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Nazirite, Nazarite

NAZIRITE, NAZARITE (KJV), năz’ ə rīt, năz’a rīt (נָזִ֔יר, withheld). A member of a Heb. religious class, specially dedicated to God. I. Definition A. Origin. The authorization for Nazirites appears in Numbers 6:1-21 and was divinely revealed, through Moses, shortly before Israel’s departure from Mt. Sinai in May, 1445 b.c. (Num 10:11; cf. Exod 40:17). B. Votive nature. The Nazirite concept is that of a vow (q.v.), “a special vow, the vow of a Nazirite, to separate himself to the Lord” (Num 6:2). If vows be classified as voluntary obligations, either of dedication or of abstinence (J. B. Payne, Theology of the Older Testament, 430), then the Nazirites’ situation falls primarily into the latter category. 2. Dedication. Yet the vine that is treated with abstinence is also, in a sense, dedicated “to the Lord” (Lev 25:4); similarly, while the vows made by a Nazirite himself were those of abstinence, the vows of another person, e.g., of a parent in committing a child to the Nazirite l