Numbers Chapter 6
Verses 1-21: Whereas (5:1-31), dealt with the cleansing of the camp by dealing with the unclean and sinful (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.
Verses 1-12: The “Nazirite” vow was somewhat similar to fasting today, as it involved pulling away from ordinary pleasures and being more fully devoted to God and His work (Amos 2:11-12).
Numbers 6:1 “And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,”
At the same time, or immediately after the law concerning the woman suspected of adultery was given. With which the following law concerning Nazarites may be thought to have a close connection, as some Jewish writers observe. Women being concerned in it as well as men. And as wine leads to adultery, as Jarchi observes. Abstinence from it, which the Nazarite’s vow obliged to, and forbearance of trimming and dressing the hair, and a being more strictly and closely devoted to the service of God, were very likely means of preserving from unchastity, and any suspicion of it.
This is a new message. We are reminded again, that this message is from the LORD spoken to Moses.
Numbers 6:2 “Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When either man or woman shall separate [themselves] to vow a vow of a Nazarite, to separate [themselves] unto the LORD:”
“A vow of a Nazarite”: The word “vow” here is related to the word “wonder”, which signifies something out of the ordinary. “Nazirite” transliterates a Hebrew Term meaning “dedication by separation”. The Nazirite separated himself to the Lord by separating himself from:
(1) Grape products (6:3-4);
(2) The cutting on one’s hair (6:5; and
(3) Contact with a dead body (6:6-7).
The High-Priest was also forbidden:
(1) To drink wine while serving in the tabernacle (Lev. 10:9);
(2) To touch dead bodies (Lev. 21:11).
Further, both the High-Priest’s crown (Exodus 29:6; 39:30; Lev. 8:9), and the Nazirite’s head (6:9, 18), are referred to by the same Hebrew word. The Nazirite’s hair was like the High-Priest’s crown. Like the High-Priest, the Nazirite was holy to the Lord (6:8; compare Exodus 28:36), all the days (6:4-5, 6, 8 of his vow).
There is a great deal of difference in being a Nazarene and being a Nazarite. The Nazarene means he or she, is a native of Nazareth. The Nazarite, or better still, Nazir (meaning “consecrated” or “separated”), is a commitment to God for a particular time, for a particular purpose. When a person had taken a Nazarite vow, he was to totally separate himself from the world for that period of time. It is a remarkable thing that the woman, as well as the man, could take a Nazarite vow. This was such a spiritual vow to God, that it was out of the everyday realm of the law. In a sense, that is what Samson’s mother did before his birth.
Judges 13:3-5 “And the angel of the LORD appeared unto the woman, and said unto her, Behold now, thou [art] barren, and bearest not: but thou shalt conceive, and bear a son.” “Now therefore beware, I pray thee, and drink not wine nor strong drink, and eat not any unclean [thing]:” “For, lo, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and no razor shall come on his head: for the child shall be a Nazarite unto God from the womb: and he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines.”
Numbers 6:3 “He shall separate [himself] from wine and strong drink, and shall drink no vinegar of wine, or vinegar of strong drink, neither shall he drink any liquor of grapes, nor eat moist grapes, or dried.”
Old or new, as Ben Gersom. From drinking it, any of it. Not only from an immoderate and excessive drinking of it, which every man should abstain from, but from drinking of it at all, that he might be more free and fit for the service of God. For prayer, meditation, reading the Scriptures, and attendance on the worship of God in all its branches, and be less liable to temptations to sin. For, as Aben Ezra observes, many transgressions are occasioned by wine, which, if drank immoderately, intoxicates the mind, and unfits for religious duties, excites lust, and leads on to many vices.
“And strong drink”: Any other intoxicating and inebriating liquor besides wine, or any other sort of wines besides such that is made of the fruit of the vine. As wines of pomegranates, dates, etc. Or such as are made of barley, as our ale, or of apples and pears, called cider and perry, respectively.
“And shall drink no vinegar of wine, or vinegar of strong drink”: All the three Targums paraphrase it, vinegar of new wine, and vinegar of old wine. These operating in like manner as wine and strong drink themselves.
