Numbers 6 Commentary

Numbers: Journey to God's Rest-Land by Irving Jensen- used by permission

Source: Ryrie Study Bible
"Wilderness Wandering"
Numbers 1-12
Numbers 13-25
Numbers 26-36
Counting &
Nu 1-4
Cleansing &
Nu 5-8
Carping &
Nu 9-12
12 Spies &
Death in Desert
Nu 13-16
Aaron & Levites in
Nu 17-18
Serpent of Brass & Story of Balaam
Nu 21-25
Second Census 7 Laws of Israel
Nu 26-30
Last Days of Moses as Leader
Nu 31-33
Sections, Sanctuaries &
Nu 34-36
& Order
& Disorder
New Laws
for the New Order
Preparation for the Journey:
Moving Out
Participation in the Journey:
Moving On
Prize at end of the Journey:
Moving In
At Sinai
Mt Sinai
To Moab
Mt Hor
At Moab
Mt Nebo
En Route to Kadesh
(Mt Sinai)
En Route to Nowhere
En Route to Canaan
(Plains of Moab)
A Few Weeks to
2 Months
38 years,
3 months, 10 days
A Few
Christ in Numbers = Our "Lifted-up One"
(Nu 21:9, cp Jn 3:14-15)
Author: Moses

Numbers 6:1  Again the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,

Mattoon - The chapter explains what is known as the Nazarite vow. An understanding of this vow will help us to understand more about Samson, Samuel, and John the Baptist (Lk 1:15+), who were under the vow from birth. Others took the vow for temporary periods including Samson's mother and the Apostle Paul (Acts 18:18+, Acts 21:23-24+).. The principles of this vow will challenge us as Christians. Individuals who took a Nazarite vow were not necessarily Nazarenes. Nazarenes took pains to demonstrate the fact that they were not Nazarites. Jesus was a Nazarene, but not a Nazarite.

Wiersbe succinctly summarizes Numbers 6 as Separation (Nu 6:1-12), Termination (Nu 6:13-21) and Benediction (Nu 6:22-27). (WWBC)

Irving Jensen - The Lord had just spoken (chap. 5) of a situation when any Israelite sinned and broke fellowship with God. Now—and what a contrast—He spoke of a situation when any Israelite desired to come into closer fellowship with Him and voluntarily assumed the obligations of a vow. God is not to be known as One who seeks only to expose and judge sin. He also looks for a man who wants to do His will and live for Him. When an Israelite sinned, God would be there to condemn and judge. But when one believed and obeyed God, God would be there to bless and reward. No better illustration of this is to be found in the book of Numbers than in God’s judgment in forbidding the doubting Israelites to enter Canaan and His reward in giving Joshua and Caleb the blessed joy of entrance.

Outline of Chapter 6: The Nazirite Vow

    1.      The Nazirite Vow Made (vv. 1, 2)
    2.      Requirements for Living the Vow (vv. 3–12)
    3.      Ceremonies on Completing the Vow (vv. 13–20)
    4.      The Vow Reiterated (v. 21)
    5.      Benediction (vv. 22–27)

Numbers 6:2  "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,

  • When (KJV): Nu 6:5,6 Ex 33:16 Lev 20:26 Pr 18:1 Ro 1:1 2Co 6:16 Ga 1:15 Heb 7:27 
  • separate themselves (KJV): 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. (Lev 27:2); it seems to convey the idea of a person's acting from extraordinary zeal for God and religion.
  • to vow (KJV): Lev 27:2 Jud 13:5 1Sa 1:28 Am 2:11,12 Lu 1:15 Ac 21:23,24 
  • to separate themselves (KJV): or, to make themselves Nazarites, {Lahazzir,} from {nazar,} to be separate; hence {nazir,} a Nazarite, i.e., 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.
  • Numbers 6 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, 'When a man or woman makes a special vow, the vow (nadarof a Nazirite (nazir), to dedicate himself to the LORD - Dedicate is nazar in the Hebrew and in the Lxx is hagnizo which means to purify or consecrate. See Numbers 30:1-16 for the differences between the vows of men and women. While the next passages state prohibitions for a Nazirite, don't miss the beginning positive which is to dedicate himself to Yahweh. A similar description is found in Nu 6:8 "all the days of his separation he is holy to the LORD." What he abstained from was important but holiness to the LORD was of paramount importance (then and now beloved - cf 1 Pe 1:14-15+).

A Nazarite was one who was especially separated and set apart, either by the act of his parents or his own, to the worship and service of God, and that either for life or for a temporary season. Bush adds "That the present, at any rate, was not the first occasion of the institution is evident from the fact, that the ordinance here mentioned was given in the second year after the departure from Egypt; but in an earlier law concerning the Sabbatical year, which was made in the first year, a figurative expression drawn from Nazaritism occurs, in calling the vines which in that year were not to be pruned, vines or grapes of separation or Nazariteship. (See Note on Lev. 25:5.) This implies that the thing itself must have been already in vogue, and that too, probably, for a long time....It does not appear that the assumption of the Nazarite vow is anywhere positively enjoined or recommended, yet neither is it discouraged where one’s spirit moved him, from devout impulses, to undertake it. 

Bush on makes a special - The root from which yaphli comes (pâlâ), signifies the doing of something extraordinary and marvellous, and is the word that occurs Lev. 27:2, concerning the making of a singular vow, and conveys doubtless the idea of one’s acting from an extraordinary zeal for God and religion.

Bush on to separate - To separate, in this connection, is to exempt in a special and marvellous manner. Gr. “Whosoever shall greatly vow a vow.” A vow is a religious promise made to God, and it is here supposed that it might be made by either a man or a woman; but it is presumed in this case that the parties are free, each in their own power or at their own disposal; as otherwise a superior might annul the vow of an inferior by the law recorded Num. 30:4, etc. So in respect to this particular kind of vow the Hebrew canons say, “The father (of a child) or the husband (of a wife) may disannul the Nazariteship of his child or his wife, if he will, as in other ways.”

NIVSB - This was not just a vow of personal self-discipline; it was an act of total devotion to the Lord.

Mattoon - A man or woman could make this vow (vs. 2). The phrase "vow a vow" means "to make a hard, difficult vow." This act was one of the unusual devotions to God. The word "vow" was related to the word "wonder" which signifies something is out of the ordinary or peculiar. The person who took the vow was a peculiar person, not an ordinary one.

Bush on to the LORD - Unto the Lord. Chald. “Before the Lord.” Targ. Jon. “To the name of the Lord.” This indicates the motive and end proposed in a Nazaritic vow, which was a nearer approach to the Lord with a view to his honor and glory, to the expression of gratitude for mercies received, and for the strengthening of faith and love, and all the graces and virtues of the servant of God.

Whereas Nu 5:1-31 dealt with the cleansing of the camp by dealing with the unclean and sinful, Nu 6:1-21 showed how consecration to the Lord was possible for every Israelite. Although only the family of Aaron could be priests, any man or woman could be “priestly” (i.e., dedicated to God’s service) for a time (from a month to a lifetime) by means of the vow of a Nazirite. Such a vow was made by people unusually devout toward God and dedicated to His service.

Makes a special (06381)(pala from pele = a wonder) means to be surpassing or extraordinary, to do something wonderful, to do something extraordinary, or difficult. Pala is a verb which means to be difficult, to be hard, to be extraordinary or amazing, be surpassing or to cause a wonderful thing to happen. To be beyond one’s power to do. To do something wonderful, extraordinary or difficult = Wonders, Marvels, Marvelous works.

In most of its OT occurrences, pala refers to acts that are performed by Jehovah expressing actions that are beyond the bounds of human powers or expectations, especially His deliverances of Israel (Ex 3:20, Ps 106:22, 136:4). He has done things beyond the limits of human powers or expectation. God showed His people miracles when they came out of bondage in Egypt and as they were going into the freedom of the promised land - "Then Joshua said to the people, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do wonders among you.” (Josh 3:5)

When pala is used with reference to men, the idea conveyed is of something being too difficult to accomplish or comprehend. (Job 42:3NIV). Things which are too marvelous or too difficult for man to understand are described in Pr. 30:18. Deut 17:8 refers to a "case (which) is too difficult (Lxx = adunateo = means to be powerless, to be unable and them to be impossible) for you to decide." Nu 6:2 the phrase "makes a special vow" connotes the idea of a difficult vow (which in the context of Nu 6 = a Nazarite vow).

Pala - Num. 6:2; Num. 15:3; Num. 15:8; 

Vow (05088)(neder from nadar = to vow) conveys the root idea of verbally consecrating (or dedicating to the service) of God. Neder is a noun describes the vow that was sworn or taken.

"The word neder is related to the verb נָדַר (nādar, “to make a vow”). A neder in the OT is always a vow made to God, never between two human beings. The neder is either the result of the vow or the thing offered to fulfill a vow. It was a type of thank offering in return for God’s favor (Num 21:1–3), and it could either accompany or be a burnt offering (Lev 22:18; Psa 66:13) or a peace offering (Lev 7:16). Numbers 30:2 mentions not only a neder but also an oath (שְׁבוּעָה, šĕbûʿâ) and the obligation (אִסָּר, ʾissār) and is therefore instructive when considering how these terms differ. The vow (neder) was vowed (nādar) and sealed (שָׁבַע, šābaʿ) with an oath (šĕbûʿâ) of binding obligation (ʾissār)." (Lexham Theological Wordbook)

Making a conditional vow in Ge 28:20-21. Make a vow to abstain (Ps 132:2 with specifics of the vow in Ps 132:3-5). It denotes a voluntary obligation in a context of a promise made to Yahweh, generally in exchange for divine favor, as the terms of nādhar usually center upon divine aid.Baker says it is "an oral, voluntary promise to give or do something as an expression of consecration or devotion to the service of God. 1Sa 1:11 Hannah vowed a life long vow for her son Samuel. God required a lifelong vow of Samson (Jdg 13:5+).

Gilbrant The first environment for making a vow to Yahweh is a transaction in which the human promises something, usually a sacrifice or abstinence from an act, in exchange for a deed to be performed by Yahweh. A prime example is found in the account of Jephthah (Judg. 11:30). Jephthah exchanged the death of what first appeared from his household upon his return for a victory over the Ammonites. Numbers 30:2 declares that someone who vows must complete or pay the vow. The exception to this was that if a woman made a vow, it was subject to approval to the head of the estate she belongs to (father for unmarried women, husband for married ones). Hannah promised to give her son to tabernacle service after his weaning (1 Sam. 1:11). She offered the boy (Samuel) because of her great desire to have a son. Another example of this type of vowing would be that of devoting an object to the ban, cherem (HED #2869). This was required by God in the case of certain cities in the Promised Land, in which all living things were to be killed, and all material objects were to be either dedicated to the tabernacle or destroyed. The Israelites abstained from the booty in order to claim the land. Common vows of this type made by people concern bountiful harvests (Ps. 65:2), deliverance from danger (Jon. 1:16) and recovery from illness (Ps. 22:25). Another type of vow is one in which the vower declares a commitment to some task for Yahweh. This type of vow generally involved abstinence of some sort. An example of this is found in David's declaration that he would not go home or sleep until the Ark was brought to the new capital of Israel, Jerusalem (Ps. 132:1-5). No deal was made in the course of entering the vow on the part of David, nor was any requirement of act asked of Yahweh. The gain for David in this environment was whatever blessing Yahweh decided upon—a wise move on David's part. The Nazirite in Num. 6 also made this type of vow. A Nazirite vow was often for a specified time period. An example of a lifelong Nazirite in the Hebrew Bible was Samson. Offerings were common upon the completion of most vows in Israelite society, "Your vows are on me, O God; I will pay thank offerings to you" (Ps. 56:12). The object offered, as witnessed above, was varied, including humans (Jdg. 11, albeit not originally intended), animals (Lev. 27:9ff), houses (Lev. 27:14f), land (Lev. 27:16-22), booty (Num. 21:1ff) or worship (Gen. 28:20ff). (Complete Biblical Library Hebrew-English Dictionary)

