Each Torah portion is like a tiny light, when we read the portions with the knowledge of Messiah we turn on these lights week by week. After many weeks, we have many lights, with many lights there is much illumination within our hearts.
This week’s Torah portion is out of Numbers 4:21–7:89. The light that was turned on for me was in the laws of the Nazerite vows. Proverbs 6:23 the commandment is a lamp and the teaching is light. Within the laws and commandments, we find the teaching, which is light. The Nazirite vows are likely seen as a group of forgotten, unpracticed, outdated principles for an ancient people, but I see a light. This weeks portion coupled with the haftaros in Judges made me think of one person, his name is Jesus the Nazarene. Is Jesus a Nazirite?
“A man or woman who shall dissociate himself by taking a Nazirite vow of abstinence for the sake of Hashem; from wine shall he abstain, and all the days of his abstinence he shall not drink or eat from grapes or wine.” Numbers 6
When I read this I automatically thought of Jesus suffering the worst physical pain a man can suffer, dangling and dying they offered him wine, but he rejected it, he would not take it. Mark:15:23. Just this past week I read this portion from Mark and asked, ‘why wouldn’t he take it?’ the two portions remind me of each other, like two puzzle pieces with the same colors and patterns. So I continued reading, “all the days of his Nazirite vow a razor shall not pass over his head; for the sake of Hashem, nor go near a dead person, he shall not go near, for the crown of his God is upon his head. All the days of his abstinence he is holy to Hashem.” Once again, my thoughts drifted this time to the last supper, “I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until I drink it new in the kingdom of God.” mark 14:25. I continued on in Numbers 6: 13 “on the day of his abstinence is completed, he shall bring himself to the entrance of the tent of meeting, he shall bring his peace offering to Hashem…a meal offering and its libation…wow, and Jesus said, behold I stand at the door and knock…Jesus escorted by no man, on his own, will come to us with a peace offering at the end of days.
Here is the commentary offered from R’hirsch: The hair symbolized the Nazirites separation from the community and his insulation from everyday life and its temptations. a peace offering symbolized wellbeing and participation in the life of the community. Now that the Nazirite has succeeded in elevating and making himself ready to rejoin the community, he puts his hair under the offering symbolizing that he is now subordinating his life of separation to his duty to contribute to the wholesome life of the nation.
This makes me think of the peace that Jesus will bring when he returns to his people, who have been made ready and pure like a bride. He has elevated himself, and soon will be rejoining the community to reign for 1000 years, no longer living separate from his people but among them.
Revelation 21 says this: I saw the first heaven and the first earth pass away and I saw the holy city new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God prepared as a bride adorned for her husband, and I heard a loud voice from the throne saying. Behold the dwelling place of God is with man. he will dwell with them and they will be his people and God himself will be among them as their God.
I continued reading, “after the Nazirite has shaved his head and the priest has waved his offerings before Hashem – afterward the Nazirite may drink wine.” Numbers 6:20
I wonder if Jesus had taken the vow of Nazirite while with his disciples at his last Passover? He did proclaim that he would not drink from the fruit of the vine until he drank it new in the kingdom. He did refuse to drink wine while hanging on the cross, he did elevate to heaven, abstaining from earth, abstaining from being near death, the dead and the natural realm. This was for the sake of Hashem, to be holy unto the Lord. John 14.
I continued reading the portion in Numbers. immediately following the laws of the Nazirite vows Hashem gives Moses the priestly blessing for the high priest to speak over the children of Israel,
May the Lord bless you and keep you, may the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you may the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace. Let the high priest place my name upon the children of Israel, and I shall bless them.
Jesus spoke something similar about his name to his disciples at the last Passover meal, “whatever you ask in my name this I will do, that the father may be glorified in the son. John 14:13 and the high priestly prayer- “I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of this world. And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, I am coming to you. Holy Father keep them in your Name, which you have given to me, that they may be one even as we are One. While I was with them I kept them in your name.” 17:6- 12.
Names are important in the scriptures. When God took Israel out of Egypt, he gave them his memorial name to know him by, IAM, Exodus 2. Fascinating, I configured. Jesus the High Priest, put His Name, the Name of the Father onto the disciples. Perhaps, he had taken a vow of abstinence and separated himself as Holy unto the Lord, so that he could put the name of Hashem on the people and bless them, operating and functioning as a the great High Priest. Messiah will return and enter himself through the door at the entrance of the tent of meeting, is that us? Paul thought so. (1 Corinthians 6:19) Does he stand before us and present himself to each one offering peace?
So let’s wrap it all up using the haftaros is Judges 13:2-25. This is the story of Samson’s conception, or rather God’s promise of a savior, one who would begin to save Israel, his name, Samson. The angel of the Lord appears to Menoah and his wife telling her that she will bear a son who will begin to save Israel. He will be a Nazirite therefore she must not drink any wine or shave the boys head ever. Menoah and his wife implore the angel of the Lord to eat with them, he declines, but encourages them to make an offering to the Lord. When they ask him his name-listen to his response: ” why is it that you ask my name since it is hidden.” Hidden? Taken from the Stone edition of the Torah.
Why would this particular story be told? Why would this angel with a hidden name appear and prophecy of a savior who would be a Nazirite? There were many spiritual giants born in Israel but an angel did not appear to each set of parents and declare such things? Puzzle pieces. Three puzzle pieces that all have the same colors and patterns: savior, Nazirite, hidden name?
“Then I saw heaven opened and behold a white horse! the one sitting on it is called faithful and true and in righteousness he judges and makes war. His eyes are a flame of fire and on his head many crowns and he has a name written that one knows but himself. He is clothes in a robe dipped in blood and the name by which he is called is the Word of God.” Revelation 19:11-13
This hidden name, made me think of Jacob wrestling with the angel of the Lord at which time Jacob also requests to know the angels name but he declines revealing it, blessing him there!
Finally, the comments that Rashi makes are as follows: “an angel exists to perform God’s will, and his “name” is a reflection of that mission. In asking the name of the angel, Jacob sought to learn the nature of his mission, but the angel replied that he had no set name , for the names of the angels change according to their assignments.”
hmm…Jesus… and “you shall name him Yeshua, meaning salvation, since he will save his people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21
The Torah portions are lights, lights that reveal the greatest light, the light of the world. The more we study Torah, the more light that illuminates our understanding of the true light who enlightens every man. In the end he will be the only light, there will be no sun or moon or stars, it will only be Jesus, once again the light of the World, re-joining the community, his people with Peace, he will reign in the kingdom and together we will drink of the fruit of the vine and be joyful and all that is hidden will be revealed by the light of his glory.