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Numbers 6

People who make special promises to the LORD

1 The LORD said to Moses, 2 ‘Tell the Israelites this: “A man or a woman may want to make a special promise to the LORD. That will make him or her separate from other people. He or she will become a Nazirite. 3 They must not drink wine. They must not drink any beer or vinegar. They must not drink the juice of grapes or eat grapes or raisins. 4 They must not eat the seeds of grapes for all the time that they are Nazirites. They must not even eat what covers the fruit outside.

6:4The word ‘Nazirite’ is from the Hebrew word ‘nazir’. ‘Nazir’ means to separate someone (or something) from everything else for a special purpose.
6:4Nazirites were not priests.

5 A person must not cut his hair during the time that he is a Nazirite. He must be different all the time that he is separate for the LORD. He must let the hair on his head grow long. 6 He must not go near a dead body while he is separate for the LORD. 7 His hair shows that he is separate for God. So, he must not go near a dead body. He must not go near it even if the dead person is his father mother, brother or sister. 8 During the time that the person is a Nazirite, he is holy to the LORD.

9 He may be with a person when that person dies. Then his head is not still clean. The Nazirite must remove all the hair from his head 7 days after the person dies. Then he will be clean. 10 On day 8, he must bring two doves or two young pigeons to the door of the Tent of Meeting. He must give them to the priest. 11 The priest must sacrifice one bird as a sin-offering and the other bird as a burnt-offering. The priest must do that because the Nazirite sinned. He went too near to a dead body. That will make the Nazirite's head clean again on that same day. 12 He must begin his time as a Nazirite again, with a new promise to the LORD. He cannot include the days before he became unclean. He must bring a male sheep that is one year old. That is a guilt-offering.

13 He is a Nazirite for a certain time. When that time finishes, the people must bring him to the door of the Tent of Meeting. 14 He must offer to the LORD three animals that have nothing wrong with them. He must offer a young male sheep that is one year old. That is a burnt-offering. He must offer a young female sheep that is one year old. That is a sin-offering. He must offer a male sheep. That is a friendship-offering. 15 And he must bring a basket of bread that people have made without yeast. He must bring cakes that people have made with the best flour and oil. Also, he must bring thin biscuits with oil on them. But someone must have made them without yeast too. He must bring the proper offerings of flour and of wine with them.

16 The priest must offer those things to the LORD. And he must sacrifice the sin-offering and the burnt-offering. 17 Then the priest must sacrifice the male sheep as a friendship-offering to the LORD. He must offer the basket of bread. He must give the offerings of flour and of wine with it.

18 Then the Nazirite must stand at the place where people go into the Tent of Meeting. He must remove all the hair from his head. He must put his hair into the same fire where the priest has cooked the friendship-offering.

19 When the male sheep is ready to eat, the priest must take its shoulder. Also, he must take one loaf and one thin biscuit from the basket. The loaf and the biscuit must not have yeast in them. The priest must put these things into the hands of the Nazirite who has removed the hair from his head. 20 The Nazirite must give those things back to the priest. The priest must lift them up to the LORD as a special gift. They are a special gift for the priest. Also, the priest can eat the front part of the sheep and its back leg. After that, the Nazirite can drink wine.”

21 Those are the rules about Nazirites. Also, the Nazirite may give anything else that he can give. And he must bring any other gift that he promised to the LORD.’

The priests ask the LORD to help the people

22 The LORD said to Moses, 23 ‘Tell Aaron and his sons this. They must use these words when they ask me to help the Israelites.

24 They must say, “I pray that the LORD will bless you. I pray that he will keep you safe.

25 I pray that the LORD will smile at you. And I pray that he will be very kind to you.

26 I pray that the LORD will look at you. And I pray that he will give peace to you.”

6:26The Hebrew word for peace is ‘shalom’. It is one of the most important words in the Hebrew language.

27 Aaron and his sons must say my name. They must ask me to help the Israelites. If they do that, I will bless the Israelites.’