VOW — a solemn promise or pledge that binds a person to perform a specified act or to behave in a certain manner. The first mention of a vow in the Bible is of Jacob at Bethel (Gen. 28:20–22; 31:13). Other people who made a vow are Jephthah (Judg. 11:30–31, 39), Hannah (1 Sam. 1:11), David (Ps. 132:2–5), and Absalom (2 Sam. 15:7–8).
In the New Testament the apostle Paul, probably at the end of a 30-day period of abstinence from meat and wine, had his hair cut off at Cenchrea, “for he had taken a vow” (Acts 18:18). The vow that Paul had taken may have been the NAZIRITE vow (Num. 6:1–21). Samson was an Old Testament hero for whom the Nazirite vow was taken before his birth (Judg. 13:5, 7; 16:17).
All vows were made to God as a promise in expectation of His favor (Gen. 28:20) or in thanksgiving for His blessings (Ps. 116:12–14). Vowing might be a part of everyday devotion (Ps. 61:8) or the annual festivals (1 Sam. 1:21). Vows must be paid to God in the congregation at the tabernacle or Temple (Deut. 12:6, 11; Ps. 22:25).
Vowing was voluntary. But after a vow was made, it had to be performed (Deut. 23:21–23; Eccl. 5:4–6). Vows, therefore, were to be made only after careful consideration (Prov. 20:25) and in keeping with what pleased God (Lev. 27:9–27). Sinful people do not know what will please God; they need God’s direction in making vows.
Vowing is joyful worship in faith and love (Ps. 61:4–5, 8), often associated with the proclamation of God’s salvation (Ps. 22:22–27; 66:13–20). For this reason, deception in vowing is an affront to God and brings His curse (Mal. 1:14). (NNIBD)

VOW, OATH - Vows and oaths evoke the idea of a serious setting, such as a court of law (oath) or a wedding ceremony (vow). That the wedding vow is actually an oath betrays a widespread blurring of the distinction between oaths and vows in the Hebrew Bible. An oath is an abbreviated covenant (Gen 26:28), a promise between two or more persons in which the name of a deity is invoked as witness and guarantor. The oath is normally represented by the act of “swearing” (making a solemn promise) or by placing oneself under a curse. In his denial of Jesus, Peter did both (Mk 14:71). By contrast, a vow is a solemn promise made by a person to his or her deity. The vow normally includes an oath formula, but its direction is vertical, not horizontal like the oath. Whereas oaths are between persons, the vow is directed toward God. It always takes place within the context of prayer since it is always addressed to God. Vows are normally made in times of distress, and the supplicant’s gift is often contingent upon the granting of his petition (Judg 11:30; 1 Sam 14:24).
The serious nature of all promises and conduct before God is reflected in the taking of oaths and vows. According to Mosaic law, the Lord’s name was not to be taken lightly in the swearing of oaths (Ex 20:7; Deut 5:11). Yahweh would personally punish the swearer of such a false oath. Sin is not determined by whether a person vows or not. Rather, once uttered, a vow is as binding as an oath (Deut 23:21–23) and should therefore not be made carelessly (Prov 20:25).
Truthfulness as the paragon of all speech is reflected in God’s binding of himself by an oath (Heb 6:13–18, cf. Jer 22:5)   p 920  and by the fact that Christ is the guarantor of all the OT promises. Jesus taught that oaths were binding (Mt 5:33) and that the Christian’s daily conversation is considered as sacred as oaths. If, as the obedience of God’s kingdom mandates, deeds correspond to words, then oaths will be unnecessary (Mt 5:34–37; Col 3:17; Jas 1:22; 5:12; 1 Jn 3:18). (Dictionary of Biblical Imagery)

Webster's 1828 -  VOW, n. [Fr. voeu; It. voto; L. votum, from voveo, to vow; probably a contracted word.]

 1. A solemn promise made to God, or by a pagan to his deity. The Roman generals when they went to war, sometimes made a vow that they would build a temple to some favorite deity, if he would give them victory. A vow is a promise of something to be given or done hereafter.
  A person is constituted a religious by taking three vows, of chastity, of poverty, and of obedience. Among the Israelites, the vows of children were not binding, unless ratified by the express or tacit consent of their father. Num. 30.
 2. A solemn promise; as the vows of unchangeable love and fidelity. In a moral and religious sense, vows are promises to God, as they appeal to God to witness their sincerity, and the violation of them is a most hainous offense.

Vow - A vow is a solemn pledge to do something or behave in a certain manner.  A vow is often thought of as a human act alone, but in the Bible a vow is made before God alone. While a person could swear to a person or to God, they could vow only to God. In the Old Testament, the Lord saw and heard all vows; not honoring a vow was therefore a grave sin. Vows played an important part in Israel’s worship, especially with regard to individual commitment to the Lord. In Isaiah 19:21, the prophet envisions a time when Egypt will show allegiance to the Lord not only by offering sacrifices and offerings, but also by making and keeping “vows” to Him as their God (Isa. 19:21). Vows were made in times of distress, but also in times of blessing and rejoicing (Lev. 23:38; 1 Sam. 1:21). When God performed an action described in a vow, not only sacrifices were promised to God, but also public praise and thanks could be offered (Pss. 40:6; 50:12–15; 69:30–31). Of the thirty-three verses in the Pentateuch where neder occurs, nineteen are in the book of Numbers. In the Nazarite vow, while there were certain prohibitions, the stress was upon the individual’s consecration to the Lord during the time of the vow (Num. 6:2–8). Vows were part and parcel of Israel’s worship (Num. 15:3). Numbers 30 is solely about “vows” and neder is mentioned in twelve of the sixteen verses. As stated earlier, the person who makes a vow must not break his or her word (Num. 30:2). Failing to honor one’s vows was a sin (Deut. 23:22). It was considered better not to make a vow than to make it and not keep it (Eccl. 5:4–6); simply saying, “I made a mistake by making the vow” was no excuse. The seriousness of taking a vow is as significant today as it was in the time of the Old Testament. In the New Testament, Paul made a vow and considered it binding upon himself to keep it. He may have carried out the vow as thanks to God for being delivered from mortal dangers. He then had his head shaved at Cenchrea marking the end of the vow (Acts 18:18). Paul later joined in the rites necessary for four Jews who had made vows. He accompanied these Jewish Christians to demonstrate that he had not rejected the essence of the Law of Moses. (Holman Treasury of Key Bible Words)

Neder - 27v - votive(3), votive offering(1), votive offerings(5), vow(26), vows(24).  Ge 28:20; Ge 31:13; Lev. 27:8; Nu 6:2; Nu 6:21; Num. 21:2; Nu 30:2; Nu 30:3; Nu 30:10; Dt. 12:17; Dt. 23:21; Deut. 23:22; Deut. 23:23; Jdg. 11:30; Jdg. 11:39; 1 Sam. 1:11; 2 Sam. 15:7; 2 Sam. 15:8; Ps. 76:11; Ps. 132:2; Eccl. 5:4; Eccl. 5:5; Isa. 19:21; Jer. 44:25; Jon. 1:16; Jon. 2:9; Mal. 1:14

Nazirite (05139)(nazir from nazar) - to dedicate) means one consecrated, separated, devoted. First used of Joseph = "one distinguished among his brothers" (Ge 49:26). In Lev 25:5,11 "untrimmed vines" the idea being that during the sabbatical year they were left to grow of themselves. Those who took a special vow of abstention as an act of devotion to God. 

TWOT - The Nazirites formed a group of dedicated individuals, both men and women (cf. Numbers 6:2), who were spiritual leaders in their times. Amos cites the Nazirites in parallelism with prophets in Nu 2:11-12, showing how the benign influence of the Nazirites was diminished in the context of the disobedience of eighth-century Israel.

Nazir - 16v - consecrated ones(1), Nazirite(9), Nazirites(2), one distinguished(2), untrimmed vines(2). Gen. 49:26; Lev. 25:5; Lev. 25:11; Num. 6:2; Num. 6:13; Num. 6:18; Num. 6:19; Num. 6:20; Num. 6:21; Deut. 33:16; Jdg. 13:5; Jdg. 13:7; Jdg. 16:17; Lam. 4:7; Amos 2:11; Amos 2:12

Dedicate (05144)(nazar from nezer = consecration, crown) has the basic meaning of "to separate" and thus to dedicate or consecrate. In the passive or reflexive form, it can signify a dedication to (Hos. 9:10 = "to shame" ~ Baal-peor) or a separation from a deity (Ezek. 14:7 = "For anyone of the house of Israel or of the immigrants who stay in Israel who separates himself from Me, sets up his idols in his heart, puts right before his face the stumbling block of his iniquity, and then comes to the prophet to inquire of Me for himself, I the LORD will be brought to answer him in My own person."). It can also indicate considering something as sacred and consecrated (Lev. 22:2 = "“Tell Aaron and his sons to be careful with the holy gifts of the sons of Israel, which they dedicate to Me, so as not to profane My holy name; I am the LORD."). Nazar expresses the idea of consecrating oneself by fasting (Zec 7:3). In the causative form, it can denote to separate or to refrain from something (Lev. 15:31 = "“Thus you shall keep the sons of Israel separated from their uncleanness, so that they will not die in their uncleanness by their defiling My tabernacle that is among them.”); or to take on the obligations of a Nazirite, (Nu 6:2,3, 5, 6, 12). 

Mccomiskey - "When the word occurs with the preposition le in either the Niphal or Hiphil it connotes "separation to." It is used in this way of consecration to Yahweh on the part of the Nazirites (Numbers 6:2-3, 5-6, 12) and of the consecration of the Israelites to Baal (Hosea 9:10)." (TWOT)

Gilbrant Nāzar has a variety of nuances, though the subject in each usage is surrendering some aspect of independence as an act of worship by his or her act. A person can consecrate himself for worship. The verb sometimes denotes the action of accepting the obligations of a Nazirite vow (Num. 6:2, 5f, 12). Closely allied is the sense of abstinence, as a Nazirite abstains from wine, cutting his hair and coming in contact with the dead (see HED #5319). Nāzar is used in the context of ritual fasting (Zech. 7:3) and abstaining from wine and strong drink in the context of a Nazirite vow (Num. 6:3). Likewise, the priests were commanded to abstain from coming in contact with the holy things in the Tabernacle or Temple, lest they contaminate the consecrated objects (Lev. 22:2). The verb is also used in a pagan sense, as Yahweh accused the ancestors of the Israelites of consecrating themselves to Baal (Hos. 9:10). (Complete Biblical Library Hebrew-English Dictionary)

Nazar - abstain(1), dedicate(2), separated(1), separation(1). Num. 6:2; Num. 6:3; Num. 6:5; Num. 6:6; Num. 6:12 The uses in the KJV are Lev. 15:31; Lev. 22:2; Num. 6:2; Num. 6:3; Num. 6:5; Num. 6:6; Num. 6:12; Ezek. 14:7; Hos. 9:10; Zech. 7:3

Matthew Henry - Verses 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. 

James Smith - Handfuls of Purpose -  NAZARITESHIP A CONSECRATED LIFE Numbers 6:1–12

Nazareth means separated or sanctified. Can any good thing come out of Nazareth? Is there any profit in consecrating one’s life to the service of the Lord? There are still many sceptics, even among the Lord’s people, as to any good thing coming out of the Nazareth of a separated life. They seem to think that the better way is to sanctify the pleasures of the world instead of themselves. “O fools, and slow of heart to believe.” There is much that we might learn from the vow of the Nazarite. It—

1. Was voluntary. “When either a man or woman shall separate themselves” (v. 2). The Lord does not compel us to consecrate ourselves to His service. Having saved us by His Blood, He leaves us to choose whom we will serve. But through the apostle the Holy Ghost beseeches us by the mercies of God to present our bodies a living sacrifice unto God (Rom. 12:1).

