Deuteronomy 21:12
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
Bring her into your home and have her shave her head, trim her nails

New Living Translation
If this happens, you may take her to your home, where she must shave her head, cut her nails,

English Standard Version
and you bring her home to your house, she shall shave her head and pare her nails.

New American Standard Bible
then you shall bring her home to your house, and she shall shave her head and trim her nails.

King James Bible
Then thou shalt bring her home to thine house; and she shall shave her head, and pare her nails;

Holman Christian Standard Bible
you are to bring her into your house. She must shave her head, trim her nails,

International Standard Version
Bring her to your house, but shave her head and trim her nails.

NET Bible
you may bring her back to your house. She must shave her head, trim her nails,

New Heart English Bible
then you shall bring her home to your house; and she shall shave her head, and pare her nails;

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Bring her into your home. She must shave her head, cut her nails,

JPS Tanakh 1917
then thou shalt bring her home to thy house; and she shall shave her head, and pare her nails;

New American Standard 1977
then you shall bring her home to your house, and she shall shave her head and trim her nails.

Jubilee Bible 2000
then thou shalt bring her home to thine house, and she shall shave her head and pare her nails,

King James 2000 Bible
Then you shall bring her home to your house; and she shall shave her head, and trim her nails;

American King James Version
Then you shall bring her home to your house, and she shall shave her head, and pare her nails;

American Standard Version
then thou shalt bring her home to thy house; and she shall shave her head, and pare her nails;

Douay-Rheims Bible
Thou shalt bring her into thy house: and she shall shave her hair, and pare her nails,

Darby Bible Translation
then thou shalt bring her home to thy house; and she shall shave her head, and pare her nails;

English Revised Version
then thou shalt bring her home to thine house; and she shall shave her head, and pare her nails;

Webster's Bible Translation
Then thou shalt bring her home to thy house, and she shall shave her head, and pare her nails:

World English Bible
then you shall bring her home to your house; and she shall shave her head, and pare her nails;

Young's Literal Translation
then thou hast brought her in unto the midst of thy household, and she hath shaved her head, and prepared her nails,
Study Bible
Marrying a Captive Woman
11and see among the captives a beautiful woman, and have a desire for her and would take her as a wife for yourself, 12then you shall bring her home to your house, and she shall shave her head and trim her nails. 13"She shall also remove the clothes of her captivity and shall remain in your house, and mourn her father and mother a full month; and after that you may go in to her and be her husband and she shall be your wife.…
Cross References
1 Corinthians 11:5
And every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head, for it is just as if her head were shaved.

Leviticus 14:8
"The one to be cleansed shall then wash his clothes and shave off all his hair and bathe in water and be clean. Now afterward, he may enter the camp, but he shall stay outside his tent for seven days.

Leviticus 14:9
"It will be on the seventh day that he shall shave off all his hair: he shall shave his head and his beard and his eyebrows, even all his hair. He shall then wash his clothes and bathe his body in water and be clean.

Numbers 6:9
But if a man dies very suddenly beside him and he defiles his dedicated head of hair, then he shall shave his head on the day when he becomes clean; he shall shave it on the seventh day.

Deuteronomy 21:11
and see among the captives a beautiful woman, and have a desire for her and would take her as a wife for yourself,
Treasury of Scripture

Then you shall bring her home to your house, and she shall shave her head, and pare her nails;

and she shall This was in token of renouncing her religion, and becoming a proselyte to that of the jews. This is still a custom in the East: when a Christian turns Mohammedan, his head is shaved, and he is carried through the city crying {le eelah eela allah wemochammed resoolu llahee, `There is no God but the GOD, and Mohammed is the prophet of God.'

1 Corinthians 11:6 For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it …

Ephesians 4:22 That you put off concerning the former conversation the old man, …

pare her nails; `i.e. probably neither paring nor letting them grow, but dressing or beautifying them as the Eastern women still do by tinging them with leave of an odoriferous plant called alhenna, which Hasselquist (p.246) informs us, `grows in India and in upper and lower Egypt, flowering from May to August. The leaves are pulverized and made into a paste with water: they bond this paste on the nails of their hands and feet, and keep it on all night. This gives them a deep yellow, which is greatly admired by Eastern nations. The colour lasts for three or four weeks before there is occasion to renew it. The custom is so ancient in Egypt, that I have seen the nails of mummies dyed in this manner.'

