All the days of the vow of his separation no razor shall come upon his head; until the days are fulfilled for which he separated himself to the Lord, he shall be holy. (Numbers 6:5)
As stated previously, during the course of his vow, the Nazirite was not permitted to cut his hair. And while on the surface that might seem a little strange, rabbinical commentators understood this to mean that the Nazirite’s hair symbolized insulation from the world. In other words, by letting his hair grow, the Nazirite created a “barrier” between his mind and the world so that he might be dedicated to God and not the desires of the flesh. Moreover, his head (hair) was considered to be consecrated unto God; in fact, the literal translation of the Hebrew text says that his hair was “the crown of his God.”
The Hebrew term translated as “crown” or “consecration” is נזר nezer from which we get the word נזיר nazir or Nazirite. This same term, nezer, is also used to describe the golden crown worn by the High Priest, the one upon which “Holy unto the LORD” was engraved. So just as it was with the High Priest and the crown that he wore, the Nazirite’s unshorn hair was the “crown” of his consecration. His hair served to remind him of his purpose — that he was holy unto the LORD. As long as he performed this vow, the “barrier” between his mind and the world was to help him stay focused, not to mention that it advertised to everyone that he was bound to be loyal to his God.
Appreciating this concept, perhaps we can better understand why it was such an egregious misstep for Samson to allow his hair to be cut by Delilah. When he allowed his mind to be negatively influenced by this temptress, he lost his focus and neglected his call. His casual approach to following God resulted in the desecration of his vow — in effect, he defiled his crown and with a wayward woman, no less. His complete disregard for what was holy would be like the High Priest of Israel taking the crown that said, “Holy unto the LORD” and giving it to a harlot.
And so what does this teach us? For starters, we must be careful never to allow what God calls holy to be desecrated by the things of this world. That is especially true where we are concerned. By that I mean, if we are temples of the Holy Spirit, we must keep the temple clean and free of what offends our God. If we are a royal priesthood, we should never allow our “crown” to be cheapened by the things of this world so as to bring shame upon the Name of our King. As followers of Messiah, we are to be “holy unto the LORD” and should conduct ourselves in the appropriate manner, continually guarding our heart and minds from the seductive influences of this world.
Blessings and Shalom,