A Nazirite (also order Nazarite) (from Hebrew: נזיר, nazir meaning "consecrated"), refers to Jews that consecrated their stays to God by taking ascetic vows requiring them to abstain native wine, refrain from cutting your hair, and avoid corpses, graves, and also tombs (Numbers 6:1-21). Several famous Nazirites are defined in the holy bible including Samson and also John the Baptist. Part scholars have actually even said that James the brothers of Jesus (and probably Jesus himself), may have actually taken Nazirite vows thus offering rise to the term "Nazarene", which may be derived from the word "Nazirite" rather than "Nazareth".

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The bible describes Nazirites being simultaneously "holy depend the Lord" (Numbers 6:8) but also needing to lug a sin offering to the Temple. This contradiction has led come divergent interpretations the the Nazirites amongst Talmudic authorities (see below).


4 Biblical Nazirites5 attitudes toward nazirites
Any Jewish<2> person could become a Nazirite by an intentional linguistic declaration, including children.<3> Today, a person deserve to still come to be a Nazirite regardless of the truth that the temple in Jerusalem is no longer standing; however, there is no the temple there is no method to lug the forced sin providing to finish the Nazirite period. Therefore, anyone becoming a Nazirite now would de facto become a long-term Nazirite until death.<4>


The term "Nazirite" comes from the Hebrew nazir meaning "consecrated" or "separated". A variant translation that the term renders it together "crowned."<5>

Vows and also laws the the nazirite

Halakha (Jewish Law) has actually a rich legacy on the laws around the Nazirite. These laws were very first recorded in the Mishnah, and also Talmud (in tractate Nazir). They were later codified through Maimonides in the Mishneh Torah (Hafla"ah, Nazir). Native the perspective of Orthodox Judaism these legislations are not an historical footnote yet can be practiced also today. However, due to the fact that there is no temple of Jerusalem to finish the vow, and also any vow would be permanent, modern-day rabbinical authorities strong discourage the practice to the allude where that is nearly unheard of today.<6>

The typical rules surrounding legal vow in Judaism additionally apply come the Nazirite vow. Thus, a father has the capacity to annul the nazirite vow of his young daughter, and a husband has the capability to annul a vow by his wife, as soon as they very first hear around it (Numbers 30).<7> similarly all the the laws related come intent and conditional vows apply additionally to nazirite vows.

If a nazirite fails in fulfilling these three responsibilities there might be consequences. All or component of the person"s time together a nazirite may need to be repeated. Furthermore, the human being may be obligated to bring sacrifices, and, in details circumstances, endure a punish of lashes.

Whether a nazirite needs to repeat time as a nazirite relies on what component of the nazirite vow was transgressed. A nazirite that becomes defiled through a corpse is causing obligation to begin the entire nazirite period over again. In the Mishna, Queen Helena vowed to it is in a nazirite for 7 years, but came to be defiled twice near the end of she nazirite period, forcing her to start over. She was a nazirite for a complete of 21 years.<8> Nazirites who shave your hair room obligated come redo the critical 30 work of the nazirite period. However, if the nazirite drinks wine, the nazirite period continues as normal. <9>

This vow compelled the guy or mrs to watch the following:

Refrain from cut the hair ~ above one"s head;Avoid corpses and graves, even those of family members members, and also any structure which consists of such.

It is likewise forbidden for the Nazirite to have grape, or grape derivatives even if they space not alcoholic. According to Rabbinical translate there is no prohibition because that the nazirite come drink alcoholic beverages not derived from grapes.<10> follow to non-Rabbinical interpretation, a Nazirite is forbidden to consume any alcohol, and also vinegar from together alcohol, regardless of the source. The regulations of wine or grapes mixing in various other food is similar to other dietary legislations that apply to every Jews.<11>

A nazirite have the right to groom his hair with his hand or scratch his head and needn’t be came to if some hair falls out. However a nazirite can not comb his hair because it is a close to certainty to traction out part hair. A nazirite is not permitted to usage a chemical depilatory the will remove hair.<12> A nazirite the recovers from Tzaraath, a skin condition described in Leviticus 14, is mandatory to cut his hair in spite of being a nazirite.

