Biblical meaning of shaving head (spiritual meaning of shaving your head)

As a theologian, I developed a strong interest in biblical ceremonies and rituals because of the significance they held both to God and the people.

I was particularly intrigued by the concept of shaving the head and what it symbolized. During my theology study, I attended various forums held by other theologians and religious leaders, where we extensively explored the biblical meaning of shaving the head.

Last week, one of my theology students was curious about the meaning of shaving the head following one of his relatives shaving her hair after losing her job.

Since I had gained substantial knowledge on this topic, I was excited to share all that I knew.

So, what is the biblical meaning of shaving the head?

According to the Bible, shaving the head signifies mourning, dishonor, cleansing, and loss of strength. In Jeremiah 48:37-38, God lamented about Moab and declared mourning to them where every head would be shaved, every beard cut off, every hand slashed, and every waist covered with sackcloth. In Judges 16:16-21, Samson lost his extraordinary strength after the Philistine rulers shaved his hair.

In this article, join me as I delve into what the Bible says about shaving the head. You will discover the concept of shaving represented in the Old Testament, bible verses about shaving hair, and if it is a sin for a Christian woman to shave her hair, so keep reading!

What does the Bible say about shaving the head?

According to the Bible, shaving the head expresses mourning, dishonor, and cleansing.

In Job 1:20, Job tore his robe and shaved his hair when he heard that a house had collapsed on his sons and daughters and killed them. He fell to the ground, worshipped God, and did not blame Him.

In Ezekiel 27:31, God lamented to Ezekiel about Tyre, that the mariners and sailors associated with them would raise their voices, cry bitterly, shave their heads, and put on sackcloth to weep and mourn over them.

This suggests that shaving the head was a symbol of mourning.

According to Leviticus 21:5-6, it was unlawful for priests to shave their heads and beards because they were holy. Hair was a symbol of honor and their close relation with God.

According to 1 Corinthians 11:5-6, a woman dishonours her head when she shaves her hair. This implies that shaving the head signifies dishonor.

In Numbers 8:5-7, God told Moses to purify the Levites among the Israelites by sprinkling cleansing water on them, shaving their bodies, and washing clothes.

In Leviticus 14:1-9, the diseased shaved their whole body for them to get healing and cleansing. This implies that shaving was a crucial part of cleansing.

How is the concept of shaving represented in the Old Testament?

spiritual meaning of shaving your head
The concept of shaving. Image source: Pixabay

The concept of shaving in the Old Testament is represented as a disgrace, breaking a covenant with God, and loss of strength.

In Leviticus 21:5-6, God told Moses that it was unlawful for priests to shave their heads and beards. They were always in God’s presence, and their hair was a symbol that set them apart as holy.

In Leviticus 21:10, the high priest’s head would be anointed with oil, and his hair would remain kempt. This implies that hair symbolized honor, and shaving was a disgrace to God.

According to Numbers 6:1-21, God gave Moses laws to govern the Israelites who wanted to make a special vow to Him as Nazirites.

In Numbers 6:5, He said that the Israelites should not shave their heads for the duration of the vow. They had to remain holy and let their hair grow long.

This suggests that hair symbolized dedication, and shaving would break their covenant with God. In Numbers 6:9-12, God permitted the Nazirites to shave their head if someone died in their presence because it defiled their dedication to Him.

Shaving alongside burnt sacrifices would cleanse and atone them as they rededicated themselves to God. This implies that shaving was a symbol of cleansing from sin.

According to Judges 16:4-21, Delilah wanted to know Samson’s source of strength so that she could sell him out to the Philistine rulers.

She pressed him until he eventually revealed that, as a Nazirite, he had never shaved his hair, which was the secret to his strength.

Delilah colluded with the rulers to shave his hair, upon which he lost his strength, and God departed from him.

Later in Judges 16:22-31, his hair began to grow, and so did his strength. He sought revenge by pushing the two pillars that supported the temple to kill the Philistines, where he also died.

This suggests that hair was a source of strength, and shaving led to its loss.

What is the shaved hair and the divided hair in Ezekiel chapter 5?

The shaved and divided hair in Ezekiel chapter 5 expressed God’s wrath and what He would do to the people of Jerusalem for disobeying Him.

In Ezekiel 5:1-17, God commanded Ezekiel to shave his head and beard and divide it with a set of scales. He would burn a third of the hair in Jerusalem, take a third of it and strike it with a sword around the city, and scatter the other third to the wind.

Ezekiel would also tuck some of the hair in the folds of his garments and throw some into a fire to burn. This represented what would happen to the people of Jerusalem for their disobedience to God.

