Numbers 6:2, Was Jesus a Nazirite?

“Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘When either a man or woman consecrates an offering to take the vow of a Nazirite, to separate himself to the LORD …”

//In Bible times, there existed a means of donating a boy or girl to the service of God. Presumably, this meant cultic service at the Temple. A Nazirite could be either male or female, as today’s verse indicates, and did not require one to be of the lineage of Aaronite priesthood. Anyone could be a Nazirite. Numbers chapter 6 indicates the rite of passage, and how the vow is offered. In particular, one agreed not to drink any wine, not to shave one’s hair, and not to touch that which is unclean, like corpses.

Yet few took this opportunity, at least as a lifelong dedication. We have two Old Testament examples–Samson (Judges 13:7) and Samuel (1 Samuel 1:11). In the New Testament, we have John the Baptist (Luke 1:15).

But was Jesus a Nazirite? Maybe. Jesus was a Nazarene, but there is much confusion over what this word means. Matthew, in verse 2:23, claims that Jesus hailed from Nazareth, and thus fulfilled the Biblical requirement that he would be a Nazarene. But the word “Nazarene” might stem from the word “netzer,” meaning a branch or off-shoot, referring presumably to the claim that Jesus would be a descendant of David. Or it can mean Nazirite.

Not that Jesus would have been a Nazarene/Nazirite from birth, but perhaps he later took the vow of purity, dedicating himself to God. And indeed, maybe he did, as he spoke these words:

Verily I say unto you, I will drink no more of the fruit of the vine, until that day that I drink it new in the kingdom of God. –Mark 14:25

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