2 Samuel 14:26

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.


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.