The reference in the Bible to baldness is not to the natural loss of hair, but to baldness produced by shaving the head. This was practiced as a mark of mourning for the dead (Leviticus 21:5; Isaiah 15:2; 22:12); as the result of any disaster (Amos 8:10; Micah 1:16). The custom arose from the fact that the hair was regarded as a special ornament. It was the custom of the people of the land, and the Israelites were strictly forbidden to practice it (Leviticus 21:5; Deuteronomy 14:1). These are striking passages with reference to the knowledge the Israelites had concerning the future life. This is saying to them what Paul said to the Thessalonians (1 Thessalonians 4:13). To call one a "bald head" was an epithet of contempt, and was sometimes applied to persons who were not naturally bald. It was the epithet applied by certain infidel young men to Elisha (2 Kings 2:23,24). In a figurative sense it is used to express the barrenness of the country (Jeremiah 47:5).
Jacob W. Kapp
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