Anna the Nazarite

I believe that the prophetess, Anna, took a Nazarite Vow after her husband died (Numbers Chapter six)

I cannot prove this. It is merely conjecture I admit. But her unusual lifestyle and amazing commitment to serving God strongly suggest this could have been the case.

She would not have been required to seek her father's or any male relative or guardian's permission to take such a vow. Nor would any male relatives have been entitled to interfere with such a vow. The vow of the Nazarite could be taken by either a man or a woman, and it could temporary or permanent (Numbers 6:1). 

In Anna's case, it turned out to be a lifetime commitment that our Creator made sure would be held up as an example to everyone about the egalitarian nature of his gifts, callings, and absolute liberty that both women and men have in choosing how they will follow Him. 

Famous Nazarites were Sampson and Samuel, but I also believe John the Baptist was included in that number. A Nazarite Vow, required letting the hair grow and shaving the head at the end of the vow (among other requirements). New Testament believers took Nazarite vows. Paul took it (Numbers 6, Acts 15:18, 21:23-24).

Anna preached authoritatively and publicly at the Temple (Luke 2:38). She identified Jesus as Messiah and proclaimed him to all the people when his forerunner, John the Baptist, was but an infant of six months.

Numbers Chapter six calls the Nazarite "he" or "himself" 54 times. That is an exorbitant number of times, and sometimes the word was inserted even when not found in the Hebrew text but was a translator supplement (we actually see examples of such translator supplements all through our English translations). Even if we overlook the singular word "man," as possibly being a neutral reference to "mankind," (both Hebrew and Greek being androcentric languages) the masculine terms used in this chapter go too far beyond the scope of simply meaning "humankind" to be accidental. Past verse one, which is so specific no one can pervert it, most English Bibles intentionally refer to Nazarites exclusively as male. The Hebrew is not so obscure and this writer believes Anna took a Nazarite Vow then took up residence in GOD'S Temple and served HIM day and night for the next 65 years or longer with fastings and prayers. 

But fasting and praying was not all she did. Anna preached. And publicly too. She was known as a prophetess, which means she SPOKE. She preached the inspired and authoritative Word of God to all who would listen--to men as well as to women.

And Luke faithfully recorded these facts so they would never in all of history be lost. 

One thing is certain, Luke the Beloved Physician and Anna the Prophetess/Nazarite were no complementarians.

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