“Neither shall he drink any liquor of grapes”: Any liquor in which grapes are macerated, as the Targum of Jonathan. Or water into which they are squeezed, or which is made of the lees of wine. Or is a second sort of wine made of the grapes after they have been pressed, which we call “tiff”.
“Nor eat moist grapes or dried”: Which have somewhat of the nature and taste of wine, and produce some of the like effects. And may lead to a desire after drinking it. Wherefore this, as other things mentioned, are, as Aben Ezra says, a kind of a hedge, to keep at a distance from drinking wine.
The strong drink was any intoxicating drink. The vinegar spoken of here, was alcoholic in nature. The liquor of grapes was made by soaking grape-hulls. All of these things were forbidden. Perhaps this was because a person loses control of his own will under the influence of alcohol. I am not sure what the eating of moist grapes or dried pertains to, unless it is the sugar in them. Fresh grapes can ferment in your stomach and cause light-headedness.
Numbers 6:4 “All the days of his separation shall he eat nothing that is made of the vine tree, from the kernels even to the husk.”
Of its leaves, branches, and fruit, especially the latter. Out into any sort of food, or infused into any liquor, or mixed with any sauce for food. The days or time of separation were according as the vow was made, for a shorter or longer time. Though the Jews say, where the vow is, absolutely expressed, it is always to be understood of thirty days. During which time the Nazarite was not to eat or drink of any composition that had anything of the vine in it.
“From the kernels even to the husk”: The Jews are divided about the two words here used, which of them signifies the outermost part of the grape, and which the innermost. Ben Gersom agrees with us, but it matters not much who are in the right, since both are forbidden. By this part of the law, the people of God, who are spiritual Nazarites, are taught to live temperately and soberly, and to abstain from all appearance of sin. It is pretty remarkable what the Jews say, that when the son of David comes, it will be free for a Nazarite to drink wine on Sabbath days and festivals. Though not on week days. From whence it appears, they seem to be conscious of a change of the ceremonial law in his days.
The “vine” is symbolic of an attachment to worldly things. The person who is moved by the Spirit to make this special vow to God, must separate himself for the length of the time of the vow, from all things connected to worldliness. This could be specifically speaking of grape vines, but it could also be speaking of all things that grow on the vine.
Numbers 6:5 “All the days of the vow of his separation there shall no razor come upon his head: until the days be fulfilled, in the which he separateth [himself] unto the LORD, he shall be holy, [and] shall let the locks of the hair of his head grow.”
Be the time he has vowed to be a Nazarite a week, a, month, or more. Even a thousand days, but not less than thirty, as Ben Gersom observes.
“There shall no razor come upon his head”: He might not shave his beard, nor cut off his locks, and shave his head. Nor cut short his locks with a pair of scissors, nor any with anything by which the hair may be removed, as Ben Gersom. Nor pluck off his hair with his hands, as Maimonides says; but let it grow as long as it would during the time of his separation, which is expressed in the latter part of the verse.
“Until the days be fulfilled, in the which he separateth himself unto the Lord”: To his service, to which he wholly addicted himself as long as his vow continued.
“He shall be holy”: Separate from other men, and their practices and customs, and spend his time in holy exercises, in a religious way. And abstain from what might be a temptation to sin, or in the least hinder him in his acts of devotion.
This is not saying, that a man should wear long hair. It is saying, if a man or a woman, has taken a Nazarite vow, they must not cut their hair during the period of the vow. This is the very reason that some people wear long hair now, but that is not correct. The long hair is to be worn with extreme holiness of character. Notice, the statement “he shall be holy.” Jesus has been depicted as wearing long hair, because many people confuse the words Nazarite and Nazarene. Jesus was a Nazarene, not a Nazarite.
Numbers 6:6 “All the days that he separateth [himself] unto the LORD he shall come at no dead body.”
This phrase is repeated at every new article and branch of the law of the Nazarites, of which what follows is the third. Showing that each part of it, during that time, was strictly to be observed.
“He shall come at no dead body”: Not near to any. Not even to be in the same place where a dead body lay. Not to touch one, or to attend the funeral of any, nor be concerned at all about burying the dead. Now, as such so defiled were unclean seven days, and during that time might not go into the tabernacle. The Nazarites were strictly cautioned against such pollution, that they might not be detained from the service of God they had devoted themselves unto (see Num. 19:11).
