“Adonai said to Moshe, “Tell the people of Israel, ‘When either a man or a woman makes a special kind of vow, the vow of a nazir, consecrating himself to Adonai; he is to abstain from wine and other intoxicating liquor, he is not to drink vinegar from either source, he is not to drink grape juice, and he is not to eat grapes or raisins.”– Number 6:1-3
In my last post, I finished off by pointing out that the primary difference between a Nazarite and Levite priest is that a Levite priest is born into his role as a servant of God and a Nazarite was just a common Israelite who through the taking of an oath decides to dedicate his or her life to God for a specified period of time.
Now a question often asked is if one becomes a Nazarite, does that mean that person becomes a priest?
The general answer to that question is NO.
Remember a priest has to be born from a very specific bloodline descended from Aaron.
In fact, it would seem that Levites are barred from taking the Nazarite vow.
Take a look at verses 1-2.
“Adonai said to Moshe, “Tell the people of Israel, ‘When either a man or a woman makes a special kind of vow, the vow of a nazir, consecrating himself to Adonai;”
The Lord is specifically directing the vows concerning a Nazarite towards the people of Israel.
Now compare that statement with what we’ve already learned about the Levites.
We’ve learned that the Levites are no longer to be counted as among “the people of Israel“.
This was earlier demonstrated by the fact that they went through their own census and will later be demonstrated by the fact that they will NOT be given their own territory once the Israelites enter the Promised Land.
Instead, they will be given cities within the territories that will be partitioned out to the 12 tribes.
So don’t forget that the Levites are to be treated special.
If God had also meant for the Levites to be included in the Nazarite vow, He would have said something like, “Tell the people of Israel AND TELL THE SONS OF AARON.“
Now after having said all that, I must let you know that outside of the Torah, there are some instances of Levites taking the vow of a Nazarite.
However, I must say that action is weird as hell and it’s probably one of those non-God ordained changes I talked about before.
Keep in mind that not all the tribes scrupulously observed the Torah.
And let’s also not forget that NOT all Levites were allowed to become priests, ONLY THE SONS OF AARON.
My point is you might have had a common non-priest Levite who I guess wanted to become more priest-like.
So then he decided to take the Nazarite vow to elevate his status (I’m speculating here).