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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature


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(מֵצִח, me'tsach, from an obsolete root signif. to shine, Gesenius, Thes. Heb. page 815; μέτωπον ). The practice of veiling the face in public for women of the higher classes, especially married women: in the East, sufficiently stigmatizes with reproach the unveiled face of women of bad character (Genesis 25:65; Jeremiah 3:3; Niebuhr, Trav. 1:132, 149, 150; Shaw, Travels, pages 228, 240; Hasselquist, Travels, page 58; Buckingham, Arab Tribes, page 312; Lane, Mod Eg. 1:72, 77, 225248; Burckhardt, Travels, 1:233). An especial force is thus given to the term "hard of forehead" as descriptive of audacity in general (Ezekiel 3:7-9; compare Juvenal, Sat. 14:242 "Ejectum attrita de fronte ruborem"). (See VEIL).

The custom among many Oriental nations both of coloring the face and forehead, and of impressing on the body marks indicative of devotion to some special deity or religious sect is mentioned by various writers (Burckhardt, Notes on Bed. 1:51; Niebuhr, Tray. 2:57; Wilkinson, Anc. Eg. 2:342; Lane, Modern Eg. 1:66). Sometimes it extends to serious inflictions. (See CUTTINGS IN THE FLESH). It is doubtless alluded to in Revelation (Revelation 13:16-17; Revelation 14:9; Revelation 17:5; Revelation 20:4), and in the opposite direction by Ezekiel (Ezekiel 9:4-6), and in Revelation (Revelation 7:3; Revelation 9:4; Revelation 14:1; Revelation 22:4). The mark mentioned by Ezekiel with approval has been supposed by some to be the figure of the cross, said to be denoted by the word here used, תָּ•

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McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Forehead'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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