1. Introduction to Jesus the Nazarite

Archangel Gabriel asked me whether or not Jesus was a Nazarite, so I began to search the scriptures.  I searched the words:

  • Nazarite
  • Nazareth
  • Nazarene

I explored the vow of the Nazarite in a previous post and would like to remind you that the Nazarite was a male or female who God commanded to:

  • abstain from drinking or eating anything from the vine during the  vow
  • grow the hair long –  locked since the Jews of the day were black people
  • separate him or herself  unto God for a period of time
  • stay away from dead bodies

2.  The significance and meanings of Nazareth and Nazarene

a. Nazareth

The nearest clue that I could find in the Holy Scriptures centered around the word Nazareth, the place where Jesus was brought up.  Nazareth (Nazara/G3478) means “guarded one”.  Did God send Jesus to Nazareth in order to establish a Divine Connection with the Nazarite  vow? 

And he (Joseph) came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He (Jesus) shall be called a Nazarene (Matthew 2: 23).

b. Nazarene

Since there was no root word for Nazara   I explored the meaning of the word Nazarene (Nazōraios/G3480).  The word Nazarene is used as a descriptive term of the inhabitants of Nazareth, with the root word being  Nazara  or “guarded one”.  

  Since people and places were given names with meanings, we will go on the premise that  the meaning “guarded one” had special significance.  Were the inhabitants of Nazareth known in Israel as Nazarites or separated ones?

3.  Nazareth was home of the priests

I conducted a rather tedious search on the Nazarite but could not readily find any link with Nazareth. A search for Nazareth yielded some fruitful results. It was  one of the home cities of the priests. Nazareth

 …possessed a synagogue. Neubaurer (La géographie du Talmud, p. 190) quotes, moreover, an elegy on the destruction of Jerusalem, taken from ancient Midrashim now lost, and according to this document, Nazareth was a home for the priests who went by turns to Jerusalem, for service in the Temple (newadvent.org).

Is this significant? Yes.  Scriptures indirectly reveal that the Priests were separated to God as Nazarites.

4. The priest and his separation as a  Nazarite (Compare Numbers 6 with Leviticus 10 & 21)

The separation of the priest as a Nazarite is weaved into the tapestry of the Old Testament scriptures.  I found these clues in Numbers and Leviticus:

a. The separation

  • The tribe of  the Levites were separated from among the Jews as Ministers of God in the sanctuary (Numbers 3: 12 – 13)
  • The priests were separated as holy to God and were to live holy lives (Leviticus 21: 6)
  • The holy oil of anointing was poured upon his head as a symbol of this separation to God (Leviticus 21: 10)
  • The  anointing  on his head was so serious that the priest had to live a particular way. For example, he could not commit fornication and had to marry a virgin and not a prostitute or a profane woman (Leviticus 21: 7, 14 & 15)
  • During the period of service, the priest could not even leave the sanctuary because of the “crown of the anointing oil of his God..” which was upon him (Leviticus 21: 12)

b. They were to grow their hair long  (Leviticus 21: 5). We know that Ezekiel the priest wore his hair in locks.

c.  The priest was not permitted to go near to dead bodies except for those of  his immediate family members (Leviticus 21: 1 – 4)

d. Alcoholic beverages during the priest’s separation

  • The priests could not drink alcohol or any fruit of the vine during the period of separation.
  • God killed Nadab and Abihu because they violated their holy separation by leaving the tabernacle during the separation and drank alcohol (Leviticus 10).
  • Following the deaths of  Nadab and Abihu, Moses rebuked Aaron for and his sons for leaving the tabernacle during the separation (Leviticus  10: 6 & 7)
  • Meantime, God rebuked Aaron for allowing his sons to drink alcohol while they ministered to Him during the period of  the separation (Leviticus 10: 8 – 11)

5. Was Jesus a Priest?

Apostle Paul in the book of Hebrews revealed that Jesus was the High Priest of  The Heavenly Tabernacle. He was set apart, holy  and sinless. According to Apostle Paul, God confirmed Jesus as His High Priest at His baptism when He said:

So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee (Hebrews 5: 5)

These words were spoken to Lord Jesus in fulfillment of  the prophecy of Psalm 2: 7. When did God the Father say these words to the Lord while He lived on earth. The first was at His baptism and the second at His transfiguration:

Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened,

And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased (Luke 3: 21 & 22)

While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him (Matthew 17: 5)

I believe that Lord Jesus was strictly separated as a Nazarite before He began His public ministry.  At that time, He had to separate Himself from certain elements of the vow in order to minister to the people who needed deliverance:

  • In fact, His first miracle was turning water into wine.  Did He drink any?
  • The pundits, aggravated by His conduct and failure to live up to John the Baptist’s example,  accused Him of being a winebibber (Matt 11: 19)
  • He touched the dead in order to raise them to life
  • And associated with sinners
  • However, He had come to seek and to save the lost

 Blessings until next time!

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