2 Samuel 14:26

26 Whenever he cut the hair of his head—he used to cut his hair once a year because it became too heavy for him—he would weigh it, and its weight was two hundred shekels[a] by the royal standard.

2 Samuel 14:26 in Other Translations

KJV
26 And when he polled his head, (for it was at every year's end that he polled it: because the hair was heavy on him, therefore he polled it:) he weighed the hair of his head at two hundred shekels after the king's weight.
ESV
26 And when he cut the hair of his head (for at the end of every year he used to cut it; when it was heavy on him, he cut it), he weighed the hair of his head, two hundred shekels by the king's weight.
NLT
26 He cut his hair only once a year, and then only because it was so heavy. When he weighed it out, it came to five pounds!
MSG
26 When he cut his hair - he always cut it short in the spring because it had grown so heavy - the weight of the hair from his head was over two pounds!
CSB
26 When he shaved his head-he shaved [it] every year because [his hair] got so heavy for him that he had to shave it off-he would weigh the hair from his head and it would be five pounds according to the royal standard.

2 Samuel 14:26 Meaning and Commentary

2 Samuel 14:26

And when he polled his head
Or cut off the hair of it; for that was one thing, a good head of hair which he had, that made him look very comely and beautiful:

for it was at every year's end that he polled [it];
or cut it off once a year; but the Jews say F23 he was a perpetual Nazarite:

because [the hair] was heavy upon him, and therefore he polled it;
it grew so very thick and long in one year's time, that he was obliged to cut it; and what might add to the weight of it, its being oiled and powdered; and, as some say, with the dust of gold, to make it look yellow and glistering:

he weighed the hair of his head at two hundred shekels, after the
king's weight;
and a shekel being the weight of half an ounce of avoirdupois weight, as Bishop Cumberland F24 has shown from various writers, the weight of his hair must be an hundred ounces; which was a very great weight indeed on his head. Some think that the price it was sold at, and not the weight of it, is meant; which they suppose was sold to women for ornament about their temples, and the money given either to the poor, or for the use of the sanctuary; and reckoning a shekel at two shillings and sixpence, as some do, the value of it came to twenty five pounds of our money; but the above mentioned writer F25 reduces it to about two shillings and four pence farthing; which makes the value somewhat less; but inasmuch as it is not so probable that a person of such rank should sell his hair, nor does it appear that any, such use was made of hair in those times as suggested; and this being said to be according to the king's weight or stone, by which all weights were to be regulated, it is best to understand this of the weight, and not of the price of his hair; which, according to Josephus {z}, was five pounds; but, according to the above account, it must be six pounds and a quarter. The Jews say F1 this weight was according to what the inhabitants of Tiberias and Zippore used, but do not tell us what it was.


FOOTNOTES:

F23 Maimon. & Bartenora in Misn. Nazir, c 1. sect. 2. Bemidbar Rabba, sect. 9. fol. 194. 3. Gloss. T. Bab. Sotah, fol. 10. 2.
F24 Scripture Weights and Measures, ch. 4. p. 103.
F25 Ibid. p. 104.
F26 Antiqu. l. 7. c. 8. sect. 5.
F1 T. Bab. Sotah, fol. 10. 2.

2 Samuel 14:26 In-Context

24 But the king said, “He must go to his own house; he must not see my face.” So Absalom went to his own house and did not see the face of the king.
25 In all Israel there was not a man so highly praised for his handsome appearance as Absalom. From the top of his head to the sole of his foot there was no blemish in him.
26 Whenever he cut the hair of his head—he used to cut his hair once a year because it became too heavy for him—he would weigh it, and its weight was two hundred shekels by the royal standard.
27 Three sons and a daughter were born to Absalom. His daughter’s name was Tamar, and she became a beautiful woman.
28 Absalom lived two years in Jerusalem without seeing the king’s face.

Cross References 1

  • 1. 2 Samuel 18:9; Ezekiel 44:20

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. That is, about 5 pounds or about 2.3 kilograms