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Thoughts and Reflection

Today we read more discussion about the Nazirite vow. What is this exactly? It is a vow to keep one’s hair uncut and not drink alcohol. It is not a lifelong vow. It is simply a dedication of a certain time to the Lord. After the vow was complete, the person would cut their hair and offer it to the Lord.

In Deuteronomy, we have the Shema which is Hebrew for “hear.” This is the first rule to promote a relationship with God and one another. The people of Israel were instructed to take God’s words and bind them on their foreheads and arms. These were known as phylacteries. What were they? They were leather boxes containing the words of the Old Testament that were strapped to one’s forehead and arms. In the Catholic faith, we do something similar when we hear the priest say before reading the Gospel “Glory to you, O Lord” the priest and the congregation make a sign of the cross on our foreheads, lips, and hearts.

About This Project

For the year 2022, I decided that my New Year’s Resolution was to read the whole Bible following the Bible in the Year plan presented by Fr. Mike Schmitz. It is a big and bold undertaking. You can follow along by subscribing. Feel free to look at previous day’s post and comment. It’s something we can all learn from together!

Daily Readings

Numbers 6

1 Yahweh spoke to Moses and said,

2 ‘Speak to the Israelites and say: “If a man or a woman wishes to make a vow, the nazirite vow, to vow himself to Yahweh,

3 he will abstain from wine and fermented liquor, he will not drink vinegar derived from one or the other, he will not drink grape-juice or eat grapes, be they fresh or dried.

4 For the duration of his vow he will eat nothing that comes from the vine, not even juice of unripe grapes or skins of grapes.

5 As long as he is bound by his vow, no razor will touch his head; until the time for which he has vowed himself to Yahweh is completed, he remains consecrated and will let his hair grow freely.

6 For the entire period of his vow to Yahweh, he will not go near a corpse,

7 he will not make himself unclean for his father or his mother, or his brother or his sister, should they die, since on his head he carries his vow to his God.

8 Throughout the whole of his vow he is a person consecrated to Yahweh.

9 “If anyone suddenly dies near him, making his vowed hair unclean, he will shave his head on the day he is purified, he will shave his head on the seventh day.

10 On the eighth day, he will bring two turtledoves or two young pigeons to the priest, at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting.

11 The priest will offer one as a sacrifice for sin, and the other as a burnt offering and will then perform for the person the rite of expiation for the pollution which he has contracted from the corpse. He will consecrate his head that same day;

12 he will vow himself to Yahweh for the period of his nazirate, and will bring a male yearling lamb as a sacrifice of reparation. The timealready spent will not count, since his hair had become unclean.

13 “This is the ritual for the nazirite on the day when the period of his vow is completed. He will be led to the entrance of the Tent of Meeting,

14 bringing his offering to Yahweh: an unblemished male yearling lamb as a burnt offering, an unblemished yearling ewe lamb as a sacrifice for sin, an unblemished ram as a peace offering,

15 and a basket of unleavened loaves made of fine flour mixed with oil, and of unleavened wafers spread with oil, with the cereal offerings and libations appropriate to them.

16 The priest, having brought all this before Yahweh, will offer the nazirite’s sin sacrifice and burnt offering.

17 The latter will then offer the ram as a communion sacrifice with the basket of unleavened bread, and the priest will offer the accompanying cereal offering and libation.

18 The nazirite will then shave off his vowed hair at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting and, taking the locks of his vowed head, he willput them in the fire of the communion sacrifice.

19 The priest will take the shoulder of the ram, as soon as it is cooked, with an unleavened cake from the basket, and an unleavened wafer, and put them into the hands of the nazirite once he has shaved off his hair.

20 With these he will make the gesture of offering before Yahweh; as it is a holy thing, it reverts to the priest, in addition to the forequarter that has been presented and the thigh that has been set aside. After this, the nazirite may drink wine.

21 “Such is the ritual for the nazirite. If, besides his hair, he has also vowed a personal offering to Yahweh, he will (apart from anything else that his means allow) fulfil the vow that he has made, in addition to what the ritual prescribes for his hair.” 

