Chapter 1

head coverings, covering, bride of christ, bible commentary, yahweh, bible study, bible prophecy, house of yahweh, end time prophecy

Around 1984 I grew a beard to identify with the needy/the lowly whom I served in a ministry to the poor. Instantly men could relate to me because of my shared identity with them. But since then my persuasion concerning beards has become a strong conviction based soundly on the Scriptures, history, and creation.

My thoughts on this matter of the beard and coverings were sparked by an immensely significant observation my oldest daughter, who was then about twelve, shared with me. I was outside washing the car, when she came to me and exclaimed: "Dad, I've been thinking about something. It seems that men and women try to reverse the roles God intended for them. Men," she said, "whom God intended to have beards, shave their faces and become fair-skinned like women. While on the other hand, women, whom God intended [as evidenced throughout nature] to have a lesser appearance than men, darken their eyes and put makeup on their faces, assuming a more dominant appearance over men." I began to ponder her insightful statement, and since then have studied what Yahweh's Word and history (His-story) say about this subject.

Foremost, it must be recognized and acknowledged that it was Yahweh God who fashioned on man the beard; it is not man's addition. In fact, conversely, man's creation of man is – beardless. Man himself must daily resist Yahweh's creation in order to become the image of his own creation. Yahweh's creation of man with facial hair distinctly sets him apart from woman and child. Therefore, we must ask the question: Why did God give man a beard? Was it an accident or the addition of a misdirected useless annoyance, or just the addition of a little shrubbery around the old house for landscaping? Obviously, none of these! Yahweh has created all things with a divine governmental purpose, including a man's beard.

In answer to this question – first, despite what society teaches today, there is a God-intended difference between the man and the woman. Yahweh God purposed that this difference be distinct and obvious. He instructed that, "A woman shall not wear man's clothing, nor shall a man put on a woman's clothing; for whoever does these things is an abomination to Yahweh your God" (Deuteronomy 22:5). God has created distinct physical, stamina, and structural differences between men and women. In 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 Paul warns: "or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals ... will inherit the kingdom of God." He has also set forth a difference between a man and a woman by their hair, both in the length of the hair on the head (1 Corinthians 11:14-15), as well as the obvious presence of facial hair – the beard. If we respect the differences of clothing and head hair length, then why do we not also respect the equally important difference of the beard?

A second reason God gave man a beard is to distinguish him from adolescence. Today, the distinct difference between an adolescent and the marked wisdom of an adult is fading. The older often try to dress like the younger. The younger try to possess the authority of the older. But Yahweh intended to distinguish the young man as not yet having achieved adulthood, evidenced by the absence of the beard. Throughout history the beard was a mark of respect, wisdom, and experience. It set apart men as men, and boys as boys! This distinction is healthy and proper, and is more readily insured when there is the outward physical distinction of the God-ordained beard. Boys can dress like men, they can act like men, but there is still that "mark" that they are bare boys – they cannot grow that identifying beard. Society would be far better off if this visible God-ordained standard of sex-distinction and maturity-distinction was not confusingly removed.

Think about it.  Yahweh could just as well have designed the male to be born with facial hair, just like he has hair on his head.  But instead, He placed facial hair on him later in life at a period of maturing.  This is His order, His design, even His government: and it speaks, just as our shameful removal of this divine covering speaks.

It is a shame when parents try to look like their children – to dress like them, talk like them, and act like them. Paul said, “When I was a child, I used to speak as a child, think as a child, reason as a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things" (1 Corinthians 13:11). A boy is fair-skinned the first fifteen or so years of his life. When he does become a man, he needs to put away fair-skinned boyish ideas and ways. What does the boy have to look forward to, to admire, when men stunt their maturing process, refusing to put away their own childish appearance? Ephesians 4:15 exhorts us "to grow up in all aspects into Him."  In Yahweh God's design, growing up also means that a man grows a beard.

