Numbers 6


Chapter 6 deals mainly the Nasserite vow. The name Nasserite simple means to separate and that is exactly what these people would do. Either a man or women could take this vow and they would separate themselves to God. There were two different version of this vow. First their was the Nasserite vow that was for life that was determined by the parents that their child would be a Nasserite for all the days of his life. We have three examples of this.



Judges 13:5  "For behold, you shall conceive and bear a son. And no razor shall come upon his head, for the child shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb; and he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines."



1 Samuel 1:11 Then she made a vow and said, "O LORD of hosts, if You will indeed look on the affliction of Your maidservant and remember me, and not forget Your maidservant, but will give Your maidservant a male child, then I will give him to the LORD all the days of his life, and no razor shall come upon his head."


John the Baptist

Luke 1:15 "For he will be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink. He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother's womb.


These are the only 3 examples that I could find of those who were Nasserites for life. The second type of vow that was taken was only done for certain period of time and was decided by the man or the women themselves and this chapter mainly deals with this temporary vow. Some people have thought the Jesus was a Nasserite because he called a Nazarene in Mat. 2:23. However, this just means that  he lived in this place and was not a Nasserite. Besides that we know that Jesus both drank wine and touched dead bodies which a Nasserite was not allowed to do. All though we don’t find a great deal of information about Nasserites in the Bible we do know that that were respected.


Lets now take a look at the first 8 verses and learn about the 3 restrictions of a Nasserite.


Numbers 6: Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,  2 "Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: 'When either a man or woman consecrates an offering to take the vow of a Nazirite, to separate himself to the LORD,  3 'he shall separate himself from wine and similar drink; he shall drink neither vinegar made from wine nor vinegar made from similar drink; neither shall he drink any grape juice, nor eat fresh grapes or raisins.  4 'All the days of his separation he shall eat nothing that is produced by the grapevine, from seed to skin.  5 'All the days of the vow of his separation no razor shall come upon his head; until the days are fulfilled for which he separated himself to the LORD, he shall be holy. Then he shall let the locks of the hair of his head grow.  6 'All the days that he separates himself to the LORD he shall not go near a dead body.  7 'He shall not make himself unclean even for his father or his mother, for his brother or his sister, when they die, because his separation to God is on his head.  8 'All the days of his separation he shall be holy to the LORD.


Notice the 3 basic things they were to stay away from. First they were not to allow their hair to be cut with a razor. They were to let the hair and beards grow long. The second restriction was they could not drink any wine, vinegar or anything that came from the vine. The third thing they could not do was to touch or go near a dead body. There were no exceptions to this because even if their own flesh and blood died they could not go near their bodies or they would become unclean. The whole purpose of the vow is found verse 8. This vow was separation from the world and complete dedication to the Lord. When I thought about this concept the first thing that  came to my mind was Christianity. Think about when we become Christians are not it a sense taking a vow or making a commitment that we will separate ourselves from the world and dedicate ourselves to Lord? Well, at least that it we are suppose to do as we try to put God first in our lives in every situation. Similar to a Nasserite as Christians we need  to strive to keep ourselves separate from the world and work hard trying not to defile ourselves with sin.


This Chapter answer the question what if they do touch a dead body accidentally?


Numbers 6: 9 ' And if anyone dies very suddenly beside him, and he defiles his consecrated head, then he shall shave his head on the day of his cleansing; on the seventh day he shall shave it.  10 'Then on the eighth day he shall bring two turtledoves or two young pigeons to the priest, to the door of the tabernacle of meeting;  11 'and the priest shall offer one as a sin offering and the other as a burnt offering, and make atonement for him, because he sinned in regard to the corpse; and he shall sanctify his head that same day.  12 'He shall consecrate to the LORD the days of his separation, and bring a male lamb in its first year as a trespass offering; but the former days shall be lost, because his separation was defiled.


Everything this person was trying to accomplish has been lost during this day since they were defiled by the dead body. Notice they have to shave their head and they had offer up 3 different animals all because they touched a dead body accidentally.


In verse 13 to 21 we learn what happens when a Nasserite completes their vow. It pretty elaborate all the different things they must do. As we read this I will list all these different things they must do on the screen.


Numbers 6:13 ' Now this is the law of the Nazirite: When the days of his separation are fulfilled, he shall be brought to the door of the tabernacle of meeting.  14 'And he shall present his offering to the LORD: one male lamb in its first year without blemish as a burnt offering, one ewe lamb in its first year without blemish as a sin offering, one ram without blemish as a peace offering,  15 'a basket of unleavened bread, cakes of fine flour mixed with oil, unleavened wafers anointed with oil, and their grain offering with their drink offerings.  16 'Then the priest shall bring them before the LORD and offer his sin offering and his burnt offering;  17 'and he shall offer the ram as a sacrifice of peace offering to the LORD, with the basket of unleavened bread; the priest shall also offer its grain offering and its drink offering.  18 'Then the Nazirite shall shave his consecrated head at the door of the tabernacle of meeting, and shall take the hair from his consecrated head and put it on the fire which is under the sacrifice of the peace offering.  19 'And the priest shall take the boiled shoulder of the ram, one unleavened cake from the basket, and one unleavened wafer, and put them upon the hands of the Nazirite after he has shaved his consecrated hair,  20 'and the priest shall wave them as a wave offering before the LORD; they are holy for the priest, together with the breast of the wave offering and the thigh of the heave offering. After that the Nazirite may drink wine.'  21 " This is the law of the Nazirite who vows to the LORD the offering for his separation, and besides that, whatever else his hand is able to provide; according to the vow which he takes, so he must do according to the law of his separation."


