Since Biblical times, long hair has been a source of contention and a symbol of strength, piety, and masculinity. From Jesus, to Samson, to Peter, long hair has occurred in many Biblical figures and has many interpretations and connotations throughout scripture. The Bible is filled with references to long hair and in it, there are several direct references to long hair, ranging from the historical to the spiritual.
One of the first references to long hair comes from Jesus himself. In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus is referred to as having “long hair” (Matthew 5:36). Later, in the New Testament, the apostle Paul makes a comparison between men and women, writing that “a man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but woman is the glory of man. For man did not come from woman, but woman from man; neither was man created for woman, but woman for man. For this reason, and because of the angels, the woman ought to have a sign of authority on her head” (1 Corinthians 11:7-10). This passage shows that, as an act of submission, women were instructed to cover their heads, while men were not. This is often interpreted as a reference to men and women keeping their hair long in order to show respect to God and each other.
The second reference to long hair is from the Old Testament, when Samson is given his strength from the Lord: “But you shall become a nominee of the Lord and of oaths, and he shall give you strength and keep you from evil.” (Judges 16:17).
This passage is often interpreted to mean that Samson’s long hair is a source of strength and protection. It is believed that, by keeping his hair long, Samson was able to maintain his strength and piety as a “nominee of the Lord”.
The third and final reference to long hair appears in the New Testament. In his Epistle to the Corinthians, the Apostle Peter is quoted as saying “For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful. They were submissive to their own husbands, like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her master. You are her daughters when you do what is right without fear of what your husbands might do.” (1 Peter 3:6). This passage is often seen as direct evidence that wives are commanded to not only be submissive to their husbands, but also to keep their hair long, as Sarah did to symbolize her faith in God.
Though there are only three direct references to long hair in the Bible, scholars have long debated the meaning behind these passages and what the main theme of each passage is. Some interpret the passages to mean that long hair should be kept as a sign of faith and respect for God, while others believe it is a sign of submission. Some even argue that the passages could be interpreted as a message that men and women should maintain a long hair style out of respect for each other.
In addition to the direct references, there are also many symbolic references to long hair in the Bible. One of the most famous is Jesus’ Parable of the Lost Sheep. In this parable, Jesus compares a lost sheep to a lost soul, and compares finding the lost sheep to finding the lost soul. Many scholars interpret this parable to demonstrate the importance of long hair as a symbol of faith and steadfastness in the face of adversity.
Though the Bible does not explicitly state why people should keep their hair long, it does make several references to long hair as a symbol of strength, piety, and masculinity. By keeping hair long, men and women could symbolize their faith in God and their commitment to one another. Though many people have their own interpretation of the scriptures, the main theme is clear: long hair is a sign of faith, reverence, and respect.
Unlike the Bible, the Qur’an offers no explicit passages on the significance of long hair. However, scholars often interpret the Qur’anic passage “believers, remain conscious of God and speak a straightforward word” (33:70)to mean that believers should keep their hair long as a sign of their dedication to God and their willingness to speak His truth.
This understanding is particularly pertinent to women, as the Qur’an states that “it is not appropriate for believing women to reveal more of their body than necessary” (24:31). Some scholars interpret this to mean that women are expected to keep their hair as a sign of modesty, as long hair is seen as a form of covering for a woman’s head.
Many Muslim countries today continue to practice this belief in keeping women’s hair long as a sign of modesty and piety. In Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Pakistan, for example, the government has even passed laws that ban men from cutting their hair above their ears and restrict the length of women’s hair to shoulder-length or longer. This practice is seen as a way to maintain their faith and their standing in society.
Though the Qur’an does not provide any explicit references to long hair, many believe that it is a sign of faith and a reminder to practice modesty and piety. Keeping one’s hair long, then, is a way to demonstrate respect for God and His will.
The idea of long hair being a sign of faith and respect for God is not a new one. In fact, it can be traced back to Ancient Greece, where both men and women kept their hair long as a sign of piety and respect for the gods. This practice was particularly prevalent among the priests, who had shoulder-length or longer hair as a sign of their commitment to the gods.
During the times of Jesus, long hair was seen as a symbol of faith and consecration, though the exact meaning varied among different cultures. In the Jewish culture, long hair was seen as a sign of an ascetic lifestyle, as it was believed to free the mind and spirit from worldly distractions. Long hair was also seen in certain Christian sects, such as the French and Italian Mennonites, as a sign of dedication to one’s faith.
The practice of keeping one’s hair long has been passed down through the ages, and continues to this day in many cultures and religions around the world. Even in modern times, long hair is still seen as a sign of faith and respect for God, and is seen by some as a way to maintain one’s commitment to their beliefs.
In addition to its religious significance, long hair has also been seen as a symbol of power and strength throughout history. Long hair was especially prevalent in Ancient Greece and Rome, where it was seen as a sign of strength and virility. Many warriors in these times would wear their hair long, as a way to demonstrate their strength and courage in battle.
The practice of wearing long hair as a sign of strength continued through the Middle Ages and the Renaissance periods. Knights, for example, would often wear their hair long as a way to demonstrate their courage and virility. Long hair was even seen as a way to make oneself more attractive, as it was seen as a sign of health and beauty.
Long hair has also been associated with creativity, as it was believed to help one tap into their creative and imaginative powers. Notable figures from history such as Van Gogh, Einstein, and Mozart are all said to have kept their hair long in order to make use of its creative power.
Today, long hair is seen by many as a sign of individualism and creativity, as well as a statement of one’s independence and strength. Furthermore, many view long hair as a way to stand out and make a statement, whether it be about one’s religious beliefs, political beliefs, or even one’s artistic taste.
In addition to its cultural and religious significance, long hair has also been seen as a sign of psychological strength and resilience. Many mental health professionals believe that long hair can be a symbol of one’s sense of self-worth and self-confidence, as it is a visible representation of one’s inner strength.
Furthermore, long hair can also be seen as a sign of psychological well-being. Studies have shown that women who wear their hair long have lower rates of anxiety and depression than those with shorter hair, as the long hair is believed to give them a sense of security and protection.
Finally, long hair is also seen as a sign of freedom and liberation, as it has historically been a symbol of rebellion and resistance. In many cultures, long hair is viewed as a way for individuals to demonstrate their independence and refusal to be restricted by societal norms.
Long hair, then, can be seen as a sign of spiritual, psychological, and cultural strength. By maintaining a long hair style, individuals can not only signify their faith and respect for God, but also their inner power and resilience.