But the Nazarite was equally bound to lay aside his holiness before mixing with common folk and returning to ordinary life; this he did by a sacrifice, which, with the offering of his hair upon the altar, freed him from his vow and reduced him to the same level of sanctity as ordinary men.
Berenice, who was fulfilling a Nazarite vow, interposed in vain.
NAZARITE, or rather Nazirite, the name given by the Hebrews to a peculiar kind of devotee.
The characteristic marks of a Nazarite were unshorn locks and abstinence from wine (Judges xiii.
11 seq.); but full regulations for the legal observance of the Nazarite vow are given in Num.
Vi., where every product of the grape-vine is forbidden, and the Nazarite is enjoined not to approach a dead body, even that of his nearest relative.
It contemplates the assumption of the vow for a limited period only, and gives particular details as to the atoning ceremonies at the sanctuary by which the vow must be recommenced if broken by accidental defilement, and the closing sacrifice, at which the Nazarite on the expiry of his vow cuts off his hair and burns it on the altar, thus returning to ordinary life.
Among the later Jews the Nazarite vow, of course, corresponded with the legal ordinance, which was further developed by the scribes in their usual manner (Mishna, tractate Nazir; cf.
On the other hand, in the earliest historical case, that of Samson, and in the similar case of Samuel (who, however, is not called a Nazarite), the head remains unshorn.
Dh-r), it would seem that the peculiar marks of the Nazarite are primarily no more than the usual sign that a man is under a vow of some kind.