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Numbers 6:7

Context
6:7 He must not defile himself even 1  for his father or his mother or his brother or his sister if they die, 2  because the separation 3  for 4  his God is on his head.

Numbers 6:9

Context
Contingencies for Defilement

6:9 “‘If anyone dies very suddenly 5  beside him and he defiles 6  his consecrated head, 7  then he must shave his head on the day of his purification – on the seventh day he must shave it.

Numbers 6:12

Context
6:12 He must rededicate 8  to the Lord the days of his separation and bring a male lamb in its first year as a reparation offering, 9  but the former days will not be counted 10  because his separation 11  was defiled.

1 tn The vav (ו) conjunction at the beginning of the clause specifies the cases of corpses that are to be avoided, no matter how painful it might be.

2 tn The construction uses the infinitive construct with the preposition and the suffixed subjective genitive – “in the dying of them” – to form the adverbial clause of time.

sn The Nazirite would defile himself, i.e., ruin his vow, by contacting their corpses. Jesus’ hard saying in Matt 8:22, “let the dead bury their own dead,” makes sense in the light of this passage – Jesus was calling for commitment to himself.

3 tn The word “separation” here is metonymy of adjunct – what is on his head is long hair that goes with the vow.

4 tn The genitive could perhaps be interpreted as possession, i.e., “the vow of his God,” but it seems more likely that an objective genitive would be more to the point.

5 tn The construction uses the imperfect tense followed by the infinitive absolute, יָמוּת מֵת (yamut met). Because the verb is in a conditional clause, the emphasis that is to be given through the infinitive must stress the contingency. The point is “if someone dies – unexpectedly.” The next words underscore the suddenness of this.

6 tn The verb is the Piel perfect with a vav (ו) consecutive; it continues the idea within the conditional clause.

7 sn The expression is figurative for the vow that he took; the figure is the metonymy because the reference to the head is a reference to the long hair that symbolizes the oath.

8 tn The same idea is to be found now in the use of the word נָזַר (nazar), which refers to a recommitment after the vow was interrupted.

9 tn The necessity of bringing the reparation offering was due to the reinstatement into the vow that had been interrupted.

10 tn Heb “will fall”; KJV “shall be lost”; ASV, NASB, NRSV “shall be void.”

11 tc The similar expression in v. 9 includes the word “head” (i.e., “his consecrated head”). The LXX includes this word in v. 12 as well.



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