What is the biblical view of a man having a beard or other facial hair?


Genesis 41:14

ESV - 14 Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they quickly brought him out of the pit. And when he had shaved himself and changed his clothes, he came in before Pharaoh.

Clarify Share Report Asked May 09 2020 Mini Pete Bueckert

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Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
To me, it would be safe to conclude that the majority of men in biblical times (whether Jews or Gentiles) would have had facial hair, both from the standpoint of cultural norms, and from the relative difficulty of maintaining a clean-shaven appearance in that era.

(The fact that the beards of men grow out as a result of their normal biology also indicates to me that that condition was a part of the way in which God created them, and that letting those beards grow would therefore have His implicit approval.)

In addition, there are other Bible passages (such as 2 Samuel 10) that speak of the action of cutting off another man's beard (especially if only done partially) as a gesture intended to humiliate that person, or to express contempt toward him.

However, to my knowledge, there is also no command pertaining to Christians that requires men to wear facial hair, or that speaks of God somehow expecting them to do so, or favoring those who do. That would be part of the person's external appearance that would have no relation to the spiritual condition of the person's heart (1 Samuel 16:7). 

Additionally, from a Christian standpoint, I would say that men who choose to wear facial hair should keep it well-groomed in order to maximize the effectiveness of their witness to other people who (rightly or wrongly) do happen to judge other people based on such external factors.

May 09 2020 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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