A separation or setting apart for a sacred purpose. The Hebrew verb na·zarʹ (dedicate) has the basic meaning “keep separate; be separated; withdraw.” (Le 15:31; 22:2; Eze 14:7; compare Ho 9:10, ftn.) The related Hebrew word neʹzer refers to the sign or symbol of holy dedication worn as a crown upon the sanctified head of a high priest or on the head of an anointed king; it also referred to Naziriteship.
At Aaron’s installation as high priest, a turban made of fine linen was placed on his head. Fastened with a string of blue thread on the front of this turban for all to see was the holy “sign of dedication [neʹzer],” a shining plate of pure gold engraved as a seal with the words, in Hebrew, “Holiness belongs to Jehovah.” The holy anointing oil was next poured upon the high priest in the installation ceremony. (Ex 29:6, 7; 39:30, 31, ftn; Le 8:9, 12) Consistently the high priest had to be careful to avoid doing anything that would profane the sanctuary, “because the sign of dedication, the anointing oil of his God, is upon him.”
Similarly, the word neʹzer had reference to the “diadem,” an official headpiece worn by the anointed kings of Israel as a symbol of their holy office.
When a person took the Nazirite vow to Jehovah he was not to cut his hair or shave his beard as long as the vow was upon him. So his long hair became a crowning sign of his Naziriteship (neʹzer). (Nu 6:4-21) In personifying Jerusalem as one who had broken her sacred vows of holiness to Jehovah, the prophet Jeremiah exclaimed: “Shear off your uncut hair [or “dedicated hair”; niz·rekhʹ, a form of neʹzer] and throw it away.” (Jer 7:29) By another prophet, Jehovah describes how wayward Israel “went in to Baal of Peor, and they proceeded to dedicate themselves [wai·yin·na·zeruʹ, a form of the verb na·zarʹ] to the shameful thing.”
In the Christian Greek Scriptures reference is made to certain dedicated things. The winter “festival of dedication” (en·kaiʹni·a) is mentioned in connection with Jesus’ earthly ministry. (Joh 10:22; see FESTIVAL OF DEDICATION.) This Greek word en·kaiʹni·a has the same root as en·kai·niʹzo, which at Hebrews 9:18 is rendered “dedicate” by certain translations (AS, KJ, Dy, Sp), but “inaugurate” by others. (CC, Mo, NE, NW, We) Similarly, at Hebrews 10:20 some translate it “dedicate” (AS, Dy, Sp), others, “inaugurate.” (CC, Mo, NW) Jesus called attention to the traditional teachings of the Pharisees in regard to “corban,” that is, a gift dedicated to God. (Mr 7:11; Mt 15:5; see CORBAN.) Jesus also warned that the time was coming when Herod’s temple, together with its “fine stones and dedicated things [a·na·theʹma·sin],” would be thrown down.