When YHWH gave the priesthood and temple duties to the Levites He made provision for other men to dedicate themselves to His service, either temporarily or for their entire lives. Samuel, Sampson, and John the baptist were lifelong Nazirites. To show their separation these men were not to shave off their hair, not was it to be long like a woman’s hair, as Paul forbids in II CORINTHIANS 11:14:
EZEKIEL 44:20 (NASB) Also they shall not shave their heads, yet they shall not let their locks grow long; they shall only trim the hair of their heads.
NUMBERS 6:5 (NASB) All the days of his vow of separation no razor shall pass over his head…he shall let the locks of hair on his head grow long.
This meant not excessively short or shorn. When the days of a temporary dedication were over, then they were to shave their heads and bring a sacrifice.
The dedication of a Nazirite alludes to the then coming New Testament priesthood of all Christian men. There is a reference to it in SONG OF SHELOMOH 7:5:
Your head crowns you like Carmel, And the flowing locks of your hair are like purple threads.
Purple threads symbolize the crown or mitre of the royal priesthood. In fact, the word nazar means to hold aloof, to separate oneself, to abstain, to devote oneself. It is closely related to the word nezer which means a consecration, consecrated head, a diadem, a crown, and was the headgear of the priest, who was prohibited from being defiled and was separated from anything secular.
Another related word is nadir – to promise or vow, and neder – a promise , vow, or vowed sacrifice. Interestingly, a neder was a thank offering which could even be made by Gentiles as in YONAH 1:6.
The Nazirite vow was entirely voluntary but once made could not be annulled. Yahshua was called a Nazarene to relate Him to the dedication of a Nazirite, despite the fact He was descended from the priestly tribe of Levi through His mother (Mary’s cousin Elizabeth was of the daughters of Aaron LUKE 1:5, so this descent was through the women’s grandmother). The vow also reaches into the New Testament and time of the Gentiles when the priesthood reverted back to the ‘firstborn’, that is, those born of the Spirit. This is a spiritual birth resulting in a spiritual devotion that YHWH desires of His people (DEUT. 6:5).
Because now all men are members of the royal and everlasting priesthood, the Nazirite vows are obsolete–it serves as a symbol only. Today, true one hundred percent Christians are dedicated to YHWH from the time of their spiritual rebirth–sometimes by their parents from birth–until they die or are translated, and even beyond death.