2. Was entire. There can be no acceptable consecration to God that is not complete. It was a separation: 1. From all the fruit of the vine, “from the kernels to the husk” (v. 4). “Strong drink” is twice mentioned as if there were a double danger of his consecration being ruined through it. This warning is urgently needed to-day. 2. From the fashion of men. “No razor shall come upon his head” (v. 5). It is a shame for a man to have long hair (1 Cor. 11:14), but he must just bear the shame. The separated man has nothing to be ashamed of. He will be peculiar, but he walks not as men. 3. From the presence of the dead (v. 6). The dead belong to another world, he must not pollute himself with any deadening thing. “They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.”

3. Was unto the Lord. “All the days of his separation he is holy unto the Lord” (v. 8). It was not to make himself odd, or to be talked about among his fellowmen. He willingly gave himself that he might be wholly for the Lord. Through it was he not seeking a deeper acquaintanceship with God? Was he not acting on the principle taught in 2 Corinthians 6:17, 18, “Touch not the unclean, and I will receive you and be a Father unto you?” Paul was a Nazarite unto the Gospel of God (Rom. 1:1).

4. Implies an open profession. “No razor shall come upon his head.” His hair was a public testimony as to his character. The Nazarite could not be hidden. The consecrated life is a light which cannot be put under a bushel. LOVE is an open mark by which we are known as His disciples. No Christian is ashamed of his consecration any more than a sheep is ashamed of its owner’s marks. The scissors of Delilah made havoc of Samson’s Nazariteship.

5. Involves great self-denial (v. 7). The fruit of the vine may be very sweet, but he must not touch it. Even if his father, or his mother, or his brother, or sister die, he cannot go near to see them or to bury them. His natural inclinations must give place to the Word of God. These things were lawful for others, but not expedient for him. The separated life means, “Not my will, but Thine be done.” “If any man will follow Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross.” It is a sacrifice, but it is well-pleasing unto God.

6. Meant a life of holiness. “All the days of his separation he is holy” (v. 8). While he lived a separated life he had this testimony, that he pleased God. Holiness then is a condition more than an attainment. Those who have separated themselves from forbidden things, and have yielded themselves into His hands to do His will are holy. When the separating vow is broken we cease to be in a state of holiness unto the Lord. Our consecration is defiled, and our Nazarite testimony is gone. “Be ye holy, for I am holy.”

7. Was easily marred. “If a man die suddenly by him, he hath defiled his consecration” (vs. 9–12). Coming into contact with the dead, even by accident, was enough to pollute his holiness in the sight of God. Do we realise how easily the crown of consecration honour may fall from our heads? How easily the Holy Spirit may be grieved, and the power of our testimony perish? It is in vain we go about with our unshorn locks in the sight of men, if in His holy eyes we have defiled ourselves. Ichabod may be written over our lives. Take heed unto thyself (1 Tim. 4:16).

Jensen The Principle of Separation. In the external details of the Nazirite vow God was again seen to use the external symbols to teach the inner basic spiritual truths to His people. Much of the Old Testament teaching is lost if this fact is forgotten. Obedience to the outward form without obedience in the heart has always been hypocrisy in the eyes of God. In Old Testament days, no less than at any other time, God was after the heart. The word Nazirite is derived from a Hebrew root meaning “to separate.” Clearly the Nazirite vow was one of separation. Any Israelite could make the vow, man or woman. It could be taken at any time (Nu 6:2). The invitation was not to classes or groups, such as priests or princes, since it was not service that was basically involved but living

The Nazirite vow involved two basic principles:

(1) The “separation from” principle (Nu 6:3, 4). Here, the emphasis was not on the things from which the Nazirite was to separate himself. The intention of this part of the vow was not essentially to reaffirm one’s desire to separate himself from sin. Rather, there was to be a “separation from” on the basis of priorities and surrenders in life. Eating dried grapes (Nu 6:3) was not a sinful act, so refraining from eating dried grapes was not an act per se of refraining from sinning. Because the vine products as a whole were classified under luxurious and sumptuous living, therefore the Nazirite would be willing to surrender these temporal niceties for fare of eternal values.

The second part of this vow involved the hair (Nu 6:5). The Israelitish custom was to keep the locks of the hair short. The law of the Nazirite was to let the hair grow. Such a sight would be a public, visible sign that the person had taken this vow, that he was foregoing society’s dignity and custom of short hair in order to go about with the “diadem of his God upon his head” (Lev. 21:12) as the symbol of strength and vitality (cf. 2 Sa 14:25, 26). And if there was ridicule by his neighbors for this visible sign of the vow, he was willing to surrender his popular reputation in favor of divine approbation.

The third part of the vow involved provision for an emergency: coming near a dead body (Nu 6:6–12). If such a thing happened, even by accident, the Nazirite would bring upon himself ceremonial uncleanness, and he would “defile the head of his separation” (Nu 6:7, 9). For such defilement he forfeited his status as under the vow, and he could be reinstated only after fulfilling specified regulations (Nu 6:9–12).

In one sense, all three provisions of the vow were rules of “separation from”: separation from vine products, separation from customary cutting of hair, separation from ceremonial uncleanness. In another sense, however, only the first rule was a “separation from”; the second was a public testimony of the separation vow; and the third was ceremonial provision for maintaining the sanctity of the vow.

(2) The “separation unto” principle. This was the positive side of the vow, and was its ultimate purpose in the life of the Israelite. If God appealed to the “separation from,” it was because He wanted “separation unto.” “When either man or woman shall make … the vow of a Nazirite, to separate himself unto Jehovah, he shall separate himself from …” (Nu 6:2, 3).

Throughout the chapter the phrase “unto Jehovah” is repeated (see Nu 6:2, 5, 6, 7, 8, 14, 17, 21). The emphasis is definitely on “Master control.” Jesus gave the same kind of invitation to His disciples and the multitude when He said, “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me” (Mark 8:34). There was the “separation from”—denying self—that there might be the “separation unto”—following Christ.

It must not be interpreted that Jehovah, in spelling out the regulations of the law of separation (Nu 6:21), was teaching that intimate devotion with Him comes by legalistic works apart from heart attitude. Since the vow was voluntary, the decision to enter it was from the heart (Nu 6:2). The duration of the vow was unspecified (Nu 6:4, 6), so the individual himself chose the time period, whether temporary or permanent. A command of God can never be really obeyed without the heart’s assent. Further, it is on the basis of this fact that one may conclude that if the heart attitude is one of real desire for “separation unto” the Lord, with undivided loyalty to Him as Master of the life, then the laws of the “separation from” will not be difficult commands to obey. (EvBC-Nu)

Question -  What is the Nazirite/Nazarite vow?

Answer: The Nazirite/Nazarite vow is taken by individuals who have voluntarily dedicated themselves to God. The vow is a decision, action, and desire on the part of people whose desire is to yield themselves to God completely. By definition, the Hebrew word nazir, simply means “to be separated or consecrated.” The Nazirite vow, which appears in Numbers 6:1-21, has five features. It is voluntary, can be done by either men or women, has a specific time frame, has specific requirements and restrictions, and at its conclusion a sacrifice is offered.

First, the individual enters into this vow voluntarily. The Bible says, "Speak to the Israelites and say to them: 'If a man or woman wants to make a special vow, a vow of separation to the LORD as a Nazirite’” (Numbers 6:2). This shows that it is individuals who take the initiative to consecrate themselves to the Lord. There is no divine command involved. While generally done by the individual by his own choice, two individuals in the Old Testament, and one in the New Testament, were presented to God by their parents. Samuel and Samson in the Old Testament (1 Samuel 2:8-28; Judges 13:1-5), and John the Baptist in the New Testament received the Nazirite vow from birth (Luke 1:13-17).

Second, both men and women could participate in this vow, as Numbers 6:2 indicates, “a man or woman.” The Nazirite vow was often taken by men and women alike purely for personal reasons, such as thanksgiving for recovery from illness or for the birth of a child. However, under the Mosaic law, the vow or oath of a single woman could be rescinded by her father, and that of a married woman by her husband (Numbers 30).

Third, the vow had a specific time frame, a beginning and an end as these two statements indicate: “Throughout the period of his separation he is consecrated to the LORD... Now this is the law for the Nazirite when the period of his separation is over” (Numbers 6:8, 13a). So, the Nazirite vow usually had both a beginning and an end.

Fourth, there were specific guidelines and restrictions involved with the Nazirite vow. Three guidelines are given to the Nazirite. Numbers 6:3-7 tells us that he/she was to abstain from wine or any fermented drink, nor was the Nazirite to drink grape juice or eat grapes or raisins, not even the seeds or skins. Next, the Nazirite was not to cut his hair for the length of the vow. Last, he was not to go near a dead body, because that would make him ceremonially unclean. Even if a member of his immediate family died, he was not to go near the corpse.

Numbers 6:13-20 shows the procedure to follow to complete the vow. A sacrifice was made (vv.13-17), the candidate’s hair was cut and put on the altar, and the priest did the final task of completing the sacrificial process, which ended the vow (v. 20). This section concludes with the statement, “This is the law of the Nazirite who vows his offering to the LORD in accordance with his separation, in addition to whatever else he can afford. He must fulfill the vow he has made, according to the law of the Nazirite”(Nu 6:21).

Although the Nazirite vow is an Old Testament concept, there is a New Testament parallel to the Nazirite vow. In Romans 12:1-2 Paul states, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” For Christians, the ancient Nazirite vow symbolizes the need to be separate from this world, a holy people consecrated to God (2 Timothy 1:9; 1 Peter 1:15).(Source:

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Numbers 6:3  he 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.

  • Lev 10:9 Jud 13:14 Pr 31:4,5 Jer 35:6-8 Am 2:12 Lu 1:15 Lu 7:33,34 21:34 Eph 5:18 1Th 5:22 1Ti 5:23 
  • Numbers 6 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries


He 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 - Heb. “Shall be a Nazarite from wine,” etc. Gr. “Shall be sanctified from wine.” Vulg. “Shall abstain from wine and from every thing that will make a man drunk.” 

THOUGHT - In an interesting analogy in the NT Paul says " And do not get drunk (present imperative with a negative  see our need to depend on the Holy Spirit to obey) with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled (present imperative   see our need to depend on the Holy Spirit to obey) with the Spirit," (Eph 5:18+). The difference of course from the Nazirite vow is that while it was voluntary, Paul's exhortation is a command. In my opinion this is one of the most important passages in the NT for believers to obey because without the supernatural enabling power of the indwelling Spirit, we cannot keep any of the other commands. The abundant life Jesus referred to in John 10:10 is ultimately possible only in the man or woman who is continually filled with and controlled by the Spirit of Christ! 

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Bush - In strict propriety the term shekar denotes strong drink made from any kind of fruits, such as dates, etc., but the Hebrews restrict it in this connection to such only as is made of the fruit of the vine. “Three species of things are forbidden to the Nazarite, viz., pollution, shaving, and the fruit of the vine; but strong drink made of dates, or such like, is lawful for the Nazarite; and the strong drink forbidden him by the law is strong drink made with mixture of wine.”—Maimonides.

Abstain (05144) see note on nazar here translated in the Lxx with the verb hagiazo meaning to be cleansed as from ritual defilement, to be purified and thus made acceptable for cultic use. 

Numbers 6:4  'All the days of his separation he shall not eat anything that is produced by the grape vine, from the seeds even to the skin.

  • separation, Nu 6:5,8,9,12,13,18,19,21 
  • Numbers 6 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries


'All the days of his separation - In v5 it is called all the days of his vow of separation. The Mishna states that a Nazirite vow could last as long as 100 days, but the usual length was thirty days. In some rare cases, people were Nazirites for life—e.g., Samuel, Samson, John the Baptist. It should be noted here that while Christ was a Nazarene (Mt2:23), a reference to a citizen of Nazareth, He was not a Nazarite. One of the national sins of Israel, at a later date, was the attempt by the people to force the Nazarites to break their vows (Amos 2:11,12 = "made the Nazirites drink wine")!!!

