Was Jesus a Nazarite? Many people believe he was but the word of God doesn’t support that. In fact, it shows the opposite to be true. He was a Nazarene, which simply means he was from Nazareth of Galilee, a little town in Northern Israel. Maybe that’s where the confusion comes from; Nazarene, Nazarite. A Nazarite is someone who has taken the Nazarite vow. Being a Nazarite was not necessarily a lifetime commitment. It appears to be only for a limited time. Jesus was NOT a Nazarite, at least not after he was baptized and began his ministry. Let’s look at a few Bible verses starting with Numbers chapter 6.
1 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,
2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When either man or woman shall separate themselves to vow a vow of a Nazarite, to separate themselves unto the LORD:
3 He shall separate himself from wine and strong drink, and shall drink no vinegar of wine, nor vinegar of strong drink, neither shall he drink any liquor of grapes, nor eat moist grapes nor dried.
4 All the days of his separation he shall eat nothing that is made of the vine tree, from the kernels even to the husk.
5 All the days of the vow of his separation there shall no razor come upon his head: until the days be fulfilled, in which he separates himself unto the LORD, he shall be holy, and shall let the locks of the hair of his head grow.
6 All the days that he separates himself unto the LORD he shall come near no dead body.
7 He shall not make himself unclean for his father, or for his mother, for his brother, or for his sister, when they die: because the consecration of his God is upon his head.
8 All the days of his separation he is holy unto the LORD.
According to the Bible, the Nazarite vow included three restrictions.
1) A Nazarite could not drink or eat anything that was made from any part of the grapevine, including fresh grape juice, wine of any kind, strong drink, and grapes and raisins.
2) A Nazarite could not cut their hair.
3) A Nazarite could not touch a dead body.
This is how we know Jesus was not a Nazarite.
1a) Jesus drank the fruit of the vine. Whether it was grape juice or alcoholic wine is debatable, but the fact remains, he did not keep the first rule of the Nazarite vow.
34 The Son of Man has come eating and drinking; and you say, Behold, a glutton, and a drunkard.
1 Cor. 11:25
25 After the same manner also he took the cup when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as often as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.
2a) Did Jesus have long hair? Many believe he did, probably from the many paintings of him with long hair, but we don’t really know what he looked like. We know from one of the many prophecies of his death that he had a beard when he was crucified (Is. 50:6), but the Apostle Paul says, “it is a shame for a man to have long hair” (1 Cor. 11:14). Hair length is subjective, though, like a big dog, or a tall tree. The tallest tree in Mississippi is a Spruce Pine which was 154 feet at the time it was measured. To me, that’s a tall tree, but it’s not tall at all compared to the tallest Giant Redwood ever measured, which was 379 feet tall. The fact is we just can’t be sure what length the Lord’s hair was.
3a) Did Jesus touch a dead body? Yes, he did. In Matthew 9:21-43. A ruler of the synagogue named Jairus came to Jesus begging him to come and heal his daughter who was dying. When they arrived she was already dead, but Jesus went in and took her by the hand, and brought her back to life (Mark 5:22-43, Luke 8:41-56). Numbers 6:11 says it is a SIN for a Nazarite to touch a dead body, and we know Jesus never sinned (Heb. 4:15, 1 John 3:5 1 Pet. 1:18-19 & 2:22).
In, conclusion, Jesus drank the fruit of the vine, and he touched at least one dead body. So, we can say with confidence that Jesus was NOT a Nazarite. He was from Nazareth which made him a Nazarene.
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