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God's possession, and his strength dedicated to His service, while its growth formed a sacred ornament, like the diadem by which the high priest was recognised as consecrated to God. Thus the command to let the hair grow forms the positive side to the command to avoid all contact with a dead body (comp. Bähr, Symbolik, ii. p. 433). Even the heathen offerings of the hair arose from the notion that the hair is the symbol of vital power (the hair of the beard being the token of manhood) (18). In the case of Samson, the hair was not merely the symbol but also the vehicle of that abundance of strength by which he was fitted to become the deliverer of his fellowcountrymen (19). "On the ceremony by which the Nazarite was released from his vow of consecration, we need only remark that of the three sacrifices enjoined, viz. the burnt-offering, which formed the foundation of the whole sacrificial act, the sin-offering, appointed for the atonement of any slight transgressions which might have occurred, and the peace-offering, the last was naturally the chief, as is manifest even by its requirement of an animal of higher grade. 'Two circumstances were peculiar to this offering,—first, that the Nazarite had to cast his shorn-off hair into the sacrificial fire, for, according to the meaning of the law, this and not the fire for boiling is certainly intended; and, secondly, that another portion of the sacrifice besides what was usual was to be waved.o.By the first act the Nazarite's ornament of consecration was withdrawn from all profanation, and surrendered as it were to Him in whose honour it had been worn, this being, as in the case of those portions of the sacrifice which might not be eaten, effected by its consumption in the sacrificial flame. By the second, it was intimated that the fellowship at table with the Lord which was involved in the peace-offering, took place on this occasion in an enhanced degree (20). From the significance of Nazaritism, as thus explained, it is easy to perceive why the raising up of Nazarites as well as prophets should be regarded, Amos ii. 11, as a special manifestation of Divine favour (21).
(1) Comp. my article Nazaritism in Herzog's Realencycl. x. p. 205 sq., and Ed. Vilmar's subsequent treatise, Die symVolische Bedeutung des Naziräergelüldes, Stud. U. Kritik. 1864, p. 438 sq.
(2) 77, Niph. to separate from, to refrain from; Hiph. to separate out of, to withdraw, is akin to 973, to vow, because a vowed gift is separated.
(3) As the Rabbis also explain 737?? by Mund; see the passages in Carpzov, app. ant. 8. cod. p. 151 sq. planation of the name, still retained by Saalschütz (mos. Recht, p. 158), “the crowned," viz. with thick hair, is incorrect; the other meaning also of “illustrious," under which ??? occurs, Gen. xlix. 26, Deut. xxxiii. 16, Lam. iv. 7, is only so far connected with 773, crown, as both significations arise from the farther notion of distinction which is combined with the primary import of 71).
(4) Schröring, in his article Samuel als Beter (Zeitschr. für luth. Theol. 1856, p. 420 sq.), endeavours to show that Elijalı was also a Nazarite. The proof which he adduces is, however, insufficient, po sya most probably relating not to his long hair, but to his hairy prophetic mantle. Perpetual
נְזִירֵי יָמִים ,others, on the contrary ; נְזִידִי עוֹלָם Nazarites were called
or 37317 12! "?"??. It is worthy of remark that the mother of Samson was, according to Judg. xiii. 4, to refrain from wine and intoxicating drinks, and from unclean meats, during the period of pregnancy, and that the consecration of John the Baptist began also from his mother's womb (Luke i. 15). Mishna Sota, iii. 8, accords to the father only, and not to the mother, the right of devoting his son to Nazaritism before he had attained his thirteenth year, but it is not evident how this is to be harmonized with 1 Sam. i. 11.
(5) 970 must undoubtedly be taken in this general sense ; comp. Philo, de victimis, § 13.
(6) The Rabbinists found a reason for this in the numerical value of the word 07179, Num. vi. 5.
(7) The subsequent enactment (Mishna Nasir, i. 2) distinguishes the Samson Nazarite from the ordinary 012 7??, who may shorten his hair when it becomes too burdensome, as Absalom, who has been regarded as a Nazarite, did, while this is not perinitted to the Samson Nazarite. The latter, on the other hand,
is not bound to offer the legal offerings of purification in the case of uncleanness, because Samson brought none after he had contracted it (Judg. xiv. 8 sq., xv.).
(8) This hair of the unclean Nazarite was not to be burned, but buried. See Mishna Themura, vi. 4; comp. Maimonides in loco.
(9) Of course this is to be understood only of the removal of the extraordinary growth, not of making the head bald, which was a mark of disgrace. In the time of the Herodian temple, the cutting of the hair and the seething of the peaceoffering took place in a particular space in the south-eastern corner of the court of the women.
(10) After the Nazarite was thus released from his vow, the use of wine was again permitted him. If he had made any other vows, he was to fulfil them simultaneously.
(11) On his journey to Ethiopia, Osiris vowed to let his hair grow till his return to Egypt. (12) Compare e.g. the vow of Achilles in the Iliad, xxiii.
