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6. The Nazirite

And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, 2Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When either man or woman shall separate themselves to vow a vow of a Nazarite, to separate themselves unto the Lord: 3He shall separate himself from wine and strong drink, and shall drink no vinegar of wine, or vinegar of strong drink, neither shall he drink any liquor of grapes, nor eat moist grapes, or dried. 4All the days of his separation shall he eat nothing that is made of the vine tree, from the kernels even to the husk. 5All the days of the vow of his separation there shall no razor come upon his head: until the days be fulfilled, in the which he separateth himself unto the Lord, he shall be holy, and shall let the locks of the hair of his head grow. 6All the days that he separateth himself unto the Lord he shall come at no dead body. 7He shall not make himself unclean for his father, or for his mother, for his brother, or for his sister, when they die: because the consecration of his God is upon his head. 8All the days of his separation he is holy unto the Lord. 9And if any man die very suddenly by him, and he hath defiled the head of his consecration; then he shall shave his head in the day of his cleansing, on the seventh day shall he shave it. 10And on the eighth day he shall bring two turtles, or two young pigeons, to the priest, to the door of the tabernacle of the congregation: 11And the priest shall offer the one for a sin offering, and the other for a burnt offering, and make an atonement for him, for that he sinned by the dead, and shall hallow his head that same day. 12And he shall consecrate unto the Lord the days of his separation, and shall bring a lamb of the first year for a trespass offering: but the days that were before shall be lost, because his separation was defiled.

13And this is the law of the Nazarite, when the days of his separation are fulfilled: he shall be brought unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation: 14And he shall offer his offering unto the Lord, one he lamb of the first year without blemish for a burnt offering, and one ewe lamb of the first year without blemish for a sin offering, and one ram without blemish for peace offerings, 15And a basket of unleavened bread, cakes of fine flour mingled with oil, and wafers of unleavened bread anointed with oil, and their meat offering, and their drink offerings. 16And the priest shall bring them before the Lord, and shall offer his sin offering, and his burnt offering: 17And he shall offer the ram for a sacrifice of peace offerings unto the Lord, with the basket of unleavened bread: the priest shall offer also his meat offering, and his drink offering. 18And the Nazarite shall shave the head of his separation at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and shall take the hair of the head of his separation, and put it in the fire which is under the sacrifice of the peace offerings. 19And the priest shall take the sodden shoulder of the ram, and one unleavened cake out of the basket, and one unleavened wafer, and shall put them upon the hands of the Nazarite, after the hair of his separation is shaven: 20And the priest shall wave them for a wave offering before the Lord: this is holy for the priest, with the wave breast and heave shoulder: and after that the Nazarite may drink wine. 21This is the law of the Nazarite who hath vowed, and of his offering unto the Lord for his separation, beside that that his hand shall get: according to the vow which he vowed, so he must do after the law of his separation.

22And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, 23Speak unto Aaron and unto his sons, saying, On this wise ye shall bless the children of Israel, saying unto them, 24The Lord bless thee, and keep thee: 25The Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: 26The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace. 27And they shall put my name upon the children of Israel; and I will bless them.

22. And the Lord spake unto Moses. A part of the sacerdotal duties, of which mention is constantly made in the Law, is here briefly set forth; for God says that He had appointed the priests to bless the people. To this David seems to allude in the words:

"We have blessed you out of the house of the Lord.”
(Psalm 118:26.)

This doctrine is especially profitable, that believers may confidently assure themselves that God is reconciled to them, when He ordains the priests to be witnesses and heralds of His paternal favor towards them. The word to bless is often used for to pray for blessings, which is the common duty of all pious persons; but this rite (as we shall see a little farther on) was an efficacious testimony of God’s grace; as if the priests bore from His own mouth the commandment to bless. But Luke shews that this was truly fulfilled in Christ, when he relates that “He lifted up His hands,” according to the solemn rite of the Law, to bless His disciples. (Luke 24:50.) In these words, then, the priests were appointed ambassadors to reconcile God to the people; and this in the person of Christ, who is the only sufficient surety of God’s grace and blessing. Inasmuch, therefore, as they then were types of Christ, they were commanded to bless the people. But it is worthy of remark, that they are commanded to pronounce the form of benediction audibly, and not to offer prayers in an obscure whisper; and hence we gather that they preached God’s grace, which the people might apprehend by faith.

24. The Lord bless thee. Blessing is an act of His genuine liberality, because the abundance of all good things is derived to us from His favor as their only source. It is next added, that He should “keep” the people, by which clause lie intimates that He is the sole defender of the Church, and protects it under His guardianship; but since the main advantage of God’s grace consists in our sense of it, the words, “and make His face shine on you,” are added; for nothing is more desirable for the consummation of our happiness, than that. we should behold the serene countenance of God; as it is said in Psalm 4:6,

"There be many that say, Who will shew us any good? Lord, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us."

Thus then I interpret this clause, that the people may perceive and taste the sweetness of God’s goodness, which may cheer them like the brightness of the sun when it illumines the world in serene weather. But immediately afterwards the people are recalled to the First cause; viz., God’s gratuitous mercy, which alone reconciles Him to us, when we should be otherwise by our own deserts hated and detested by Him. What follows, “The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee,” is a common phrase of Scripture, meaning, May God remember His people; not that forgetfulness can occur in Him, but because we suppose that He has cast away His care of us, unless He actually gives proof of His anxiety for our welfare. Finally, it is added, may He “establish peace upon his people,” which others translate a little less literally, 197197     “Peace — this word generally signifieth all prosperity, and the perfect enjoying of all good things; it is opposed to war, Ecclesiastes 3:8; to discord and emnity, Ephesians 2:14, 15; Luke 12:51; to tumult and confusion, 1 Corinthians 14:33; and to all adversity, Genesis 43:27; 2 Kings 4:26; Job 16:33 [sic]; and is therefore added for a conclusion of blessings, Psalm 29:11, and Psalm 125:4; 1 Peter 5:14. This peace is obtained by Jesus Christ, Ephesians 2:14, 15, 17; Romans 5:1; and enjoyed by the Holy Ghost, Romans 8:6, 9, and Romans 14:17.” — Ainsworth in loco. “put thee into peace:” and since this word signifies not only rest and a tranquil state, but also all prosperity and success, I willingly embrace this latter sense, although even its proper signification is not disagreeable to me. 198198     This latter sentence is much abbreviated in Fr.


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