He shall separate himself from wine and strong drink, and shall drink no vinegar of wine, or vinegar of strong drink, neither shall he drink any liquor of grapes, nor eat moist grapes, or dried.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)He shall separate himself from wine and strong drink . . . —The law of the Nazirite in this respect, as in regard to defilement from the dead, was more strict than that which was enjoined upon the priests, thus typifying the entire surrender of the heart and life to God, and freedom from the distraction of earthly ties. The ideal of this separation, however, was not that of a life of monastic seclusion, but of action, and of uninterrupted devotion to the Divine service. The priests were forbidden to drink wine, or strong drink, when they entered the tabernacle to perform service there, but were not prohibited the use of wine at other times. Strong drink (shecar) is supposed to have been made of barley and dates or honey. The prohibition to eat any of the produce of the vine, even of that which was not intoxicating, seems designed to denote the entire consecration of the Nazirite to the Divine service, and the obligation which rested upon him to abstain from all the desires and delights of the flesh. The love of cakes made of raisins is coupled in Hosea 3:1 with idolatry.Numbers 6:3. Separate himself from wine — The first is, that every person so devoted should, during the whole time of his vow, taste no wine, nor any thing that had wine in it, nor any inflammatory liquors, which are incitements to lust; that so, by perfect temperance, his mind might be in a fit disposition for every part of the service of God. Vinegar — The word חמצ, chamets, thus rendered, properly means fermentation, and the clause might have been rendered, shall drink no fermentation of wine. Strong drink — Liquor made of dates or other fruit. See Leviticus 10:9. Nor eat grapes — Which he was forbidden to do for greater caution, to keep him at the farther distance from wine. Leviticus 10:9.
Nor eat moist grapes, or dried; which was forbidden him for greater caution to keep him at the further distance from wine.
and strong drink; any other intoxicating and inebriating liquor besides wine, or any other sort of wines besides such that is made of the fruit of the vine, as wines of pomegranates, dates, &c. or such as are made of barley, as our ale, or of apples and pears, called cider and perry, respectively:
and shall drink no vinegar of wine, or vinegar of strong drink; all the three Targums paraphrase it, vinegar of new wine, and vinegar of old wine, these operating in like manner as wine and strong drink themselves:
neither shall he drink any liquor of grapes; any liquor in which grapes are macerated, as the Targum of Jonathan; or water into which they are squeezed, or which is made of the lees of wine, or is a second sort of wine made of the grapes after they have been pressed, which we call "tiff":
nor eat moist grapes or dried; which have somewhat of the nature and taste of wine, and produce some of the like effects, and may lead to a desire after drinking it; wherefore this, as other things mentioned, are, as Aben Ezra says, a kind of an hedge, to keep at a distance from drinking wine.He shall separate himself from wine and strong drink, and shall drink no vinegar of wine, or vinegar of strong drink, neither shall he drink any liquor of grapes, nor eat moist grapes, or dried.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)3. vinegar] Prepared from wine and other intoxicants which have gone sour.
liquor of grapes] Fresh wine, as distinct from the foregoing.
or dried] Raisins compressed into a cake (’ashîshâh) were a common article of food (2 Samuel 6:19, Hosea 3:1).
3, 4. First regulation. Abstinence from intoxicating liquors and from any produce of the vine, liquid or solid.Verse 3. - Strong drink. Hebrew, shekar; σίκερα (Leviticus 10:9; Luke 1:15). Any intoxicating drink, other than wine including the beer of the Egyptians. Vinegar. Hebrew, chamets. It seems to have been freely used by the poorer people (Ruth 2:14), and was, perhaps, a thin, sour wine ("vile potet acctum," Horat.). Liquor of grapes. A drink made by soaking grape-skins in water.
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