Was Jesus a Nazirite?

by Brandon Showalter , Christian Post Reporter |

(PHOTO: NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC CHANNEL/KENT EANES)Haaz Sleiman as Jesus of Nazareth in National Geographic Channel's "Killing Jesus."

A question some have about the life of Jesus was whether or not he was a Nazirite, and took a Nazirite vow.

In Old Testament Scripture Nazirites in ancient Israel were men and women who took a vow to live a holy and strict lifestyle.

In Numbers 6, for example, God tells Moses:

"If a man or woman wants to make a special vow, a vow of dedication to the Lord as a Nazirite, they must abstain from wine and other fermented drink and must not drink vinegar made from wine or other fermented drink. They must not drink grape juice or eat grapes or raisins. As long as they remain under their Nazirite vow, they must not eat anything that comes from the grapevine, not even the seeds or skins.

"'During the entire period of their Nazirite vow, no razor may be used on their head. They must be holy until the period of their dedication to the Lord is over; they must let their hair grow long."

Nazirites were also forbidden from touching the dead and should someone happen to die suddenly or unexpectedly in his presence they were required shave their heads and bring special offerings as a result of the defilement.

Samson in the book of Judges is arguably the most famous Nazirite in the Bible.

The word "nazir" means to "separate," according to Chabad.org, an online Orthodox Jewish resource.

However, the same Hebrew letters can also be read as "neizer," meaning "crown."

This is alluded to in Numbers 6:6-7, which explains that a Nazirite must not go near any dead body because the "symbol [crown] of their dedication to God is on their head."

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