In the Torah reading נשא Nasso (“take up” or “carry,” i.e., conduct), we witness a type of “harvest,” not of grapes or wheat but of people. The LORD’s Tabernacle is the embassy set up to receive them, and the priests and ultimately the people are the ambassadors sent out to proclaim His message.
The common Torah reading for this week (נָשֹׂא Nasso, “take up” or “carry,” Num. 4:21–7:89) continues the census of the priesthood of Israel, caretakers of the earthly embassy of the Creator. Yes, there’s a Messiah-centered connection between determining who could enter the מִשְׁכָּן Mishkan (“Tabernacle”), testing the faithfulness of a wife, commissioning and decommissioning someone under a Nazirite vow and the 12 days of gifts from each of the tribes of Israel at the dedication of the Mishkan.
The Torah passage נשא Nasso (“take up”) continues the census of the priesthood of Israel from Numbers 1–4, caretakers of the earthly embassy of the Creator. Yes, there’s a Messiah-centered connection between determining who could enter the מִשְׁכָּן Mishkan (“Tabernacle”), testing the faithfulness of a wife, commissioning and decommissioning someone under a Nazarite vow and the 12 days of gifts from each of the tribes of Israel at the dedication of the Mishkan.
“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,” (Numbers 6:2 NASB)
The word that is translated as special in the New American Standard Bible is the Hebrew word פָּלָא pala (Strong’s lexicon No. H6381), which means wonderful, marvelous, extraordinary. It is not a vow taken lightly. It also is not a vow that is easy to do.
This is not a vow of terror or weakness, but of strength. You have to count the cost before you take a vow like this. It’s a serious vow.
There are two men mentioned in the Bible who took a Nazirite vow: Samson (a prophet, a Danite) and Samuel (a Levite, a priest). It is not happenstance that the Aaronic blessing (Num. 6:22–27) is noted at the end of this chapter about the Nazirite vow.
The Nazirite must not touch or eat the following foods:
- strong drink
- vinegar (from any source)
- grape juice
- fresh grapes
- dried grapes
- grape seeds (including oil)
- grape skin
The New Testament tells us that Yeshua is the vine and we are to be the branches (John 15:5), yet we read here that the Nazirite has to separate himself from the grapevine. What is that about?
“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.” (Numbers 6:5 NASB)
This means no shaving or trimming of one’s hair on the head, or even facial hair. This is true for both men and women.
“but if a woman has long hair, it is a glory to her?” (1Corinthians 11:15 NASB)
“and you shall set the turban on his head and put the holy crown on the turban.” (Exodus 29:6 NASB)
“They made the plate of the holy crown of pure gold, and inscribed it like the engravings of a signet, ‘Holy to the LORD.'” (Exodus 39:30 NASB)
The Hebrew word translated here as crown is נֶזֶר nezer (H5145), which means consecration or crown.
“You have spurned the covenant of Your servant; You have profaned his crown in the dust.” (Psalms 89:39 NASB)
“There I will cause the horn of David to spring forth; I have prepared a lamp for Mine anointed. “His enemies I will clothe with shame, But upon himself his crown shall shine.” (Psalms 132:17–18 NASB)
God did not break His covenant with the family of David. If we are the light of the world, we are a lamp and the light is there, the lamp causes the light to multiply its power. When Moses met with God and his face shown, he became a lamp and shined and magnified God’s light.
“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.” (Numbers 6:9 NASB)
The holy can’t make the unholy into something holy, but something unholy can make something holy into something unholy.
If death shows up in the midst of a Nazirite’s vow, he has to start all over again from the beginning at the Tabernacle. He has to be reappointed to his crown, his vow.
“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.” (Numbers 6:12 NASB)
At the end of the Nazirite’s vow, he brings the following items:
- one male lamb a year old without defect for a burnt offering
- one ewe-lamb a year old without defect for a sin offering
- one ram without defect for a peace offering
- a basket of unleavened cakes of fine flour mixed with oil
- unleavened wafers spread with oil
- grain offering
- drink offering
- Then the Nazirite is to shave his head and take the hair and burn it under the fire of the peace offering.
His “crown” has been removed, placed under the peace offering, and now He can drink wine again.
“For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, ‘This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.’ In the same way He took the cup also after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.’ For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.” (1Corinthians 11:23–26 NASB)
The Apostle Paul is repeating the story found in Matthew 26:
“While they were eating, Jesus took some bread, and after a blessing, He broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, ‘Take, eat; this is My body.’ And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink from it, all of you; for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins. But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.” (Matthew 26:26–29 NASB)
Yehsua is taking a Nazarite vow here. Yeshua’s vow here would by anyone’s definition is a wonderful, marvelous, extraordinary vow. Yeshua’s crown is in the Father’s hand, safe and sound.
When Yeshua returns, His crown will come with Him (Rev. 17:14; 19:16). He is still our High Priest, mediating for our sins.
“Speak to Aaron and to his sons, saying, ‘Thus you shall bless the sons of Israel. You shall say to them: The LORD bless you, and keep you; The LORD make His face shine on you, And be gracious to you; The LORD lift up His countenance on you, And give you peace.’ So they shall invoke My name on the sons of Israel, and I then will bless them.” (Numbers 6:23–27 NASB)
The last enemy we have is death (1Cor. 15:26). Death will continue until Yeshua brings back life (Rev. 20:13–14).
Reader: Jeff. Speaker: Richard Agee. Summary: Tammy.
There are conjunctions in Israel’s history between the days of Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles or Booths) and key events, from the Flood to the time of David and Solomon to Yeshua (Jesus) mission on Earth to the coming Day of the LORD. Rather than coincidences, these intersections teach us about God and His Messiah.
Moshe (Moses) is still on the mountain and receiving the instruction from God about how to build the Tabernacle but in this chapter, God is telling Moshe the procedure He wants Moshe to do to prepare Aharon (Aaron) and his sons for ministry in the Temple. Why does God ask Moshe to this complicated, seven-day ritual? The end of the chapter tell us the punchline. Although Moshe will be doing all of this but it really God will do all the sanctification, not Moshe.
“I will consecrate the tent of meeting and the altar; I will also consecrate Aharon and his sons to minister as priests to Me. I will dwell among the sons of Israel and will be their God. They shall know that I am the LORD their God who brought them out of the land of Egypt, that I might dwell among them; I am the LORD their God.” (Ex. 29:44–46) Continue reading Exodus 29: Consecration of the High Priest reveals Messiah
The Nazarite vow is one of the most serious vows a man or woman can take upon themselves. This chapter gives us the details of this vow but also shows us the spiritual application — even today — in the days without a temple or Aaronic priesthood.
Continue reading Numbers 6 — the Nazarite vow and its meaning today