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The ways of sacrifice; He shall be a Nazirite

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posted on Oct, 17 2014 @ 05:04 PM
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When Jesus and his family return to live in Nazareth (Matthew ch2 v23), Matthew claims this as a fulfilment of the prophecy “He shall be called a Nazarene”.
This “fulfilment” is something of a stretch; the only cross-reference which can be found for those words is the angel’s instruction about Samson, “He shall be a Nazirite” (Judges ch13 v5).
There was no connection between the Nazirites and the town of Nazareth.

Yet the Nazirites are worth considering in their own right, and their resemblance to the person of Jesus may be more than a mere play on words.

The law relating to Nazirites can be found in Numbers ch6.
They are men or women who make a special vow to “separate themselves to the Lord” for a chosen period of time.
It seems to be a voluntary devotion like the pilgrimage of the Middle Ages.

They “separate themselves” by following three rules.
1)They must drink no wine or strong drink. In fact they are obliged to avoid the grape to such a degree that they cannot even drink vinegar or grape juice or eat any part of the grape.
2) They must not cut their hair.
3) They must not go near any dead body, not even in mourning for a member of their family.
These rules go beyond what is normally expected from Israelites.
In all the time of his separation the man is “holy to the Lord”; that is, he is to be considered as detached from the world and belonging to God exclusively.

At the end of the time of separation, the Nazirite makes a full range of offerings (burnt offering, sin offering, peace offering, bread and cereal and drink offerings).
He also cuts off his hair and has it burnt along with the peace offering.
He is then released from the restrictions- “And after that the Nazirite may drink wine”.

The original vow cannot be fulfilled except by an uninterrupted period of “separation”.
“If any man dies very suddenly” beside the Nazirite (as might happen, I suppose), then the entire time of separation up to that point has been invalidated.
He is obliged to go back to the beginning and start again.

Our best clue to the real meaning of the Nazirite vow is the fact that “going back to the beginning” involves shaving off the hair and starting anew with a fresh growth.
In other words, the whole object of the exercise is to be able to present the Lord with a head of hair which has not been contaminated in the specified period, by coming close to wine or death.

That’s why we read in this law that the Nazirite’s head has been consecrated to the Lord.
He must not make himself unclean with mourning “because his separation to God is upon his head”.
And if he finds himself in close proximity to death, then “he defiles his consecrated head”,
Finally, when the vow has been completed, the climax of the series of offerings is the act of shaving “his consecrated head” and adding the cropped hair to the fire on the altar.
Logically, the hair should have been shaved at the beginning of the separation, as well, so that no part of the sacrifice would be tainted by previous wine-drinking. There’s no suggestion of this in the laws (but perhaps they take it for granted).

What is the value of this offering?
Perhaps the significance of hair comes from the speed of its growth, which makes it one of the more visible symptoms of growing life.
When Absalom was the darling of the people, one of the marks of his beauty was the sheer weight of hair which he cut off at the end of the year (two hundred shekels! What a man!) - 2 Samuel ch14 v26
Hair means growth and vitality, and in this case masculinity.
Hair means life.

So the offering of a man’s hair represents the offering of the man’s life.
The Nazirite is pledging himself to offer up an untainted head of hair.
And that’s an token of his willingness to offer up an untainted, obedient life.
This is in keeping with what I’ve suggested elsewhere, that all God really wants from his people is the full offering of themselves.

The institution of the Nazirite oath normally stays in the background of the Bible.
Samson is the only individual to be named as a Nazirite.
Amos complains that his own generation of Israel are forcing the Nazirites to drink wine, as well as silencing the prophets (Amos ch2 v11).
Yet the practice continues into the time of Acts.
When Paul was attacked by the mob in Jerusalem, the reason for his presence in the Temple was that he was sponsoring four men who were completing their Nazirite vows (Acts ch21 vv23-4).
He himself once cut off his hair under a vow, though he wasn’t in Jerusalem at the time (ch18 v18).

John the Baptist is not named as a Nazirite, but God has pledged him to at least part of the same commitment;
“”He shall drink no wine or strong drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb”- Luke ch1 v15
This echoes what was said about Samson, with one very suggestive difference; the phrase “shall be a Nazirite to God” has been replaced by the phrase “filled with the Holy Spirit”.
As if they were equivalent, in offering a close relationship with God.

Jesus could be called a “winebibber”, so he evidently wasn’t a Nazirite in the formal sense.
But he was called a Nazarene.
And if the essence of being a Nazirite is the untainted, obedient life, then that is exactly what Jesus was offering, according to New Testament teaching.
In that sense, he was surely the ultimate Nazirite.