NIVSB - During the period of a Nazirite’s vow, three areas of his (or her) life were governed: (1) diet, (2) appearance and (3) associations. Every Israelite was regulated in these areas, but for the Nazirite each regulation was heightened.

He shall not eat anything that is produced by the grape vine, from the seeds even to the skin - One reason of course is that they would not be "drunk with wine" and so have their senses altered but there is probably another reason as (Hos 3:1) suggests that raisin (grape) cakes were a feature of profligate living. 1Sa 25:18, 36 tells of the abundant raisins at the home of Nabal, a rich and sensual man. In the spirit of self-denial luxurious living was to be shunned by a Nazarite. 

Wine was the symbol for joy (Ps 104:15),
but the Nazarite was to receive his joy from God alone. 

Wiersbe - Their separation was twofold: to the Lord (v. 2) and from what defiled (vv. 3–8). Even little things could defile, like the seeds and skins of grapes! When God says something is wrong, it is wrong, no matter how small a thing it may seem to be.

NET Note on skin - Here is another hapax legomenon, a word only found here. The word seems linked to the verb “to be clear,” and so may mean the thin skin of the grape. The reason for the strictness with these two words in this verse is uncertain. We know the actual meanings of the words, and the combination must form a merism here, meaning no part of the grape could be eaten. Abstaining from these common elements of food was to be a mark of commitment to the LORD. Hos 3:1 even denounces the raisin cakes as part of a pagan world, and eating them would be a violation of the oath.

C H Spurgeon -   “All the days of his separation shall he eat nothing that is made of the vine tree, from the kernels even to the husk.”—Numbers 6:4

Nazarites had taken, among other vows, one which debarred them from the use of wine. In order that they might not violate the obligation, they were forbidden to drink the vinegar of wine or strong liquors, and to make the rule still more clear, they were not to touch the unfermented juice of grapes, nor even to eat the fruit either fresh or dried. In order, altogether, to secure the integrity of the vow, they were not even allowed anything that had to do with the vine; they were, in fact, to avoid the appearance of evil. Surely this is a lesson to the Lord’s separated ones, teaching them to come away from sin in every form, to avoid not merely its grosser shapes, but even its spirit and similitude. Strict walking is much despised in these days, but rest assured, dear reader, it is both the safest and the happiest. He who yields a point or two to the world is in fearful peril; he who eats the grapes of Sodom will soon drink the wine of Gomorrah. A little crevice in the sea-bank in Holland lets in the sea, and the gap speedily swells till a province is drowned. Worldly conformity, in any degree, is a snare to the soul, and makes it more and more liable to presumptuous sins. Moreover, as the Nazarite who drank grape juice could not be quite sure whether it might not have endured a degree of fermentation, and consequently could not be clear in heart that his vow was intact, so the yielding, temporizing Christian cannot wear a conscience void of offence, but must feel that the inward monitor is in doubt of him. Things doubtful we need not doubt about; they are wrong to us. Things tempting we must not dally with, but flee from them with speed. Better be sneered at as a Puritan than be despised as a hypocrite. Careful walking may involve much self-denial, but it has pleasures of its own which are more than a sufficient recompense.

Numbers 6:5  'All the days of his vow of separation no razor shall pass over his head. He shall be holy until the days are fulfilled for which he separated himself to the LORD; he shall let the locks of hair on his head grow long.

  • razor: Jdg 13:5 Jdg 16:17,19 1Sa 1:11 La 4:7,8 1Co 11:10-15 
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All the days of his vow of separation no razor shall pass over his head - This recalls the birth of Samson - “For behold, you shall conceive and give birth to a son, and no razor shall come upon his head, for the boy shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb; and he shall begin to deliver Israel from the hands of the Philistines.”  (Jdg 13:5+) Note the phrase Nazirite to God, not to the parents, not to Israel but to God. Sadly Samson told treacherous Delilah the secret of his strength (read Jdg 16:17-19+). 

NET NOTE on no razor shall pass over his head - There is an interesting parallel between this prohibition and the planting of trees. They could not be pruned or trimmed for three years, but allowed to grow free (Lev 20:23). Only then could the tree be cut and the fruit eaten. The natural condition was to be a sign that it was the LORD’s. It was to be undisturbed by humans. Since the Nazirite was to be consecrated to the LORD, that meant his whole person, hair included. In the pagan world the trimming of the beard and the cutting of the hair was often a sign of devotion to some deity.

He shall be holy until the days are fulfilled for which he separated himself to the LORD - The Nazirite is to be holy, that is to be distinct, different, set apart. This is reiterated in Nu 6:8.  All of these things were no leglistic rules for them to keep in order to be holy but they served as signs of the preeminence of God in their lives. 

Holy (06918)(qadosh) describes that which is holy,  and describes an object or place or day to be "holy" with the meaning of "devoted" or "dedicated" to a particular purpose. The Septuagint translates it with  hagios that which is set apart from the profane and to God. 

Baker - An adjective meaning sacred, holy. It is used to denote someone or something that is inherently sacred or has been designated as sacred by divine rite or cultic ceremony. It designates that which is the opposite of common or profane. It could be said the qād̠ôš is a positive term regarding the character of its referent, where common is a neutral term and profane a very negative term. This word is often used to refer to God as being inherently holy, sacred, and set apart (Ps. 22:3[4]; Isa. 6:3; 57:15); and as being free from the attributes of fallen humanity (Hos. 11:9). Therefore, in the Old Testament, God is accorded the title "The Holy One of Israel" (2 Ki. 19:22; Ps. 78:41; Isa. 17:7; Jer. 50:29). As such, God instructed that humanity should be holy because He is holy (Lev. 11:44, 45; 19:2). In addition to its divine references, this word can also modify places, like the court of the Tabernacle (Ex. 29:31); the camp of Israel (Deut. 23:14[15]); Jerusalem (Eccl. 8:10); heaven (Isa. 57:15); people, like the priests (Lev. 21:7, 8); a Nazirite (Num. 6:5, 8); the prophet Elisha (2 Ki. 4:9); Levites (2 Chr. 35:3); saints [angels] (Job 5:1; 15:15; Dan. 8:13); water (Num. 5:17); time (Neh. 8:9-11; Isa. 58:13). (Complete Word Study Dictionary – Old Testament)

Qadosh - 105v - consecrated(1), Holy(8), holy(50), Holy One(44), holy one(3), holy ones(6), one is holy(1), saints(2) - Exod. 19:6; Exod. 29:31; Lev. 6:16; Lev. 6:26; Lev. 6:27; Lev. 7:6; Lev. 10:13; Lev. 11:44; Lev. 11:45; Lev. 16:24; Lev. 19:2; Lev. 20:26; Lev. 21:6; Lev. 21:7; Lev. 21:8; Lev. 24:9; Num. 5:17; Num. 6:5; Num. 6:8; Num. 15:40; Num. 16:3; Num. 16:5; Num. 16:7; Deut. 7:6; Deut. 14:2; Deut. 14:21; Deut. 23:14; Deut. 26:19; Deut. 28:9; Deut. 33:3; Jos. 24:19; 1 Sam. 2:2; 1 Sam. 6:20; 2 Ki. 4:9; 2 Ki. 19:22; 2 Chr. 35:3; Neh. 8:9; Neh. 8:10; Neh. 8:11; Job 5:1; Job 6:10; Job 15:15; Ps. 16:3; Ps. 22:3; Ps. 34:9; Ps. 46:4; Ps. 65:4; Ps. 71:22; Ps. 78:41; Ps. 89:5; Ps. 89:7; Ps. 89:18; Ps. 99:3; Ps. 99:5; Ps. 99:9; Ps. 106:16; Ps. 111:9; Prov. 9:10; Prov. 30:3; Eccl. 8:10; Isa. 1:4; Isa. 4:3; Isa. 5:16; Isa. 5:19; Isa. 5:24; Isa. 6:3; Isa. 10:17; Isa. 10:20; Isa. 12:6; Isa. 17:7; Isa. 29:19; Isa. 29:23; Isa. 30:11; Isa. 30:12; Isa. 30:15; Isa. 31:1; Isa. 37:23; Isa. 40:25; Isa. 41:14; Isa. 41:16; Isa. 41:20; Isa. 43:3; Isa. 43:14; Isa. 43:15; Isa. 45:11; Isa. 47:4; Isa. 48:17; Isa. 49:7; Isa. 54:5; Isa. 55:5; Isa. 57:15; Isa. 58:13; Isa. 60:9; Isa. 60:14; Jer. 50:29; Jer. 51:5; Ezek. 39:7; Ezek. 42:13; Dan. 8:13; Dan. 8:24; Hos. 11:9; Hos. 11:12; Hab. 1:12; Hab. 3:3; Zech. 14:5

He shall let the locks of hair on his head grow long - "The unusually long hair of a Nazirite would become a physical mark of his (or her) vow of special devotion to the Lord. Cf. Lev 21:5+." (NIVSB)

Norman Geisler -  NUMBERS 6:5—Does the vow of the Nazarite contradict Paul’s prohibition against long hair?

PROBLEM: Paul affirmed that it is against “nature” for men to have long hair (1 Cor. 11:14). But the vow of the Nazarite demanded that one not cut his hair.

SOLUTION: The general rule was for men not to dress like women (see comments on Deut. 22:5), nor to wear long hair like women (see comments on 1 Cor. 11:14). Any exception was born out of either perversity (e.g., homosexuality), necessity (health, safety), or special sanctity. The vow of the Nazarite falls into the latter category and is an exception that helps establish the rule. God wished to distinguish the sexes for purposes of social and moral propriety. However, a special vow of dedication to God involving long hair but not wearing women’s clothes would scarcely tend to violate the spirit of the divine design of keeping the sexes distinguishable. No one with evil intentions of confusing the sexes for perverse reasons would be making such a self-sacrificing spiritual vow

Numbers 6:6  'All the days of his separation to the LORD he shall not go near to a dead person.

  • he shall come: Nu 19:11-16 Lev 19:28 Jer 16:5,6 Eze 24:16-18 Mt 8:21,22 Lu 9:59,60 2Co 5:16 
  • Numbers 6 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

All the days of his separation to the LORD he shall not go near to a dead person - We know of no one voluntarily taking the vow for life, all the cases recorded being those of parents dedicating their children. Even for non-Nazirite Israelites, physical contact with a corpse was defiling and resulted in uncleanness; which necessitated all normal contacts with the living be curtailed (by sending them away from the camp- Nu 5:2+) until proper ritual cleansing had been undertaken. The Nazirite was even prohibited from contact with a dead relative! It is interesting that this rule did not apply to priests and their dead family members (Lev 21:1-3+). 

NET Note - The Hebrew has נֶפֶשׁ מֵת (nefesh met), literally a “dead person.” But since the word נֶפֶשׁ can also be used for animals, the restriction would be for any kind of corpse. Death was very much a part of the fallen world, and so for one so committed to the LORD, avoiding all such contamination would be a witness to the greatest separation, even in a family.

NIVSB - Jesus, in his kingdom authority, made the unclean clean, even those who were dead, by raising them back to life (Mk 5:41–42; Lk 7:14–15; Jn 11:43–44).

The only “Nazirites for life” that we know by name are Samson, Samuel and John the Baptist, but to these Jewish tradition adds Absalom in virtue of his long hair. We know of no one voluntarily taking the vow for life, all the cases recorded being those of parents dedicating their children. 

Numbers 6:7  'He shall not make himself unclean for his father or for his mother, for his brother or for his sister, when they die, because his separation to God is on his head.

  • unclean: Nu 9:6 Lev 21:1,2,10-12 Eze 44:25 
  • Numbers 6 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries


'He shall not make himself unclean for his father or for his mother, for his brother or for his sister, when they die - "The vav (ו) conjunction at the beginning of the clause specifies the cases of corpses that are to be avoided, no matter how painful it might be." (NET Note)

because his separation to God is on his head: This expression denotes his hair, which was the proof and emblem (or SIGN) of his separation, and of his subjection to God through all the peculiarities of his Nazarate.  Paul may allude to this circumstance in 1Co 11:10 by considering a married woman as a Nazarite for life, separated from all others, and united to her husband, to whom she is subject.