The consecration of the Lord is upon him, during the Nazarite vow, and he should not come near a dead body in his consecration.
Luke 9:59-60 And he said unto another, Follow me. “But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.” “Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God.”
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 the consecration of his God [is] upon his head.”
Aben Ezra adds also, for his wife, and for his daughter, and for others. What even the priests of the Lord, the common priests might do, a Nazarite might not. Not come near any of his relations when dead, as to touch them, to close their eyes, or wash their bodies, and provide for their funeral. And attend that, or to be where they were. In this respect, they were upon a level with the high priest, who was forbid the same. Which shows how sacred these persons were (see Lev. 21:1). This may instruct spiritual Nazarites to abstain from the company and conversation of sinners. Dead in trespasses and sins, and from all dead works and sinful actions. Which, as they are deserving of death, are defiling.
“Because the consecration of his God is upon his head”: Or that which shows him to be consecrated to God, and separated to his service, is upon his head. Namely, his long hair. The Targum of Jonathan renders it, “the crown of his God”; so Aben Ezra observes. That some say that the word “Nazarite” is derived from “Nezer”, a crown, in proof of which this passage is produced. And in this respect the Nazarites were not only types of Christ our King and high priest, who is a priest on his throne, and has on his head many crowns. But of the saints who are freed from the power and dominion of sin, and are made kings and priests unto God.
This very same warning was given to the priest, when the anointing oil of God was upon them. During this time of consecration, he must not touch anything unclean, or become unclean by touching a dead body, even if it is one of his parents. For a person to be totally devoted to God, He or she must be totally separated from worldly things. His or her, feelings must glorify God and not man.
Numbers 6:8 “All the days of his separation he [is] holy unto the LORD.”
Set apart for his service, separate from all others, especially the dead. And under obligation to abstain from the above things. From drinking wine, from shaving his hair, and from defiling himself for the dead. And to be employed in holy and religious exercises during the time his vow is upon him.
This time of separation is a time of perfect fellowship with God. He lives holy in the sight of God during this time. His mind, soul, and spirit are stayed upon God during this time.
Numbers 6:9 “And if any man die very suddenly by him, and he hath defiled the head of his consecration; then he shall shave his head in the day of his cleansing, on the seventh day shall he shave it.”
“Die … suddenly”: If the Nazirite inadvertently came in contact with a dead body, he was to shave his head, 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 premediated. When sin is mixed with the holiest actions, it calls for a renewed cleansing.
This is an accidental close contact with a dead body. If this happens, then he must shave his head, and start all over again with the vow. “Seven” has to do with spiritually complete. The seventh day is possibly, when the consecration would have been over.
Numbers 6:10 “And on the eighth day he shall bring two turtles, or two young pigeons, to the priest, to the door of the tabernacle of the congregation:”
Not a turtledove and a young pigeon, as Ben Gersom observes, but two of one of the sorts. Which was the offering of the poorer sort of childbearing women at their purification. And this case of the Nazarite’s being unclean, could not be purged away but by sacrifice. Which was typical of the sacrifice of Christ, by which that unclean thing sin is put away for ever. Even the sins of holy things can be moved in no other way. These were to be brought to the priest to be offered by him.
“To the door of the tabernacle of the congregation”: For being defiled, the Nazarite might not go into the tabernacle, and therefore was to bring his offering to the door of it, where the priest received it of him.
This offering was used for uncleanness of various kinds.
Numbers 6:11 “And the priest shall offer the one for a sin offering, and the other for a burnt offering, and make an atonement for him, for that he sinned by the dead, and shall hallow his head that same day.”
That is, one of the turtles or young pigeons for the one kind of sacrifice, and one for the other sort; both being necessary. The one to expiate sin, and the other as a gift to God by way of thankfulness for acceptance of the former.
“And make an atonement for him, for that he sinned by the dead”: By being where the dead body was, which, though not sinful, in a moral sense, was, in a ceremonial one. And therefore, required a sacrifice to atone for it. And which atonement was made by the sin offering typical of Christ, who was made an offering for sin.
