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Bible Encyclopedias

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature


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Baldness may be artificial or natural. Artificial baldness, caused by cutting or shaving off the hair of the head, a custom among all the ancient and Eastern nations, in token of mourning for the death of a near relative (Jeremiah 16:6; Amos 8:10; Micah 1:16), Moses forbade to the Israelites (Deuteronomy 14:1), probably for the very reason of its being a heathen custom; for a leading object of his policy was to remove the Jews as far as possible from the ways and customs of the surrounding nations. Natural baldness was always treated among the Israelites with contempt (Leviticus 13:40, etc.), and a bald man was not infrequently exposed to the ridicule of the mob (2 Kings 2:23; Isaiah 3:17) perhaps from the suspicion of being under some leprous taint. The public prejudice thus entertained against a bald-headed man was perhaps the main reason why he was declared unfit for the priestly office (Leviticus 21:20).





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Kitto, John, ed. Entry for 'Baldness'. "Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature".

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Saturday, October 24th, 2020
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29
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