NET Note - The Nazirite would defile himself, i.e., ruin his vow, by contacting their corpses. Jesus’ hard saying in Matt 8:22+, “let the dead bury their own dead,” makes sense in the light of this passage—Jesus was calling for commitment to himself.

More strict than even the requirement of the regular priests (not the High Priest) (cp Lv21:1-3, 11).  literally “because the consecration (nezer) of his God is upon his head.” The basic meaning of the nezer is “separation” or “consecration”; but it is also used of a royal crown (2Sa1:10; Zec9:16; Ps 89:39).

Numbers 6:8  'All the days of his separation he is holy to the LORD.

All the days of his separation he is holy to the LORD - To reiterate what was said above what he abstained from was important but holiness to the LORD was of paramount importance (then and now beloved - cf 1 Pe 1:14-15+). 

One is reminded of Paul's charge in 2 Corinthians

2 Corinthians 6:17; 18 “Therefore, COME OUT (aorist imperative  see our need to depend on the Holy Spirit to obey) FROM THEIR MIDST AND BE SEPARATE (aorist imperative),” says the Lord. “AND DO NOT TOUCH (present imperative with a negative  see our need to depend on the Holy Spirit to obey) WHAT IS UNCLEAN; And I will welcome you. 18 “And I will be a father to you, And you shall be sons and daughters to Me,” Says the Lord Almighty. (See concluding exhortation - 2 Cor 7:1+).

THOUGHT - While we may not be "Nazirites" we are "separated for life" to the LORD. We are set apart once and for all time as positionally holy, :"sanctified (perfect tense - now and forever our "state") through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.:  (Heb 10:10+) And as those who have been privileged to be set apart from this dying world to the Living God, we are now called to live "Nazirite-like" lives, abstaining from the contaminating influences of the world, "For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are (being continually) sanctified (progressive sanctification). (Heb 10:14+) As James says we are to " keep oneself unstained by the world." (James 1:27+)

Separation, dedicated) (05145)(nezer from nazar = to dedicate, consecrate) is a masculine noun derived from nazar which speaks of separation or dedication. It describes something (Lev 21:12 - anointing oil) or someone (priest - Ex 29:6, 39:30, Lev 8:9; Nazirite - Nu 6:5, 7-9, 12 - see Nazarite) set apart or consecrated to a deity for a special purpose (a holy purpose). Nezer is used of a royal crown in 2Sa 1:10; 2Ki 11:12; Zech 9:16; Ps 89:39, Ps 132:18; Pr 27:24; 2Chr 23:11. TWOT - In view of the fact that the long hair of a Nazirite was a nezer denoting his consecration, and the head plate of a priest was a nezer denoting his consecration, the word nezer appears not to connote "crown" in the primary sense, but crown in the sense of the sign of one's consecration. This could be one's hair as well as a headpiece. The nezer was a sign of the king's consecration to his office just as it was a sign of the Nazirite's consecration to God.

Numbers 6:9  'But if a man dies very suddenly beside him and he defiles his dedicated head of hair, then he shall shave his head on the day when he becomes clean; he shall shave it on the seventh day.

  • and he: Nu 19:14-19 
  • shave: Nu 6:18 Ac 18:18 21:23,24 Php 3:8,9 
  • Numbers 6 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries


But if a man dies very suddenly (unexpectedly) beside him and he defiles his dedicated head of hair, then he shall shave his head on the day when he becomes clean; he shall shave it on the seventh day. - This is a provision for sudden, unexpected defiling contact. And actually it does not say he touched the dead body but it was beside him, so holy and strict is the Nazirite's separation. If the Nazirite inadvertently came in contact with a dead body, he was to shave his head (the long hair symbolizing his oath), on the eighth day bring the prescribed offerings, and begin the days of his vow again. This is a good illustration of the fact that sin can become mingled with the best intentions, and is not always premeditated. When sin is mixed with the holiest actions, it calls for a renewed cleansing (1 Jn 1:9+)..

FSB - Upon contact with a dead body, priests and laypeople were required to undergo a seven-day procedure for ritual purification (Num 19:11–12). The requirements were more stringent for Nazirites, who were also required to bring a sacrifice. Later in Israel’s history, Ezekiel required more severe purification procedures for contaminated priests (Ezek 44:26–27). (

Numbers 6:10  'Then on the eighth day he shall bring two turtledoves or two young pigeons to the priest, to the doorway of the tent of meeting.

  • Lev 1:14 Lev 5:7-10 Lev 9:1-21 12:6 14:22,23,31 15:14,29 Ro 4:25 Joh 2:1,2 
  • Numbers 6 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Related Passages:

Leviticus 5:7-10+ ‘But if he cannot afford a lamb, then he shall bring to the LORD his guilt offering for that in which he has sinned, two turtledoves or two young pigeons, one for a sin offering and the other for a burnt offering. 8 ‘He shall bring them to the priest, who shall offer first that which is for the sin offering and shall nip its head at the front of its neck, but he shall not sever it. 9 ‘He shall also sprinkle some of the blood of the sin offering on the side of the altar, while the rest of the blood shall be drained out at the base of the altar: it is a sin offering. 10 ‘The second he shall then prepare as a burnt offering according to the ordinance. So the priest shall make atonement on his behalf for his sin which he has committed, and it will be forgiven him. 


Then on the eighth day he shall bring two turtledoves or two young pigeons to the priest, to the doorway of the tent of meeting These are the least costly animal sacrifices.  

Numbers 6:11  'The priest shall offer one for a sin offering and the other for a burnt offering, and make atonement for him concerning his sin because of the dead person. And that same day he shall consecrate his head,

  • offer: Lev 5:8-10 14:30,31 
  • and shall: Nu 6:5 
  • Numbers 6 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

The priest shall offer one for a sin offering and the other for a burnt offering, and make atonement for him concerning his sin because of the dead person. And that same day he shall consecrate his head,

Open Bible notes - Death is the ultimate uncleanness to the Holy One who is perfect life. The sin offering represented atonement; it reestablished the broken relationship with God and the community. The burnt offering represented consecration signifying complete surrender to God. It is Jesus Christ who has both “purged our sins” (Heb. 1:3) and made living a holy life possible.

Burnt offering (05930)('olah from 'alah = to ascend and thus the picture of going up in smoke) refers to a whole burnt offering (one which goes up in smoke), which was voluntary, was understood as a sacrificial gift to God, resulting in a pleasing aroma acceptable to Jehovah (Lev 1:9). The presenter laid hands on the sacrifice which many feel signifies they saw the animal sacrifice as their substitute. The blood was sprinkled on the altar (Lev 1:6) When this offering was properly carried out (including a right heart attitude not just a "going through the motions," [which was not pleasing to God - Jer 6:20, Jer 7:21, 23, 24, see David - Ps 51:16-17-note] not just an external "work," but an internal submission and obedience to Jehovah), they made atonement and were acceptable before Jehovah. The total burning indicated (or should have indicated) total consecration of the presenter's heart and soul and life to Jehovah. As noted a key feature of 'olah appears to be that among the Israelite sacrifices only 'olah is wholly burned, rather than partially burned and eaten by the worshipers and/or the priest. Thus, the whole animal is brought up to the altar and the whole is offered as a gift (minha) in homage to Yahweh. Whole offering would be a better rendering in English to convey the theology. It is indeed burned, but the burning is essentially secondary to the giving of the whole creature to Yahweh.

THOUGHT  Does the burnt offering (wholly burned) not make us thing of Paul's great exhortation in Ro 12:1+? That's a rhetorical question of course.

Uses in Numbers - Num. 6:11; Num. 6:14; Num. 6:16; Num. 7:15; Num. 7:21; Num. 7:27; Num. 7:33; Num. 7:39; Num. 7:45; Num. 7:51; Num. 7:57; Num. 7:63; Num. 7:69; Num. 7:75; Num. 7:81; Num. 7:87; Num. 8:12; Num. 10:10; Num. 15:3; Num. 15:5; Num. 15:8; Num. 15:24; Num. 23:3; Num. 23:6; Num. 23:15; Num. 23:17; Num. 28:3; Num. 28:6; Num. 28:10; Num. 28:11; Num. 28:13; Num. 28:14; Num. 28:15; Num. 28:19; Num. 28:23; Num. 28:24; Num. 28:27; Num. 28:31; Num. 29:2; Num. 29:6; Num. 29:8; Num. 29:11; Num. 29:13; Num. 29:16; Num. 29:19; Num. 29:22; Num. 29:25; Num. 29:28; Num. 29:31; Num. 29:34; Num. 29:36; Num. 29:38; Num. 29:39;

Related Resource:

Question:  What is a burnt offering?

Answer: The burnt offering is one of the oldest and most common offerings in history. It’s entirely possible that Abel’s offering in Genesis 4:4 was a burnt offering, although the first recorded instance is in Genesis 8:20 when Noah offers burnt offerings after the flood. God ordered Abraham to offer his son, Isaac, in a burnt offering in Genesis 22, and then provided a ram as a replacement. After suffering through nine of the ten plagues, Pharaoh decided to let the people go from bondage in Egypt, but his refusal to allow the Israelites to take their livestock with them in order to offer burnt offerings brought about the final plague that led to the Israelites’ delivery (Exodus 10:24-29).

The Hebrew word for “burnt offering” actually means to “ascend,“ literally to “go up in smoke.” The smoke from the sacrifice ascended to God, “a soothing aroma to the LORD” (Leviticus 1:9). Technically, any offering burned over an altar was a burnt offering, but in more specific terms, a burnt offering was the complete destruction of the animal (except for the hide) in an effort to renew the relationship between Holy God and sinful man. With the development of the law, God gave the Israelites specific instructions as to the types of burnt offerings and what they symbolized.

Leviticus 1 and 6:8-13 describe the traditional burnt offering. The Israelites brought a bull, sheep, or goat, a male with no defect, and killed it at the entrance to the tabernacle. The animal’s blood was drained, and the priest sprinkled blood around the altar. The animal was skinned and cut it into pieces, the intestines and legs washed, and the priest burned the pieces over the altar all night. The priest received the skin as a fee for his help. A turtledove or pigeon could also be sacrificed, although they weren’t skinned.

A person could give a burnt offering at any time. It was a sacrifice of general atonement—an acknowledgement of the sin nature and a request for renewed relationship with God. God also set times for the priests to give a burnt offering for the benefit of the Israelites as a whole, although the animals required for each sacrifice varied:

  • Every morning and evening (Exodus 29:38-42; Numbers 28:2)
  • Each Sabbath (Numbers 28:9-10)
  • The beginning of each month (Numbers 28:11)
  • At Passover (Numbers 28:19)
  • With the new grain/firstfruits offering at the Feast of Weeks (Numbers 28:27)
  • At the Feast of Trumpets/Rosh Hashanah (Numbers 29:1)
  • At the new moon (Numbers 29:6)

The ultimate fulfillment of the burnt offering is in Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. His physical life was completely consumed, He ascended to God, and His covering (that is, His garment) was distributed to those who officiated over His sacrifice (Matthew 27:35). But most importantly, His sacrifice, once for all time, atoned for our sins and restored our relationship with God. (Source:

Numbers 6:12  and shall dedicate to the LORD his days as a Nazirite, and shall bring a male lamb a year old for a guilt offering; but the former days will be void because his separation was defiled.

