Numbers Chapter 6

The children of Israel, were organized into an ancient-day church of God. After many generations in bondage with the Egyptians, they had to be taught the laws of God. Moses had received commandments and instruction from the Lord, and as their prophet, had been teaching the people how they needed to be living. We see this same kind of significant teaching at the time of the Savior, when he established his church on the earth during his ministry. We also see it when the Lord’s church was restored in latter-days with the prophet Joseph Smith. We have these records and these teachings, so that we can have and live the gospel in our lives today. The Lord continues to reveal the law in this chapter with the following:

1 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,
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:
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.
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.
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.
6 All the days that he separateth himself unto the Lord he shall come at no dead body.
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.
8 All the days of his separation he is holy unto the Lord.
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.
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:
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.
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.

The Israelites were established as a covenant making people. The Lord reveals here, the law of the Nazarite. In this law, the Israelites could dedicate themselves to the Lord by vow. Those who consecrated themselves this way, were set themselves apart from the world and its ways during that time. They were not to partake of strong drinks or wine. These drinks have the ability to cause drunkenness, which was not the way of the Lord. Today, the Lord has revealed the word of wisdom, which also teaches us that we should not partake of any wine or strong drinks. The Nazarite was to avoid all the parts of the grape vine and grapes. Sometimes when we want to avoid something, the best thing to do is to avoid those things associated with it. In the case of avoiding strong drinks, or alcoholic beverages, we would want to avoid situations that promote drinking. Someone who desires to follow the word of wisdom, would be better off not going into a bar.

The Nazarites were not to shave, but were to let their hair grow naturally. I am not sure what the significance is of not shaving, but a devout and devoted man of God was not to shave his head. There is no mention of this in our modern revelations, so my thought is that the purpose was a physical representation of consecration to the Lord. They were not to defile themselves by being near the dead, even if it was close family. I also don’t know the reason for not being near the dead, but this was part of the law of Moses as well. It was one of the things that caused a person to be unclean or unholy. Nazarites were to live according to the laws of righteousness, being holy to the Lord. If someone were to die near them, they were to go through the cleansing ritual, shaving on the seventh day and offering a sacrifice on the eighth day. Then, they were to continue with the dedication of themselves to the Lord. Just to make sure I understood it correctly, I looked up ‘Nazarite’ in the Bible Dictionary.

A consecrated man. A man under a vow to abstain from wine, from any cutting of the hair, and any contact with the dead. The vow might be lifelong, or for a short, definite period.

The life of a Nazarite, was a life devoted to God and His work.

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:
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,
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.
16 And the priest shall bring them before the Lord, and shall offer his sin offering, and his burnt offering:
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.

At the ending of their dedication of the law of the Nazarite, they were to go to the tabernacle and give burnt, sin and peace offerings to the Lord. Then they were to shave their head and burn the hair from their head as part of the peace offering. As part of the ritual, the priest would give them part of the cooked peace offering as a wave and heave offering. Then, it says the Nazarite was able to drink wine, which I think is a way of saying that the man may then return to his normal way of life.

22 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,
23 Speak unto Aaron and unto his sons, saying, On this wise ye shall bless the children of Israel, saying unto them,
24 The Lord bless thee, and keep thee:
25 The Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee:
26 The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.
27 And they shall put my name upon the children of Israel; and I will bless them.

Aaron and his sons were given the words to use as a blessing for the children of Isreal. They are familiar words to me. These are lyrics found in the song “The Lord Bless You And Keep You” which I have heard sung often:

The Lord bless you and keep you;
The Lord make His face to shine upon you
To shine upon you and be gracious
And be gracious unto you

The Lord bless you and keep you
The Lord lift His countenance upon you,
The Lord lift His countenance upon you
And give you peace, and give you peace;
And give you peace, and give you peace

What a beautiful blessing for the righteous followers of the Laws of the Lord. We can be blessed with this same blessing if we will keep the commandments of God. He will bless us. He will keep us, or we will be His people. He will give us a portion of His light, which will show in our countenance. He will bless us with more than we can even know, and then we will have His promised peace in this life as well as in the life to come. These are such amazing promises and blessings.

Finally, those who desire to follow the Lord, were to put His name upon themselves. In other words, to take his name upon them. Today, we take the name of the Lord upon us, when we make the covenants of baptism and then strive keep those covenants. When we do this, we stand as a witness of God, at all times, in all things, and in all places. In return, the Lord blesses us with His light, His peace, His safety, and His spirit. Living the laws of God can seem really hard at times, but these things make it worth every effort we have to give.


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