A Nazirite is someone separated. Separation is not negative, is not a goal in itself, but is a separation to the LORD. The Lord Jesus was the true Nazirite on earth, not literally, but in its true meaning. He did drink wine, we do not read that He had long hair, and He touched the dead. This shows that dedication is an inner matter. Its external characteristics must be visible signs. Where only are external characteristics, there is talk of hypocrisy, pharisaism.
Whoever makes the Nazirite vow (cf. 2Chr 17:1616and next to him Amasiah the son of Zichri, who volunteered for the LORD, and with him 200,000 valiant warriors;) does so for a certain time. There are also people who are Nazirite for their entire lives, such as Samson, Samuel and John the baptist. As such they are already labelled before birth (Jdg 13:5,145For behold, you shall conceive and give birth to a son, and no razor shall come upon his head, for the boy shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb; and he shall begin to deliver Israel from the hands of the Philistines.”14She should not eat anything that comes from the vine nor drink wine or strong drink, nor eat any unclean thing; let her observe all that I commanded.”; 1Sam 1:1111She made a vow and said, “O LORD of hosts, if You will indeed look on the affliction of Your maidservant and remember me, and not forget Your maidservant, but will give Your maidservant a son, then I will give him to the LORD all the days of his life, and a razor shall never come on his head.”; Lk 1:1515For he will be great in the sight of the Lord; and he will drink no wine or liquor, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit while yet in his mother’s womb.). They are it in the literal sense. In a way, the Rechabites are also Nazirites (Jer 35:1-191The word which came to Jeremiah from the LORD in the days of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, saying,2“Go to the house of the Rechabites and speak to them, and bring them into the house of the LORD, into one of the chambers, and give them wine to drink.”3Then I took Jaazaniah the son of Jeremiah, son of Habazziniah, and his brothers and all his sons and the whole house of the Rechabites,4and I brought them into the house of the LORD, into the chamber of the sons of Hanan the son of Igdaliah, the man of God, which was near the chamber of the officials, which was above the chamber of Maaseiah the son of Shallum, the doorkeeper.5Then I set before the men of the house of the Rechabites pitchers full of wine and cups; and I said to them, “Drink wine!”6But they said, “We will not drink wine, for Jonadab the son of Rechab, our father, commanded us, saying, ‘You shall not drink wine, you or your sons, forever.7You shall not build a house, and you shall not sow seed and you shall not plant a vineyard or own one; but in tents you shall dwell all your days, that you may live many days in the land where you sojourn.’8We have obeyed the voice of Jonadab the son of Rechab, our father, in all that he commanded us, not to drink wine all our days, we, our wives, our sons or our daughters,9nor to build ourselves houses to dwell in; and we do not have vineyard or field or seed.10We have only dwelt in tents, and have obeyed and have done according to all that Jonadab our father commanded us.11But when Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up against the land, we said, ‘Come and let us go to Jerusalem before the army of the Chaldeans and before the army of the Arameans.’ So we have dwelt in Jerusalem.”12Then the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah, saying,13“Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, ‘Go and say to the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, “Will you not receive instruction by listening to My words?” declares the LORD.14“The words of Jonadab the son of Rechab, which he commanded his sons not to drink wine, are observed. So they do not drink [wine] to this day, for they have obeyed their father’s command. But I have spoken to you again and again; yet you have not listened to Me.15Also I have sent to you all My servants the prophets, sending [them] again and again, saying: ‘Turn now every man from his evil way and amend your deeds, and do not go after other gods to worship them. Then you will dwell in the land which I have given to you and to your forefathers; but you have not inclined your ear or listened to Me.16Indeed, the sons of Jonadab the son of Rechab have observed the command of their father which he commanded them, but this people has not listened to Me.’”‘17Therefore thus says the LORD, the God of hosts, the God of Israel, ‘Behold, I am bringing on Judah and on all the inhabitants of Jerusalem all the disaster that I have pronounced against them; because I spoke to them but they did not listen, and I have called them but they did not answer.’”18Then Jeremiah said to the house of the Rechabites, “Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, ‘Because you have obeyed the command of Jonadab your father, kept all his commands and done according to all that he commanded you;19therefore thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, “Jonadab the son of Rechab shall not lack a man to stand before Me always.”‘“).
Whether there have been many who have dedicated themselves as Nazirites to the LORD is not clear. It is possible that in Numbers 30 there is a reference to the Nazirite vow (Num 30:33“Also if a woman makes a vow to the LORD, and binds herself by an obligation in her father’s house in her youth,). They have been there (Amos 2:11-1211“Then I raised up some of your sons to be prophets
And some of your young men to be Nazirites.
Is this not so, O sons of Israel?” declares the LORD.
12“But you made the Nazirites drink wine,
And you commanded the prophets saying, ‘You shall not prophesy!’
), possibly even before the law of the Nazirite is given here. [See also Lamentations 4 where for ‘the consecrated ones’ also ‘Nazirites’ can be translated (Lam 4:7-87Her consecrated ones were purer than snow,
They were whiter than milk;
They were more ruddy [in] body than corals,
Their polishing [was like] lapis lazuli.
8Their appearance is blacker than soot,
They are not recognized in the streets;
Their skin is shriveled on their bones,
It is withered, it has become like wood.
).] In any case, the case as such seems to have been known. Thus in Genesis 49 Joseph is called “the one distinguished [i.e. Nazirite] among his brothers” (Gen 49:2626“The blessings of your father
Have surpassed the blessings of my ancestors
Up to the utmost bound of the everlasting hills;
May they be on the head of Joseph,
And on the crown of the head of the one distinguished among his brothers.).
It seems that the conversation between James and Paul in Jerusalem also refers to the Nazirite vow (Acts 21:23-2623Therefore do this that we tell you. We have four men who are under a vow;24take them and purify yourself along with them, and pay their expenses so that they may shave their heads; and all will know that there is nothing to the things which they have been told about you, but that you yourself also walk orderly, keeping the Law.25But concerning the Gentiles who have believed, we wrote, having decided that they should abstain from meat sacrificed to idols and from blood and from what is strangled and from fornication.”26Then Paul took the men, and the next day, purifying himself along with them, went into the temple giving notice of the completion of the days of purification, until the sacrifice was offered for each one of them.; cf. Acts 18:1818Paul, having remained many days longer, took leave of the brethren and put out to sea for Syria, and with him were Priscilla and Aquila. In Cenchrea he had his hair cut, for he was keeping a vow.). Paul’s involvement in this is not in accord with his calling and service. The Christian is “not under law, but under grace” (Rom 6:1414For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace.), and should therefore not place himself or himself be placed under law. Making vows does not belong to his position.