They shall not make baldness upon their head, neither shall they shave off the corner of their beard [head], nor make any cuttings in their flesh. Leviticus 21:5
Verses in scripture have their own historical background. This is highly critical when we study the scriptures. God had definite reasons for giving each of His teachings, some of which arose out of certain situations taking place outside of its pages. We need to become aware of these background circumstances in order to understand these sections completely.
Here is an excellent example. The text says, “and you shall not shave the corners of your head.” To understand this passage properly, we must ask ourselves a question: “Why would God have given that instruction?” Is He telling us how to get haircuts? What was happening historically at that time that would necessitate special instructions from Heavenly Father about our hairdos?
If we examine the culture of the Canaanites, we would find that the Canaanites were literally cutting designs in their hair, much as some do today. Moreover, they were doing so for religious purposes. Thus we discover that, most likely, God’s instructions concerning our hair were intended to prevent us from acting like the Canaanites or practicing their religion.