Leviticus 19:27 Meaning of Do Not Cut the Hair at the Sides of Your Head

Leviticus 19:27
“Do not cut the hair at the sides of your head or clip off the edges of your beard.”

Explanation and Commentary of Leviticus 19:27

Similar to other injunctions concerning ceremonial law, this should be categorized with those laws that were so completely fulfilled by and in Christ’s death on the cross, that they should now be considered totally inconsequential. They once served to set apart God’s people from all the other peoples of the ancient world and their gods. They also were a sign of the holiness and perfection of God, a living lesson for them of how utterly different he was from all other gods, and how utterly perfect he was in his being.

However, the practice in the day the law was codified was for identification with the demonic idols of the foreigners around the Israelites. We might apply this today in the New Testament Age by guarding our hearts against any desire to associate ourselves in appearance with any ungodly thing or person, especially if that thing or person is anti-God. Care against the idolization of a human, by imitation and emulation, could be one way to apply the spirit of this law. Do you admire some celebrity that you copy their looks, mannerisms, and are enticed by their views, though they are contrary to godliness? Take care in this matter.

Some also point out that these practices had a correlation with witchcraft, which was strictly prohibited by God (Deut 18:10-14).

Breaking Down the Key Parts of Leviticus 19:27

#1 “Do not cut the hair at the sides of your head…”
This is a straightforward command with no real explanation in the text. It was a simple command that should have been simply obeyed by the Israelites. The chapter starts with the words, “Be holy, because I, the LORD your God, am holy” (Lev 19:1). Everything that follows is considered by him as falling into the category of ways to be holy.

#2 “…or clip the edges of your beard.”
Repeat everything from #1. The issue is not one of fashion, but identification as God’s people.

Expert Overview of Leviticus

Biblical Translations of Leviticus 19:27

“Do not cut the hair at the sides of your head or clip off the edges of your beard.”

“Do not trim off the hair on your temples or trim your beards.”

“You shall not round off the hair on your temples or mar the edges of your beard.”

“Ye shall not round the corners of your heads, neither shalt thou mar the corners of thy beard.”

“You shall not shave around the sides of your head, nor shall you disfigure the edges of your beard.”

Leviticus 19:27 Meaning and Commentary

Author Bio
Natalie Regoli is a child of God, devoted wife, and mother of two boys. She has a Master's Degree in Law from The University of Texas. Natalie has been published in several national journals and has been practicing law for 18 years.