Devotional: ‘The Vow of a Nazarite’


1 Samuel 1:11 And she vowed a vow, and said, O LORD of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child, then I will give him unto the LORD all the days of his life, and there shall no razor come upon his head.

Hannah placed upon her child what is commonly known as the ‘Vow of a Nazarite.’ We read from the book of Numbers:

Numbers 6:1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When either man or woman shall separate themselves to vow a vow of a Nazarite, to separate themselves unto the LORD: 3 He shall separate himself from wine and strong drink, and shall drink no vinegar of wine, or vinegar of strong drink, neither shall he drink any liquor of grapes, nor eat moist grapes, or dried… 5 All the days of the vow of his separation there shall no razor come upon his head: until the days be fulfilled, in the which he separateth himself unto the LORD, he shall be holy, and shall let the locks of the hair of his head grow. 6 All the days that he separateth himself unto the LORD he shall come at no dead body… 8 All the days of his separation he is holy unto the LORD.

Samson had the vow of a Nazarite and so did John the Baptist. The intent was that those who took this vow would be totally separated unto the LORD. The abstaining from any intoxicating drink indicated that they would not have their spiritual senses to be dulled by any worldly influence. The uncut hair was a symbol of their strength and might being dedicated totally to the service of God. And the not coming near anything dead was a symbol of their dedication to not defile themselves by coming in contact with anything that was unclean.

Parents do not place upon their children the vow of a Nazarite whenever they dedicate them; yet they are expressing their desire to see their child be used for the glory of God. Hannah had such a desire. She recognized that her child would be a special gift from God and so she promised the LORD that if He would give her a son, she would give him back to the LORD for him to serve God all the days of his life.

May the Lord bless the parent who dedicates their child to be used for God’s glory.

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