He was unselfish to the last degree. He had been of exceeding great help to the Israelites, but he never asked the smallest service for himself. When Samson told Delilah that he was a "Nazarite unto God," she was certain that he had divulged the true secret of his strength. She knew his character too well to entertain the idea that he would couple the name of God with an untruth.
Why, I came all the way from Greece on purpose to worship at the Feast; and I did not come empty-handed either, for I brought alms for my nation' the contributions of the Gentiles to Jews 'and I was a worshipper, discharging the ceremonial purifications. They called him a 'Nazarene'; he was in the Temple as a 'Nazarite. Was it likely that, being there on such an errand, he should have profaned it?
He was to try and discover why Susan Merton had written no letters for many months to George; and why she had betrothed herself to the foe. "But reveal nothing in return," said Isaac, "neither ask more than three questions of any one person, lest they say, 'Who is this that being a Jew asks many questions about a Nazarite maiden, and why asks he them?"
Neither eat flesh nor drink wine, but live as thou hast lived a Nazarite of the Lord. The papyrus boat lies at the ferry; thou shalt descend in it. When thou hast gone five days' journey downward, ask for the mouth of the canal of Alexandria. Once in the city, any monk will guide thee to the archbishop. Send us news of thy welfare by some holy mouth. Come."
He said: "I am a Nazarite, under a vow to the Lord, not to drink wine, and not to allow my hair to be cut. If I should let my hair be cut short, then the Lord would forsake me, and my strength would go from me, and I would be like other men." Then Delilah knew that she had found the truth at last.
The people were too intent upon what they had heard, and too busy in discussion, to notice the new-comers. When some hundreds were gone by, and it seemed the opportunity to so much as see the Nazarite was lost to the latter, up the river not far away they beheld a person coming towards them of such singular appearance they forgot all else. Outwardly the man was rude and uncouth, even savage.
And the priest shall take the sodden shoulder of the ram, and one unleavened cake out of the basket, and one unleavened wafer, and shall put them upon the hands of the Nazarite, after the hair of his separation is shaven: And the priest shall wave them for a wave offering before the LORD: this is holy for the priest, with the wave breast and heave shoulder: and after that the Nazarite may drink wine.
A strange champion for Jehovah! But we must not leave out of sight, in estimating his character, the Nazarite vow, which his parents had made before his birth, and he had endorsed all his life.
Paul may seem to have stretched consideration for weak brethren to its utmost, when he consented to the proposal of the Jerusalem elders to join in performing the vow of a Nazarite, and to appear in the Temple for that purpose. But he was quite consistent in so doing; for it was not Jewish ceremonial to which he objected, but the insisting on it as necessary.
Often in the boyhood days, when the Nazarite fit was on, he had climbed to the deserted solitude of the glen to sit on the broad door-stone of the dog-keeper's cabin as a hermit at large, monarch for the monastic moment of a kingdom as remote as that of John the Baptist in the Wilderness of Sin. "I thought of it last night," said Ardea, nodding toward the cabin.