The Nazirite Vow, 1-8
6:1 Then the LORD spoke to Moses: 6:2 “Speak to the Israelites, and tell them, ‘When either a man or a woman takes a special vow, to take a vow as a Nazirite, to separate himself to the LORD, 6:3 he must separate himself from wine and strong drink, he must drink neither vinegar made from wine nor vinegar made from strong drink, nor may he drink any juice of grapes, nor eat fresh grapes or raisins. 6:4 All the days of his separation he must not eat anything that is produced by the grapevine, from seed to skin.
6:5 “ ‘All the days of the vow of his separation no razor may be used on his head until the time is fulfilled for which he separated himself to the LORD. He will be holy, and he must let the locks of hair on his head grow long.
6:6 “ ‘All the days that he separates himself to the LORD he must not contact a dead body. 6:7 He must not defile himself even for his father or his mother or his brother or his sister if they die, because the separation for his God is on his head. 6:8 All the days of his separation he must be holy to the LORD.
Contingencies for Defilement, 9-12
6:9 “ ‘If anyone dies very suddenly beside him and he defiles his consecrated head, then he must shave his head on the day of his purification—on the seventh day he must shave it. 6:10 On the eighth day he is to bring two turtledoves or two young pigeons to the priest, to the entrance to the tent of meeting. 6:11 Then the priest will offer one for a purification offering and the other as a burnt offering, and make atonement for him, because of his transgression in regard to the corpse. So he must reconsecrate his head on that day. 6:12 He must rededicate to the LORD the days of his separation and bring a male lamb in its first year as a reparation offering, but the former days will not be counted because his separation was defiled.
Fulfilling the Vows, 13-21
6:13 “ ‘Now this is the law of the Nazirite: When the days of his separation are fulfilled, he must be brought to the entrance of the tent of meeting, 6:14 and he must present his offering to the LORD: one male lamb in its first year without blemish for a burnt offering, one ewe lamb in its first year without blemish for a purification offering, one ram without blemish for a peace offering, 6:15 and a basket of bread made without yeast, cakes of fine flour mixed with olive oil, wafers made without yeast and smeared with olive oil, and their grain offering and their drink offerings.
6:16 “ ‘Then the priest must present all these before the LORD and offer his purification offering and his burnt offering. 6:17 Then he must offer the ram as a peace offering to the LORD, with the basket of bread made without yeast; the priest must also offer his grain offering and his drink offering.
6:18 “ ‘Then the Nazirite must shave his consecrated head at the entrance to the tent of meeting and must take the hair from his consecrated head and put it on the fire where the peace offering is burning. 6:19 And the priest must take the boiled shoulder of the ram, one cake made without yeast from the basket, and one wafer made without yeast, and put them on the hands of the Nazirite after he has shaved his consecrated head; 6:20 then the priest must wave them as a wave offering before the LORD; it is a holy portion for the priest, together with the breast of the wave offering and the thigh of the raised offering. After this the Nazirite may drink wine.’
6:21 “This is the law of the Nazirite who vows to the LORD his offering according to his separation, as well as whatever else he can provide. Thus he must fulfill his vow that he makes, according to the law of his separation.”
The Priestly Benediction, 22-27
6:22 The LORD spoke to Moses: 6:23 “Tell Aaron and his sons, ‘This is the way you are to bless the Israelites. Say to them:
6:24 “The LORD bless you and protect you;
6:25 The LORD make his face to shine upon you,
and be gracious to you;
6:26 The LORD lift up his countenance upon you
and give you peace.” ’
6:27 So they will put my name on the Israelites, and I will bless them.”
The Aaronic Blessing
‘The LORD said to Moses, “Tell Aaron and his sons, ‘This is how you are to bless the Israelites. Say to them: “‘”The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face towards you and give you peace.”’ (Numbers 6:22-26, NIV)
The Aaronic Blessing is very ancient. ‘In 1979, two small silver scrolls from the seventh century BC were unearthed in Jerusalem. They were found to contain the words of Nu. 6:24-26 in a form almost identical to the Hebrew text.’
The blessing is in poetic form, having three lines each with two parts.
1. The Lord bless you. The ‘bless’ sums up the totality of covenant benefits. ‘Sons would expect a blessing from their father (e.g. Gn. 27:27-29, 38; 49:1-28). God’s blessing was given to Adam, whom Luke calls ‘the son of God’ (Gn. 1:28; 5:1-3; Lk. 3:38). Through Adam’s fall the curse came in (Gn. 3:14-19), but blessing was promised again to Abraham and his descendants (Gn. 12:1-3). Blessing entails fruitfulness (descendants, flocks, harvests), but these benefits are tokens of the true blessing, the relationship with the Lord. Only if God is our Father are we truly blessed (Gn. 17:16; 22:17-18; Lv. 26:3-13; Dt. 28:2-14).’
2. And keep you. ‘The purpose of the protection was to keep Israel in covenant relationship with God. The Lord was Israel’s keeper (Ps. 121:7-8; cf. Heb. 13:6). Christ, the good shepherd, kept his sheep and lost none except for Judas Iscariot (Jn. 6:37-40; 10:11-16; 18:9).’
3. The Lord make his face shine upon you. ‘His face means his presence, revealed in the cloud of fire (Ex. 40:34ff.); shine upon you means that God takes pleasure in his people and saves them (Pr. 16:15; Pss. 31:16; 67:1f.; 80:3, 7, 19).’
4. And be gracious to you. ‘The outcome of God’s pleasure is his grace; his covenant mercy. It is fundamental to salvation that God’s favour is unmerited. It is not deserved in any way; rather God shows mercy because of his own love and faithfulness to his oath (Dt. 7:7-8). This principle can be traced throughout Scripture (Ezek. 16:1ff.; Rom. 5:1-11; 9:10-13, 18; 11:5; 1 Cor. 1:26ff.).’
5. The Lord turn his face toward you. ‘This is more emphatic and asks that God might pay attention to Israel. It may reflect the fact that he had chosen them and not other nations. If God hid his face, Israel would suffer and perish (Pss. 30:7; 44:24; 104:29).’
6. And give you peace. ‘Peace means completeness and well-being. This has long been recognized as covenant language. Covenants were made to secure peace through a right relationship. But when God gives peace, it extends to the whole of life; even human enemies are quiet (Lv. 26:6; Pr. 16:7). These words were later seen as a promise of the Messiah, the ‘Prince of Peace’ (Isa 9:6), and find their true depths in Christ (Jn. 14:27; Eph. 2:14-18).’
Of the blessing as a whole, it has been noted that ‘the influence of these words runs through the Bible (Pss. 67; 121; 122; 124; 128). Paul’s letters begin with a greeting which always uses the words ‘grace’ and ‘peace’ (e.g. Rom. 1:7; 1 Cor. 1:3; and 2 Tim. 1:2 adds ‘mercy’). In most cases Paul says the grace and peace are from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, and without doubt he is taking up the priestly blessing.’
(New Bible Commentary)