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Hair

People's Dictionary of the Bible

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Hair. The Hebrews allowed the hair to grow thick and somewhat long. Ezekiel 8:3. Baldness was disliked, as sometimes symptomatic of leprosy, Leviticus 13:40-44 : hence the reproach uttered against Elisha, 2 Kings 2:23. Cuttings of the hair, such as were usual in idolatrous worship, were forbidden. Leviticus 19:27; Deuteronomy 14:1. Still this seems to have been a Hebrew custom in mourning, Jeremiah 7:29; while, on the contrary, the Egyptians let their hair grow when in distress, and shaved or cut it on returning prosperity. Genesis 41:14 : comp. Herodotus, lib. ii. 36. in. 12. The way in which Absalom let his hair grow was no doubt the vanity of a young and handsome man. 2 Samuel 14:26. Thus, to uncover the ear is a common phrase for communicating a secret, 1 Samuel 9:15, marg., 20:2, marg., as if it were necessary to put aside the locks in order to whisper in the ear. There was, however, a clear distinction made between the sexes in this respect, 1 Corinthians 11:14-15; so that the women wore their hair very long. Luke 7:38; John 12:3. Hence, perhaps, the long hair of the Nazirites was to indicate humility and subjection. Numbers 6:5. The color of the hair was generally black, Song of Solomon 5:11; but the gray hairs of age were regarded as especially venerable, Proverbs 16:31; on this account, perhaps, the hairs of the Ancient of Days are likened to "pure wool." Daniel 7:9. Samson had seven plaits in his hair, Judges 16:13; Judges 16:19; and these must have been fastened with a fillet. Ezekiel 24:17. Of course greater pains were taken by females in thus adorning themselves; so that we read in many passages of both scripture and the apocrypha of tiling the head and braiding the hair. 2 Kings 9:30; 1 Timothy 2:9; 1 Peter 3:3; Judith 10:3. It was also worn in curls: the "well-set hair," Isaiah 3:24, probably implied the artistical arrangement of these. There are several references to the curls in the descriptions of Solomon's Song. Thus "the chain of the neck," Song of Solomon 4:9, might be a long lock or curl falling down upon the neck; and the "galleries," R. V., "tresses," 7:5, were the curls in orderly array. The hair was commonly anointed with fragrant oil or perfume. Psalms 23:5; Psalms 133:2; Matthew 6:17; Luke 7:46.

Bibliography Information
Rice, Edwin Wilbur, DD. Entry for 'Hair'. People's Dictionary of the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/​dictionaries/​eng/​rpd/​h/hair.html. 1893.
 
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