Perhaps we should see a moral in the fact that his early followers were also called Nazarenes.
We can see the Nazarite oath as a foreshadowing of Paul’s ideal;
“Present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God” (Romans ch12 v1).
In other words, “the full offering of ourselves”.






edit on 17-10-2014 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)




posted on Oct, 17 2014 @ 05:44 PM
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Pics or it didn't happen. Bottom line.



posted on Oct, 17 2014 @ 05:47 PM
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a reply to: nrd101
The OP is describing a written law. What is there to take pics of?
(And why shoud anybody bother making it up?)



posted on Oct, 17 2014 @ 06:05 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI




Jesus could be called a “winebibber”, so he evidently wasn’t a Nazirite in the formal sense.


Maybe he had fulfilled his chosen allotted time of abstinence from the grape, or maybe that insinuation, that Jesus was a "winebibber, was an interpolation to detract from the truth of his origins.

Many scholars suspect that the ancient Essene, who claimed to be founded by Enoch and re-established by Moses, spoken of by Josephus and Philo, were originally known as Nazirites.

Jesus was an Essene and Nazareth did not Exist.

Also, there is good evidence that Paul, AKA Saul of Tarsus, spent the required 3 years under the Nazirite oath, with the Qumran Essene. Afterwards, he says, he immediately shaved his head! (Whew! It must have been hard for Paul to sport long hair! LOL!)



posted on Oct, 17 2014 @ 06:08 PM
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a reply to: windword
"Winebibber" was a contemptuous way of describing what seems plausible enough, that his approach was sociable rather than ascetic. That fits in with all the other gospel stories about his work.



posted on Oct, 17 2014 @ 06:19 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

Fair enough.

Perhaps his self imposed abstinence was over with by the time he fancied turning water to wine, and began his ministry, if he existed and if he was a member of the Nazarene Essene sect.


edit on 17-10-2014 by windword because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 17 2014 @ 06:22 PM
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a reply to: windword
For that matter, wine is a central part of the "Lord's Supper" celebration, which could hardly have derived from a tradition of wine-avoidance.



posted on Oct, 17 2014 @ 08:22 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

You're not going to get me to agree to the "Lord's Supper" as a event that really happened. Neither will I agree to a real historic person changing water to wine, raising the dead, rising from the dead, etc. etc.

I will agree, however, that there MAY have been an Essene master of the Nazorean sect of the Mt Carmel Essene, named Jesus the Nazarene, that MAY have some influence in early Christianity.

But using gospel to describe or prove anything about any historic Jesus figure or some mythical god/man if simply folly, in my opinion.



posted on Oct, 17 2014 @ 08:32 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI
I believe he was an Essene.. many reasons why.

I wanted to bump this for another read of the Op.



posted on Oct, 17 2014 @ 09:06 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI



Good post! F&S, see there's hope for all of us. ;p



posted on Oct, 17 2014 @ 09:08 PM
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originally posted by: windword
a reply to: DISRAELI

Fair enough.

Perhaps his self imposed abstinence was over with by the time he fancied turning water to wine, and began his ministry, if he existed and if he was a member of the Nazarene Essene sect.



This is simply not possible at all.Yahoshua (whether you believe he was a person or not) was DEFINITELY not an Essene or gnostic as many want to believe with zero plausible evidence.

The record of his life doesn't allow either to be within the slightest bit of reason.The scriptures clearly state he learned NOTHING from ANY man.He was not a mystic and was not religious in the least hell..... he wasn't even a practicing Jew! nor were he or the apostles Christians nor did they start a new religion called Christianity.To try and "create another Jesus is insane as the one that Christianity and Christian/Jesus believers have invented.

If he didn't exist I suggest you take a stance and produce the evidence with reasonable logic and refute their lies not fight it with very poor unsubstantiated strawmen arguments.The only thing less plausible than Christianity is mysticism.The Christians have already piled myth upon myth of "Jesus" that didn't exist by all the ridiculous things they believe he is.The fact is it doesn't matter one way or the other what anyone "believes".It's either the Truth or it isn't..but to make up and believe more BS lies is absolute insane vanity.



edit on 17-10-2014 by Rex282 because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 17 2014 @ 09:25 PM
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a reply to: Rex282

Anna was a powerful sorceress and her husband was a mystic who was incredibly transcendent. ;p Mary was never even supposed to know a man, being a product of immaculate conception herself, but Joseph's family were very supportive of the community Mary came from so it was agreed that he could take her as a wife. It was Mary's purity that allowed the second Adam to be born through her.

Saul was a usurper who manipulated many religions and tried to pass himself off as a god to primitive peoples all over the place, nothing he wrote can be trusted. On the road to "Damascus," he was met by an ascended master and stripped of his mystical powers so that he could no longer hunt down the early Children of the Light. It was only after he returned to the high priest of Jewish mysticism that his sight was able to be partially restored. He then realized that he could never destroy the newly emergent religion, so he decided to twist it into a mere extension of Judaism, rendering it impotent for its true purpose: the liberation of people from slavery.

