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Bible Commentaries

Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures

Numbers 6

Verses 1-21

The Law of the Nazarite Numbers 6:1-21 gives us the law of the Nazarite.

1. No wine Denying flesh its desires.

2. No Razor on head symbol of separation to God is his head.

3. No dead bodies- God is a God of the living, and not of the dead.

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.

Numbers 6:9 “then he shall shave his head in the day of his cleansing” - Comments - The practice of shaving one's head is part of the vow of a Nazarite. Note Paul's vow and the shaving of his head in the book of Acts. Paul honoured the Mosaic Law.

Acts 18:18, “And Paul after this tarried there yet a good while, and then took his leave of the brethren, and sailed thence into Syria, and with him Priscilla and Aquila; having shorn his head in Cenchrea: for he had a vow .”

Acts 21:23-26, “Do therefore this that we say to thee: We have four men which have a vow on them ; Them take, and purify thyself with them, and be at charges with them, that they may shave their heads : and all may know that those things, whereof they were informed concerning thee, are nothing; but that thou thyself also walkest orderly, and keepest the law. As touching the Gentiles which believe, we have written and concluded that they observe no such thing, save only that they keep themselves from things offered to idols, and from blood, and from strangled, and from fornication. Then Paul took the men, and the next day purifying himself with them entered into the temple, to signify the accomplishment of the days of purification, until that an offering should be offered for every one of them .”

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.

Verses 22-27

The Priestly Blessing In Numbers 6:22-27 the Lord gave Moses a charge to have the priests speak forth a blessing upon the children of Israel. This passage of Scripture is known as the “Priestly Blessing”, or “Levitical Blessing”.

The oldest extant manuscript of the Old Testament Scriptures, dated around the sixth century B.C., testifies to the importance of the Priestly Blessing passage in Numbers 6:22-27. It is a tiny, silver scroll found in an ancient amulet containing the Hebrew text of Numbers 6:24-26, “The Lord bless you, and keep you; the Lord make His face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up His countenance on you, and give you peace.” It was discovered by a team of archaeologists in 1979 led by Gabriel Barkay. His group was excavating on a rocky knoll on the Valley of Hinnon within sight of Old Jerusalem. When a group of 12-year-olds joined the group, Barkay sent one of them off in the distance to do the unimportant task of clearing out an ancient cave to prepare it for photographs. The child came back in a short while and told the archaeologist that his hammer had broken through the floor of the cave. Under this floor was discovered a repository containing ancient vessels dating from the fifth, sixth and seventh centuries B.C. Among them was a small cylinder the size of a cigarette butt. This was an amulet designed to be worn on the arm of forehead of the devout Jew. Inside this amulet was found this ancient, tiny scroll with biblical text of the Aaronic benediction from the book of Numbers. This text predates the Dead Sea Scrolls by four centuries. It is the oldest extant piece of biblical literature in the world. [19]

[19] Brent Thompson, “ Respected Archaeologist Recounts Discovery of Oldest Bible Text,” in Southwestern News, vol. 65, no. 3 (Spring 2007): 33.

We see in Ruth 2:4 that this blessing became a part of the Jewish culture when greeting people. Boaz blessed his workers in the field and his reapers replied with a blessing.

Ruth 2:4, “And, behold, Boaz came from Bethlehem, and said unto the reapers, The LORD be with you. And they answered him, The LORD bless thee.”

We also see this practiced by the king in 2 Samuel 15:20 where David says, “mercy and truth be with thee”.

2 Samuel 15:20, “Whereas thou camest but yesterday, should I this day make thee go up and down with us? seeing I go whither I may, return thou, and take back thy brethren: mercy and truth be with thee.”

This word of blessing was a part of the Hebrew and Jewish culture. As we move into the New Testament, we find the blessing taught by the Lord Jesus Christ. When He sent out the twelve apostles, He instructed them to let their peace come upon the home of their host (Matthew 10:13). Matthew 10:13 shows that you can bless a house by speaking God's peace upon it.

Matthew 10:13, “And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you.”

Paul the apostle opened every one of his thirteen New Testament epistles with a blessing of God’s peace and grace upon his readers, and Peter did the same in his two epistles. As we continue to look for this blessing, it finds itself in almost every New Testament epistle, either in the opening salutation or closing remarks as a benediction. For example:

Romans 1:7, “To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.”

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Bibliographical Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on Numbers 6". Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghe/numbers-6.html. 2013.