sacrifice of Christ, by which that unclean thing sin is put away for ever; even the sins of holy things can be moved in no other way; these were to be brought to the priest to be offered by him:
to the door of the tabernacle of the congregation; for being defiled, the Nazarite might not go into the tabernacle, and therefore was to bring his offering to the door of it, where the priest received it of him. And on the eighth day he shall bring two turtles, or two young pigeons, to the priest, to the door of the tabernacle of the congregation:
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)10
. The prescribed birds were an inexpensive form of offering; cf. Leviticus 5:7
; Leviticus 12:8
; Leviticus 14:30
f., Numbers 15:14
f., Num 15:29 f.; Luke 2:24
- Two turtles, or two young pigeons.
The same offerings had been prescribed for those defiled by divers unclean-nesses in Leviticus 15
(cf. Leviticus 12:8
The vow consisted of the three following points, Numbers 6:1-4
: In the first place, he was to abstain from wine and intoxicating drink (shecar, see Leviticus 10:9
); and neither to drink vinegar of wine, strong drink, nor any juice of the grape (lit., dissolving of grapes, i.e., fresh must pressed out), nor to eat fresh grapes, or dried (raisins). In fact, during the whole period of his vow, he was not to eat of anything prepared from the vine, "from the kernels even to the husk," i.e., not the smallest quantity of the fruit of the vine. The design of this prohibition can hardly have been, merely that, by abstaining from intoxicating drink, the Nazarite might preserve perfect clearness and temperance of mind, like the priests when engaged in their duties, and so conduct himself as one sanctified to the Lord (Bhr); but it goes much further, and embraces entire abstinence from all the deliciae carnis by which holiness could be impaired. Vinegar, fresh and dried grapes, and food prepared from grapes and raisins, e.g., raisin-cakes, are not intoxicating; but grape-cakes, as being the dainties sought after by epicures and debauchees, are cited in Hosea 3:1
as a symbol of the sensual attractions of idolatry, a luxurious kind of food, that was not in harmony with the solemnity of the worship of Jehovah. The Nazarite was to avoid everything that proceeded from the vine, because its fruit was regarded as the sum and substance of all sensual enjoyments.
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