  • a trespass: Lev 5:6 14:24 
  • but the: Eze 18:24 Mt 3:15 24:13  Joh 8:29-31 Jas 2:10 2Jn 1:8 
  • Numbers 6 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

And shall dedicate to the LORD his days as a Nazirite - His days, his hours, all of his time is to be to and for the Lord, a good model for all followers of Christ, for as Paul says "Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, 16 making the most (present tense = continually) of your time (redeeming the time), because the days are evil." (Eph 5:15-16+).

and shall bring a male lamb a year old for a guilt offering;

but the former days will be void because his separation was defiled - The point is that If the Nazirite were somehow defiled before the time of the completion of the cleansing, he had to start all over again. The days before the defilement could not be counted toward the completion.

F B Meyer - Our Daily Homily - Numbers 6:12   The former days shall be void. (R.V.)

How solemn is the suggestion of these words! If the separation of the Nazarite were broken in upon by his sudden contact with death, he might start afresh; but all the days that preceded that untoward event would go for nothing — they would not be counted.

How many days in our life have been made void! Days in which we have learned no new lesson of God; have had no access into his presence; have done no kind and helpful act; have spoken no loving, tender word. It is all-important that even our days of rest from active engagements should be days of learning deeper lessons, of vision, and of reception from the fulness of God.

Each day comes to us fresh from God, like soft metal, waiting to be stamped with our inscription; or like a piece of yielding clay, to be molded in to some shape of beauty or use. Each morning the slate is brought for us to write on; the canvas on which we may paint. But too often we miss our opportunity, and a blurred, marred, confused result is all we have to show.

If you would avoid this, let God plan each day; follow the guidance of his Spirit; do all you touch with your might and for his glory; put away all known sin, and be separate from evil; in everything learn to submit to his dealings, and to commit yourself to his faithful keeping. Then each day will have something to keep in charge, and resemble a chalice filled to its brim with holy service. We must ever remember that “every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the Day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is” (1 Corinthians 3:13).

Numbers 6:13  'Now this is the law of the Nazirite when the days of his separation are fulfilled, he shall bring the offering to the doorway of the tent of meeting.


Now this is the law of the Nazirite when the days of his separation are fulfilled, he shall bring the offering to the doorway of the tent of meeting - Why he is to bring the offerings is not clear. 

"The offerings of the Nazirite at the completion of the period of the vow were extensive, expensive and expressive of the spirit of total commitment to the Lord during this time of special devotion. In addition to these several offerings, the Nazirite burned his (or her) hair (the sign of the vow)." (NIVSB)

MacArthur -At the end of the determined time, the Nazirite was released from his vow through offerings and the shaving of his head. His hair was to be brought to the sanctuary at the time of those offerings (cf. Ac 18:18). (MSB)

Wiersbe - The Nazirite stated at the beginning how long the vow would last, but our separation to the Lord must be for life. However, it is not wrong occasionally to set aside periods of time for special devotion to the Lord, just as the Nazirites did. If the Nazirite became defiled, all the days of the dedication were lost (v. 12). It is a costly thing to disobey the Lord. Even though the Nazirite had lived in dedication, it was still necessary to bring sacrifices to the Lord, for nobody is perfect before Him. (WWBC)

Numbers 6:14  'He shall present his offering to the LORD: one male lamb a year old without defect for a burnt offering and one ewe-lamb a year old without defect for a sin offering and one ram without defect for a peace offering,

  • one he: Lev 1:10-13 1Ch 15:26,28,29 
  • one ewe: Lev 4:2,3,27,32 Mal 1:13,14 1Pe 1:19 
  • one ram: Lev 3:6
  • Numbers 6 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries


He shall present his offering to the LORD: one male lamb a year old without defect for a burnt offering and one ewe-lamb a year old without defect for a sin offering and one ram without defect for a peace offering - Note that this is an "expensive" process for three animals were sacrificed! Note also the need for sin offering indicates the Nazirite vow did not make the person sinless. Peace offering (Lev 3:6+) is also known as fellowship offering. 

Currid on peace offering - The Nazirite’s final offering is a peace offering. This sacrifice is frequently voluntary in nature and when it is offered ‘it appears to be a joyous occasion which represents the living communion and fellowship between the worshipper and God’. The completion of the Nazirite vow ends on a happy note; it is a joyful occasion because the devotee has kept his word and his vow to God. (A Study Commentary in Numbers)

Peace offerings (08002)(selem/shelem) is a noun which means fellowship offerings, thanksgiving offerings and all uses (except Amos 5:22) are in the plural form (selamim). The root Hebrew word conveys the idea of completion and fulfillment, of entering into a state of wholeness and unity, a restored relationship. The peace offerings were voluntary offerings (like burnt and grain offerings) given to God with thanks and praise. Uses in numbers - um. 6:14; Num. 6:17; Num. 6:18; Num. 7:17; Num. 7:23; Num. 7:29; Num. 7:35; Num. 7:41; Num. 7:47; Num. 7:53; Num. 7:59; Num. 7:65; Num. 7:71; Num. 7:77; Num. 7:83; Num. 7:88; Num. 10:10; Num. 15:8; Num. 29:39; 

THOUGHT - Does the peace offering that speaks of fellowship with God not make us think of Paul's words in Eph 2:14+ that " He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall." And Col 1:20+ "through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven. " And Romans 5:1-2+ "Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through Whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God." 

Related Resource:

Question: What is a peace offering / fellowship offering?

Answer: The modern idea of a peace offering, also known as a fellowship offering, is that of “a propitiatory or conciliatory gift.” A man who offends his wife will often visit a florist with the thought that bringing home flowers will help smooth things over—the bouquet will be a “peace offering” of sorts. Propitiate means “to make someone pleased or less angry by giving or saying something desired,” and conciliatory means “intended to placate or pacify.” These definitions are interesting because the phrase peace offering has come to mean something completely different—almost the exact opposite—of what it originally meant in the Bible.

A peace offering in the Old Testament Law is described in Leviticus 7:11–21. It was a voluntary sacrifice given to God in three specific instances. First, a peace offering could be given as a freewill offering, meaning that the worshiper was giving the peace offering as a way to say thank you for God’s unsought generosity. It was basically just a way to praise God for His goodness. The second way a peace offering could be given was alongside a fulfilled vow. A good example of this was when Hannah fulfilled her vow to God by bringing Samuel to the temple; on that occasion she also brought a peace offering to express the peace in her heart toward God concerning her sacrifice—it was a way to say, “I have no resentment; I am holding nothing back in the payment of my vow.” The third purpose of a peace offering was to give thanksgiving for God’s deliverance in an hour of dire need. None of these three reasons to sacrifice had anything to do with propitiation, with appeasing God, or with pacifying Him.

There were under the Old Covenant sacrifices intended to represent propitiation (Leviticus 1—2; 4) but with the understanding that God has always been a God of grace (see Ephesians 2:8–9). He does not expect us to appease Him with our works but only to confess our need and dependence on Him. Under the Old Covenant, this relationship was expressed by the sacrificial system, which always looked forward to the sacrifice of the Messiah. Under the New Covenant, the Law has been written on our hearts (2 Corinthians 3:3), and the Holy Spirit of God gives us the power to live our lives accordingly (Romans 8:1–8; 1 Thessalonians 1:5). The sacrifices we give now are spiritual (Hebrews 13:15) and living (Romans 12:1).

Most sacrifices in the Old Testament system were not eaten by worshipers, but the peace offering was meant to be eaten—only a portion of the animal or grain brought to the altar was burned; the rest was given back to the worshiper and to the poor and hungry. The beautiful picture here is of God’s provision for His people, both physically and spiritually. His grace and goodness are present throughout the offerings. In the peace offering, God was providing what we need: a way to thank Him for His goodness and physical sustenance.

God is not interested in taking from us. That is not His heart at all. But the lie we so often believe is that our good actions bring about His goodness, and our sinful actions must be paid for in personal sacrifice. The peace offering shows that worshipers in the Old Testament were not any more responsible for their salvation than worshipers in the New Testament. Throughout the ages, people have been tempted to think that sacrifices create God’s favor. This belief is evident in our modern understanding of a peace offering as a propitiation for wrongdoing. But only Christ’s sacrifice creates favor with God and covers wrongdoing, and the Old Testament sacrifices were a picture of that future provision.(Source:

Numbers 6:15  and a basket of unleavened cakes of fine flour mixed with oil and unleavened wafers spread with oil, along with their grain offering and their drink offering.

  • a basket: Lev 2:4 8:2 9:4 Joh 6:50-59 
  • anointed: Ex 29:2 
  • drink: Nu 15:5,7,10 Isa 62:9 Joe 1:9,13 2:14 1Co 10:31 11:26 
  • Numbers 6 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

and a basket of unleavened cakes of fine flour mixed with oil and unleavened wafers spread with oil, along with their grain offering and their drink offering.

Numbers 6:16  'Then the priest shall present them before the LORD and shall offer his sin offering and his burnt offering.

Then the priest shall present them before the LORD - Them refers to all the various sacrifices previously outlined in vv13-15. 

Bush on shall present - Heb. hikrib, lit. shall cause to come near; a term which is interchanged with “offer,” 1 Chron. 16:1, “they offered (yakribu) burnt-sacrifices,” etc. compared with 2 Sam. 6:17, “And David offered (yaal) burnt-offerings,” etc.

and shall offer his sin offering and his burnt offering.

Numbers 6:17  'He shall also offer the ram for a sacrifice of peace offerings to the LORD, together with the basket of unleavened cakes; the priest shall likewise offer its grain offering and its drink offering.

He shall also offer the ram for a sacrifice of peace offerings to the LORD - Bush says "It was here a token of thankfulness that he had been enabled to fulfil his vow, and a kind of rejoicing festival before the Lord, as the flesh of the peace-offerings was eaten by him who brought the sacrifice after the Lord and the priest had had their portions."

Peace offerings (08002) see above on selem/shelem

together with the basket of unleavened cakes (Lev 8:26) - 

the priest shall likewise offer its grain offering and its drink offering - "From this it is obvious that the meat-offering (meal-offering) and the drink-offering were distinct from the basket of unleavened bread." (Bush)

Numbers 6:18  'The Nazirite shall then shave his dedicated head of hair at the doorway of the tent of meeting, and take the dedicated hair of his head and put it on the fire which is under the sacrifice of peace offerings.

  • shave the head: The hair, which was permitted to grow for this purpose, was shaven off, as a token that the vow was accomplished. Nu 6:5,9 Ac 18:18 21:24,26 
  • and put it: Lu 17:10 Eph 1:6 
  • Numbers 6 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries


The Nazirite shall then shave his dedicated head of hair at the doorway of the tent of meeting, and take the dedicated hair of his head and put it on the fire which is under the sacrifice of peace offerings

ESVSB - the Nazirite shaved his head and burned his hair on the altar. His unshaven head marked his dedication to God, and by burning the hair he symbolically gave himself to God.

Wiersbe - One of the most important parts of the ceremony was the shaving of the Nazirite’s head and the placing of the hair on the altar fire under the peace offering. It was a special offering to the Lord because the long hair symbolized the vow the Nazirite had made to the Lord and had successfully fulfilled. Once these instructions had been obeyed, the Nazirite was allowed to drink wine (v20). (Be Counted)

Currid - Some commentators argue that the hair is being offered or dedicated to God. This is unlikely; it probably is merely the way to dispose of the hair so that it should not be profaned in some way.58 It is also symbolic: when the hair is burned up, so is the Nazirite vow.

Peace offerings (08002) see above on selem/shelem

Numbers 6:19  'The priest shall take the ram's shoulder when it has been boiled, and one unleavened cake out of the basket and one unleavened wafer, and shall put them on the hands of the Nazirite after he has shaved his dedicated hair.

  • the sodden: Lev 8:31 1Sa 2:15 
  • put them: Ex 29:23-28 Lev 7:30 8:27 
  • Numbers 6 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

The priest shall take the ram's shoulder when it has been boiled, and one unleavened cake out of the basket and one unleavened wafer, and shall put them on the hands of the Nazirite after he has shaved his dedicated hair.

Numbers 6:20  'Then the priest shall wave them for a wave offering before the LORD. It is holy for the priest, together with the breast offered by waving and the thigh offered by lifting up; and afterward the Nazirite may drink wine.'

