The Meaning of James 4:17

On January 26, 2017, in Bible Lessons, by Milton Carnes

 

Do I Have To Wear A Beard?

On January 12, 2017, in Bible Lessons, by Milton Carnes

To have a beard or not to have a beard?
 
Beards are one of those subjects in which you can easily find yourself standing between the strict precepts of scripture and the customs/traditions of Israel. The Torah clearly teaches us what NOT to do with a beard but there is no command to wear a beard.
 
Leviticus 19:27-28
You shall not round the corners of your heads, neither shalt you mar the corners of your beard. You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am Yahuh.
 
By taking a closer look at this passage of scripture, we see that the word head is plural (heads). This passage also forbids the rounding (the "Pe'ah") of the head. Pe'ah has the meaning of "side" or "edge". See below.
 

Corner

 

 
Round

 

 
To "round the edge of your head" means to cut off the hair around the sides of the head
 
Mar

 

 
Beard

 
beard
 
Deuteronomy 14:1-2 gives us even more insight.You are the children of Yahuh your Alahiym: you shall not cut yourselves, nor make any baldness between your eyes for the dead. For you are an holy people to Yahuh your Alahiym, and Yahuh has chosen you to be a peculiar people to himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth.
 
Most people do not have hair between the eyes, therefore this passage could not be talking about making baldness between the eyes but maybe more so about making bald on the head between the eyes.
 
Leviticus 21:5
(For the Priest:) They shall not make baldness upon their head, neither shall they shave off the corner of their beard, nor make any cuttings in their flesh. The priest could not shave off the extremities of his beard.
 
2 Samuel 10:4-5
Wherefore Hanun took David's servants, and shaved off the one half of their beards, and cut off their garments in the middle, even to their buttocks, and sent them away. When they told it unto David, he sent to meet them, because the men were greatly ashamed: and the king said, Tarry at Jericho until your beards be grown, and then return. (It seems as if it was an honor to wear a beard)
 
2 Samuel 19:24
And Mephibosheth the son of Saul came down to meet the king, and had neither dressed his feet, nor trimmed his beard, nor washed his clothes, from the day the king departed until the day he came again in peace.
 
1 Chronicles 19:5
Then there went certain, and told David how the men were served. And he sent to meet them: for the men were greatly ashamed. And the king said, Tarry at Jericho until your beards be grown, and then return.
 
Ezra 9:3
And when I heard this thing, I rent my garment and my mantle, and plucked off the hair of my head and of my beard, and sat down astonied.
 
Psalm 133:2
It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments;
 
Isaiah 7:20
In the same day shall the Lord shave with a razor that is hired, namely, by them beyond the river, by the king of Assyria, the head, and the hair of the feet: and it shall also consume the beard.
 
Isaiah 15:2
He is gone up to Bajith, and to Dibon, the high places, to weep: Moab shall howl over Nebo, and over Medeba: on all their heads shall be baldness, and every beard cut off.
 
Jeremiah 41:5
That there came certain from Shechem, from Shiloh, and from Samaria, even fourscore men, having their beards shaven, and their clothes rent, and having cut themselves, with offerings and incense in their hand, to bring them to the house of Yahuh.
 
Jeremiah 48:37
For every head shall be bald, and every beard clipped: upon all the hands shall be cuttings, and upon the loins sackcloth.
 
Ezekiel 5:1
And thou, son of man, take thee a sharp knife, take thee a barber's razor, and cause it to pass upon thine head and upon thy beard: then take thee balances to weigh, and divide the hair.
 
Summary: Leviticus 19:27-28, Leviticus 21:4-5, Deuteronomy 14:1-2 prohibit 5 acts. These are:
 
1) Making a bald spot on the head prohibited
2) Shaving the beard for the priest prohibited
3) Destroying or ruining the beard if you have one prohibited
4) Cutting the skin prohibited
5) Writing on the skin prohibited

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