And it shall come to pass, [that] instead of sweet smell there shall be stink; and instead of a girdle a rent; and instead of well set hair baldness; and instead of a stomacher a girding of sackcloth; [and] burning instead of beauty.
Baldness is come upon Gaza; Ashkelon is cut off [with] the remnant of their valley: how long wilt thou cut thyself?
For every head [shall be] bald, and every beard clipped: upon all the hands [shall be] cuttings, and upon the loins sackcloth.
They shall also gird [themselves] with sackcloth, and horror shall cover them; and shame [shall be] upon all faces, and baldness upon all their heads.
Related Topics and Bible Verses
from natural causes was uncommon (2 Kings 2:23; Isa. 3:24). It
was included apparently under "scab" and "scurf," which
disqualified for the priesthood (Lev. 21:20). The Egyptians were
rarely subject to it. This probably arose from their custom of
constantly shaving the head, only allowing the hair to grow as a
sign of mourning. With the Jews artificial baldness was a sign
of mourning (Isa. 22:12; Jer. 7:29; 16:6); it also marked the
conclusion of a Nazarite's vow (Acts 18:18; 21:24; Num. 6:9). It
is often alluded to (Micah 1:16; Amos 8:10; Jer. 47:5). The Jews
were forbidden to follow the customs of surrounding nations in
making themselves bald (Deut. 14:1).
(1.) The Egyptians let the hair of their head and beard grow
only when they were in mourning, shaving it off at other times.
"So particular were they on this point that to have neglected it
was a subject of reproach and ridicule; and whenever they
intended to convey the idea of a man of low condition, or a
slovenly person, the artists represented him with a beard."
Joseph shaved himself before going in to Pharoah (Gen. 41:14).
The women of Egypt wore their hair long and plaited. Wigs were
worn by priests and laymen to cover the shaven skull, and false
beards were common. The great masses of hair seen in the
portraits and statues of kings and priests are thus altogether
(2.) A precisely opposite practice, as regards men, prevailed
among the Assyrians. In Assyrian sculptures the hair always
appears long, and combed closely down upon the head. The beard
also was allowed to grow to its full length.
(3.) Among the Greeks the custom in this respect varied at
different times, as it did also among the Romans. In the time of
the apostle, among the Greeks the men wore short hair, while
that of the women was long (1 Cor. 11:14, 15). Paul reproves the
Corinthians for falling in with a style of manners which so far
confounded the distinction of the sexes and was hurtful to good
morals. (See, however, 1 Tim. 2:9, and 1 Pet. 3:3, as regards
(4.) Among the Hebrews the natural distinction between the
sexes was preserved by the women wearing long hair (Luke 7:38;
John 11:2; 1 Cor. 11:6), while the men preserved theirs as a
rule at a moderate length by frequent clipping.
Baldness disqualified any one for the priest's office (Lev.
Elijah is called a "hairy man" (2 Kings 1:8) from his flowing
locks, or more probably from the shaggy cloak of hair which he
wore. His raiment was of camel's hair.
Long hair is especially noticed in the description of
Absalom's person (2 Sam. 14:26); but the wearing of long hair
was unusual, and was only practised as an act of religious
observance by Nazarites (Num. 6:5; Judg. 13:5) and others in
token of special mercies (Acts 18:18).
In times of affliction the hair was cut off (Isa. 3:17, 24;
15:2; 22:12; Jer. 7:29; Amos 8:10). Tearing the hair and letting
it go dishevelled were also tokens of grief (Ezra 9:3). "Cutting
off the hair" is a figure of the entire destruction of a people
(Isa. 7:20). The Hebrews anointed the hair profusely with
fragrant ointments (Ruth 3:3; 2 Sam. 14:2; Ps. 23:5; 45:7,
etc.), especially in seasons of rejoicing (Matt. 6:17; Luke