2 Samuel 10:4
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
So Hanun seized David's envoys, shaved off half of each man's beard, cut off their garments at the buttocks, and sent them away.

New Living Translation
So Hanun seized David's ambassadors and shaved off half of each man's beard, cut off their robes at the buttocks, and sent them back to David in shame.

English Standard Version
So Hanun took David’s servants and shaved off half the beard of each and cut off their garments in the middle, at their hips, and sent them away.

New American Standard Bible
So Hanun took David's servants and shaved off half of their beards, and cut off their garments in the middle as far as their hips, and sent them away.

King James Bible
Wherefore Hanun took David's servants, and shaved off the one half of their beards, and cut off their garments in the middle, even to their buttocks, and sent them away.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
So Hanun took David's emissaries, shaved off half their beards, cut their clothes in half at the hips, and sent them away.

International Standard Version
So Hanun arrested David's delegation, shaved off half of their beards, cut off their clothes at the waist line, and sent them away in disgrace.

NET Bible
So Hanun seized David's servants and shaved off half of each one's beard. He cut the lower part of their robes off so that their buttocks were exposed, and then sent them away.

New Heart English Bible
So Hanun took David's servants, and shaved off the one half of their beards, and cut off their garments in the middle, even to their buttocks, and sent them away.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
So Hanun took David's men, shaved off half of each man's beard, cut off their clothes from the waist down, and sent them away.

JPS Tanakh 1917
So Hanun took David's servants, and shaved off the one half of their beards, and cut off their garments in the middle, even to their buttocks, and sent them away.

New American Standard 1977
So Hanun took David’s servants and shaved off half of their beards, and cut off their garments in the middle as far as their hips, and sent them away.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Therefore, Hanun took David's slaves and shaved off the one half of their beards and cut off their garments in the middle even to their buttocks and sent them away.

King James 2000 Bible
Therefore Hanun took David's servants, and shaved off one half of their beards, and cut off their garments in the middle, even to their buttocks, and sent them away.

American King James Version
Why Hanun took David's servants, and shaved off the one half of their beards, and cut off their garments in the middle, even to their buttocks, and sent them away.

American Standard Version
So Hanun took David's servants, and shaved off the one half of their beards, and cut off their garments in the middle, even to their buttocks, and sent them away.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Wherefore Hanon took the servants of David, and shaved off the one half of their beards, and cut away half of their garments even to the buttocks, and sent them away.

Darby Bible Translation
And Hanun took David's servants, and had the one half of their beards shaved off, and their raiment cut off in the midst, as far as their buttocks, and sent them away.

English Revised Version
So Hanun took David's servants, and shaved off the one half of their beards, and cut off their garments in the middle, even to their buttocks, and sent them away.

Webster's Bible Translation
Wherefore Hanun took David's servants, and shaved off the one half of their beards, and cut off their garments in the middle, even to their buttocks, and sent them away.

World English Bible
So Hanun took David's servants, and shaved off the one half of their beards, and cut off their garments in the middle, even to their buttocks, and sent them away.

Young's Literal Translation
And Hanun taketh the servants of David, and shaveth off the half of their beard, and cutteth off their long robes in the midst -- unto their buttocks, and sendeth them away;
Study Bible
David's Messengers Disgraced
3the princes of the Ammonites said to Hanun their lord, "Do you think that David is honoring your father because he has sent consolers to you? Has David not sent his servants to you in order to search the city, to spy it out and overthrow it?" 4So Hanun took David's servants and shaved off half of their beards, and cut off their garments in the middle as far as their hips, and sent them away. 5When they told it to David, he sent to meet them, for the men were greatly humiliated. And the king said, "Stay at Jericho until your beards grow, and then return."…
Cross References
2 Samuel 10:5
When they told it to David, he sent to meet them, for the men were greatly humiliated. And the king said, "Stay at Jericho until your beards grow, and then return."

Isaiah 15:2
They have gone up to the temple and to Dibon, even to the high places to weep. Moab wails over Nebo and Medeba; Everyone's head is bald and every beard is cut off.

Isaiah 20:4
so the king of Assyria will lead away the captives of Egypt and the exiles of Cush, young and old, naked and barefoot with buttocks uncovered, to the shame of Egypt.

Jeremiah 41:5
that eighty men came from Shechem, from Shiloh, and from Samaria with their beards shaved off and their clothes torn and their bodies gashed, having grain offerings and incense in their hands to bring to the house of the LORD.
Treasury of Scripture

Why Hanun took David's servants, and shaved off the one half of their beards, and cut off their garments in the middle, even to their buttocks, and sent them away.

and shaved The {beard} is held in high respect and greatly valued in the East: the possessor considers it as his greatest ornament; often swears by it, and, in matters of great importance, {pledges} it; and nothing can be more secure than such a pledge, for its owner will redeem it at the hazard of his life. The beard was never cut off but in {mourning}, or as a sign of {slavery.} It is customary to shave the Ottoman princes, as a mark of their subjection to the reigning emperor. The beard is a mark of authority and liberty among the Mohammedans. The Persians who clip the beard, and shave above the jaw, are reputed heretics. They who serve in the seraglios have their beards shaven, as a sign of servitude; nor do they suffer them to grow till the sultan has set them at liberty. Among the Arabians, it is more infamous for anyone to appear with his beard cut off, than among us to be publicly whipped or branded; and many would prefer death to such a punishment.

