They shall not make baldness upon their head
For the dead, as Jarchi, Aben Ezra, and Ben Gersom; not shave their heads, or round the corners of them, or make baldness between their eyes on that account; as those things were forbid the Israelites, so the priests also; this and what follow being superstitious customs used among the Heathens in their mournings for the dead, particularly by the Chaldeans, as Aben Ezra observes; and so by the Grecians; when Hephestion, one of Alexander's captains, died, he shaved his soldiers and himself, imitating Achilles in Homer F20; so the Egyptians, mourning for the loss of Osiris, annually shaved their heads F21; and the priests of Isis, mourning for her lost son, are called by Minutius Felix F23 her bald priests; see ( Leviticus 19:27 Leviticus 19:28 ) ( Deuteronomy 14:1 ) ; neither shall they shave off the corner of their beard:
the five corners of it; (See Gill on Leviticus 19:27). This the Israelites in common might not do, and particularly their priests; though the Egyptian priests shaved both their heads and beards, as Herodotus F24 relates: and so they are represented in the Table of Isis F25: nor make any cuttings in their flesh;
either with their nails, tearing their cheeks and breasts, or with an instrument cutting their flesh in any part of their bodies, as was the custom of Heathen nations; such were made by the Egyptians in their mournings F26; (See Gill on Leviticus 19:28).
F20 Aelian. Var. Hist. l. 7. c. 8.
F21 Julius Firmicus de Error. Proph. p. 2.
F23 In Octavio, p. 22. Vid. Lactant. de fals. Relig. l. 1. c. 21.
F24 Euterpe, sive, l. 2. c. 36.
F25 Vid. Pignorii Mens. Isiac. liter. S.
F26 Julius Firmicus, ut supra. (F21)