Many people see this verse and leave it at that. No exceptions. They judge all men with long hair. Period. However, let's take a look at some other bible scriptures.
Isaiah 28:10 For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:
1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When either man or woman shall separate themselves to vow a vow of a Nazarite, to separate themselves unto the LORD:
3 He shall separate himself from wine and strong drink, and shall drink no vinegar of wine, or vinegar of strong drink, neither shall he drink any liquor of grapes, nor eat moist grapes, or dried.
4 All the days of his separation shall he eat nothing that is made of the vine tree, from the kernels even to the husk.
5 All the days of the vow of his separation there shall no razor come upon his head: until the days be fulfilled, in the which he separateth himself unto the LORD, he shall be holy, and shall let the locks of the hair of his head grow.
So we see in Numbers 6 that there is a special holy vow that a man or woman can make with God that they would not cut their hair, but let it grow long. We see this in Samson in Judges 13 and Samuel in 1 Sam.1 but they were Nazarites from birth. But we see in Numbers that it does not have to be from birth, the person can make this vow any time in their life. You may say this is in the Old Testament. But notice the Apostle Paul took this vow!
Acts 18:18 And Paul after this tarried there yet a good while, and then took his leave of the brethren, and sailed thence into Syria, and with him Priscilla and Aquila; having shorn his head in Cenchrea: for he had a vow.
Numbers 6:13 And this is the law of the Nazarite, when the days of his separation are fulfilled: he shall be brought unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation:
18 And the Nazarite shall shave the head of his separation at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and shall take the hair of the head of his separation, and put it in the fire which is under the sacrifice of the peace offerings.
17 And when we were come to Jerusalem, the brethren received us gladly.
18 And the day following Paul went in with us unto James; and all the elders were present.
19 And when he had saluted them, he declared particularly what things God had wrought among the Gentiles by his ministry.
20 And when they heard it, they glorified the Lord, and said unto him, Thou seest, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are which believe; and they are all zealous of the law:
21 And they are informed of thee, that thou teachest all the Jews which are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, saying that they ought not to circumcise their children, neither to walk after the customs.
22 What is it therefore? the multitude must needs come together: for they will hear that thou art come.
23 Do therefore this that we say to thee: We have four men which have a vow on them;
24 Them take, and purify thyself with them, and be at charges with them, that they may shave their heads: and all may know that those things, whereof they were informed concerning thee, are nothing; but that thou thyself also walkest orderly, and keepest the law.
25 As touching the Gentiles which believe, we have written and concluded that they observe no such thing, save only that they keep themselves from things offered to idols, and from blood, and from strangled, and from fornication.
26 Then Paul took the men, and the next day purifying himself with them entered into the temple, to signify the accomplishment of the days of purification, until that an offering should be offered for every one of them.
It is clear that Paul and 4 other men had the Nazarite vow in Acts 18 and 21.
It is clear that a man who has long hair due to a vow unto The Almighty is not in sin. But what if he does not have a vow?
Notice that Paul never says that it is a sin. He only says that it is a shame. He never said that God said it was a shame or that this was thus saith the LORD. Sometimes Paul, like other ministers, speak from their opinions concerning what they think is best for the local congregation. Notice in verse 2 that he said that this is his teaching and tradition. Not thus saith the LORD.
1 Cor.11:1 Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.
2 Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you.
The Greek word for ordinances in this verse is G3862 paradosis which means tradition. Paul was encouraging that particular congregation of that day and time to follow his tradition or custom. Paul, although of Israelite blood and taught by a famous Jew, was still raised in the Roman culture, having been born in Tarsus. The culture of Rome was that men had short hair. In his opinion, men with short hair was the natural thing. But we must realize that in the Hebrew culture, men with long hair was considered a sign of strength, honor and wisdom. When the Hebrews looked at a man with long hair, they saw a man of God. There are not any other verses in the entire bible that teaches that men should have short hair. The Almighty never told anyone to proclaim long hair as a sin. We should never make a doctrine based only upon one chapter. We must look at the entire bible in order to make sure that we understand that verse correctly. We must look at the context and previous verses as well. Notice verse 16:
But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God.
So we see in both verse 2 and again in verse 16 that Paul clarifies that this is not thus say the LORD.
So what about 2 Tim. 3:16? "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness."
Does this verse proclaim that every word that Paul ever wrote was the word of God? No! Paul wrote this verse and we must also consider what else Paul wrote. Look at 1 Cor.7:6 But I speak this by permission, and not of commandment.
12 But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away.
So Paul himself said that some of his teachings were not the LORD's. Paul was a man of God. He was a minister ordained by The Almighty. But he was not God. He was not perfect and he did not perfectly understand everything in all of eternity. Just like all human pastors, he had liberty to lead and direct the congregation the best he could including using personal judgments. Not everything was Thus Saith the LORD. The scriptures that Paul referred to in 2 Tim.3:16 were the scriptures that Timothy was raised with, the Greek Septuagint of the old testament. Paul was not referring to his own writings. Paul did not understand that his own writings would later be considered scripture by others. The bottom line is that we do not have any scripture that says that The Almighty said that men with long hair is a sin. In fact, we have just the opposite! Long hair on a man can at times be seen as Honor toward The Almighty.
We should never judge any person based solely on the length of hair.
Jesus Was Not a Nazarite Because He Did Drink Wine
Matt.11:18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, He hath a devil.
19 The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. But wisdom is justified of her children.
(Some people claim that this is only a false accusation. And that's true that it's a false accusation of Jesus being a drunk. However, to fully understand why they made this accusation, we must look at the context of the word "winebibber". Jesus explained that John the baptizer did not drink. We know that John the baptizer didn't go without food and water every day of this entire life, as that would be impossible. But this is saying that John fasted often and was also a Nazarite from birth, meaning that John never partook of any alcohol. Only some men of God were bound by the vow of a Nazarite, not every man of God. We also know that Jesus fasted for 40 days straight in the wilderness. Yet Jesus compared Himself in contrast to John, but they both fasted. The only difference was that Jesus was not born a Nazarite. There is not any verse of the bible that indicates or hints at Jesus being a Nazarite. The people could not make an accusation of Him being a winebibber/drunk if He never even drank any alcohol. So although their accusation was false, it was based on the knowledge of Him drinking in contrast to John. We also know that Jesus blessed the wine cup of Communion at the Passover Last Supper. Jesus also touched the dead which was forbidden to people with the Nazarite Vow. However, none of this proves that He didn't have long hair. It is very likely that He had long hair because long hair was considered by the Israelites as a sign of Holiness, Strength, and Honor. Some people try to claim that statues of the era prove the men had short hair. But most of those statues/busts are of Roman men, not Hebrew men. Considering many images of Israelites, it is likely that the Roman, Assyrian and Babylonian invaders forcibly shaved the hair of their Israelite slaves, but history and the bible still show that the Israelites and God saw long hair on a man as a sign of strength and Holiness.)
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Is it always a Shame for men to have long hair? Is it sometimes Holy? Copyright 2008 I Saw The Light Ministries