Numbers 6:2 "Speak to the Israelites and say to them: 'If a man or woman wants to make a special vow, a vow of dedication to the LORD as a Nazirite,

It is refreshing to see that a woman can be a Nazirite? Are there named woman Nazirites?


Is there a Woman Nazirite in the Bible? - Yes.

The Wife (הָאִשָּׁ֗ה) of Manoah (מָנ֑וֹחַ)

In Shoftim (Judges) 13:3-7, we learn the Angel of YHVH (מַלְאַ֨ךְ יְהֹוַ֜ה) and the Wife (הָאִשָּׁ֗ה) of Manoah (מָנ֑וֹחַ) make the Nazirite vow for Manoah's son Samson (Shimeshon , שִׁמְשׁוֹן) to hopefully become a Nezir (נְזִיר) . * Samson never makes a Nazirite (נָּזִ֗יר) vow. Samson prays and makes a request after he is humbled, losing his hair and sight.

Shimshon's Prayer in [Shoftim (Judges) 16:28]: "And Samson called to the Lord and said, "God YHVH, remember me and strengthen me now, only this once my Lord YHVH, that I may be avenged the vengeance for one of my two eyes from the Philistines." ( וַיִּקְרָ֥א שִׁמְשׁ֛וֹן אֶל־יְהֹוָ֖ה וַיֹּאמַ֑ר אֲדֹנָ֣י יֱהֹוִֹ֡ה זָכְרֵ֣נִי נָא֩ וְחַזְּקֵ֨נִי נָ֜א אַ֣ךְ הַפַּ֚עַם הַזֶּה֙ הָאֱלֹהִ֔ים וְאִנָּקְמָ֧ה נְקַם־אַחַ֛ת מִשְּׁתֵ֥י עֵינַ֖י מִפְּלִשְׁתִּֽים)

Samson never vows to abstain from wine (Yayin, יַ֣יִן), but His mother is told to abstain from Yayin during her pregnancy. * Children do not always become what their parents want them to become. Regarding the Nazirite vow in Bamidbar (Numbers) 6:2-3, a mother cannot make a Nazirite vow for her son. The vow must be made by a Yisraelite man or woman who sets themself apart to become holy for God.

How did The Wife (הָאִשָּׁ֗ה) of Manoah (מָנ֑וֹחַ) set herself apart as holy for God?

Judges 13:3-7 [NASB]

“3 Then the angel of the Lord appeared to the woman and said to her, “Behold now, you are barren and have borne no children, but you shall conceive and give birth to a son. 4 Now therefore, be careful not to drink wine or strong drink, nor eat any unclean thing. 5 For behold, you shall conceive and give birth to a son, and no razor shall come upon his head, for the boy shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb; and he shall begin to deliver Israel from the hands of the Philistines.” 6 Then the woman came and told her husband, saying, “A man of God came to me and his appearance was like the appearance of the angel of God, very awesome. And I did not ask him where he came from, nor did he tell me his name. 7 But he said to me, ‘Behold, you shall conceive and give birth to a son, and now you shall not drink wine or strong drink nor eat any unclean thing, for the boy shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb to the day of his death.’”

Judges 13:3-7 [MT] “3 And an Angel of YHVH appeared to the woman, and said to her, ‘Behold now, you are barren, and have not borne; and you shall conceive and bear a son.’” ( וַיֵּרָ֥א מַלְאַךְ־יְהֹוָ֖ה אֶל־הָאִשָּׁ֑ה וַיֹּ֣אמֶר אֵלֶ֗יהָ הִנֵּה־נָ֚א אַתְּ־עֲקָרָה֙ וְלֹ֣א יָלַ֔דְתְּ וְהָרִ֖ית וְיָלַ֥דְתְּ בֵּֽן)

“4 Consequently, beware now, and do not drink wine or strong drink, and do not eat any unclean thing.” (וְעַתָּה֙ הִשָּׁ֣מְרִי נָ֔א וְאַל־תִּשְׁתִּ֖י יַ֣יִן וְשֵׁכָ֑ר וְאַל־תֹּאכְלִ֖י כָּל־טָמֵֽא )

The Wife (הָאִשָּׁ֗ה) of Manoah (מָנ֑וֹחַ) is being set apart under a Nazirite vow by an Angel of YHVH ( מַלְאַךְ־יְהֹוָ֖ה ) in order to conceive a Nazirite child.

  • I am not sure Manoah's wife was a Nazarite because only abstinence from alcohol is mentioned - no hair requirements. (Abstinence from alcohol is still recommended in today for health reasons.) There is no mention of avoiding the dead etc.
    – Dottard
    Sep 21 '20 at 9:01
  • @Dottard - Your uncertainty about The Wife of Manoah in Judges 13:3-7 should also apply to The Wives of The-Rekabites / Ha-Rekavim (הָרֵֽכָבִים֒) in Jeremiah 35:1-18. The same standards of a Naziriteship apply. Sep 21 '20 at 10:26
  • That is a non-sequitur. All the Rechabites were Nazarites.
    – Dottard
    Sep 21 '20 at 11:39

The immediate response to this question is: "Not explicitly". However, it appears that there were some by implication.

The rules of the Nazarites were part of the Torah as recorded in Num 6:1-21, and could be made for the life of the individual or for a limited time at the discretion of the person taking the vow. We have the following people recorded as taking the Nazarite vow:

  • Samson, Judges 13:5, 7, 16:17
  • Samuel, 1 Sam 1;11
  • Rechabites, Jer 35:1-18
  • John the Baptist, Matt 11:18, Luke 1:15, 7:33
  • Paul the Apostle, Acts 18:18, 21:23-26 (both for a limited time)

Thus, there is no named person who was a Nazarite; however, the women amongst the Rechabites were also Nazarites.


Are there named woman Nazirites?

The only account that comes to mind is Jephthah's daughter. (Judges 11:30-40) While the account doesn't give her name, her story is similar to Samuel's (1Sa 1:9-11). And Samuel is acknowledged as being a Nazarite (see Nazarite at Wikipedia).

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