“And shall hallow his head the same day”: Consecrate himself to God afresh, particularly the hair of his head. Let that grow again and begin his Nazariteship anew; so Jarchi interprets it, to return and begin the account of his Nazariteship.
This is to cleanse him, so he can begin the Nazarite vow again. It makes no difference that it was accidental, it is still sin. His becoming unclean must be treated as if it were on purpose, and not an accident. The offerings make an atonement for him.
Numbers 6:12 “And he shall consecrate unto the LORD the days of his separation, and shall bring a lamb of the first year for a trespass offering: but the days that were before shall be lost, because his separation was defiled.”
He was to begin his account again, from the time of his shaving his head, and devote as many days to the service of the Lord as what he had vowed before.
“And shall bring a lamb of the first year for a trespass offering”: We see how much trouble and expense were brought by a single act of pollution, and that involuntary too. How much more need is there of an atoning sacrifice for the sins of men, even for all of them, and for which only the sacrifice of Christ is sufficient?
“But the days that were before shall be lost”: Which were before the pollution. How near whatsoever the time of Nazariteship being at an end was. Whether his vow was for thirty days, or a hundred, or a whole year; be it what it will. And the pollution happened on the last of those days, all were lost. He was obliged to begin again, and go through the whole time he at first vowed. And this was the case if he drank the least quantity of wine. Or shaved ever so little of the hair of his head, or was any ways polluted by the dead. And this severity, as it may seem, was used to make him cautious that he broke not his vow by any means.
“Because his separation was defiled”: In the case instanced in, by the dead, but it was the same if he broke the law of Nazariteship in any of the other articles of it.
A trespass offering is like paying for a guilt. Since he broke the vow, he is guilty of sin. The lamb is to reinstate him. The days he had already performed the Nazarite vow, cannot be used as credit for the keeping of the vow. He must begin all over again at the beginning. We mentioned before, that this is a time of total separation from the world.
Verses 13-17: When the time of consecration was over, the Nazirite was to present “a burnt offering”, symbolizing complete surrender to Yahweh (Lev. 1:10-13), “a sin offering”, to atone for any sins committed unwittingly during the time of the vow (Lev. Chapter 4), and “peace offerings”, demonstrating that the person and the Lord were in harmony (Lev. 3:6-11; 7:11-14).
Numbers 6:13 “And this [is] the law of the Nazarite, when the days of his separation are fulfilled: he shall be brought unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation:”
“Fulfilled”: At the end of the determined time, the Nazirite was released from his vow thru offerings and the shaving of his head. His hair was to be brought to the sanctuary at the time of those offerings (compare Acts 18:18).
This vow had been taken for a certain period of time. When that time is fulfilled, the person taking the vow comes to the temple or tabernacle, and comes before the priest.
Numbers 6:14 “And he shall offer his offering unto the LORD, one he lamb of the first year without blemish for a burnt offering, and one ewe lamb of the first year without blemish for a sin offering, and one ram without blemish for peace offerings,”
The Nazarite was to present his offering at the door of the tabernacle, to the priest, in order to be offered for him to the Lord.
“One he lamb of the first year without blemish for a burnt offering”: According to the law, manner, and custom of a burnt offering, as Aben Ezra observes. Which, whether of the herd or of the flock, was to be a male and unblemished, and not more than a year old (Lev. 1:3).
“And one ewe lamb of the first year without blemish for a sin offering”: As was the manner and custom of a sin offering, to be a female, as is remarked by the same writer (see Lev. 4:32).
“For peace-offerings”: For thankfulness to God, who had given him grace to make and in some measure to keep such a vow. So he offered all the three sorts of offerings, that he might so far fulfil all righteousness, and profess his obligation to observe the will of God in all things.
This offering covers four types of offerings. The sin offering, the burnt offering, the peace offering and the meat offering. All of them in some way or other, symbolize the one great sacrifice that Jesus made for all of us.
Numbers 6:15 “And a basket of unleavened bread, cakes of fine flour mingled with oil, and wafers of unleavened bread anointed with oil, and their meat offering, and their drink offerings.”