22 Yahweh spoke to Moses and said,

23 ‘Speak to Aaron and his sons and say: “This is how you must bless the Israelites. You will say:

24 May Yahweh bless you and keep you.

25 May Yahweh let his face shine on you and be gracious to you.

26 May Yahweh show you his face and bring you peace.”

27 This is how they must call down my name on the Israelites, and then I shall bless them.’

Deuteronomy 6

1 ‘Such, then, are the commandments, the laws and the customs which Yahweh your God has instructed me to teach you, for you to observe in the country which you are on your way to possess.

2 And hence, if, throughout your lives, you fear Yahweh your God and keep all his laws and commandments, which I am laying down for you today, you will live long, you and your child and your grandchild.

3 Listen then, Israel, keep and observe what will make you prosperous and numerous, as Yahweh, God of your ancestors, has promised you, in giving you a country flowing with milk and honey.

4 ‘Listen, Israel: Yahweh our God is the one, the only Yahweh.

5 You must love Yahweh your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength.

6 Let the words I enjoin on you today stay in your heart.

7 You shall tell them to your children, and keep on telling them, when you are sitting at home, when you are out and about, when you are lying down and when you are standing up;

8 you must fasten them on your hand as a sign and on your forehead as a headband;

9 you must write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

10 ‘When Yahweh has brought you into the country which he swore to your ancestors Abraham, Isaac and Jacob that he would give you, with great and prosperous cities you have not built,

11 with houses full of good things you have not provided, with wells you have not dug, with vineyards and olive trees you have not planted, and then, when you have eaten as much as you want,

12 be careful you do not forget Yahweh who has brought you out of Egypt, out of the place of slave-labour.

13 Yahweh your God is the one you must fear, him alone you must serve, his is the name by which you must swear.

14 ‘Do not follow other gods, gods of the peoples round you,

15 for Yahweh your God among you is a jealous God; the wrath of Yahweh your God would blaze out against you, and he would wipe you off the face of the earth.

16 Do not put Yahweh your God to the test as you tested him at Massah.

17 Keep the commandments of Yahweh your God, and his instructions and laws which he has laid down for you,

18 and do what Yahweh regards as right and good, so that you may prosper and take possession of the fine country which Yahwehswore to give your ancestors,

19 driving out your enemies before you; such was Yahweh’s promise.

20 ‘In times to come, when your child asks you, “What is the meaning of these instructions, laws and customs which Yahweh our Godhas laid down for you?”

21 you are to tell your child, “Once we were Pharaoh’s slaves in Egypt, and Yahweh brought us out of Egypt by his mighty hand.

22 Before our eyes, Yahweh worked great and terrible signs and wonders against Egypt, against Pharaoh and his entire household.

23 And he brought us out of there, to lead us into the country which he had sworn to our ancestors that he would give us.

24 And Yahweh has commanded us to observe all these laws and to fear Yahweh our God, so as to be happy for ever and to survive, as we do to this day.

25 For us, right living will mean this: to keep and observe all these commandments in obedience to Yahweh our God, as he has commanded us.” ‘

Psalm 91

1 You who live in the secret place of Elyon, spend your nights in the shelter of Shaddai,

2 saying to Yahweh, ‘My refuge, my fortress, my God in whom I trust!’

3 He rescues you from the snare of the fowler set on destruction;

4 he covers you with his pinions, you find shelter under his wings. His constancy is shield and protection.

5 You need not fear the terrors of night, the arrow that flies in the daytime,

6 the plague that stalks in the darkness, the scourge that wreaks havoc at high noon.

7 Though a thousand fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, you yourself will remain unscathed.

8 You have only to keep your eyes open to see how the wicked are repaid,

9 you who say, ‘Yahweh my refuge!’ and make Elyon your fortress.

10 No disaster can overtake you, no plague come near your tent;

11 he has given his angels orders about you to guard you wherever you go.

12 They will carry you in their arms in case you trip over a stone.

13 You will walk upon wild beast and adder, you will trample young lions and snakes.

14 ‘Since he clings to me I rescue him, I raise him high, since he acknowledges my name.

15 He calls to me and I answer him: in distress I am at his side, I rescue him and bring him honour.

16 I shall satisfy him with long life, and grant him to see my salvation.’

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