According to Leviticus 21:5, it was unlawful and disgraceful for priests to shave their heads and beards. Therefore, Ezekiel shaving his hair was a great defilement and humiliation.

It symbolized shame and the destruction that would befall the people of Jerusalem. Unlike the surrounding nations, Jerusalem had rebelled against God.

According to the divided hair, the people would perish in thirds. One would die from the plague or famine, another would be killed by the sword outside the walls, and the other would disperse to the winds and be chased by drawn swords. God would not pity or spare them.

He would avenge His anger.

Bible verses about shaving hair

  • In Genesis 41:14, Joseph shaved and changed his clothes before meeting the Pharaoh when the Pharaoh wanted him to interpret his dream.
  • According to Deuteronomy 14:1-2, God’s children were not to cut themselves or shave the front of their heads for the dead because they were God’s chosen people.
  • In 1 Chronicles 19:4-5, Hanun, the new king of the Ammonites, shaved David’s agents and cut off their garments at the buttocks to humiliate them.
  • According to Isaiah 7:20, God would hire a razor from beyond the Euphrates River and shave the people’s heads and beards.
  • In Isaiah 15:2, Isaiah prophesied the ruin of Moab. Every head would be shaved and every beard cut off.
  • In Jeremiah 7:29, the word of God was upon Jeremiah. He lamented over the people of Judah and declared that they should cut their hair and throw it away because He had rejected and abandoned them.
  • In Jeremiah 16:6, God declared to Jeremiah that no one was to mourn, cut themselves, or shave their head for those who died in the land because of their disobedience.
  • According to Jeremiah 47:5, Gaza would shave her head in mourning, and Ashkelon would be silenced during the destruction of the Philistines.
  • In Ezekiel 7:18, people would put on sackcloth, every face covered with shame, and every head shaved in the end times.
  • According to Ezekiel 44:20, God commanded the Levitical priests to neither shave their heads nor let their locks grow old but rather trim the hair.
  • In 2 Samuel 14:25-26, Absalom, highly praised for his good looks all over Israel, cut the hair on his head once a year because it would become too heavy for him.
  • In Acts 18:18, Apostle Paul shaved his head before sailing for Syria because he had made a vow.

Biblical meaning of shaving hair in a dream

Shaving hair in a dream can signify grief, loss of wealth and power, healing, or transformation.

In the Bible, shaving hair is associated with mourning. In Amos 8:10, God told Amos that He would no longer spare the Israelites.

He would turn their religious festivals into mourning, and they would wear sackcloths and shave their heads in grief, like mourning for an only son. This suggests that shaving hair in a dream signifies grief.

In Job 1:13-22, Job shaved his head to mourn the loss of his children and possessions. In Judges 16:4-21, Samson lost strength after the Philistine rulers shaved his hair.

This suggests that shaving hair in a dream could mean the loss of wealth and power.

In Leviticus 14:1-9, God outlined the regulations for healing the diseased. As part of cleansing, they would shave all their hair on the seventh day, wash their clothes, and bathe.

This suggests that shaving hair brought cleansing and healing. It also signifies a transformation from sickness to good health.

Is it a sin for a Christian woman to shave her hair?

Biblical meaning of shaving head
Is it a sin for a Christian woman to shave her hair? Image source: Pixabay

According to the Bible, a woman dishonors her head if she shaves her hair. It is a disgrace because long hair is her glory.

In 1 Corinthians 11:5-6, Apostle Paul says that a woman worshipping with her hair uncovered is similar to having her head shaved, which dishonors her head.

It is a disgrace for her to shave her hair, so she should cover it. According to 1 Corinthians 11:15, her long hair is her glory. Therefore, shaving her hair is removing her glory.

In Luke 7:36-38, a sinful woman went to Jesus, wept at His feet, wiped the tears with her hair, kissed them, and anointed them with perfume.

This suggests that hair is a significant feature for a Christian woman. However, God created hair to be malleable and to grow back, which suggests that He allows Christians to alter it by shaving or styling according to their preferences.

What is the spiritual meaning of shaving your head?

Shaving your head symbolizes healing, purification, and new beginnings.

In Leviticus 14:1-9, the diseased were to shave all their hair on the seventh day as part of their healing and cleansing process.

In Numbers 8:7, God told Moses to purify the Levites among Israelites by sprinkling purifying water on them and shaving their whole body.

This suggests that shaving your head could mean the healing and purification of your body and spirit.

In Deuteronomy 21:11-12, a foreign woman was to shave her head and trim her nails before becoming an Israelite’s wife.

This implies that shaving the head symbolizes leaving behind the old and embracing the new.

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