As at the consecration of Aaron and his sons (Exodus 29:2). Though for peace offerings for thanksgiving leavened bread was offered (Lev. 7:13).
“Cakes of fine flour mingled with oil, and wafers of unleavened bread anointed with oil”: Ten of each sort, as Jarchi says, ten cakes and ten wafers (see Exodus 29:9).
“And their meat offering, and their drink offerings”: Which always used to attend every sacrifice.
The “meat offering” was the makings for bread. (Jesus is the Bread of Life). The Christian should give thanks for the great sacrifice Jesus made for all of us, when He fulfilled every one of these sacrifices. He fulfilled the law for you and me. He is our law.
Numbers 6:16 “And the priest shall bring [them] before the LORD, and shall offer his sin offering, and his burnt offering:”
All the above offerings to the altar of burnt offering. And there present them to the Lord in the name of the Nazarite.
“And shall offer his sin offering, and his burnt offering”: Here they stand in the proper order in which they were offered.
Any offering omitted during this time of separation, is covered in all of these offerings here.
Numbers 6:17 “And he shall offer the ram [for] a sacrifice of peace offerings unto the LORD, with the basket of unleavened bread: the priest shall offer also his meat offering, and his drink offering.”
After he had offered the other two.
“With the basket of unleavened bread”: Which went along with that.
“The priest shall also offer his meat offering, and his drink offering”: Of which he had his part, and were the usual appendages of other sacrifices (see Num. 28:1).
Jesus is the unleavened (without sin), Bread. He is our peace. His flesh is our meat indeed, and His blood our drink.
John 6:53 “Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.”
Numbers 6:18 “And the Nazarite shall shave the head of his separation [at] the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and shall take the hair of the head of his separation, and put [it] in the fire which [is] under the sacrifice of the peace offerings.”
As the Nazarite had during his vow worn his hair unshorn in honor of God. So when the time was complete it was natural that the hair, the symbol of his vow, should be cut off, in token that his vow is ended, and offered to God at the sanctuary. The burning of the hair “in the fire under the sacrifice of the peace offering “represented the Eucharistic communion with God obtained by those who realized the ideal which the Nazarite set forth. For the hair which was consecrated to the Lord, might not be cast into any profane place.
The hair of the Nazarite was holy unto the Lord, as long as the vow was in effect. The hair that had been dedicated to God, would be burned in dedication to God. This would be the last of the commitment.
Numbers 6:19 “And the priest shall take the sodden shoulder of the ram, and one unleavened cake out of the basket, and one unleavened wafer, and shall put [them] upon the hands of the Nazarite, after [the hair of] his separation is shaven:”
The left shoulder, for the right shoulder, which is the heave shoulder of every peace offering, belonged to the priest by another law. And by this law of the Nazarite, he had also the other shoulder, and so had both, which was peculiar to this case. The vow of the Nazarite being a very sacred thing and he being enabled to perform it, a greater expression of gratitude for it was expected and required of him. This shoulder was taken out of the pot in which it was boiled.
“And one unleavened cake out of the basket, and one unleavened wafer”: One of the ten cakes, and one of the ten wafers, both are mentioned. And which appear by this to be together in the basket of unleavened bread. From whence they were now to be taken, the rest having been offered with the other sacrifices.
“And shall put them upon the hands of the Nazarite; the boiled shoulder, and the cake and wafer upon it.
“After the hair of his separation is shaven”: And cast into the fire. For the waving of these seems to be the last and finishing part of this whole affair.
This is showing that God has accepted his Nazarite vow. The shoulder of the ram and the unleavened cake were generally eaten of the priest. We see the dedication of the hands of the Nazarite here. This speaks of the Lord accepting his work as holy. The hands speak of work.
Numbers 6:20 “And the priest shall wave them [for] a wave offering before the LORD: this [is] holy for the priest, with the wave breast and heave shoulder: and after that the Nazarite may drink wine.”
Putting his hands under the Nazarite’s, as in other cases where this ceremony was used. And so moving them to and fro, backwards and forwards, upwards and downwards. Testifying hereby the goodness of God unto him, his sovereign dominion over him, that all he had depended on him, and was received from him. And that all he did, particularly in keeping his vow of Nazariteship, was through his assistance. And for which he made this grateful acknowledgment by delivering the above, together with what follows, to his priest.
