“Throughout the period for which he has consecrated himself to Adonai, he is not to approach a corpse. He is not to make himself unclean for his father, mother, brother or sister when they die, since his consecration to God is on his head. Throughout the time of his being a nazir he is holy for Adonai.”-Numbers 6:6-8
Let’s go over the main attributes of a Nazarite.
There are six of them and keep in mind that these conditions apply whether one is male or female.
-All alcohol is forbidden including wine are completely off limits. By the way, this is another reason why we know Yeshua could NOT have been a Nazarite, because he drank wine!
-No vinegar! (This is an interesting prohibition!)
-No grape juice!
-No eating grapes or raisins.
-No haircuts or shaving one’s head
-No touching of corpses and that includes immediate relatives such as mother, father, brother, and sister
Now as I mentioned before, as time passed on, the rules and conditions of how a Nazarite was supposed to operate changed.
Rules not necessarily reflecting what we’re studying here in Scripture became tradition and we’re actually going to see this process of transformation as we walk through the Bible.
Some of the Nazarite prohibitions we’re studying here abolished and others were added.
But understand that these were MANMADE changes, not God changing anything.
And let’s not forget what Yeshua said in Matthew 5.
“Don’t think that I have come to abolish the Torah or the Prophets. I have come not to abolish but to complete. Yes indeed! I tell you that until heaven and earth pass away, not so much as a yud or a stroke will pass from the Torah — not until everything that must happen has happened.”-Matthew 5:17-18
Now I don’t know if you realize this but some of the above prohibitions directly overlap with the requirements for a Levite priest.
However, there are some key differences.
Although a priest is forbidden from drinking wine before officiating at the sanctuary, he is allowed to drink wine during some of the rituals.
On the other hand, not only is a Nazarite not allowed to drink wine, he is forbidden from drinking or eating anything connected with even the source of wine which is grapes.
Another difference is that while priests are allowed to touch dead bodies, they are allowed to care for the corpses of their mother and father, their spouses, children and even their grandparents.
However, a Nazarite is forbidden from touching a dead body period!
It doesn’t matter whether that dead body is a mother, father, a wife or children.
This is interesting because it shows us how in some ways a Nazarite’s requirements were more stringent than for a Levite Priest.
Actually, come to think of it, the requirements being placed on a Nazarite approach the requirements for that of the High Priest.
Finally, there is one Nazarite requirement that was totally different than the priests.
I’m talking about the Nazarite’s distinctive long hair.
You would never ever see a Nazarite at a barber shop in ancient Israel!
Absolutely no hair cuts for the Nazarite, during the period of their vow that is!
Remember, the Apostle Paul got a haircut after his Nazarite vow had ended.
The Nazarite was indeed a unique character among the Israelites.