I always find it interesting all these specific things these people had to do.


Chapter 7 is one the longest chapters in the Bible and is the longest chapter in the first 5 book of the Bible. This chapter starts out with Moses finishing setting up the tabernacle and he consecrates it. The leader of the tribes of Israel bring their offering and God tell Moses to accept their offerings and give them to the Levites according to their services. 


Numbers 7:6 So Moses took the carts and the oxen, and gave them to the Levites.  7 Two carts and four oxen he gave to the sons of Gershon, according to their service;  8 and four carts and eight oxen he gave to the sons of Merari, (mer-ar-ree) according to their service, under the authority of Ithamar the son of Aaron the priest.  9 But to the sons of Kohath he gave none, because theirs was the service of the holy things, which they carried on their shoulders. 


So we learn that not all the Levites received these offerings as Kohath and his son did receive anything because of their service.


Numbers 7:10 Now the leaders offered the dedication offering for the altar when it was anointed; so the leaders offered their offering before the altar.  11 For the LORD said to Moses, "They shall offer their offering, one leader each day, for the dedication of the altar."


So this means that their offerings would go on for 12 days. Verses 12 – 83 gives us all the details on what was given each day by each tribe. For the sake of time lets take a look at the first day and offerings given.


 12 And the one who offered his offering on the first day was Nahshon the son of Amminadab, from the tribe of Judah.  13 His offering was one silver platter, the weight of which was one hundred and thirty shekels, and one silver bowl of seventy shekels, according to the shekel of the sanctuary, both of them full of fine flour mixed with oil as a grain offering;  14 one gold pan of ten shekels, full of incense;  15 one young bull, one ram, and one male lamb in its first year, as a burnt offering;  16 one kid of the goats as a sin offering;  17 and for the sacrifice of peace offerings: two oxen, five rams, five male goats, and five male lambs in their first year. This was the offering of Nahshon the son of Amminadab.


The chapter continues in this same manner giving the details of the remaining 11 days. All of these things are summed up starting in verse  84.


Numbers 7:84 This was the dedication offering for the altar from the leaders of Israel, when it was anointed: twelve silver platters, twelve silver bowls, and twelve gold pans.  85 Each silver platter weighed one hundred and thirty shekels and each bowl seventy shekels. All the silver of the vessels weighed two thousand four hundred shekels, according to the shekel of the sanctuary.  86 The twelve gold pans full of incense weighed ten shekels apiece, according to the shekel of the sanctuary; all the gold of the pans weighed one hundred and twenty shekels.  87 All the oxen for the burnt offering were twelve young bulls, the rams twelve, the male lambs in their first year twelve, with their grain offering, and the kids of the goats as a sin offering twelve.  88 And all the oxen for the sacrifice of peace offerings were twenty-four bulls, the rams sixty, the male goats sixty, and the lambs in their first year sixty. This was the dedication offering for the altar after it was anointed.


As you can see there was a huge amount of stuff giving for this dedication to the Lord.


In chapter 8: 1-4 talks about the proper position for the lamp stand. Now the rest of the chapter  talks about the cleansing and dedication of the Levites. God wants the Levites to become ceremonially clean. They had to be sprinkled with water of purifications and had to shave their entire bodies and clean their clothes. They had to make a couple different offerings and he be brought before the tabernacle. Then the whole congregation was to be called together and they were to lay their hands on the Levites.


Then Aaron was to offer the children of Israel as a wave offering to Lord so the Levites could perform the duties given to them. Then the Levites were to put their hands on the top of bulls heads and then one bull was to be offered up for atonement for them. God reminds them that  the Levites are his and were taken in place of the first born of the children of Israel. The Levites were given as a gift to Aaron to help serve in the tabernacle.  That covers the events through verse 19 but now lets read verse 20ff.


Numbers 8:20 Thus Moses and Aaron and all the congregation of the children of Israel did to the Levites; according to all that the LORD commanded Moses concerning the Levites, so the children of Israel did to them.  21 And the Levites purified themselves and washed their clothes; then Aaron presented them, like a wave offering before the LORD, and Aaron made atonement for them to cleanse them.  22 After that the Levites went in to do their work in the tabernacle of meeting before Aaron and his sons; as the LORD commanded Moses concerning the Levites, so they did to them.  23 Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,  24 "This is what pertains to the Levites: From twenty-five years old and above one may enter to perform service in the work of the tabernacle of meeting;  25 "and at the age of fifty years they must cease performing this work, and shall work no more.  26 "They may minister with their brethren in the tabernacle of meeting, to attend to needs, but they themselves shall do no work. Thus you shall do to the Levites regarding their duties."


