2 Samuel 14:26
Parallel Verses
New International Version
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.

New Living Translation
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!

English Standard Version
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.

New American Standard Bible
When he cut the hair of his head (and it was at the end of every year that he cut it, for it was heavy on him so he cut it), he weighed the hair of his head at 200 shekels by the king's weight.

King James Bible
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.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
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.

International Standard Version
Whenever he cut his hair —he cut it at the end of every year, because it grew thick on his head, which is why he cut it—his hair weighed in at 200 shekels measured by the royal standard.

NET Bible
When he would shave his head--at the end of every year he used to shave his head, for it grew too long and he would shave it--he used to weigh the hair of his head at three pounds according to the king's weight.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
At the end of every year, he used to cut his hair because it became heavy for him. When he cut the hair on his head and weighed it, it weighed five pounds according to the royal standard.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And when he shaved his head (for it was at every year's end that he shaved it: because the hair was heavy on him, therefore, he shaved it), the hair of his head weighed two hundred shekels after the king's weight.

King James 2000 Bible
And when he cut the hair of his head, (for it was at every year's end that he cut it: because the hair was heavy on him, therefore he cut it:) he weighed the hair of his head at two hundred shekels after the king's weight.

American King James Version
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.

American Standard Version
And when he cut the hair of his head (now it was at every year's end that he cut it; because it was heavy on him, therefore he cut it); he weighed the hair of his head at two hundred shekels, after the king's weight.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And when he polled his hair (now he was polled once a year, because his hair was burdensome to him) he weighed the hair of his head at two hundred sicles, according to the common weight.

Darby Bible Translation
And when he shaved his head (for it was at every year's end that he shaved it, because it was heavy on him, therefore he shaved it), he weighed the hair of his head at two hundred shekels after the king's weight.

English Revised Version
And when he polled his head, (now 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.

Webster's Bible Translation
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.

World English Bible
When he cut the hair of his head (now it was at every year's end that he cut it; because it was heavy on him, therefore he cut it); he weighed the hair of his head at two hundred shekels, after the king's weight.

Young's Literal Translation
and in his polling his head -- and it hath been at the end of year by year that he polleth it, for it is heavy on him, and he hath polled it -- he hath even weighed out the hair of his head -- two hundred shekels by the king's weight.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

14:25-27 Nothing is said of Absalom's wisdom and piety. All here said of him is, that he was very handsome. A poor commendation for a man that had nothing else in him valuable. Many a polluted, deformed soul dwells in a fair and comely body. And we read that he had a very fine head of hair. It was a burden to him, but he would not cut it as long as he could bear the weight. That which feeds and gratifies pride, is not complained of, though uneasy. May the Lord grant us the beauty of holiness, and the adorning of a meek and quiet spirit! Only those who fear God are truly happy.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 26. - Two hundred shekels after the king's weight. Unless the royal shekel was smaller than the shekel of the sanctuary, the weight of Absalom's hair would be six pounds. But we cannot believe that the king's shekel was not full weight; for to imagine this is to suppose that the king had tampered with the coinage; for the shekel was a coin as well as a weight, being originally a fixed quantity of silver. As a matter of fact, David had amassed too much silver to have need of resorting to what is the expedient of feeble and impoverished princes. Nor can we grant an error in the number; for the versions all agree with the Hebrew, so that any mistake must, at all events, be of great antiquity. Josephus says that Solomon's body guard wore long hair powdered with gold dust, and undoubtedly Absalom's hair was something extraordinary (2 Samuel 18:9). But six pounds is so enormous a weight that it is just possible that some ancient copyist has enlarged the number, to make it accord with a legend current among the people, in which this feature of Absalom's beauty had been exaggerated.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

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 (w) 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 (x) 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 (y) 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 (a) this weight was according to what the inhabitants of Tiberias and Zippore used, but do not tell us what it was.

(w) Maimon. & Bartenora in Misn. Nazir, c 1. sect. 2. Bemidbar Rabba, sect. 9. fol. 194. 3. Gloss. T. Bab. Sotah, fol. 10. 2.((x) Scripture Weights and Measures, ch. 4. p. 103. (y) Ibid. p. 104. (z) Antiqu. l. 7. c. 8. sect. 5. (a) T. Bab. Sotah, fol. 10. 2.



2 Samuel 14:26 Additional Commentaries
Context
Absalom's Return to Jerusalem
25Now in all Israel was no one as handsome as Absalom, so highly praised; from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head there was no defect in him. 26When he cut the hair of his head (and it was at the end of every year that he cut it, for it was heavy on him so he cut it), he weighed the hair of his head at 200 shekels by the king's weight. 27To Absalom there were born three sons, and one daughter whose name was Tamar; she was a woman of beautiful appearance.
Cross References
Genesis 23:16
Abraham agreed to Ephron's terms and weighed out for him the price he had named in the hearing of the Hittites: four hundred shekels of silver, according to the weight current among the merchants.

2 Samuel 18:9
Now Absalom happened to meet David's men. He was riding his mule, and as the mule went under the thick branches of a large oak, Absalom's hair got caught in the tree. He was left hanging in midair, while the mule he was riding kept on going.

Ezekiel 44:20
"'They must not shave their heads or let their hair grow long, but they are to keep the hair of their heads trimmed.
Treasury of Scripture

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.

when he polled

2 Samuel 18:9 And Absalom met the servants of David. And Absalom rode on a mule, …

Isaiah 3:24 And it shall come to pass, that instead of sweet smell there shall …

1 Corinthians 11:14 Does not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, …

two hundred shekels. If the shekel be allowed to mean the common shekel, the amount will be utterly incredible; for Josephus says that 'two hundred shekels make five mina, he says, 'weighs two pounds and a half; which calculation makes Absalom's hair weigh twelve pounds and a half! But it is probable that the king's shekel was that which Epiphanius and Hesychius say was the Fourth part of an ounce, half a stater, or two drachms; the whole amount, therefore, of the

Genesis 23:16 And Abraham listened to Ephron; and Abraham weighed to Ephron the …

Leviticus 19:36 Just balances, just weights, a just ephah, and a just hin, shall …

Ezekiel 45:9-14 Thus said the Lord GOD; Let it suffice you, O princes of Israel: …

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OT History: 2 Samuel 14:26 When he cut the hair of his (2Sa iiSam 2 Sam ii sam) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools

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