Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Facial hair symbolism


Ye shall not round the corners of your heads, neither shalt thou mar the corners of thy beard. Leviticus 19:27


The full, rounded beard was a sign of manhood and a source of pride to Hebrew men. It was considered an ornament, and much care was given to its maintenance. In fact, the wealthy and important made a ceremony of caring for their beards. Custom did not allow the beard to be shaved, only trimmed (Lev 19:27; 21:5), except in special circumstances. For example, shaving the beard was a requirement for the man cleansed of an infectious skin disease (Lev 14:9), and people in mourning would often shave or pull out their beards (Ezra 9:3; Is 15:2; Jer 41:5; 48:37). Ezekiel was told by God to shave off his beard as a symbol of coming destruction (Ezek 5:1).


The beard was also an object of salutation (2 Sam 20:9), the focus of oaths (Mt 5:36) or blessings (Ps 133:2) and even the focus of shame or curses. An attack on the beard is an attack on the person. Because the beard was a symbol of manhood, it was a great insult to degrade someone’s beard. Thus David’s men suffer grave humiliation when they return from a diplomatic mission with half of each man’s beard shaven by the Ammonites. In fact, they did not return to Jerusalem until their beards had grown back (2 Sam 10:4-5).


Similarly, Isaiah warns Israel that they will suffer a figurative emasculation at the hand of the king of Assyria who will “shave your head and the hair of your legs, and…take off your beards also” (Is 7:20 NIV). The messianic figure in Isaiah 50 is not only abused as his beard is pulled out, but suffers great humiliation and shame (Is 50:6).


(ed. Leland Ryken, James C. Wilhoit, Tremper Longman III, Dictionary of Biblical Imagery, Inter-Varsity Press, Downers Grove, Illinios, 1998, pgs 80-81)



10 comments:

  1. This written piece gives fastidious understanding yet.supplements for beard growth

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks meant for sharing this type of satisfying opinion, written piece is fastidious, that’s why I’ve read it completely.i live in tennessee and i did a payday advance and cant pay it back

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks guys!! Extremely cooperative post that has helped me a lot….
    direct payday loan lenders

    ReplyDelete
  4. Amazing! I felt this site as a better option to select the blog so I came here. automobile insurance

    ReplyDelete
  5. Excellent Blog! I have been impressed by your thoughts and the way you life insurance companies

    ReplyDelete
  6. I want more and more articles and blogs please post soon such informative information.Potomac pool builders

    ReplyDelete
  7. The blog is good enough I again n again read this.generators 2016

    ReplyDelete
  8. I truly get pleasure from while I read your blogs and its content.what is convertible term life insurance

    ReplyDelete
  9. Really amazing blog!!! I enjoyed the complete article? enormous written.Businessman Mark Curry

    ReplyDelete