Numbers 6-7

Today’s reading begins with the requirements for fulfilling the vow of the Nazirite and concludes with the dedication of the altar of the Tabernacle.

The Nazirite vow was a special vow that the people of Israel were free to make before the LORD. The vow was not restricted to just men, but rather was open to both men and women to perform if they so chose. The requirements of the vow were that it be for a predetermined amount of time and the person entering into the vow abstained from wine and other alcoholic drinks, vinegar or any kind, grapes, raisins, grape juice, and any grape product whatsoever. In addition to these eating requirements, the person under a Nazirite vow was not to cut his hair and the hair of the Nazirite would grow long.

In addition to these requirements, a Nazirite was not to touch a dead body, even of their father or mother and thereby make themselves ceremonially unclean. If for some reason a Nazirite were sitting next to someone who suddenly died and became unclean, the Nazirite was to shave his head and the number of days the person had been in the vow would be voided and the person would need to restart their days of counting towards the vow after they had become clean once again.

After the days of the Nazirite vow had been completed, the Nazirite was to make a sacrifice substantial sacrifice to the LORD, shave his head at the front of the tent of meeting, and the hair along with the other sacrificial elements were offered to the LORD in fire on the altar.

The reading for today concludes with the complete recording of the offerings presented at the consecration of the Tabernacle. Representatives from each tribe of Israel presented offerings, one tribe per day for twelve days. The offerings for each day from each tribe were the same: one silver plate weighing 130 shekels, one silver basic weighing 70 shekels both filled with fine flour mixed with oil for a grain offering; one golden dish weighing 10 shekels and filled with incense; one bull, one ram, and one year-old male lamb for a burnt offering; one male goat as a sin offering; and a peace offering that was comprised of two oxen, five rams, five male goats, and five year-old male lambs.

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