Numbers 6

Rules for Nazirites

1The Lord told Moses 2to say to the people of Israel:

If any of you want to dedicate yourself to me by vowing to become a Nazirite, 3 you must no longer drink any wine or beer or use any kind of vinegar. Don't drink grape juice or eat grapes or raisins— 4not even the seeds or skins.

5The hair of a Nazirite is sacred to me, and as long as you are a Nazirite, you must never cut your hair.

6During the time that you are a Nazirite, you must never go close to a dead body, 7-8not even that of your father, mother, brother, or sister. That would make you unclean. Your hair is the sign that you are dedicated to me, so remain holy.

9If someone suddenly dies near you, your hair is no longer sacred, and you must shave it seven days later during the ceremony to make you clean. 10Then on the next day, bring two doves or two pigeons to the priest at the sacred tent. 11He will offer one of the birds as a sacrifice for sin and the other as a sacrifice to please me. You will then be forgiven for being too near a dead body, and your hair will again become sacred. 12But the dead body made you unacceptable, so you must make another vow to become a Nazirite and be dedicated once more. Finally, a year-old ram must be offered as the sacrifice to make things right.

13 When you have completed your promised time of being a Nazirite, go to the sacred tent 14and offer three animals that have nothing wrong with them: a year-old ram as a sacrifice to please me, a year-old female lamb as a sacrifice for sin, and a full-grown ram as a sacrifice to ask my blessing. 15Wine offerings and grain sacrifices must also be brought with these animals. Finally, you are to bring a basket of bread made with your finest flour and olive oil, but without yeast. Also bring some thin wafers brushed with oil.

16The priest will take these gifts to my altar and offer them, so that I will be pleased and will forgive you. 17Then he will sacrifice the ram and offer the wine, grain, and bread.

18After that, you will stand at the entrance to the sacred tent, shave your head, and put the hair in the fire where the priest has offered the sacrifice to ask my blessing.

19Once the meat from the ram's shoulder has been boiled, the priest will take it, along with one loaf of bread and one wafer brushed with oil, and give them to you. 20You will hand them back to the priest, who will lift them up in dedication to me. Then he can eat the meat from the ram's shoulder, its choice ribs, and its hind leg, because this is his share of the sacrifice. After this, you will no longer be a Nazirite, and you will be free to drink wine.

21These are the requirements for Nazirites. However, if you can afford to offer more, you must do so.

The Blessing for the People

22The Lord told Moses, 23“When Aaron and his sons bless the people of Israel, they must say:

24I pray that the Lord

will bless and protect you,

25and that he will show you mercy

and kindness.

26May the Lord be good to you

and give you peace.”

27Then the Lord said, “If Aaron and his sons ask me to bless the Israelites, I will give them my blessing.”