Leviticus 19:27 You shall not round the corners of your heads, neither shall you …

1 Chronicles 19:3,4 But the princes of the children of Ammon said to Hanun, Think you …

Psalm 109:4,5 For my love they are my adversaries: but I give myself to prayer…

Isaiah 15:2 He is gone up to Bajith, and to Dibon, the high places, to weep: …

cut off

Isaiah 20:4 So shall the king of Assyria lead away the Egyptians prisoners, and …

Isaiah 47:2,3 Take the millstones, and grind meal: uncover your locks, make bore …

Jeremiah 41:5 That there came certain from Shechem, from Shiloh, and from Samaria, …

(4) Shaved off the one half of their beards.--According to Oriental ideas, the extremest insult which could have been inflicted. "Cutting off a person's beard is regarded by the Arabs as an indignity quite equal to flogging and branding among ourselves. Many would rather die than have their beard shaved off (Arvieux, quoted by Keil). It is remarkable that in none of David's wars does he appear as the aggressor.

Verse 4. - Hanun... shaved off the one half of their beards. To an Oriental the beard was the mark of his being a free man, and to cut it off on one side was not merely an insult to David's ambassadors, but the treating them like slaves. Moreover, as only the priests wore underclothing, and as the ordinary dress of men consisted of a tunic and a loose flowing robe thrown over it, the cutting of this robe short up to the hip was a vile and abominable affront. Of course, Hanun intended this as a challenge to war, whereas David had meant peace and friendship. Wherefore Hanun took David's servants,.... His ambassadors:

and shaved off one half of their beards; that is, he ordered them to be shaved off; than which a greater indignity could not have been well done to them and to David, whom they represented, since the Israelites shaved not their beards, and were very careful of preserving them; for had it been the custom to shave, they might have shaved off the other half, and then they would not have appeared so ridiculous; and with other people it has been reckoned a very great punishment as well could be inflicted, and as great an affront as could well be offered, to mar a man's beard, or shave it off in whole or in part (p). The Lacedemonians, as Plutarch (q) relates, when any fled from battle, used, by way of reproach, to shave off part of their beards, and let the other part grow long; and with the Indians, as Bishop Patrick observes from an ancient writer, the king used to order the greatest offenders to be shaven, as the heaviest punishment he could inflict upon them; but what comes nearest to the case here is what the same learned commentator quotes from Tavernier, who in his Indian Travels tells us, that the sophi of Persia caused an ambassador of Aurengzeb to have his beard shaved off, telling him he was not worthy to wear a beard, and thereupon commanded it should be shaved off; which affront offered him in the person of his ambassador was most highly resented by Aurengzeb, as this was by David:

and cut off their garments in the middle, even to their buttocks; and as they wore long garments in those countries, without any breeches or drawers under them, those parts by these means were exposed to view which modesty requires should be concealed (r); so that they must be put to the utmost shame and confusion:

and sent them away; in this ridiculous manner, scoffing and leering at them no doubt; that since they came with compliments of condolence, it was proper they should appear in the habit of mourners, with their beards shaved, and their garments rent; cutting of garments, and standing in them from morning tonight, was a punishment of soldiers with the Romans, when they offended (s).

(p) Apollon. Vit. Philostrat. l. 7. c. 14. (q) In Agesitao. (r) "Dimidiasque nates Gallica palla tegit". Martial. (s) Valer. Maxim. l. 2. c. 2.4. Hanun took David's servants, and shaved off the one half of their beards—From the long flowing dress of the Hebrews and other Orientals, the curtailment of their garments must have given them an aspect of gross indelicacy and ludicrousness. Besides, a knowledge of the extraordinary respect and value which has always been attached, and the gross insult that is implied in any indignity offered, to the beard in the East, will account for the shame which the deputies felt, and the determined spirit of revenge which burst out in all Israel on learning the outrage. Two instances are related in the modern history of Persia, of similar insults by kings of haughty and imperious temper, involving the nation in war; and we need not, therefore, be surprised that David vowed revenge for this wanton and public outrage.10:1-5 Nahash had been an enemy to Israel, yet had showed kindness to David. David therefore resolves gratefully to return it. If a Pharisee gives alms in pride, though God will not reward it, yet he that receives the alms ought to return thanks for it. Those who bear ill-will to their neighbours, are resolved not to believe that their neighbours bear any good-will to them. There is nothing so well meant, but it may be ill interpreted, and is wont to be so, by men who love nobody but themselves. The best men must not think it strange if they are thus misrepresented. Charity thinketh no evil. According to the usages of those days and countries, Hanun treated David's ambassadors in the most contemptuous manner. David showed much concern for his servants. Let us learn not to lay unjust reproaches to heart; they will wear off, and turn only to the shame of those who utter or do them; while the reputation wrongfully hurt in a little time grows again, as these beards did. God will bring forth thy righteousness as the light, therefore wait patiently for him, Ps 37:6,7.
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OT History: 2 Samuel 10:4 So Hanun took David's servants and shaved (2Sa iiSam 2 Sam ii sam) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools
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