“This is holy for the priest, with the wave breast and heave shoulder”: Besides these which were given him by another law, the wave shoulder of the Nazarite’s ram was given him to eat. It was holy, and set apart for his use, and his only. And it belonged not in common to the course of the priests then on duty, but to him only that officiated in this peculiar service. And so it is observed by the Jewish writers, that the Nazarite’s ram and some other things were not given to every priest, but to him that offered the sacrifice. As it is said, “he shall wave this is holy to the priest”; upon which it is observed, that it follows from hence, that the priest that waves is he that eats the sacrifice.
“And after that the Nazarite may drink wine”: And cut his hair, and shave his head, and be defiled for the dead as other persons. The vow of his Nazariteship being fulfilled.
They are waved before the Lord, offering them first to God. They may eat and drink wine now. The Nazarite vow is completed. Some people, like John the Baptist, were Nazarites all of their lives. John was, from his mother’s womb. The person in the lesson today, was just for a short period of time.
Numbers 6:21 “This [is] the law of the Nazarite who hath vowed, [and of] his offering unto the LORD for his separation, beside [that] that his hand shall get: according to the vow which he vowed, so he must do after the law of his separation.”
The vow of a Nazarite; what he is obliged to do when his Nazariteship is up.
“And of his offering unto the Lord for his separation”: Of the several offerings required of him, to offer to the Lord, for and upon his going through his Nazariteship. His burnt offering, sin offering, sacrifice of peace offerings, his meat offering and drink offering. Together with the basket of unleavened bread, cakes and wafers.
“Besides [that] that his hands shall get”: The above offerings were what he was obliged unto by the law of God, even though a poor man. But, besides these, it was expected of a man of substance, that he would voluntarily of himself offer more. According to his ability and the length of the time of his Nazariteship.
“According to the vow which he hath vowed, so he must do after the law of his separation”: There were some things he was obliged to do by his vow, and as he had vowed, there was a necessity upon him to fulfil it. As to abstain from the things he vowed so to do. And that as long a time as he fixed by his vow. And when finished to offer the sacrifices required of him.
This is explaining, that all we have read has to do with the taking of the Nazarite vow, and the seriousness of keeping it. We too must understand that promises and vows we make to God are serious. We must not take them too casually. God expects us to do what we promise to do, without exception.
Verses 22-27: Yahweh’s gracious provision to Aaron and his sons for the blessing of the people of God is called “the Aaronic benediction”. “Make His face shine upon thee” asks for God to delight in His people and show them favor. The favor results in “peace”. More than the absence of war, this refers to someone’s overall well-being, where everything is as it ought to be (Deut. 28:3-6).
Obedient Israel, organized before and consecrated to the Lord, was the recipient of God’s blessing (i.e., His favor), pronounced by the priests.
Numbers 6:22 “And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,”
At the same time perhaps, that the above law was given concerning the Nazarites. Though why this should follow upon that, and what connection there is between the one and the other, it is not easy to say. The Nazarites were holy persons, and so were the priests. And therefore, according to Aben Ezra and others, the law of the one is joined to the law of the other.
Again, we see a separation from the previous verses.
Numbers 6:23 “Speak unto Aaron and unto his sons, saying, On this wise ye shall bless the children of Israel, saying unto them,”
Aaron and his sons that succeeded him in all after generations. Being the persons that were in a public manner to bless the people of Israel, they are particularly addressed (see Deut. 10:8).
“Saying, on this wise ye shall bless the children of Israel”: In such manner and with such words as after expressed. Standing upon an eminence, lifting up their hands on high, spreading out their fingers, and raising their voices. And pronouncing the blessing in the Hebrew language, in the name of Jehovah, with their face towards the people. All which, according to the Jewish writers, were to be strictly observed.
