New American Bible (Revised Edition)
2 Speak to the Israelites and tell them: When men or women solemnly take the nazirite[a] vow to dedicate themselves to the Lord, 3 they shall abstain from wine and strong drink;(A) they may neither drink wine vinegar, other vinegar, or any kind of grape juice, nor eat either fresh or dried grapes. 4 As long as they are nazirites they shall not eat anything of the produce of the grapevine; not even the seeds or the skins. 5 While they are under the nazirite vow, no razor shall touch their hair.(B) Until the period of their dedication to the Lord is over, they shall be holy, letting the hair of their heads grow freely. 6 As long as they are dedicated to the Lord, they shall not come near a dead person.(C) 7 Not even for their father or mother, sister or brother, should they defile themselves, when these die, since their heads bear their dedication to God. 8 As long as they are nazirites they are holy to the Lord.Read full chapter
- 6:2–21 Nazirite: from the Hebrew word nazir, meaning “set apart as sacred, dedicated, vowed.” The nazirite vow could be either for a limited period or for life. Those bound by this vow had to abstain from all the products of the grapevine, from cutting or shaving their hair, and from contact with a corpse. They were regarded as men and women of God like the prophets; cf. Am 2:11–12. Examples of lifelong nazirites were Samson (Jgs 13:4–5, 7; 16:17), Samuel (1 Sm 1:11), and John the Baptist (Lk 1:15). At the time of Jesus the practice of taking the nazirite vow for a limited period seems to have been quite common, even among the early Christians; cf. Acts 18:18; 21:23–24, 26.