Verse 12. - She shall shave her head, and pare her nails. The shaving of the head and the paring of the nails, as well as the putting off of the garments worn when taken captive, were signs of purification, of separation from former heathenism, preparatory to reception among the covenant people of Jehovah (cf. Leviticus 14:8; Numbers 8:7). Pare her nails; literally, make or prepare her nails, i.e. by cutting them down to a proper size and form (cf. 2 Samuel 19:25, where the same word is used of dressing the feet and trimming the beard). The Targum of Onkelos takes this in quite an opposite sense, rendering, as in the margin of the Authorized Version, "suffer to grow," and the rabbins who adopt this meaning suppose that the design of the prescription was that the woman, being rendered unlovely, the man might be deterred from taking her to be his wife. But this is altogether alien from the spirit and scope of the passage. Then thou shalt bring her home to thine house,.... In order to make her his wife, after some things were done here directed to; for this is not to be understood of his taking her home with a view to defile her, as Maimonides (e) interprets it; who observes, that when a man's lust so rages that he cannot subdue it, yet he ought not publicly to satisfy his lust, but to have the woman into a private and secret place, as it is said:

thou shalt bring her into the midst of thine house; nor was he permitted to lie with her in the camp, nor was it lawful for him to defile her a second time, until her mourning was at an end; though elsewhere (f) he gives a different sense of this passage, and supposes the man to have lain with the captive woman, before the introduction of her into his house; for it is a notion that prevails with the Jewish writers, that an Israelitish soldier might lie once with an Heathen woman taken captive, to gratify his lust, but might not repeat it; so it is said in the Talmud (g); yet it must be observed, that there are some, though but few, who are of opinion that the first congress was unlawful, and that he might not touch her until certain conditions were fulfilled, and they were married, as R. Jochanan (h); and which is embraced, supported, and defended by Abarbinel on the place, and in which he is undoubtedly right; and so it is understood by Josephus (i) and Philo (k); for this law gives no liberty nor countenance to the violation of the beautiful captive. The plain meaning is, that when a Jewish soldier was passionately in love with a captive, and was desirous of making her his wife, he was to take her home to his house, where she was to remain, to see whether his passion of love would subside, or the woman become a proselyte, or however till certain rites were observed, and then he was permitted to marry her:

and she shall shave her head; either that she might be the less engaging, her flowing locks, or plaited hair, or modish headdress, being removed from her, which had served to excite a passion for her; or as a token of mourning for her present afflicted state and condition; and in afflicted circumstances it was usual to shave the head; see Job 1:20; and though it was forbidden the Israelites, yet not Gentiles; Deuteronomy 14:1.

and pare her nails; this and the former some think were ordered to make her fit to be his wife, and were a sort of purification of her, and an emblem of her having renounced Heathenism, and having departed from it, and laid aside all superfluity of former naughtiness; but this phrase is interpreted in the Targum of Onkelos, "let her nails grow"; and so the Arabic version: and this the Jewish writers say was ordered to be done, that she might appear ugly and disagreeable to him, and be abhorred by him; so Jarchi, Aben Ezra, and Ben Melech; the same is observed by Maimonides (l), and is the sense of R. Akiba (m). Another of their writers (n) think it refers to a custom in some nations to dye their nails."The daughters of the Heathens (he says) used to adorn the nails of their hands and feet, and dye them with various colours, according to the custom of the Ishmaelites (or Turks); that there might be a variety in their hands, and men might look at them, take them and handle them until the fire of hell, and an evil concupiscence, burned; wherefore this is ordered that they might let them grow, without any preparation or die.''But perhaps this neglect of their nails, and suffering them to grow, was in token of mourning as well as shaving the head, as also sometimes even paring the nails was done on the same account.

(e) Moreh Nevochim, par. 3. c. 41. (f) Hilchot Melachim, c. 8. sect. 2.((g) T. Bab. Kiddushin, fol. 21. 2.((h) Apud Abarbinel in loc. & R. Sol. Urbin. Ohel Moed, fol. 14. 1.((i) Antiqu. l. 4. c. 8. sect. 23. (k) De Charitate, p. 706. (l) Ut supra. (Hilchot Melachim, c. 8.) sect. 5. (m) In T. Bab. Yebamot, fol. 48. 2.((n) R. Abraham Seba in Tzeror Hammor, fol. 146. 2.21:10-14 By this law a soldier was allowed to marry his captive, if he pleased. This might take place upon some occasions; but the law does not show any approval of it. It also intimates how binding the laws of justice and honour are in marriage; which is a sacred engagement.
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