Numbers 6:1-21 – The Nazirite Vow


Numbers 6:1-21


Men or women could consecrate themselves in special service to the Lord for a period of time through this “Nazirite” vow.


While all Israel was called upon to serve God, people could voluntarily “separate themselves to the LORD” in a special way through the Nazirite vow on a temporary or permanent basis. “Nazirite” comes from the Hebrew nazir, meaning to separate or consecrate. 

The Nazirite vow was specifically open to women as well as men (although see Numbers 30:3-16 for limitations). After the description of the role of the Levites, the Nazirite becomes a sort of counter-priesthood, open to all, if they will obey special holiness requirements. Avoiding grapes and fermented drinks, avoiding death, and growing hair allow the Nazirite to become a witness in the camp, around their fellows, to God’s desire for the holiness of the whole camp. 

Famous Nazirites include Samson (Judges 13:5), Samuel (1 Samuel 1:11), and Paul (Acts 18:18, 21:20-24).