In the Scriptures the concept of getting older is related specifically to growing a beard. Excluding the book of Numbers, when one reads the word translated “old” in the Bible, the original Hebrew word most likely came from the root word “zaqan,” which is the Hebrew word for “beard.” For example, in the well known verse in Proverbs 22:6 we read: “Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it.” But the concept in the Scriptures of maturing is not just adding years, but more specifically, adding facial hair to a young lad’s face. Thus Proverbs 22:6 more accurately reads: “Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is bearded he will not depart from it.” Even as the Scripture’s concept of maturing is related directly to being “bearded,” men today who wish to ascribe their lives to the Scriptures should likewise ascribe their face to this gauge of the maturing process.

The beard is a sign, or testimony, of maturity, though it certainly does not guarantee maturity. Maturity, like the beard, does not come all at once; it takes time. But we remove from our young men that outward sign and reminder of patient waiting for maturity. We blend that process to where maturity becomes meaningless. The testimony we give today by beardlessness is the abandonment and lack of maturity. It fails to see Yahweh's simple but vital way of preserving that orderly marked transition from childhood to adulthood.

Third, as we will see in this writing, removing the beard is a call for Yahweh's judgment. To be able to consider this matter of His judgment via the removal of His established coverings requires a foundation of information that cannot be laid at this point. So, we will simply mention this highly important aspect of the beard and consider it more fully later.

And fourth, it will equally be noted in this work that all creation, including the man's beard, reflects the divine order, the laws, and the ways of Yahweh God. Departing from this order is to forsake His ways, and thus His greatest blessings. The beard that Yahweh gives to the man is a most important matter and is very revealing.


Let us now share what the Scriptures specifically say about the beard. First, significantly, Yahweh instructed His people to not shave their beards. In Leviticus 19:27 we read: "You shall not round off the side-growth of your heads, nor harm the edges of your beard." The Hebrew word translated here as "harm" means – to decay or ruin, to cast off, corrupt, destroy, lose, mar, perish, spoil, or waste. Yahweh instructed His people to not "cast off" the sides of their beards. A beard without sides is not a beard at all; it is a goatee. Yahweh directs His men to keep their full beards. And this is exactly what we see from His people throughout the Bible. Men from Adam to Yahshua wore the beard.

The sons of Aaron, the priests, were instructed to "not make any baldness on their heads, nor shave off the edges of their beards, nor make any cuts in their flesh. They shall be holy to their God and not profane the name of their God ..." (Leviticus 21:5-6). We as "a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God's own possession" (1 Peter 2:9), should of all people not shave off the edges of our beards.

We see then that the beard is a scriptural mark of an obedient relationship with Yahweh God. Men should have a God-designed, God-instructed, bearded relationship with their Heavenly Father! He has ordained it so in His Word.

Next, and very significantly, in Yahweh's relationship with man, the removal of the beard was a sign of humiliation, judgment, affliction, and mourning. When He was preparing to judge Jerusalem, Yahweh had the prophet Ezekiel to shave his head and beard, and apportion the clippings to indicate the types of judgment and destiny He would inflict upon them (Ezekiel 5:1-12).

In Isaiah 7:10-25, the prophet Isaiah foretold of the devastation and judgment Yahweh would bring on the land of Judah, "days as have never come since the day that Ephraim separated from Judah." Their vines were to be turned to briars and thorns. He would call in bees and flies, and would bring in the Assyrians with razor to shave "the head and the hair of the legs; and it will also remove the beard." God's judgment came with a razor.

Furthermore, when it was prophesied that the Moabites would be devastated and ruined, Isaiah characterized their destruction as a time when "everyone's head is bald and every beard is cut off," and they would gird themselves with sackcloth (Isaiah 15:2-3). Jeremiah wailed for the Moabites: "For every head is bald and every beard cut short; there are gashes on all the hands and sackcloth on the loins" (Jeremiah 48:36-37).

In Isaiah's prophecies concerning the humiliation and sufferings of Yahshua, we see further the graphic relationship between the removal of the beard and Yahweh's humiliating judgment: "I gave My back to those who strike Me, and My cheeks to those who pluck out the beard; I did not cover My face from humiliation and spitting ..." (Isaiah 50:6). In Jeremiah 41:4-5 we see eighty men traveling to the destroyed temple, sorely grieving and weeping for its destruction and the expulsion of their people to Babylon. They demonstrated their grief and humiliation by their beards "shaved off and their clothes torn ...."

