Numbers 6

* The law concerning the Nazarites. (1-21) The form of blessing

the people. (22-27)

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.
22-27 The priests were solemnly to bless the people in the name

of the Lord. To be under the almighty protection of God our

Saviour; to enjoy his favour as the smile of a loving Father, or

as the cheering beams of the sun; while he mercifully forgives

our sins, supplies our wants, consoles the heart, and prepares

us by his grace for eternal glory; these things form the

substance of this blessing, and the sum total of all blessings.

In so rich a list of mercies worldly joys are not worthy to be

mentioned. Here is a form of prayer. The name Jehovah is three

times repeated. The Jews think there is some mystery; and we

know what it is, the New Testament having explained it. There we

are directed to expect the blessing from the grace of our Lord

Jesus Christ, the love of the Father, and the communion of the

Holy Ghost, #2Co 13:14|; each of which Persons is Jehovah, and

yet they are not three Lords, but one Lord.
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