6 occurrences in 6 dictionaries

Reference: Baldness


from natural causes was uncommon (2Ki 2:23; Isa 3:24). It was included apparently under "scab" and "scurf," which disqualified for the priesthood (Le 21:20). The Egyptians were rarely subject to it. This probably arose from their custom of constantly shaving the head, only allowing the hair to grow as a sign of mourning. With the Jews artificial baldness was a sign of mourning (Isa 22:12; Jer 7:29; 16:6); it also marked the conclusion of a Nazarite's vow (Ac 18:18; 21:24; Nu 6:9). It is often alluded to (Mic 1:16; Am 8:10; Jer 47:5). The Jews were forbidden to follow the customs of surrounding nations in making themselves bald (De 14:1).

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Rare among Israelites; so an object of derision, as Elisha's was. to the children: 2Ki 2:23, "Go up thou baldhead," i.e., thou art old enough to leave this world and "go up" to heaven after thy master. A humiliation to captives (De 21:12; Isa 3:24). A mark of mourning (Jer 16:6; 47:5; Eze 7:18; Isa 15:2). It was sometimes a mark of leprosy: Le 13:40-42. Priests were forbidden to make baldness on their heads, or to shave off the grainers of their beards (Le 21:5; Eze 44:20); as mourners and idol priests did. (Jer 9:26 margin; Le 19:27).

The reason Israel was forbidden to do so was, "for thou art an holy people unto the Lord" (De 14:1-2). Nebuchadnezzar's army grew bald in besieging Tyre with the hardships of their work (Eze 29:18). The Egyptians, contrary to oriental custom, shaved on joyous occasions and only let the hair grow in mourning; the mention of Joseph's "shaving" when summoned before Pharaoh is therefore an undesigned coincidence in Ge 41:14, and mark of the truth of the Scripture record. Artificial baldness marked the ending of a Nazarite's vow (Nu 6:9; Ac 18:18; 21:24).

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The Israelites were forbidden to cut themselves or to make themselves bald for the dead, as the heathen did; for they were a holy people unto the Lord. Le 21:5; De 14:1; Jer 16:6. Baldness is one of the judgements of the Lord: perhaps they would make themselves bald in their distress. Isa 3:24; 15:2; 22:12; Eze 7:18; Am 8:10; Mic 1:16. See NAZARITE.

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Natural baldness seems to have been uncommon, since it exposed people to public derision.

Le 13:29; 2Ki 2:23; Isa 3:24; 15:2; Jer 47:5; Eze 7:18

Artificial baldness marked the conclusion of a Nazarite's vow,

Nu 6:9; Ac 18:18

and was a sign of mourning.

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BALDNESS is a natural effect of old age, in which period of life the hair of the head, wanting nourishment, falls off, and leaves the head naked. Artificial baldness was used as a token of mourning; it is threatened to the voluptuous daughters of Israel, instead of well set hair, Isa 3:24. See Mic 1:16; and instances of it occur, Isa 15:2; Jer 47:5. See Eze 7:18; Am 8:10.

The insult offered to Elisha by the young people of Bethel, improperly rendered "little children," who cried out after him, "Go up thou bald head," may here be noticed. The town of Bethel was one of the principal nurseries of Ahab's idolatry, and the contempt was offered to Elisha in his public character as a prophet of the Lord. If in the expression, "Go up," there was also a reference to the translation of Elijah, as turning it into jest, this was another aggravation of the sin, to which these young people were probably instigated by their parents. The malediction laid upon them by the prophet was not an act of private resentment, but evidently proceeded from prophetic impulse.

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