In 2 Samuel 10:1-5 we further see a very interesting account concerning the great humiliation associated with the removal of even a portion of the beard. King David had sent some of his servants to the new Ammonite king to show kindness at the death of the king's father. In an act of reproach, the new king "took David's servants and shaved off half of their beards, and cut off their garments in the middle as far as their hips, and sent them away." This incorrigible act "greatly humiliated" the men, and undoubtedly David as well. So greatly offensive was it that David sent out messengers, instructing his disfigured servants: "Stay at Jericho until your beards grow, and then return." This defacing act of insult caused the Ammonites to "become odious to David," and led to a war that ended in the thorough defeat of the Ammonites and the Syrians.

And most importantly, the testimonies of the first man and the last man in the Bible to shave are exceptionally revealing.  The first man to shave was Joseph – when he went before Pharaoh (Genesis 41:14).  And while the outcome of that meant temporary deliverance for Israel and his sons and family, it was in fact by going to Egypt that they were led into bondage as slaves.  The last man in the Bible to shave was Paul (Acts 21:23-26).  Against everything he had taught, he too shaved; and as a result, he too was taken into bondage, only his was immediate.  But Paul only had one life to live, and while the sons of Israel in time were delivered from their bondage, Paul was never released from his and was killed. Thus we see testified by both the first man to shave, as well as the last to shave, that this defacing act produces bondage and death.  And of course, this is exactly what we saw evidenced by the prophets as well.

It is a great sorrow and reproachable humiliation when men forsake the Scriptural shame associated with defacing their appearance. And literally, men are, by their own design, defacing themselves – taking off the face Yahweh has given them. If only men could see His perspective regarding beards. But then again, as we have just seen, for a harlotrous people who do not walk in His ways, it is only fitting that men be defaced. For men have, in many ways, turned away from Yahweh God, entered into bondage, and justify the humiliation of their sorrowful appearance, calling for His judgment.

In 1989, this same oldest daughter and I were attending a seminar in which the instructor took a strong position in opposition to men wearing beards. During a break, she asked me why he felt this way. I explained that his feelings were based on the attitudes of the 60's, and he felt that beards were a sign of rebellion; to which she responded: "It looks like he would base his beliefs on the Scriptures and not on a brief point in time." Her answer was straight to the point – simple and innocent, yet piercing to the heart of the truth! She was exactly right! It is shortsighted and an insult to the Scriptures and to the Creator's design if we base our beliefs on the whimsical nature, the attitudes, or even the accepted styles of man.

Men should base their actions, including their appearance, on Yahweh's instructions and His established order. He has a beard! Is He rebellious? The Son of God, the very image and glory of the Father, wore a beard (Isaiah 50:6). Was He too rebellious? We should have a far greater concern for our testimony of unhindered and unadulterated conformity to Yahweh God, rather than conform to what men think. Some good-intentioned people who do not want to appear rebellious, are actually rebelling against God each day as they remove the beard that He has given them to wear.

Men who call upon the name of Yahweh should accept His design for a man and obediently wear the beard He has created for them, despite what society or teachers present. In the Scriptures, as well as throughout the major part of the history of man, it was a shame to be shaven! Let us not look at "truth" in shortsighted reaction as though it rested at the end of our fair-skinned nose; but let us honestly, and with a willingness to examine the unchanging standard of the Scriptures, see the purpose and design Yahweh has in the beard.


Throughout Yahweh's creation, one can plainly see that the Master Designer ascribed more abundant glory and outstanding appearance to the male. To the lion He ascribed the majestic and full mane, as well as to the goat, the stag, and to the apes. To the stag He also added the magnificent towering antlers. To the peacock He displayed the showy spray of tail feathers with their marvelous colors. On and on we could go with examples throughout the span of creation – the mammals, the birds, the fish – Yahweh has ascribed a greater glory to the male. Why? The widely accepted secular "scientific" notion is that the male needed to attract a female, or to draw away a predator. This most certainly cannot hold true. There are too many cases in which this does not prove necessary. Ravens and doves that show no outward sex differences have no trouble wooing a mate; and often it is the more splendid and colorful male bird that sits on the eggs, which would only attract a predator to the nest. No, there is a higher purpose for this design that is consistent with the Creator's plan for man.