Oh well, it is all ancient history now, water under the bridge so they say, but I can't help but feel that the certain resurrection of the dead is at hand. I guess they've been saying that for thousands of years now, but this time I can see the glow of the sun on the horizon even at nighttime. I think all the waysigns are being unveiled. Very auspicious. ;p

Now, why on earth can't we reinvent ancient religions. If they stop evolving, they'll no longer be useful to us...



posted on Oct, 17 2014 @ 09:41 PM
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a reply to: Rex282




This is simply not possible at all.Yahoshua (whether you believe he was a person or not) was DEFINITELY not an Essene or gnostic as many want to believe with zero plausible evidence.


I have no idea who Yahoshua is/was. I grew up learning about a biblical character named "Jesus of Nazareth", or "Jesus The Nazarene". The idea of Jesus having been an Essene was taught in my church and is still being widely taught today.

Contrary to you claims, there is tons of evidence of the Essene and Gnostic influence in the scriptures themselves and in the very roots of the Christian movement itself. www.essene.com...

Many of Jesus' teaching are mirrored in the Essene Community Rule Scroll, and others, found with the Dead Sea Scrolls. There is a great deal of Gnosticism found in Paul's writings. John 1:1 is plagiarized Pythagorean and Platonic philosophy copied from Philo.



The record of his life doesn't allow either to be within the slightest bit of reason.


What record of his life?



The fact is it doesn't matter one way or the other what anyone "believes".It's either the Truth or it isn't..but to make up and believe more BS lies is absolute insane vanity.


Who are you accusing of making up lies? Speculating on a possibly historical character as someone who may have been an Essene Master is absolute insane vanity?

And, you're right. It doesn't matter one way, or the other, what anyone believes.



edit on 17-10-2014 by windword because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 18 2014 @ 11:57 AM
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originally posted by: windword
You're not going to get me to agree to the "Lord's Supper" as a event that really happened.

A little confusion of terminology here.
Event reported at the end of the gospels = Last Supper
Continuing regular celebration from at least Paul's time onwards = Lord's Supper (1 Corinthians ch11 v20)
I meant the latter, when I said that a celebration with wine as a central focus would not have derived from a tradition of wine-avoidance.

I half-expected you to bring up the suggestion, which I've seen, that there was a Nazirite oath in "I shall not drink again of the fruit of the vine until the day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God".
There wasn't, of course. The people making that suggestion have missed the point.
In fact the implication of the remark, that wine-drinking would be a feature of the kingdom of God, is very un-Nazirite.

I won't be discussing walking on the water etc. in this thread. I have just written a thread on walking on the water, but you won't be seeing it for a while.



posted on Oct, 19 2014 @ 12:39 PM
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Samson

Samson’s vocation as a Nazirite was supposed to be life-long.
But even apart from that, he was not quite the kind of Nazirite which Numbers ch6 describes.
The instruction from the angel omits the demand that he avoid close association with death.
This would certainly have been incompatible with his life’s-work of killing Philistines (he is credited with more than three thousand).
And his uncut hair is understood to give him physical strength.

I think it’s possible that the original form of the Nazirite oath was a warrior oath. The man would promise to grow his hair and abjure wine until a victory was won, and then offer his hair as a thanksgiving sacrifice.
The story of Samson would represent an earlier stage in the development of the institution, and the law in Numbers would represent a later stage.
This would demonstrate how an institution can be spiritualised, brought closer to what God really wants.
And this gradual process is really the story of the Old Testament as a whole.



posted on Oct, 19 2014 @ 01:03 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI




I half-expected you to bring up the suggestion, which I've seen, that there was a Nazirite oath in "I shall not drink again of the fruit of the vine until the day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God".

There wasn't, of course. The people making that suggestion have missed the point.


Interesting article, you may enjoy.........

Jesus, the Last Great Initiate: Chapter III THE ESSENES—JOHN THE BAPTIST—THE TEMPTATION

According to Philo:


They swore "by terrible oaths" to observe the rules of the Order and to betray none of its secrets. Then only did they participate in the common repasts, which were celebrated with great solemnity and constituted the inner worship of the Essenes. The garment they had worn during these repasts they looked upon as sacred and to be removed before resuming work. These fraternal love-feasts, primitive form of the Supper instituted by Jesus, began and ended by prayer.



posted on Oct, 21 2014 @ 04:59 PM
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This thread is a sequel to
Abraham and Isaac
The shared meal
Claiming the firstborn
The wrong incense

There will be other threads on this theme at the later date, but for the moment I propose to move on to the politics of ancient Israel.




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