The Nazirite

by Ngozi Janet Akalonu

The young barren woman knelt solemnly at the foot of her personal altar, looking up at the shining apparition that seemed more like a dream than reality.

“The Lord has heard your prayers and you shall have a son”

“Oh my…!” the woman yelped excitedly. The Angel cringed. Only bimbos said “Oh my” in that manner.

“But I must warn you, do not drink any strong wine or eat anything unclean all the days of your pregnancy. And when you give birth, never let a razor come near his head”

“Forgive me for asking, Great Messenger of the Heavens, but why must we abstain from cutting his hair?”

The angel sighed.

“Your son is a Nazirite, and he will have immense physical strength. He will be the Saviour of your people. But the day he cuts his hair, he will lose that strength”

“I see….” the woman said thoughtfully, then piped, “Who is a Nazarite?”

The angel cocked his perfectly shaped eyebrows in amusement. “Seriously? Did you just ask me that? Haven’t you been listening to the Doctrines of the Rabbis? Haven’t you been visiting the temples or the synagogues?”

“I have but I have never heard of this term before.”

The angel sighed again.

“A Nazirite is someone dedicated to the servitude of God all the days of his life,” he explained wearily, “This is why his hair must never be cut. It is divine and is the source of his strength”

The Lord sat on his glorious throne and observed the exchange with interest, his brow furrowed in deep concentration.

“You seem to be lost in thought, Father,” His Firstborn son asked, worried. “Are you regretting your decision?”

The Father stirred and looked at his boy. “When it comes to these humans, I have made a lot of decisions I really regret. However though, I was thinking…..”

“About what?”

At that moment, the Angel who had gone on the earthly errand drifted into His presence, looking satisfied.

“Meniel,” the Lord began…

“With all due respect, my Lord,” the Angel interrupted, “It’s Othniel. Meniel is the angel in charge of livestock. You know him. He is always bragging about his long robe and thinks it was specifically designed by you. He….”

The Lord waved his hands offhandedly.

“Whatever. You have one more errand to go. You will visit a family from one of the foreign tribes. A maiden there is barren too; she is to conceive and bear a daughter, and the daughter will be the downfall of Samson”

“Samson?” His first born son asked, confused.

“Downfall??” Angel Othniel supplied.

The Lord rolled his eyes and answered the two questions drily.

“Samson is the name I shall give the Nazirite, and the one born to the tribe of the heathens will be his downfall. She will turn to the side of the enemy and ruin him, but in doing that, she will make a hero out of him”

“But is that really necessary?” His Son asked exasperatedly “First of all, Samson is a silly name. Secondly, you gave the Israelites a man to save them from the Amalekites, and now you want to orchestrate his demise? Why do you enjoy dark and tragic twists so much?”

Angel Othniel watched the exchange uncomfortably. Rarely did Father and Son ever argue.

“Well, it is more fun that way. Besides he would be forever revered as a hero if my plan goes accordingly”

“How do you plan to achieve this, if I may ask?”

“Ok. First, the woman will seduce him, then….”

“Seduce?”, the Son interrupted, “I thought we learnt our lesson with Eve, with the Nephilims, with Abraham?”, he asked, frowning at his father.

The Lord chuckled.

“We did, but women add so much spice to my designs and plans. Plus, I have used them in the past to save my people.

“This doesn’t…..” The Son started

“If you keep questioning my decisions, one day you will go down there and die for these humans you love so much”

“What the…?!”

“Ermmm… my Lords,” the Angel quickly interrupted uncomfortably. He had heard enough for a lifetime. “I will be on my way now to deliver the message.”

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