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A Nazirite (or Nazarite) was a Hebrew Israelite who made a special vow with God[1]. This vow obligated the Nazirite to the abstention of alcohol,shaving or the dead. This was a voluntary vow of dedication that either a man or woman could swear if they chose to do so and was for a certain period of time. The regulations for Nazirites are recorded in the Law of Nazirite[2] found in the Book of Numbers . The most notable example of is Samson, whose parents dedicated him since God allowed them to conceive despite being infertile[3]. While Samson is the only Scripturally confirmed Nazirite, Samuel and John the Baptist are often suggested as Nazarites. Based on the prevalence of vows with the Lord, it is likely there were other Nazirites. If Samson, Samuel and John were all Nazirites this would suggest it was commonly used to dedicate the sons of barren mothers.

Regulations

Abstention of Alcohol

Those who are consecrated as Nazarites must not drink wine, vinegar made from wine, or any fermented drink[4]. They must also not consume anything that originates from a grapevine[5].

Heads cannot be shaved

Nazarites also were allowed to use any razor or to shave their head, rather they must let their hair grow long[6]. The long hair was to serve as a symbol of their dedication to God

Avoidance of the dead

During their vow, a Nazirite couldn't be be near a dead corpse[7], even one of their close relatives may not be touched[8].

Verses

  1. Num 6:2 (Link)
  2. Num 6:13,21 (Link)
  3. Judg 13:3-4 (Link)
  4. Num 6:3 (Link)
  5. Num 6:4 (Link)
  6. Num 6:5 (Link)
  7. Num 6:6 (Link)
  8. Num 6:7 (Link)

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