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Nazarite (năzˈərĪtˌ) [key] [Heb. nazir = consecrated], in the Bible, a man dedicated to God. The Nazarite, after taking a special vow, abstained from intoxicating beverages, never cut his hair, and avoided corpses. An inadvertent breach of these rules called for purificatory rites. His vow was for a fixed term (though it could also be for life), at the end of which he was released. Samuel, the prophet, and Samson were Nazarites. The name is also spelled Nazirite.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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