Numbers 5–8: Additions to the Law of Moses

Old Testament Seminary Student Study Guide, (2002), 63

Numbers 5–6 contains additional instructions the Lord gave concerning disease (see 5:1–4), repentance (see 5:5–10), what a husband is to do when he thinks his wife has been unfaithful to him (see 5:11–31), those who make a special vow to serve the Lord (Nazarites; see 6:1–21), and a blessing priests should pronounce upon the people (see 6:22–27). In Numbers 7–8 we read about offerings that were made at the dedication of the tabernacle and the setting apart of the Levites to perform their special priesthood callings.This study guide pays special attention to Numbers 6, which describes the laws of the Nazarite. In Hebrew, nazir means “one consecrated or devoted.” Thus, when people committed themselves in a special way to the Lord, or if their parents committed them to the Lord, they were called “Nazarites.”

Understanding the Scriptures

Numbers 6

Separate, separation, separateth (vv. 2–8)To dedicate to God, to be separate from the world 
Vow (vv. 2, 5)Promise 
Come at (v. 6)Touch 
On this wise (v. 23)In this way 
Lift up his countenance (v. 26)Turn His face 

Numbers 6:22–27—A Blessing for Israel from Its Leaders

The Lord’s anointed still frequently offer blessings to entire congregations or the Church as a whole. For example, consider the following blessings given by three different Presidents of the Church at general conferences:

“Now, in the authority of the sacred priesthood in me vested, I invoke my blessing upon the Latter-day Saints and upon good people everywhere.

“I bless you with increased discernment to judge between Christ and anti-Christ. I bless you with increased power to do good and to resist evil. I bless you with increased understanding of the Book of Mormon” (Ezra Taft Benson, in Conference Report, Apr. 1986, 100; or Ensign, May 1986, 78).

“And now, my beloved brothers and sisters, through the power and authority of the priesthood vested in me and by virtue of the calling which I now hold, I invoke my blessings upon you. I bless you in your efforts to live a more Christlike life. I bless you with an increased desire to be worthy of a temple recommend and to attend the temple as frequently as circumstances allow. I bless you to receive the peace of our Heavenly Father in your homes and to be guided in teaching your families to follow the Master” (Howard W. Hunter, in Conference Report, Oct. 1994, 119; or Ensign, Nov. 1994, 88).

“We leave a blessing upon you, even an apostolic blessing. We bless you that the Lord may smile with favor upon you, that there may be happiness and peace in your homes and in your lives, that an atmosphere of love and respect and appreciation may be felt among husbands and wives, children and parents. May you ‘look to God and live’ (Alma 37:47) with happiness, with security, with peace, with faith” (Gordon B. Hinckley, in Conference Report, Apr. 1995, 118; or Ensign, May 1995, 88).

Studying the Scriptures

Do two of the following activities (A–D) as you study Numbers 6.

Activity A iconWrite an Advertisement

Write an imaginary advertisement to recruit men to become Nazarites. Your ad should include at least three things the Lord expected of a Nazarite (pay special attention to Numbers 6:3–7).

Activity B iconWho Were Some Famous Nazarites?

Read the following scriptures and name three people who were Nazarites: Judges 13:5, 24; 1 Samuel 1:11, 19–20, 28; Luke 1:13–15.

Activity C iconApply It to Today

What are we asked to do today to dedicate ourselves to God that makes us different from many other people in the world?

Activity D iconThink of a Blessing from Your Leaders

Choose one of the blessings from the “Understanding the Scriptures” section above that you would like to receive, and explain why. What must you do to receive that blessing?