The nazirite (except for a Samson-like nazirite as stated above) may not become ritually impure by a dead body. This contains not being under the very same roof together a corpse. Yet a nazirite can contract various other kinds of ritual impurity. A nazirite the finds an unburied corpse is causing obligation to ask it, even though he will come to be defiled in the process.<13>

At the end of the nazirite period the nazirite brings three sacrifices in the temple of Jerusalem. The very first is a ewe because that a chatat (sin offering), the second is lamb because that an olah (elevation offering), and finally a lamb as a shelamim (peace offering) along with a basket of matzah and their grain and also drink offerings.<14> after ~ bringing the sacrifices the nazirite shaves his or she head in the outer courtyard that the Temple.

This vow was observed into the intertestamentary period. 1 Maccabees 3:49 mentions males who had finished their nazirite vows, an instance dated to around 166 B.C.E. Josephus mentions a variety of people who had taken the vow, such together his guardian Banns (Antiquities 20.6), and also Gamaliel records in the Mishna how the father of Rabbi Chenena do a lifetime nazirite vow before him (Nazir 29b) — instances showing this exercise was observed into the first century C.E

Types that nazirites

In general there were three varieties of Nazirites:1) A nazirite for a set time, 2) A long-term nazirite, and 3) A nazirite, like Samson, that was a permanent Nazirite and also is not enjoined to protect against corpses. These types of Nazirites have actually no source in the holy bible but are recognized through tradition.<15>

Each among these types had slightly different laws. Because that example, a permanent Nazirite was allowed to cut his hair as soon as a year if the hair was bothersome.

After following these demands for a designated duration of time (which would certainly be mentioned in the individual"s vow, and also not come be less than 30 days), the human would immerse in a Mikvah and also make three offerings, a lamb together a burned offering"(olah), a ewe as a Sin-offering (hatat), and also a ram as a peace offering (shelamim), in addition to a basket the unleavened bread, serial offerings and also drink offerings, i beg your pardon accompanied the peace offering.

A person have the right to specify the term for any kind of amount of days better than or equal to 30 days. If a human does not specify, or states a time less than 30 days, the vow is because that 30 days.<16> A human who states "I am a Nazirite forever" or "I to be a nazirite for all my life" is a long-term nazirite and slightly different laws apply. An in similar way if a human says "I am a nazirite prefer Samson," the legislations of a Samson-like Nazirite apply. But if a person says the he is a Nazirite for a thousands years, that is a continuous Nazirite.

A father, but not a mother, deserve to declare his son, yet not his daughter, a Nazirite. Yet the boy or any close family members member has a right to refuse this status.<17>

Biblical Nazirites

Two examples of Nazirites in the Hebrew scriptures are Samson (Book of Judges 13:6-7), and Samuel (1 Samuel 1:11). In both cases, their mother made the vows prior to they to be born, which forced them to live an ascetic life, however in return they got extraordinary gifts: Samson possessed toughness and capacity in physics battle, while Samuel to be a prophet.

Judges 13:6-76. And the mrs came and said to she husband, saying, "A man of God concerned me, and his figure was prefer the figure of an point of view of God, really awesome; and I did not ask him from where he was and also his surname he did no tell me.7. And also he claimed to me, "Behold, you shall conceive and also bear a son; and now carry out not drink alcohol and strong drink, and also do not eat any unclean (thing), because that a nazirite come God candlestick the lad be, native the womb till the work of his death." <18>Amos 2:11-1211. And also I elevated up some of your sons as prophets and also some of your young males as nazirites; is this not so, O youngsters of Israel? says the Lord.12. And also you provided the nazirites come drink wine, and you commanded the prophets saying, "Do no prophesy."<19>

Nazirites in the brand-new Testament

According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, "Nazarites show up in new Testament times … Foremost among them is generally reckoned man the Baptist, of who the point of view announced that he need to "drink no alcohol nor strong drink." that is no explicitly dubbed a Nazarite, no one is there any mention that the unshaven hair, however the major austerity that his life agrees with the claimed asceticism the the Nazarites."<20> The Gospel of Luke notes that wine was forbidden in ascetic practice, because that the angel that announces the birth of john the Baptist foretells that "he chandelier be an excellent in the sight of the Lord, and also shall drink no wine nor strong drink; and also he shall be filled v the divine Ghost, even from his mother"s womb,"<21> in various other words, a nazirite from birth, the implicitly being that John had taken a lifelong nazirite vow.

