The act of removing facial hair, in the Bible particularly the beard. As a sign of mourning and as part of several purification rituals, shaving had religious significance in Israelite society. Israelite men of the preexilic period wore full beards and shoulder-length hair. The beards were trimmed (2Sam 19:24), but under normal circumstances men were ashamed to appear in public without them (2Sam 10:4-5). When in mourning, however, they shaved their heads and beards (Job 1:20; Jer 41:5; Jer 48:37). Priests were prohibited from this practice (Lev 21:5), and (Deut 14:1) extends the prohibition to all Israelites, but this law seems little known prior to the exile (Isa 22:12). Likewise, men or women who consecrated themselves to God as Nazirites could not cut their hair until they fulfilled their vow; then they shaved their heads and offered the hair on the altar for their purification (Num 6:5-19). The most famous Nazirite was Samson (Judg 13-16). Acts reports that even as a Christian Paul continued to observe such vows (Acts 18:18; Acts 21:24).
David and Mephibosheth Meet
24Mephibosheth grandson of Saul came down to meet the king; he had not taken care of his feet, or trimmed his beard, or washed his c ... View more
4So Hanun seized David's envoys, shaved off half the beard of each, cut off their garments in the middle at their hips, and sent them away.5When David was told, ... View more
20Then Job arose, tore his robe, shaved his head, and fell on the ground and worshiped.
5eighty men arrived from Shechem and Shiloh and Samaria, with their beards shaved and their clothes torn, and their bodies gashed, bringing grain offerings and ... View more
37For every head is shaved and every beard cut off; on all the hands there are gashes, and on the loins sackcloth.
5They shall not make bald spots upon their heads, or shave off the edges of their beards, or make any gashes in their flesh.
Pagan Practices Forbidden
1You are children of the Lord your God. You must not lacerate yourselves or shave your forelocks for the dead.
12In that day the Lord GOD of hosts
called to weeping and mourning,
to baldness and putting on sackcloth;
5All the days of their nazirite vow no razor shall come upon the head; until the time is completed for which they separate themselves to the Lord, they shall be ... View more
The Birth of Samson
1The Israelites again did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, and the Lord gave them into the hand of the Philistines forty years.2There ... View more
Paul's Return to Antioch
18After staying there for a considerable time, Paul said farewell to the believers and sailed for Syria, accompanied by Priscilla and A ... View more
24Join these men, go through the rite of purification with them, and pay for the shaving of their heads. Thus all will know that there is nothing in what they h ... View more