In Old Testament times men as well as women wore long hair. Both Samson and Absalom were admired for their long, full hair . Baldness was considered embarrassing <2 Kin. 2:23-24; Is. 3:24>, and Israelite men were forbidden to cut the forelocks of their hair . But men under a NAZIRITE vow shaved their entire heads when the vow was completed .

Women apparently left their hair loose. Both men and women groomed their hair , because leaving it unkempt was a sign of mourning . Beautiful hair was prized by both men and women , while gray hair was desired by the aged .

In the New Testament era, men wore their hair much shorter than women's <1 Cor. 11:14-15> although it was not uncommon for men's hair to be shoulder length which was short compared to women's which would often go below the waist. Christian women were instructed not to wear elaborately arranged hair <1 Pet. 3:3>. In Palestine, honored guests often had their heads anointed. On two occasions Jesus' feet were anointed by women who then dried them with their hair . Jesus' statement that the Father has numbered each person's hairs shows God's concern for even the tiny and insignificant details of life.

(from Nelson's Illustrated Bible Dictionary)

(Copyright (C) 1986, Thomas Nelson Publishers)

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