What does the Bible say about permissible hairstyles?


Clarify Share Report Asked August 19 2014 Mini Adewale Ademola

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Dscf1720 Myron Robertson Seeking God's heart
The bible has very little to say regarding specific hair styles. There are a couple of laws regarding the priests' hair and beards -- it was to be kept cut short, but no further definition of short was given. Thus the normal depiction of Moses and the Levitical priests with long flowing beards is probably entirely false. However, the high priest was not to let his hair become unkempt (Leviticus 21:10)

Anyone taking a Nazirite vow was never to cut their hair or beards during the period of their vow. Thus the three examples of Nazirites from birth, Samson, Samuel and John the Baptist, all had long hair and beards, but we are given no information as to how they groomed them. The Nazirite was to shave his head, including eyebrows, when his/her vow ended or if a violation of the vow made it necessary to start the vow over (the time counter was set to 0; the time already served in the vow no longer counted.)

Nazirites were non-Levitical priests. This particular law for the Nazirites would explain why priests were not to shave their heads or trim the corners and edges of their beards (Leviticus 21:5). The word nazir means consecrated and is the same word used for the consecration of the priests and temple. Shaving of the head would be a sign of the end of that consecration. Further reason would be given by Paul's definition of what hair symbolizes -- It is the glory of God (1 Cor 11:15). God places his glory over/in us. That glory sometimes manifests in places and ways we do not expect, anticipate or approve of, yet a priest was not to try to tame this wildness by trimming the wild hairs at the corners and edges of his beard.

Paul also told us in 1 Cor 11:15 that the woman was to wear her hair long because it was given to her as a covering. Using this definition I have some difficulty understanding why men (Especially priests) were not to wear long hair. 

The covering a woman often wore over her hair was a symbol of the legal covering before God and man that was given to her by her husband. A husband was responsible for the debts of his wife and minor children, including restitution for any sin (crimes) they committed. In the law of jealousy in Numbers 5 the woman was no longer under her husband's covering since he was her accuser. For this reason she removed the covering from her head and stood before God with only the covering he gave her over her head.

Since we are now supposed to see and keep the spiritual realities instead of these types and shadows these particular laws have little meaning to us and mostly no longer apply to our physical hair. For the most part it appears that we are to be satisfied with the hair God gave us and not make significant changes to it and it is to be neatly groomed.

August 21 2014 1 response Vote Up Share Report

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