A Nazirite Vow

In Your Bible Acts 21: 15-26

After more than three years in Asia Minor Paul, impelled by the Holy Spirit, returned to Jerusalem and was received with JOY. But resistance arose among the Jews. Paul took the Nazirite vow – it was more convincing than words he could say.

Joyous Welcome

The believers received Paul gladly. When he met with James and the elders of the church Jerusalem, he gave a detailed account of the things God accomplished among the Gentiles. Upon hearing this, everyone praised God. Even with this joyous testimony, some old accusations arose against Paul.

Nazirite Vow

Paul previously agreed to the guidance and a letter given by the Council (see Acts 15:24-28 NLT). New Gentile believers must adhere to only a few Jewish customs:

  • Abstain from eating food offered to idols
  • Abstain from consuming blood or meat of strangled animals
  • Abstain from sexual immorality

But again, some Jewish believers in Jerusalem complained that Paul still taught Gentile converts to ignore the laws of Moses. How could Paul show them differently?

The Council said . . .

Do this that we tell you. We have four men who are under a vow; take 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 (Acts 21:23,24 NASB).

He eagerly agreed to the purification ceremony also known as the Nazirite vow (see it in Numbers 6:13-21).

He knew these repeated accusations against him were false. Paul took the Nazirite vow – it was more convincing than words he could say.

Prayer: Father, thank for your guidance in the Bible and the Holy Spirit as I seek to do your will – not mine.

Questions: When you read about the Nazirite vow or purification ceremony, who is most memorable to you remember as a devout Nazarite? What displays of devotion or ritual do believers use today to show their commitment to God?