Leviticus 21:5
Parallel Verses
New International Version
"'Priests must not shave their heads or shave off the edges of their beards or cut their bodies.

New Living Translation
"The priests must not shave their heads or trim their beards or cut their bodies.

English Standard Version
They shall not make bald patches on their heads, nor shave off the edges of their beards, nor make any cuts on their body.

New American Standard Bible
'They shall not make any baldness on their heads, nor shave off the edges of their beards, nor make any cuts in their flesh.

King James Bible
They shall not make baldness upon their head, neither shall they shave off the corner of their beard, nor make any cuttings in their flesh.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Priests may not make bald spots on their heads, shave the edge of their beards, or make gashes on their bodies.

International Standard Version
"They are not to cut their hair in ritualistic patterns on their heads, deface the edges of their beards, or make incisions in their flesh.

NET Bible
Priests must not have a bald spot shaved on their head, they must not shave the corner of their beard, and they must not cut slashes in their body.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
"You should never mourn by shaving bald spots on your heads, shaving the edges of your beards, or slashing your bodies.

Jubilee Bible 2000
They shall not make baldness upon their head, neither shall they shave off the corner of their beard, nor make any cuttings in their flesh.

King James 2000 Bible
They shall not make any bald place upon their head, neither shall they shave off the corner of their beard, nor make any cuttings in their flesh.

American King James Version
They shall not make baldness on their head, neither shall they shave off the corner of their beard, nor make any cuttings in their flesh.

American Standard Version
They shall not make baldness upon their head, neither shall they shave off the corner of their beard, nor make any cuttings in their flesh.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Neither shall they shave their head, nor their beard, nor make incisions in their flesh.

Darby Bible Translation
They shall not make any baldness upon their head, neither shall they shave off the corners of their beard, nor make any cuttings in their flesh.

English Revised Version
They shall not make baldness upon their head, neither shall they shave off the corner of their beard, nor make any cuttings in their flesh.

Webster's Bible Translation
They shall not make baldness upon their head, neither shall they shave off the corner of their beard, nor make any cuttings in their flesh.

World English Bible
"'They shall not shave their heads, neither shall they shave off the corners of their beards, nor make any cuttings in their flesh.

Young's Literal Translation
they do not make baldness on their head, and the corner of their beard they do not shave, and in their flesh they do not make a cutting;
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

21:1-24 Laws concerning the priests. - As these priests were types of Christ, so all ministers must be followers of him, that their example may teach others to imitate the Saviour. Without blemish, and separate from sinners, He executed his priestly office on earth. What manner of persons then should his ministers be! But all are, if Christians, spiritual priests; the minister especially is called to set a good example, that the people may follow it. Our bodily infirmities, blessed be God, cannot now shut us out from his service, from these privileges, or from his heavenly glory. Many a healthful, beautiful soul is lodged in a feeble, deformed body. And those who may not be suited for the work of the ministry, may serve God with comfort in other duties in his church.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

They shall not make baldness upon their head,.... For the dead, as Jarchi, Aben Ezra, and Ben Gersom; not shave their heads, or round the corners of them, or make baldness between their eyes on that account; as those things were forbid the Israelites, so the priests also; this and what follow being superstitious customs used among the Heathens in their mournings for the dead, particularly by the Chaldeans, as Aben Ezra observes; and so by the Grecians; when Hephestion, one of Alexander's captains, died, he shaved his soldiers and himself, imitating Achilles in Homer (t); so the Egyptians, mourning for the loss of Osiris, annually shaved their heads (u); and the priests of Isis, mourning for her lost son, are called by Minutius Felix (w) her bald priests; see Leviticus 19:27,

neither shall they shave off the corner of their beard: the five corners of it; See Gill on Leviticus 19:27. This the Israelites in common might not do, and particularly their priests; though the Egyptian priests shaved both their heads and beards, as Herodotus (x) relates: and so they are represented in the Table of Isis (y):

nor make any cuttings in their flesh; either with their nails, tearing their cheeks and breasts, or with an instrument cutting their flesh in any part of their bodies, as was the custom of Heathen nations; such were made by the Egyptians in their mournings (z); See Gill on Leviticus 19:28.

(t) Aelian. Var. Hist. l. 7. c. 8. (u) Julius Firmicus de Error. Proph. p. 2.((w) In Octavio, p. 22. Vid. Lactant. de fals. Relig. l. 1. c. 21. (x) Euterpe, sive, l. 2. c. 36. (y) Vid. Pignorii Mens. Isiac. liter. S. (z) Julius Firmicus, ut supra. (u))

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

5. They shall not make baldness upon their heads … nor … cuttings in their flesh—The superstitious marks of sorrow, as well as the violent excesses in which the heathen indulged at the death of their friends, were forbidden by a general law to the Hebrew people (Le 19:28). But the priests were to be laid under a special injunction, not only that they might exhibit examples of piety in the moderation of their grief, but also by the restraint of their passions, be the better qualified to administer the consolations of religion to others, and show, by their faith in a blessed resurrection, the reasons for sorrowing not as those who have no hope.

Leviticus 21:5 Additional Commentaries
Context
Holiness Required of Priests
4'He shall not defile himself as a relative by marriage among his people, and so profane himself. 5'They shall not make any baldness on their heads, nor shave off the edges of their beards, nor make any cuts in their flesh. 6'They shall be holy to their God and not profane the name of their God, for they present the offerings by fire to the LORD, the food of their God; so they shall be holy.…
Cross References
Leviticus 19:27
"'Do not cut the hair at the sides of your head or clip off the edges of your beard.

Leviticus 21:4
He must not make himself unclean for people related to him by marriage, and so defile himself.

Deuteronomy 14:1
You are the children of the LORD your God. Do not cut yourselves or shave the front of your heads for the dead,

Isaiah 15:2
Dibon goes up to its temple, to its high places to weep; Moab wails over Nebo and Medeba. Every head is shaved and every beard cut off.

Ezekiel 5:1
"Now, son of man, take a sharp sword and use it as a barber's razor to shave your head and your beard. Then take a set of scales and divide up the hair.

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

They shall not make baldness on their head, neither shall they shave off the corner of their beard, nor make any cuttings in their flesh.

not make baldness This custom is also called {rounding the corners of the head}

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

and seems to have been performed in honour of some idol

Leviticus 10:6 And Moses said to Aaron, and to Eleazar and to Ithamar, his sons, …

Leviticus 19:27,28 You shall not round the corners of your heads, neither shall you …

Deuteronomy 14:1 You are the children of the LORD your God: you shall not cut yourselves, …

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

Isaiah 22:12 And in that day did the Lord GOD of hosts call to weeping, and to …

Jeremiah 16:6 Both the great and the small shall die in this land: they shall not …

Jeremiah 48:37 For every head shall be bald, and every beard clipped: on all the …

Ezekiel 44:20 Neither shall they shave their heads, nor suffer their locks to grow …

Amos 8:10 And I will turn your feasts into mourning, and all your songs into …

Micah 1:16 Make you bald, and poll you for your delicate children; enlarge your …

the corner The Hebrew {peakth zakon}, may denote the whiskers; as the Syriac {phatho} signifies. These are by the Arabs, according to Niebuhr, still cut entirely off, or worn quite short; and hence they are called by Jeremiah, [], those with cropped whiskers. Perhaps some superstition, of which we are ignorant, was connected with this; but whether or not, it was the object of Moses to keep the Israelites distinct from other nations.

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OT Law: Leviticus 21:5 They shall not shave their heads neither (Le Lv Lev.) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools

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