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Numbers 6:13-21

Faithfully Served

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.

This is the law of the Nazarite when he had finished fulfilling his vow to the Lord. In the days of Moses, there are no examples of anyone being a Nazarite for life. Their vows were made only for a certain period of time determined by the person making the vow; and this was later set to a minimum of thirty days. However, Samson, Samuel and John the Baptist were all Nazarites for life.

Although the Nazarite did everything he could to keep himself separate from the world and consecrated to God, works could not save him; his vow could not earn God's favor; and his obedience to the law could not save him. He still needed to have his sins removed by the shedding of blood at the altar. So, the priest would bring him to the door of the tabernacle along with his offerings.

The first offering mentioned is the burnt offering. The burnt offering or whole offering, as it is frequently called, literally means, "a going up (in smoke)." The burnt offering is the only offering in which the sacrifice was entirely consumed and its smoke is said to have ascended as a sweet smell unto the Lord. It represented the complete surrender to the Lord of the one who offered it and, as were all of the offerings, it was a type of Christ. Therefore, it had to be a lamb without blemish. (See Leviticus 1 for more information about the burnt offerings)

The second offering was a one year old female lamb without blemish. This was offered as a sin offering. The sin offering was made for the atonement of sins that the person did not realize he had made or perhaps had committed impulsively without any willful intent to sin. (For more on the sin offering see Leviticus 4)

The Nazarite then was required to offer a ram without blemish as a peace offering. This was a very special offering that represented a type of communion with God. The fat of the ram was burnt as a sacrifice to God. It represented the inner man's commitment to Him. The remaining meat was divided between the priest and the worshipper. It was often eaten by the priest and the worshipper's family together and was a time for thanksgiving. (See Leviticus 3 for more information on the peace offering.)

The meat offering consisted of cakes of unleavened bread that were baked from flour and oil and wafers of unleavened bread that were anointed with oil. A drink offering was also required. The meat offering was only made after the worshipper had received atonement for his sins by means of the burnt offering. The atonement makes him acceptable to the Lord, and the meat offering represents the subsequent setting aside and commitment of himself and all his possessions to Yahweh. (See Leviticus 2)

Since the Nazarite's uncut hair was the sign of his consecration and his vow had now been fulfilled, he would shave his head at the door of the tabernacle where everyone could see that he had faithfully completed his time. The hair was sacred and belonged to the Lord, so it was burned along with the fat offered in the peace offering.

The wave offering was made by the placing of the shoulder of the Ram from the peace offering and an unleavened cake and wafer upon the hands of the Nazarite. The priest would then wave them horizontally before the altar. "The breast-piece was presented to the Lord as a wave-offering (tenuphah), and transferred by Him to Aaron and his sons (the priests). ...the priest laid the object to be waved upon the hands of the offerer, and then placed his own hands underneath, and moved the hands of the offerer backwards and forwards in a horizontal direction, to indicate by the movement forwards, i.e., in the direction towards the altar, the presentation of the sacrifice, or the symbolical transference of it to God, and by the movement backwards, the reception of it back again, as a present which God handed over to His servants the priests." (Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament)

After all of this, the Nazarite was once again free to drink wine, to care for deceased relatives etc.. When Jesus Christ said, "Ye shall know the truth, and the truth will make you free," He was referring to the gospel truth that only He could atone for our sins once and forever. We have been set free from the burdens of all these rituals involved in the law, which could never permanently save us from ourselves. Each of those sacrifices represented what Jesus would do for us when He died on the cross and rose again. (For a detailed look at the significance of the sacrifices mentioned here, see my Daily Bible Studies on Leviticus 1-4.)

Before The Throne:

Have you accepted the freedom that is offered to you by Jesus Christ or are you still trying to keep all sorts of religious observances that simply burden you down. Such burdens come in many forms, not just in ritual sacrifices. Pray about that. Confess your inability to earn God's favor on you own merits. Ask Him to set your mind free from religion and to help you focus on the life that is Christ.

For Further Study:

** are fulfilled. Ac 21:26;

(v.14) ** one he. Lev 1:10-13; 1Chr 15:26, 28-29; ** one ewe. Lev 4:2-3, 27, 32; Mal 1:13-14; 1Pet 1:19; ** one ram. Le 3:6;

(v.15) ** a basket. Lev 2:4; Lev 8:2; Lev 9:4; John 6:50-59; ** anointed. Ex 29:2; ** drink. Num 15:5, 7, 10; Isa 62:9; Joel 1:9, 13; Joel 2:14; 1Cor 10:31; 1Cor 11:26;

(v.18) ** shave the head. Num 6:5, 9; Acts 18:18; Acts 21:24, 26; ** and put it. Luke 17:10; Eph 1:6;

(v.19) ** the sodden. Lev 8:31; 1Sam 2:15; ** put them. Exod 29:23-28; Lev 7:30; Lev 8:27;

(v.20) ** the priest shall. Num 5:25; Exod 29:27-28; Lev 9:21; Lev 10:15; Lev 23:11; ** with the wave. Num 18:18; Lev 7:31, 34; ** and after. Ps 16:10-11; Eccl 9:7; Isa 25:6; Isa 35:10; Isa 53:10-12; Zech 9:15, 17; Zech 10:7; Matt 26:29; Mark 14:25; John 17:4-5; John 19:30; 2Tim 4:7-8;

(v.21) ** the law. 5:29; ** beside that. Ezra 2:69; Gal 6:6; Heb 13:16;


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