Numbers 6:9

"'If someone dies suddenly in the Nazirite's presence, thus defiling the hair that symbolizes their dedication, they must shave their head on the seventh day--the day of their cleansing.

Judges 15:16

Then Samson said, "With a donkey's jawbone I have made donkeys of them. With a donkey's jawbone I have killed a thousand men."

On this occasion, did Samson cleanse himself by shaving?

But Samson confessed to Delilah in Judges 16:17

So he told her everything. "No razor has ever been used on my head," he said, "because I have been a Nazirite dedicated to God from my mother's womb. If my head were shaved, my strength would leave me, and I would become as weak as any other man."

Did Numbers 6:9 not apply to Samson the Nazirite?


Why did Samson | שִׁמְשׁוֹן Shimshon not observe the Vow of Naziriteship?

Nazir 4b [3]

A nazirite like Samson is permitted to become impure from a corpse ab initio, as we find with Samson that he became impure. Rabbi Shimon says: One who says he will be a nazirite like Samson has not said anything, since we do not find with Samson that an utterance of a vow of naziriteship left his mouth. Samson never took a vow to be a nazirite. He received his status from the angel’s instructions to his mother (see Judges 13:5). Consequently, Rabbi Shimon holds that one who vows to be a nazirite like Samson is not considered to have taken a nazirite vow.

Nazir 4b [17] states

וְשִׁמְשׁוֹן לָאו נָזִיר הֲוָה וְהָכְתִיב כִּי נְזִיר אֱלֹהִים יִהְיֶה הַנַּעַר מִן הַבֶּטֶן הָתָם מַלְאָךְ הוּא דְּקָאָמַר " The Gemara challenges the assumption that Samson’s naziriteship was not accepted through a vow: And was Samson not a nazirite whose naziriteship was accepted by a vow? Isn’t it written: “For the child shall be a nazirite of God from the womb” (Judges 13:5)? The Gemara answers: There it was the angel who spoke. Samson’s nazirite status did not stem from a vow uttered by a human being. "

Did Samon | שִׁמְשׁוֹן Shimshon become impure from battle at לֶ֔חִי Lechi?

"The Gemara asks: And from where do we derive that Samson became impure from corpses? If we say it is from the fact that it is written: “And Samson said: With the jawbone of an ass, I smote a thousand men” (Judges 15:16), perhaps he thrust the jawbone at them but did not touch them, and he remained pure." - Nazir 4b [18] : https://www.sefaria.org/Nazir.4b.18?with=Commentary&lang=bi

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 (Shimshon , שִׁמְשׁוֹן) to hopefully become a Nazir. * Samson never makes a Nazir (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.

  • I find this answer unsatisfying. It is the attempt of second century rabbis to find obscure legal loopholes, relying on an angel or miracles, to explain an obvious difficulty in the text. If such wondrous things happened, why doesn't the text mention them? Why would a text be written in a way that requires such convolutions in order to be understood? Maybe there's a better answer?
    – user17080
    Mar 4 '21 at 16:30
  • Maybe Shimshon was not a Nazir, by his own choice. Mar 4 '21 at 16:37
  • Maybe you could stick with English? Did you just suggest that Samson was NOT a Nazirite? Was he lying when he claimed to be one? Mar 4 '21 at 16:43
  • 1
    @חִידָה Why would we have to make such a guess? The text clearly presents him as a nazir.
    – user17080
    Mar 4 '21 at 16:43
  • 1
    Just say it then: when Samson claimed to be a Nazirite, he was lying. That is your belief. Mar 4 '21 at 17:44

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