Num 6:1 The LORD said to Moses,
Num 6:2 “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘If a man or woman wants to make a special vow, a vow of separation to the LORD as a Nazirite,
Num 6:3 he must abstain from wine and other fermented drink and must not drink vinegar made from wine or from other fermented drink. He must not drink grape juice or eat grapes or raisins.
Num 6:4 As long as he is a Nazirite, he must not eat anything that comes from the grapevine, not even the seeds or skins.
Num 6:5 “‘During the entire period of his vow of separation no razor may be used on his head. He must be holy until the period of his separation to the LORD is over; he must let the hair of his head grow long.
Num 6:6 Throughout the period of his separation to the LORD he must not go near a dead body.
Num 6:7 Even if his own father or mother or brother or sister dies, he must not make himself ceremonially unclean on account of them, because the symbol of his separation to God is on his head.
Num 6:8 Throughout the period of his separation he is consecrated to the LORD.
Num 6:9 “‘If someone dies suddenly in his presence, thus defiling the hair he has dedicated, he must shave his head on the day of his cleansing–the seventh day.
Num 6:10 Then on the eighth day he must bring two doves or two young pigeons to the priest at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting.
Num 6:11 The priest is to offer one as a sin offering and the other as a burnt offering to make atonement for him because he sinned by being in the presence of the dead body. That same day he is to consecrate his head.
Num 6:12 He must dedicate himself to the LORD for the period of his separation and must bring a year-old male lamb as a guilt offering. The previous days do not count, because he became defiled during his separation.
Num 6:13 “‘Now this is the law for the Nazirite when the period of his separation is over. He is to be brought to the entrance to the Tent of Meeting.
Num 6:14 There he is to present his offerings to the LORD: a year-old male lamb without defect for a burnt offering, a year-old ewe lamb without defect for a sin offering, a ram without defect for a fellowship offering,
Num 6:15 together with their grain offerings and drink offerings, and a basket of bread made without yeast–cakes made of fine flour mixed with oil, and wafers spread with oil.
Num 6:16 “‘The priest is to present them before the LORD and make the sin offering and the burnt offering.
Num 6:17 He is to present the basket of unleavened bread and is to sacrifice the ram as a fellowship offering to the LORD, together with its grain offering and drink offering.
Num 6:18 “‘Then at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting, the Nazirite must shave off the hair that he dedicated. He is to take the hair and put it in the fire that is under the sacrifice of the fellowship offering.
Num 6:19 “‘After the Nazirite has shaved off the hair of his dedication, the priest is to place in his hands a boiled shoulder of the ram, and a cake and a wafer from the basket, both made without yeast.
Num 6:20 The priest shall then wave them before the LORD as a wave offering; they are holy and belong to the priest, together with the breast that was waved and the thigh that was presented. After that, the Nazirite may drink wine.
Num 6:21 “‘This is the law of the Nazirite who vows his offering to the LORD in accordance with his separation, in addition to whatever else he can afford. He must fulfill the vow he has made, according to the law of the Nazirite.'”
Num 6:22 The LORD said to Moses,
THE AARONIC BLESSING, vv22-27
This 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.’ (NBC)
The blessing is in poetic form, having three lines each with two parts.
Num 6:23 “Tell Aaron and his sons, ‘This is how you are to bless the Israelites. Say to them:
Num 6:24 “‘ “The LORD bless you and keep you;
‘In 1979 a silver scroll from the seventh-century B.C. was found in a cave near Jerusalem. Containing the words in Numbers 6:24-26 (“May Yahweh bless and keep you; May Yahweh cause his face to shine upon you and grant you peace”), it forced revisionists to explain how their sixth-century B.C. composition date (or even later) for Numbers squared with a portion of that book appearing a century earlier.’ (Kevin D. Miller, Christianity Today)
There are six parts to this priestly blessing:-
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).’ (NBC)
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).’ (NBC)
Num 6:25 the LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you;
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).’ (NBC)
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.).’ (NBC)
Num 6:26 the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace.”‘
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).’ (NBC)
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).’ (NBC)
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.’ (NBC)
Num 6:27 “So they will put my name on the Israelites, and I will bless them.”