On the other hand, Vatke's objection against the Egyptian origin of Nazaritism, viz. that the prohibition of wine must first have originated in Canaan as a land of vines, is quite untenable, the scriptural statements ascribing the cultivation of the vine to ancient Egypt being fully corroborated by ancient monuments. (See Hengstenberg, die Bücher Mose's und Aegypten, p. 12 sq.)
(13) On the connection of Num. vi. 6 sq. and Lev. xxi. 11, comp. Mishna Nasir, vii. 1, and the keen controversy discussed therein in the article quoted, p. 207, note.
(14) The words (1 Sam. i. 11), “I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life,” relate, according to ver. 22 sq., to a perpetual service of the sanctuary. It cannot be shown that the women who served the sanctuary (Ex. xxxviii. 8; 1 Sam. ii. 22, comp. 134) were Nazarites.
(15) One might feel inclined to find an analogy for this circumstance also in the enactments concerning the priestly mode of life, viz. in the command, Lev. xxi. 5, according to which the priest might make no baldness upon his head, nor cut off the corners of the beard,—a command directly opposed to the sacerdotal usages of Egypt. (Herodot. ii. 36: The priests of the gods everywhere else wear long hair, but in Egypt they shave themselves.) As, on the other hand, however, the priest must not, at least according to Ezek. xliv. 20, have too long hair,that very ya which was required in the Nazarite,—no stress can be laid upon this analogy.
(16) Jer. vii. 29 also shows that the 73 is to be regarded as an ornament.
(17) Comp. Hengstenberg, id. p. 203, and Baur, zu Am. ii. 11. A similar view is that of R. Bechai (see Carpzov, app. p. 153), who regards the long hair of the Nazarite as a token of mourning (so also J. D. Michaelis, id. 127), and of Vilmar cited above. The cutting off of the hair of the cleansed leper, in consequence of which he was restored to intercourse with other men, cannot be brought forward in illustration of Num. vi. 18.
(18) On the offering up of the hair, e.g. by Athenian youths, see Plutarch, Thes. cap. 5; comp. the Troezene custom, Lucian, de Dea Syra, cap. 60.
(19) The sevenfold number of the locks of hair, Judy. xvi. 13, represents the hair of one vowed to God as a token of a covenant, as in the wider sense it really was. The very example of Samson shows, however, that this symbol is not to be regarded only (as by Bähr, id. p. 432) in an ethical sense as a figure of holiness, the bloom of life, though the ethic meaning of the entire surrender of vital energy to the service of God is directly connected with it. Baumgarten (Kommentar zu Num. vi. u. die Apostelgeschichte, etc., ii. 1, p. 307) has brought forward another meaning. Comparing 1 Cor. xi. 3–16, he finds in long hair a token of subjection and subordination, which notion offers no natural explanation of the above data. Vitringa, on the other hand (observ. sacr. ed. 1723, i. p. 70), referring to Deut. xxxii. 42, Ps. Ixviii. 22, views the long hair of tyrants as the symbolum libertatis et naturæ indomitæ, and then giving a spiritual turn to the figure, regards Nazaritism as the symbolum status perfectæ libertatis filiorum Dei (comp. his treatise, typus Simsonis mystice expositus, in the 6th Book of the observ. sacr. p. 507 sq.). The import of the act of sacrifice which was to take place in case of an infringement of the conditions of Nazaritism, is shown in the discussion of the sacrifice in question.
(20) As was the natural result of the priestly and sacred
fellowship with God, in which the Nazarite was placed by his vow (see Keil, id. p. 326).
, (21) In our description of the period of the judges, we shall return once more to the subject of Nazaritism. In the later books of the Old Testament Nazaritism is never mentioned, though the Rechabites, who, according to Jer. xxxv. 8, also avoided the use of wine, may be regarded as a cognate phenomenon. The legality of the post-Babylonian age led also to a revival of Nazaritism. See on this subject, on those passages in Acts which are said to refer to a Nazarite vow on the part of St. Paul, and on certain modern decisions respecting it, the above-cited article, p. 209 sq.
APPENDIX : THE THEOCRATIC TRIBUTES.
The fundamental idea of the theocratic tributes is, that the people and all their possessions, especially the Holy Land, belonged to the Lord. The acknowledgment of this Divine title was to be made on the part of the people by the surrender to Jehovah of a portion of its produce, as a substitute for, and consecration of, the whole..
1. Hence the (male) first-born, whether of man and beast, were to be offered; the former were, however, to be redeemed (Ex. xiii. 13; Num. xviii. 15 sq.; see $ 105). „Of unclean animals, the first-born were to be redeemed at the valuation of the priest, with the addition of a fifth of the worth, xviii. 15, Lev. xxviii. 26 sq.; while 'of clean animals, on the contrary, the first-born, if without blemish, were to be sacrificed within a year from the eighth day after birth. Of this sacrifice, as of the peace-offering, the breast and right shoulder was allotted to the priest; the rest was used for a sacrifical repasto(Num. xviii. 17 sq.; Deut. xii. 17 sq., xv. 19 sq.) (1). "If the animal, however, had any blemish, the owner was to eat it at home (Deut. xv. 21 sq.).