  • the priest shall: Nu 5:25 Ex 29:27,28 Lev 9:21 10:15 23:11 
  • with the wave: Nu 18:18 Lev 7:31,34 
  • and after: Ps 16:10,11 Ec 9:7 Isa 25:6 35:10 53:10-12 Zec 9:15,17 10:7 Mt 26:29 Mk 14:25 Joh 17:4,5 19:30 2Ti 4:7,8 
  • Numbers 6 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Then the priest shall wave them for a wave offering before the LORD. It is holy for the priest, together with the breast offered by waving and the thigh offered by lifting up; and afterward the Nazirite may drink wine.

Wave offering (08573)(tenupah from nuph = to move to and fro, to wave, to sprinkle) is a feminine noun which means swinging, waving, then wave offering. Tenuphah implies the side to side motion involved in waving and thus is usually a reference to a "wave offering" but twice is translated simply as "offering" (Ex 38:24, 29). Halladay says it is "an offering waved toward the altar & away fm. it in consecration."

Swanson on wave offering - a sacrifice of animal, plants, or plant products, or metals that are waved before the LORD as a symbolic offering of ritual manipulation.

Eugene Merrill on wave offering - The concept of "wave offering" comes from the action of the Hebrew verb nuph, "move to and fro, wave" (BDB, 631) used first in this verse. The exact action is unknown and suggestions have ranged from a movement toward the altar and back again in a horizontal motion symbolizing the giving of the offering by the worshiper and the reception of the offering by God, to a side-to-side motion, to a shaking motion (e.g., Isa. 19:16; 30:28). There are occasions when a literal waving motion appears to be impossible such as when the tribe of Levi was presented as a wave offering (Nu 8:11). Whatever the motion, the implication is that this item was presented to the LORD but would not be burned but rather used by someone designated by the LORD (i.e., the priests). Earlier on in the Pentateuch, this term was used as a general term referring to various gifts that were dedicated to God (e.g., Ex. 35:22). It is used later in Lev. 14:12, 24; 23:11, 12, 20. It is also used, as here, for the parts of the sacrifices that were designated for the officiating priest. It is never used to designate a non-meat priestly portion. (Ibid)

Question: "What is a wave offering?"

Answer: The wave offering, part of the offerings of the Mosaic Law, was the symbolic act indicating that the offering was for the Lord. Portions of the things offered were literally waved in the air before the Lord. The wave offering is first seen in Exodus 29:19-28 in the description of the ordination ceremony of Aaron and his sons. This is the only instance where part of the wave offering was consumed by fire (Exodus 29:25). The remainder was “waved” to God but taken by Aaron, his sons, and Moses.

Other instances of wave offerings include the breast of a peace offering (Leviticus 7:28-34), a lamb from the cleansing sacrifice of a healed leper (Leviticus 14:12), and two loaves of bread and two lambs of the sacrifice affiliated with the Feast of Weeks (Leviticus 23:15-21). The largest wave offering was of an entire tribe. Because of their loyalty during the episode with the golden calf (Exodus 32), God accepted the Levites in the service of His temple in place of the firstborn male of each Israelite family (Numbers 3:12).

A wave offering was a portion of a sacrifice presented to God, then released by God for the use of those involved in the sacrifice. The meat fed the families of the priests. The Levites served first the tabernacle and then the temple, fulfilling the obligation of the rest of the Israelites. Both were God’s provision for those who sacrificed themselves in service to Him. (Source -

Numbers 6:21  "This is the law of the Nazirite who vows his offering to the LORD according to his separation, in addition to what else he can afford; according to his vow which he takes, so he shall do according to the law of his separation."

NET  Numbers 6:21 "This is the law of the Nazirite who vows to the LORD his offering according to his separation, as well as whatever else he can provide. Thus he must fulfill his vow that he makes, according to the law of his separation."

NLT  Numbers 6:21 "This is the ritual law of the Nazirites, who vow to bring these offerings to the LORD. They may also bring additional offerings if they can afford it. And they must be careful to do whatever they vowed when they set themselves apart as Nazirites."

ESV  Numbers 6:21 "This is the law of the Nazirite. But if he vows an offering to the LORD above his Nazirite vow, as he can afford, in exact accordance with the vow that he takes, then he shall do in addition to the law of the Nazirite."

NIV  Numbers 6:21 " 'This is the law of the Nazirite who vows his offering to the LORD in accordance with his separation, in addition to whatever else he can afford. He must fulfill the vow he has made, according to the law of the Nazirite.' "

  • the law: Nu 5:29 
  • beside that: Ezr 2:69 Ga 6:6 Heb 13:16 
  • Numbers 6 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

This is the law of the Nazirite who vows his offering to the LORD according to his separation, in addition to what else he can afford; according to his vow which he takes, so he shall do according to the law of his separation.

Numbers 6:22  Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,

Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying

Believer's Study Bible - (v22-27) This is the climax of chs. 5; 6. The result of Israel's removing defilement from their midst (ch. 5) and of dedicating themselves to the Lord (Nu 6:1-21) would be this divine blessing pronounced upon the people by Aaron. It is one of the most beautiful benedictions in the Bible and is given in part in Ps. 4:6 and 67:1. Referred to as "the Lord's Prayer of the O.T.," this would continue to be the priestly prayer for Israel. The blessing invokes the power of the divine name Yahweh three times, causing many Christians, from the church fathers on, to see in it a foreshadowing of the doctrine of the Trinity. The expression "lift up His countenance" in v. 26 is similar to the English "smile."

Wiersbe - What a privilege it was for the priests to bless the people, and what a privilege it is for us to share God’s blessing with others. He blesses us so that we may be a blessing (Gen. 12:1–3). The people were about to enter into war, yet God told them how to have peace. No matter how trying your circumstances may be, you can have God’s peace as you live under the blessing of His smile. (WWBC)

D L Moody - I THINK these are about as sweet verses as we find in the Old Testament. I marked them years ago in my Bible, and many times I have turned to this chapter and read them. They remind us of the loving words of Jesus to His troubled disciples, “It is I: be not afraid.” The Jewish salutation used to be, as a man went into a house, “Peace be upon this house,” and as he left the house the host would say, “Go in peace.”

Jensen - The Aaronic benediction of Nu 6:22–27 is located in the context very appropriately. All the previous verses speak of the law of separation; now shines the grace of God’s face (Nu 6:25). The fact that Aaron and his sons were to pronounce the benediction upon the children of Israel did not make it irrelevant to the Nazirite. If such blessings were promised an Israelite, how much greater measure of such blessing could the Nazirite expect! Looking at it from another angle: if the Israelites really perceived that these blessings were all of grace and none deserved, would not some of them, out of gratitude, choose to take the Nazirite vow to enter this special relationship with Jehovah? The Lord promised to give happiness and security (Nu 6:24). The Lord would give grace and favor (Nu 6:25). The Lord would give peace of heart (Nu 6:26). The blessings of Canaan, God’s rest-land, were summed up in this great benediction. These were the things the Israelites could have—on the journey and in the promised land—if they would put the Lord’s name over their lives (Nu 6:27). IF NOT—that tragic story is told in most of the remaining chapters of Numbers.

How to Recognize God’s Blessings - Russell Spray

Scripture Reading: Numbers 6:22–27

“And I will bless them” (Num. 6:27).

I.      Protective Care
    “The Lord bless thee, and keep thee” (Num. 6:24).
      A.      This generation is the most dangerous, reckless, lawless in the history of the world.
      B.      God promises to bless those who walk in His statutes and keep His commandments with protective care.
      C.      God is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Heb. 13:8).

II.      Paternal Love
    “The Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee” (Num. 6:25).
      A.      The Lord’s favor and love have always been extended to His people (Lev. 26:12).
      B.      God loves His children with a paternal love; He is gracious, kind, and understanding.
      C.      We become His children by confessing our sins, trusting Him to forgive and cleanse us from unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).

III.      Peaceful Approbation
    “The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace” (Num. 6:26).
      A.      The blessing of peace was given to the children of Israel when they obeyed God (Lev. 26:6).
      B.      The blessing of peace will be bestowed upon those who keep their minds stayed on the Lord (Isa. 26:3).
      C.      In today’s world of strife, let us thank God for His blessing of peaceful approbation.

James Smith - Handfuls of Purpose - THE PRIESTLY BLESSING Numbers 6:22–27

Just as the blue of Heaven is bigger than the clouds of earth, so the riches of His blessing is greater than our need. But a very small cloud may hide the blue. The clouds rise from earth, and are changing and fleeting, the blue is eternal. His blessing, it maketh rich.

1. The giving of the blessing. God has always plenty to give. It was given—

1. THROUGH A MEDIATOR. “God spake unto Moses, saying” (v. 22). Moses was to the people what Christ is to us, the medium of Divine blessing. There is none other Name under Heaven.

2. AFTER ATONEMENT HAD BEEN MADE (see Lev. 9). He cannot bless us until we have been reconciled through the death of His Son. We must be born of God before we can receive the children’s portion. First the Blood, then the blessing.

3. RICHLY. The name Jehovah is repeated three times, indicating that it was the blessing of the Triune God. This threefold blessing appears in the apostolic benediction—

1. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.

2. The love of God.

3. The communion of the Holy Ghost.
God the Father the source of it, God the Son the channel of it, God the Spirit the imparter of it. Bless the Lord, O my soul!

2. The nature of the blessing. It is infinitely deep and full. It implies—

1. INTIMACY. “The Lord bless thee.” It was very personal, and suggests the knowledge of individual need. He commands his blessing, even life for evermore (Psa. 133:3). He knoweth thy need.

2. KEEPING. “Keep thee.” What a blessing to be kept from sin, from the fear of man and the dominion of the devil. Kept in nearness to Himself and in the power of His Spirit. The Lord is thy Keeper (Psa. 121:3–5). Remember the Redeemer’s prayer (John 17:11).

3. LIGHT. “The Lord make His face to shine upon thee.” The light of His face is a glorious light, we see it in the face of Jesus. David prayed, “Make Thy face to shine upon Thy servant” (Psa. 31:16). In His light we see light clearly (2 Cor. 4:4).

4. FAVOUR. “Be gracious unto thee.” If we have the grace of God, we have within our reach the wealth of God. Having given us His Son, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? Who has ever used to the full the favour offered in Christ Jesus?

5. FELLOWSHIP. “The Lord lift up His countenance upon thee.” His own countenance upon thee means the conscious enjoyment of His own personal presence. Blessed are all they, O Lord, that walk in the light of Thy countenance. O to have the face of God ever beaming upon us; how it would blind our eyes to the attractions and alluring things of earth.

6. PEACE. “And give thee peace.” Not only peace with God, this we have through atoning Blood, but the peace of God. God’s own peace ruling and garrisoning our hearts, the peace of God which passeth all understanding (Phil. 4:6, 7). “MY peace I give unto you, let not your heart be troubled.”

7. LIKENESS. “Put My Name upon the children” (v. 27). To put His Name upon us means to put His nature within us. The Name of Christ, the anointed One, is put upon us when we receive the anointing of the Holy Spirit. The filling of the Spirit is the door into the fulness of the blessing. “I will put My Name upon them, and I will bless them.” Blessed with all spiritual blessings in Christ Jesus (Eph. 1:3–5; Luke 24:50).

1. Jehovah the Father bless thee and keep thee.
2. Jehovah the Son make His face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee.
3. Jehovah the Spirit lift up His countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.

Numbers 6:23  "Speak to Aaron and to his sons, saying, 'Thus you shall bless the sons of Israel. You shall say to them:

  • Ge 14:19,20 24:60 27:27-29 28:3,4 47:7,10 48:20 Lev 9:22,23 De 10:8 21:5 33:1 Jos 8:33 1Ch 23:13 Lu 24:50,51 Ro 1:7 1Co 1:3 2Co 13:14 Heb 7:1,7 11:20,21 1Pe 1:2 2Pe 1:2,3 2Jn 1:3 
  • Numbers 6 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries


Speak to Aaron and to his sons, saying, 'Thus you shall bless the sons of Israel. You shall say to them

Numbers 6:24  The LORD bless you, and keep you;

NET  Numbers 6:24 "The LORD bless you and protect you;

NLT  Numbers 6:24 'May the LORD bless you and protect you.

