Should Males wear a Beard?
aymon de albatrus
"I gave my back to those who strike, and my cheeks to those who pull out the beard; I hid not my face from disgrace and spitting." (Isa 50:6)
There are some people that say that Jesus never wore a beard, I may ask them: "How do you know? Since no one knows what Jesus looked like!" But we have the testimony of Scripture, above, that Jesus indeed wore a beard.
Once the wife of my beloved pastor approached me privately, she was a bossy woman, and in no uncertain terms said to me: "aymon de albatrus, that stuff on your face has to go: "Well, I responded: but I want to follow Jesus." "What do you mean by that, chapter and verse!" she retorted beginning to get upset" "Isaiah 50:6". She looked it up and I could see virtual steam coming out of her ears, she read it a couple times and looked at me angrily, snapped her head back and left, never to mention the matter again. Needless to say, that both her husband and her son do not wear beards.
Even without the testimony of Scripture we can be absolutely sure that Jesus wore a beard. Why? Well who gave the beard to the males of the species? God did, of course. And why? One sure reason is to differentiate between the two sexes for: "Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created." (Gen 5:2) So He created them differently and as it is stated all over His Scripture, God differentiates between the things He has made, for example: Jews and Gentiles, Masters and Slaves, Men and Women, etc. God is NOT an egalitarian God, but a God of distinction. Even the way man and woman dress Deu 22:5 is to be different and also the way they wear their hair 1Co 11:14-15, and everything else, including functions, between them has to have a clear distinction.
That God gave the beard to the man to be kept is certain and if God has given something is to be had for sure for God is perfect in every way, by definition. Thus when imperfect man is shaving off the beard God gave him what is he really saying to God? "Look God, you made a mistake here, I know better, let me help you, and negate what you erroneously gave and I shall fix it by removing it. Indeed if I could I would eradicate it completely, for my wife does not like it." The shaving of the beard off is a rebellious act toward God and His creation, if not a defying act of arrogance.
The way that God has made Man is with a beard. When we shave it to "beautify" ourselves, as the ancient Greeks and Romans did, we alter God's design for us. It is a profaning or defiling and rejection of what God has made.
What was the purpose of Jesusí coming: "Jesus said to them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work." (Joh 4:34) The purpose of Jesusí coming was to live a perfect human life; perfect in every way, totally in line with His Fatherís will so to be a perfect sacrifice to atone the Sins of His people. Would the perfect man Jesus shave off what God, His Father, had given Him as a man? Unthinkable, only to consider that Jesus would sin in rejecting His Fatherís gift, even to consider that is an offence to our Master and Saviour. For this reason alone we can be perfectly sure that Jesus wore a beard, and so His disciples that imitate Him in every way (and so we also should). Besides the fact that in the Jews culture and tradition (and all around them) wearing a beard was a sign of distinction for a man and not having one a sign of shame.
Jesus therefore, like the Patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and King David and Isaiah, etc., would have had a full, untrimmed beard. We can well understand and imagine that all the Apostles including Paul and all the Jews who believed in Him (Acts 2:41; 21:20, etc.), walked the same way. So should we, if we truly are His disciples.
Have a look at this: "4 And Hanun took Davidís servants and shaved off half of their beards, and cut off their long robes in the center, to their buttocks; and he sent them away. 5 And they told David, and he sent to meet them; for the men were greatly ashamed. And the king said, Remain in Jericho until your beard grows; then you shall return." (2Sa 10:4-5) The Ammonite Hanun was upset with King David and so he put his ambassadors to shame by cutting off their long beards in half (vertically). King David then instructed his servants to wait in Jericho until their shaven half beard had regrown for it would have been a shame to return without the beard. (the robe would have been replaced pronto). Clearly we see here how important was the beard for a man, the beard that God has given to the human males.
According to Oriental sentiment a greater indignity could not have been put upon the ambassadors of David. The beard is considered a symbol of manhood, and, in some places, of freedom - slaves being compelled to shave their beards in token of servitude. By shaving half their beard Hanun not only treated David's ambassadors with contempt, but made them objects of ridicule. So disgraceful is it considered to have the beard cut off, that some of the Orientals would prefer death to such a punishment. They cared for their God given beards.
In Eastern lands a smooth face carries with it the suggestion of effeminacy. Among the Jews, as among most Oriental peoples, the beard was especially cherished as a symbol of virility; to cut off another man's beard was an outrage as we have seen above.
The Bible states in Leviticus 19:27 that "Ye shall not round the corners of your heads, neither shalt thou mar the corners of thy beard." Talmudic rabbis understood this to mean that a man may not shave his beard with a razor with a single blade, since the cutting action of the blade against the skin "mars" the beard. Because scissors have two blades, halakha (rabbinic law) permits their use to trim the beard, as the cutting action comes from contact of the two blades and not the blade against the skin. Trimming the beard with scissors is permitted, but not close to the skin, and as far as minimum beard length as a general rule is such that one should be able to grab it by clenching his fingers on it.
The ONLY Biblical way to wear a Beard if Full, that is no shaving of any portion of it in accordance with Lev 19:27. This classical beard style here to the right is called the "Jewish Patriarchal"
Beards have been worn in all sorts of styles for perceived "beauty" or as a sign of power, like the Pharaohs of ancient Egypt. Here is a sample:
Beard hair is most commonly removed by shaving. If only the area above the upper lip is left unshaven, the resulting facial hairstyle is known as a moustache; if hair is left only on the chin, the style is a chin beard. The combination of a moustache and a chin beard is a goatee or Van Dyck, unless the moustache and chin beard are connected, in which case it is known as a circle beard.
Full - downward flowing beard with either styled or integrated moustache
Sideburns - a full beard with a shaved chin
Chinstrap - a beard with long sideburns then comes forward and end under the chin, resembling a chinstrap, hence the name.
Garibaldi - wide, full beard with rounded bottom and integrated moustache
Goatee - A tuft of hair grown on the chin, sometimes resembling a billy goat's.
Royale (or impťriale) - is a tuft of hair under the lower lip. This is also known as a "soul patch" or "flavor saver"
Stubble - a very short beard of only one to a few days growth
Van Dyck - A goatee accompanied by a moustache.
All the above variations of beards are not Biblical, but at least the difference between man and woman, as demanded by God, is being attempted to be shown, as compared to clean-shaven.
These below are Biblical Beards, but its wearer may or may not be a believer:
When we men follow the world and shave, breaking God's Commandment, we are actually defiling ourselves.
Jesus had a beard (facial hair long enough to be grabbed and plucked from His cheeks). For the soldiers to be able to grab Jesus' beard, it must have been at least of moderate length (definitely not a short beard). Isaiah fifty/six speaks as a prophecy concerning Christ's hours of torment before the cross. Yes men, our Lord and Saviour had a FULL beard, in obedience to His Father.
Let us follow our Beloved Master and Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and His way in obedience to His Father. Jesus had a full beard; He is our example of holiness, from the inside out. There was no mistaking Jesus for a woman in His day. Let there be no mistaking of us as men in ours.