The exercise of a Nazirite vow is component of the ambiguity of the Greek ax "Nazarene"<22> that shows up in the brand-new Testament; the sacrifice of a lamb and the supplying of bread does indicate a connection with Christian symbolism (then again, these room the 2 most frequent offerings prescribed in Leviticus, for this reason no critical conclusions deserve to be drawn). When a speak in (Matthew 11:18-19 and Luke 7:33-35) attributed come Jesus makes it cynical that he was a Nazirite throughout his ministry, the city ends through the curious statement, "But wisdom is justification of every her children." The advocation of the ritual usage of alcohol as part of the Eucharist, the tevilah in mark 14:22-25 suggested he preserved this element of the Nazirite vow once Jesus said, "Verily i say unto you, I will drink no an ext of the fruit the the vine, until that work that i drink it brand-new in the kingdom of God." The ritual with i beg your pardon Jesus commenced his set (recorded via Greek together "Baptism") and his vow in mark 14:25 and also Luke 22:15-18 at the end of his ministry, execute respectively reflect the final and initial steps (purification by immersion in water and also abstaining from wine) inherent in a nazirite vow.

The biblical book, action of the apostles is also attributed to the writer Luke, and in plot 18:18, Paul cut off his hair since of a vow he had taken<23> and in action 21:20-24 Paul was advised to stop the hostility of the "Jews there room which believe" (believe in Jesus, i.e. The Jewish Christians) in Jerusalem who had heard Paul taught versus the legislation by purifying himself and accompanying 4 men to the holy place who had actually taken nazaritic vows<24> (so the he might appear "orderly"<25>), a stratagem that just delayed the inevitable mob assault on him. This event brought about the accusation in action 24:5-18 that Paul was the "ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes," and also thus provides additional verification that the ax Nazarene was a mistranslation of the hatchet Nazirite.

What is curious is the Luke does not here mention the apostle James the just as taking nazirite vows, although later on Christian chroniclers (e.g. Epiphanius Panarion 29.4) thought he had, and the vow the a nazirite would describe the asceticism Eusebius that Caesarea ascribed to James (Historia Ecclesiastica 2.23), one asceticism that offered James the title "James the Just."

Nazirite vows perform not appear to have actually been taken by the Gentiles, nor are they even mentioned in patristic writings; therefore, part look come "nazirite" quite than "of Nazareth" or "the Nazarene" for the origin of these Hebrew/Aramaic epithets for Jesus. This conclusion is based in part on the prophecy in Matt. 2:23 that claims of Jesus, "And the came and dwelt in a city referred to as Nazareth: the it could be fulfilled i beg your pardon was talked by the prophets, the shall be referred to as a Nazarene." that is hesitant that the prophets had actually actually stated "Nazarene", fairly than "Nazirite", since reference bibles state that the prophecy cited in Matt. 2:23 is in recommendation to Judges 13:5-7 concerning Samson"s summary as "a Nazirite to God native the womb come the work of his death." In addition, over there is no word translated ‘Nazarene’ or any reference come a city that "Nazareth" in the Hebrew scriptures (Old Testament). Furthermore, return Luke 1:13-15:49 explains John the Baptist together a Nazirite from birth, man implied that Jesus was holier than he in Matt. 3:13-15:49, which says, "Then cometh Jesus from Galilee come Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. However John forbad him, saying, I have need come be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? and also Jesus answering claimed unto him, suffer it to it is in so now: for hence it becometh united state to fulfil every righteousness. Then he suffered him." thus Jesus to be baptized, immersion in water gift a fulfillment of the nazirite vow.

Attitudes toward nazirites

The nazirite is dubbed "holy depend the Lord" (Numbers 6:8), however at the same time must lug a sin-offering (Numbers 6:11) to do atonement for the which he sinned." This apparent contradiction, pointed out in the Babylonian Talmud, cause two divergent views. Samuel and Rabbi Eliezer Hakappar, focusing on the sin-offering that the nazirite, regarded nazirites, and also anyone who fasted once not causing obligation to, or took any type of vow whatsoever, as a sinner. However, an additional Rabbi Eliezer defines that the nazirite is undoubtedly holy and the sin referred to in the verse applies only to a nazirite who came to be ritually defiled.<26> Maimonides, complying with the view of Rabbi Eliezer Hakappar, call a nazirite a sinner, explaining that a human being should constantly be middle in his actions and not be to any kind of extreme.<27> Nevertheless, the does allude out the a nazirite have the right to be evil or righteous depending on the circumstances.<28>

Nahmanides, in his commentary on the Torah, sides v Rabbi Eliezer. He defines that ideally the human being should be a nazirite his whole life. Thus ceasing to be nazirite requires a sin-offering.

Many later on opinions compromise between these views and explain that a nazirite is both great and bad.

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Nazirites in the contemporary State that Israel

Rabbi David Cohen (1887–1972) was a nazirite.