I thing its  very interesting that the Levites  we to  serve from age 25 to 50. After you turned 50 were not to do the work. You could still be there and help in some aspects but not actually be the one doing the specific work. So, far in Old  Testament study we have learned  that you had to be as least 20 to be solider. You had to 30years old to be priest and remember not all Levites were priest so that leaves us with the rest them being able to carry out the duties of the tabernacle from age 25 – 50. One thing I do want to point is that these men that were still were doing things for Lord. No one today under the NT should think that once they reach a certain age that they don’t have do anything for the service of God. Certainly there will be certain works that older people cannot do physically but every person no matter how old they get can still glorify God is one way or another. We simply cannot retire from Christianity.


In chapter 9 God reminds Moses that he want the children of Israel to keep the Passover and all the ceremonies that go with it. We also find out that there were some men who had been defiled by a dead body and they wanted know why they should be kept from observing the Passover. Well, Moses does the right thing and ask what should be done in this situation. Let reads God response.


Numbers 9: Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,  10 "Speak to the children of Israel, saying: 'If anyone of you or your posterity is unclean because of a corpse, or is far away on a journey, he may still keep the LORD's Passover.  11 'On the fourteenth day of the second month, at twilight, they may keep it. They shall eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs.  12 'They shall leave none of it until morning, nor break one of its bones. According to all the ordinances of the Passover they shall keep it.  13 'But the man who is clean and is not on a journey, and ceases to keep the Passover, that same person shall be cut off from among his people, because he did not bring the offering of the LORD at its appointed time; that man shall bear his sin.  14 'And if a stranger dwells among you, and would keep the LORD's Passover, he must do so according to the rite of the Passover and according to its ceremony; you shall have one ordinance, both for the stranger and the native of the land.' "


Those who could not take part in the Passover had a second chance to observe it in the second month. But, notice if a person was able to observe the Passover and they did not they were to be cut off from the people. Whenever I thought about this I starting applying this concept to the church and the Lords day. I just wonder how many Christians would be cut of from the kingdom of God if this law still applied today in missing church services on the Lords day? What I get out of  this is that God understands when you cant be there because of differing reason but if you can be there and no valid reason why you shouldn’t be there then you absence is unacceptable to God. It is  real easy to stay home and miss Bible class and Worship services but as Christians we should not do that.


In verse 15-23 we learn that once the tabernacle was set up a cloud remained above during the day and a night the cloud had an appearance of a fire. The purpose of this cloud was to let the children of Israel know when it was time to set up camp and when it was time travel. When the it was time travel the cloud would move and they were to follow it. This summarized in verse 22.


Numbers 9:22 Whether it was two days, a month, or a year that the cloud remained above the tabernacle, the children of Israel would remain encamped and not journey; but when it was taken up, they would journey.


In Chapter 10: 1-10 There were  2 silver trumpets and they were to be used in directing the movement of the children of Israel. If both trumpets were blown the whole congregation was to come together. If one was blown only the 12 leaders from each tribe was to come. The horns were used to start the process of the each camp to begin journey. The horns were also to be blown when they went to war and to blow over various offeris that were made.


In verse 11-28 the Children of Israel begin their first 3 day journey to the Wilderness of Paran. Now lets look at another interesting section of scripture.


Numbers 10:29 Now Moses said to Hobab the son of Reuel the Midianite, Moses' father-in-law, "We are setting out for the place of which the LORD said, 'I will give it to you.' Come with us, and we will treat you well; for the LORD has promised good things to Israel."  30 And he said to him, "I will not go, but I will depart to my own land and to my relatives."  31 So Moses said, "Please do not leave, inasmuch as you know how we are to camp in the wilderness, and you can be our eyes.  32 "And it shall be, if you go with us -- indeed it shall be -- that whatever good the LORD will do to us, the same we will do to you."


Here we learn that Moses tries to talk his father-in-law to go with him. The question is did he go? The answer to this question is found in.

Judges 1:16 Now the children of the Kenite, Moses' father-in-law, went up from the City of Palms with the children of Judah into the Wilderness of Judah, which lies in the South near Arad; and they went and dwelt among the people.


From this verse I would say that Moses did convince his father-in-law to go with them. I want to finish the lesson by reading the rest of chapter 10.

Numbers 10: 33 So they departed from the mountain of the LORD on a journey of three days; and the ark of the covenant of the LORD went before them for the three days' journey, to search out a resting place for them.  34 And the cloud of the LORD was above them by day when they went out from the camp.  35 So it was, whenever the ark set out, that Moses said: "Rise up, O LORD! Let Your enemies be scattered, And let those who hate You flee before You."  36 And when it rested, he said: "Return, O LORD, To the many thousands of Israel."