Aaron and his sons represented God to the people. It is interesting to notice, that Aaron and his sons were given the authority from God to speak a blessing upon the people. It is important to note here, that Aaron symbolizes the great High Priest, Jesus Christ, who has all power and authority to bless. He also in a way, is speaking of the minister in the church who is subordinate to Jesus. The minister is given the authority to bless the people, in the name of Jesus. The priests, Aaron’s sons, are symbolic of all believers in Christ. Then this is saying, that all believers can speak a blessing from God on the people of the world, if they do it in the name of Jesus. We are His hands on this earth. We are the mouthpiece that He speaks through on the earth.
Numbers 6:24 “The LORD bless thee, and keep thee:”
“Bless”: The Lord’s blessing was described as His face (i.e., His presence), shining on His people (verse 25), and looking at them (verses 26). God shone forth in benevolence on Israel and looked on them for good.
“Keep”: The results of the Lord’s blessing were His preservation of Israel (“keep”), His kindness toward her (“be gracious”, verse 25), and her total well-being (“peace”, verse 26).
The priests or high priest, speak the blessing, but the blessing is from the LORD. This magnifies the great love that God has for each of us.
Numbers 6:25 “The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee:”
Cause himself, the sun of righteousness, to rise and shine upon them, and give both spiritual light and heat unto them. Grant his gracious presence, the manifestations of himself. Communion with him, and clearer discoveries of his love, of interest in him. And an increase of spiritual light and knowledge of his Gospel, and the truths of it, and of his mind and will.
“And be gracious unto thee”: By granting larger measures of grace out of his fullness. By leading more abundantly into it, and making fresh and frequent applications of it. Grace is often wished for from Christ as well as from the Father.
By grace are you saved, and not of yourself. God’s graciousness toward us is the saving factor. He looks upon us with love and compassion, and saves even the unlovely.
John 1:17 “For the law was given by Moses, [but] grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.”
Numbers 6:26 “The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.”
Show his face and favor, look cheerfully on his people. Declare himself well pleased with them in Christ, and appear as smiling upon them through him. Indulging them with visits of love, restoring to them the joys of his salvation, and upholding them with his free Spirit. And so causing them to walk pleasantly and comfortably in the ways of God. Expecting eternal life and happiness, as God’s free gift through Christ.
“And give thee peace”: All outward needful prosperity, internal peace of mind, through the blood and righteousness of Christ, the peacemaker, and peace giver. And eternal peace in the world to come.
Jesus is our peace. He is King of Peace.
Romans 5:1 “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:”
Philippians 4:7 “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
Numbers 6:27 “And they shall put my name upon the children of Israel; and I will bless them.”
“Put my name”: The name of the Lord represented His person and character. The priests were to call for God to dwell among His people and meet all their needs.
To put the covenant name of God upon the people, was like a seal of approval. God claimed them for His own. The Christian bears the name of Christ.
Hebrews 8:10 “For this [is] the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:”
Numbers Chapter 6 Questions
1. Who could take a Nazarite vow?
2. Tell the difference between a Nazarite and a Nazarene.
3. What is a better word for Nazarite?
4. Why could the woman, as well as the man, take this vow?
5. He shall separate himself from wine and _________ _________.
6. What, that was non-alcoholic was he to separate himself from?
7. A person loses control of his own ________ under the influence of alcohol.
8. What was forbidden for him to eat, during his entire time of separation?
9. What is the “vine” symbolic of?
10. All the days of his separation there shall no ________ come upon his head.
11. Is this saying a man should wear long hair? Explain.
12. Why has Jesus been depicted as wearing long hair?
13. Why should a Nazarite not come near a dead body?
14. Is it different, if the body is his father, or mother?
15. All the days of his separation he is _______ unto the LORD.
16. What happens, if someone dies suddenly by him?
17. What does “seven” mean?
18. What shall he bring to the priest on the 8th day?
19. The offerings in verse 11, make an ______________ for him.
20. Where does his next vow start?
21. When he has fulfilled his vow, what does he do?
22. In verse 14, how many sacrifices are covered?
23. The “meat offerings” were the makings for _________.
24. Why was this so?
25. Jesus is our unleavened Bread. He is also, our ________.
26. What does he do with his hair?
27. What does the unleavened bread in his hand show?
28. What lesson can the Christian get out of this message of the vow?
29. What is the blessing Aaron is to speak on the people?
30. By _________ ye are saved.
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