ESV  Numbers 6:24 The LORD bless you and keep you;

NIV  Numbers 6:24 " ' "The LORD bless you and keep you;

KJV  Numbers 6:24 The LORD bless thee, and keep thee:

YLT  Numbers 6:24 'Jehovah bless thee and keep thee;

LXE  Numbers 6:24 The Lord bless thee and keep thee;

ASV  Numbers 6:24 Jehovah bless thee, and keep thee:

CSB  Numbers 6:24 May Yahweh bless you and protect you;

NKJ  Numbers 6:24 "The LORD bless you and keep you;

NRS  Numbers 6:24 The LORD bless you and keep you;

NAB  Numbers 6:24 The LORD bless you and keep you!

NJB  Numbers 6:24 May Yahweh bless you and keep you.

GWN  Numbers 6:24 The LORD will bless you and watch over you.

  • The Lord: Ru 2:4 Ps 134:3 1Co 14:16 Eph 6:24 Php 4:23 Rev 1:4,5 
  • keep thee: Ps 91:11 121:4-7 Isa 27:3 42:6 Joh 17:11 Php 4:7 1Th 5:23 1Pe 1:5 Jude 1:24 
  • Numbers 6 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

The LORD bless you, and keep you;

NET Note - The short blessing uses the jussive throughout, here the Piel jussive with a pronominal suffix. While the jussive has quite a range of nuances, including wish, desire, prayer, or greeting, the jussives here are stronger. The formal subject of the verb is the LORD, and the speaker pronouncing the blessing is the priest, notably after emerging from the holy of holies where atonement has been made. The LORD says in this passage that when the priest says this, then the LORD will bless them. The jussive then is an oracle, not a wish or a prayer. It is a declaration of what the LORD imparts. It is as binding and sure as a patriarchal blessing which once said officially could not be taken back. The priest here is then pronouncing the word of the LORD, declaring to the congregation the outcome of the atonement.

Keep (careful, guard, kept, observe, watch) (08104)(shamar) means to keep, watch, preserve, to guard, to be careful, to watch over, to watch carefully over, to be on one’s guard.

The first use of shamar in Ge 2:15 is instructive as Adam was placed in the garden (a perfect environment) and was commanded to "keep" it which in the Septuagint is translated with phulasso (which is used to translate shamar in Nu 6:24) which means to guard like a military sentinel would at his post. Clearly Adam did not do a good job at "keeping" the garden safe from intruders! And because of this failure he was cast out of the garden and angels stationed to "guard (Lxx = phulasso) the way to the tree of life" so that he would not eat of it (Ge 3:24+). After Cain murdered Abel he answered God "Am I my brother’s keeper?” (Ge 4:9)

Shamar is used 6 times in the seven verses of Psalm 121 and most notable is our Keeper (3b "He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, He who keeps Israel Will neither slumber nor sleep.  5 The LORD is your keeper; ...7 The LORD will protect you from all evil; He will keep your soul.  8 The LORD will guard your going out and your coming in From this time forth and forever.: see commentary)

Uses in Numbers - Num. 1:53; Num. 3:7; Num. 3:8; Num. 3:10; Num. 3:28; Num. 3:32; Num. 3:38; Num. 6:24; Num. 8:26; Num. 9:19; Num. 9:23; Num. 18:3; Num. 18:4; Num. 18:5; Num. 18:7; Num. 23:12; Num. 28:2; Num. 31:30; Num. 31:47 

D L  Moody - GOD can do what He has done before. He kept Joseph in Egypt; Moses before Pharaoh; Daniel in Babylon; and enabled Elijah to stand before Ahab in that dark day. And I am so thankful that these I have mentioned were men of like passions with ourselves.

C H Spurgeon  “The Lord bless thee, and keep thee.” Num. 6:24.

THIS first clause of the high-priest’s benediction is substantially a promise. That blessing which our great High Priest pronounces upon us is sure to come, for he speaks the mind of God. What a joy to abide under the divine blessing! This puts a gracious flavour into all things. If we are blessed, then all our possessions and enjoyments are blessed; yea, our losses and crosses, and even our disappointments are blessed. God’s blessing is deep, emphatic, effectual. A man’s blessing may begin and end in words; but the blessing of the Lord makes rich and sanctifies. The best wish we can have for our dearest friend is not “May prosperity attend thee,” but “The Lord bless thee.” It is equally a delightful thing to be kept of God; kept by him, kept near him, kept in him. They are kept indeed whom God keeps; they are preserved from evil, they are reserved unto boundless happiness. God’s keeping goes with his blessing, to establish it and cause it to endure. The author of this little book desires that the rich blessing and sure keeping here pronounced may come upon every reader who may at this moment be looking at these lines. Should the author be living, please breathe the text to God as a prayer for his servant.

Numbers 6:25  The LORD make His face shine on you, And be gracious to you;

NET  Numbers 6:25 The LORD make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you;

NLT  Numbers 6:25 May the LORD smile on you and be gracious to you.

ESV  Numbers 6:25 the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;

NIV  Numbers 6:25 the LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you;

KJV  Numbers 6:25 The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee:

YLT  Numbers 6:25 'Jehovah cause His face to shine upon thee, and favour thee;

LXE  Numbers 6:25 the Lord make his face to shine upon thee, and have mercy upon thee;

ASV  Numbers 6:25 Jehovah make his face to shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee:

CSB  Numbers 6:25 may Yahweh make His face shine on you and be gracious to you;

NKJ  Numbers 6:25 The LORD make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you;

NRS  Numbers 6:25 the LORD make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you;

NAB  Numbers 6:25 The LORD let his face shine upon you, and be gracious to you!

NJB  Numbers 6:25 May Yahweh let his face shine on you and be gracious to you.

GWN  Numbers 6:25 The LORD will smile on you and be kind to you.

  • The Lord: Ps 21:6 31:16 67:1 80:1-3,7,19 119:135 Da 9:17 
  • gracious: Ge 43:29 Ex 33:19 Mal 1:9 Joh 1:17 
  • Numbers 6 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

The LORD make His face shine on you, And be gracious to you

Numbers 6:26  The LORD lift up His countenance on you, And give you peace.'

NET  Numbers 6:26 The LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace."'

NLT  Numbers 6:26 May the LORD show you his favor and give you his peace.'

ESV  Numbers 6:26 the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.

NIV  Numbers 6:26 the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace." '

KJV  Numbers 6:26 The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.

YLT  Numbers 6:26 'Jehovah lift up His countenance upon thee, and appoint for thee -- peace.

LXE  Numbers 6:26 the Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.

ASV  Numbers 6:26 Jehovah lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.

CSB  Numbers 6:26 may Yahweh look with favor on you and give you peace.

NKJ  Numbers 6:26 The LORD lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace."'

NRS  Numbers 6:26 the LORD lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace.

NAB  Numbers 6:26 The LORD look upon you kindly and give you peace!

NJB  Numbers 6:26 May Yahweh show you his face and bring you peace."

GWN  Numbers 6:26 The LORD will look on you with favor and give you peace.'

  • lift up: Ps 4:6 42:5 89:15 Ac 2:28 
  • give : Ps 29:11 Isa 26:3,12 57:19 Mic 5:5 Lu 2:14 Joh 14:27 16:33 Joh 20:21,26 Ac 10:36 Ro 5:1 15:13,33 Eph 2:14-17 6:23 Php 4:7 2Th 3:16 
  • Numbers 6 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

The LORD lift up His countenance on you I.e., in recognition and approval, so as to give them peace, or total well-being. 

And give you peace

  • Jehovah Shalom in the Trinity:
  • God the Father “God of peace” (Heb 13:20)
  • God the Son, “Prince of peace” (Isaiah 9:6) 
  • God the “Spirit...of peace” (Eph 4:3).

The godly man, when he dies, “enters into peace” (Isa 57:2); but while he lives, peace must enter into him.-- Thomas Watson

“Safety consists not in the absence of danger but in the presence of God.”
Peace that Jesus gives is not the absence of trouble, but is rather the confidence that He is there with you always.

Since the beginning of recorded history, the entire world has been at peace less than 8% of the time! Of 3530 years of recorded history, only 286 years saw peace. Moreover, in excess of 8000 peace treaties were made & broken. During this period there were 14,351 wars, large & small, in which 3.64 billion people were killed. 

  • Peace with God (Ro 5:1)
  • God of peace (Ro 15:33, 16:30, Php 4:9, 1Th 5:23, Heb 13:20)
  • The peace of God (Phil 4:7)
  • The Lord of peace (2 Th 3:16)

In 1555, Nicholas Ridley was burned at the stake because of his witness for Christ. On the night before Ridley's execution, his brother offered to remain with him in the prison chamber to be of assistance and comfort. Nicholas declined the offer and replied that he meant to go to bed and sleep as quietly as ever he did in his life. Because he knew the peace of God, he could rest in the strength of the everlasting arms of his Lord to meet his need. So can we! 

1. Experiential (Phil 4:7)—day by day experience of the believer, can be forfeited.
2. Judicial (Ro 5:1)—The war with God is over.
A person can experience # (2) & not #(1). Example of WWII Japanese who hid for years in jungles, long after peace was established between the warring nations.

Fierce passions discompose the mind,
As tempests vex the sea;
But calm content & peace we find,
When, Lord, we turn to Thee.
-- William Cowper

Numbers 6:27  "So they shall invoke My name on the sons of Israel, and I then will bless them."

NET  Numbers 6:27 So they will put my name on the Israelites, and I will bless them."

NLT  Numbers 6:27 Whenever Aaron and his sons bless the people of Israel in my name, I myself will bless them."

ESV  Numbers 6:27 "So shall they put my name upon the people of Israel, and I will bless them."

NIV  Numbers 6:27 "So they will put my name on the Israelites, and I will bless them."

KJV  Numbers 6:27 And they shall put my name upon the children of Israel; and I will bless them.

YLT  Numbers 6:27 'And they have put My name upon the sons of Israel, and I -- I do bless them.'

LXE  Numbers 6:27 And they shall put my name upon the children of Israel, and I the Lord will bless them.

ASV  Numbers 6:27 So shall they put my name upon the children of Israel; and I will bless them.

CSB  Numbers 6:27 In this way they will pronounce My name over the Israelites, and I will bless them."

NKJ  Numbers 6:27 "So they shall put My name on the children of Israel, and I will bless them."

NRS  Numbers 6:27 So they shall put my name on the Israelites, and I will bless them.

NAB  Numbers 6:27 So shall they invoke my name upon the Israelites, and I will bless them."

NJB  Numbers 6:27 This is how they must call down my name on the Israelites, and then I shall bless them.'

GWN  Numbers 6:27 "So whenever they use my name to bless the Israelites, I will bless them."

  • invoke My name: Ex 3:13-15 6:3 34:5-7 De 28:10 2Ch 7:14 Isa 43:7 Jer 14:9 Da 9:18,19 Mt 28:19 
  • I will: Nu 23:20 Ge 12:2,3 32:26,29 1Ch 4:10 Ps 5:12 67:7 115:12,13 Eph 1:3 
  • Numbers 6 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

So they shall invoke My name on the sons of Israel- They of course is the priests who shall literally "put" or "place" God's Name on the sons of Israel. 

NET Note -  The idea of their putting the name of Yahweh on the people is somewhat problematic. The pronouncing of the name of Yahweh in this context over the people was taken to be the effectual means of blessings. "Putting the name on them" is an expression that emphasizes the truth that he is their God and they are his people or that having his name is having his blessing. 

And I then will bless them