This testimony of Yahweh's creation that He has given more abundant honor and appearance to the male is clear, affirming, consistent evidence and truth that the man "is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man" (1 Corinthians 11:7). God created the man as His "image and glory," and He consistently confirms this position throughout all of His creation by the greater appearance He has given to the males in nature. This fact is certainly not by accident, but by divine testimony and design. Why else would Yahweh assign a greater appearance to the males except that it affirms the glory and image He has given the man?

This obvious important distinction that Yahweh our Creator has affirmed throughout creation should be affirmed and respected and upheld by men and women today. Where then is the beard on man? Does a lion shave his mane? Shall the stag lob off his antlers or the peacock pluck out his tail? Never may there be such marring and humiliation to creation! These things would be most repulsive and pathetic to see! Then pray tell, why does man forcibly remove the distinction Yahweh has placed uniquely on him in contrast to the woman?

(Creation's testimony to the beard)

The cow's in the stable; the cock on the roof.
The lamb by its mother; the horse stands aloof.

The fish in the pond; the bird in the air.
The worm in his hole; the badger in lair.

All creation knows its rightful place;
For God has ordained each one's limited space.

A horse on the roof? A lamb in a lair?
The cow in a hole? Oh what a scare!

When creation does not take its rightful place;
Things are in upheaval , confusing, and an unorderly disgrace!

Into this scene comes farmer Smith;
Tending his livestock, the least he'll not miss.

And something fits, as we examine this man;
With livestock in stable, and beasts in the land.

This natural scene, and order to boot,
Is not interrupted by division or loot.

His hands are firm, his brow is stern;
His back is bent from labor and yearn.

His face is covered, not only with years of work,
But his jaw is adorned with a beard and a perk.

He's worn it proudly upon his jaw;
For ever since a boy, he's wanted to be like his Pa.

He knows his Creator, and plainly sees throughout the land,
That God has a purpose for all; we're to fit the Master's plan.

His male goat has a heavy mane; his nanny none.
The stag in the forest –
regal antlers He's hung.

Even the great lion in Africa, though he's personally not seen,
The male he knows is maned, while the female is mean.

The peacock, his roosters, all display,
A distinction in appearance; "A Master plan," he'd say.

For who can dispute throughout the land
That God's formed creation has a message in hand?

If God's Word says He gives His image and glory to the male,
Then why to the beard would with razor he assail?

Would we pluck the peacocks tail?
And send away the lion bare-faced and pale?

Would we discount the colors sublime
Of male mallard and mandrill, of pheasants of all kind?

Of guppy and betta, with colors so stark?
Then why from distinction does man wish to depart?

It is the will of God that man should show
Hair on his face –
a beard he should grow.

Farmer Smith well knows what he plainly sees,
That when creation's in order –
the Creator we please.

His beard he wears proudly, and so should you;
Hair on your cheeks, and not defaced in lieu.

So listen to the farmer, and observe throughout the land,
That God planned the beard, and not stubble in hand.

Drawing further from Yahweh’s creation, what example has He given us of the female possessing the dominant appearance over the male? What He reveals in nature regarding the answer to this question is very interesting and remarkably significant. Some animals show little to no dissimilarity between the sexes – e.g., crows, doves, dogs, etc. And in a few examples the female is larger in size, when she carries large quantities of eggs, as in fish. But I know of only one isolated example that Yahweh has given where the female is both larger and more splendid – the black widow spider!

In this isolated case, the female is not only much larger, but substantially more attractive. While the female is large, shiny black, and has the distinct red hourglass marking on her abdomen, the male is dramatically smaller, dull light brown or gray, and spindly. This fiendish female will capture and eat her mate if she is not cautiously approached and restrained by him, thereby obtaining for herself the name “widow.” Is there not a clear message here for us? In similar regard, time and time again, the sad, destructive results of a dominating wife are demonstrated. The family is brought into upheaval when the wife prevails, and the children bear the chilling consequences – troubled homes and lives, homosexuality, a confusion of the sexes, divorce, and many other tragic ills. The results are devastating!

The Scriptures clearly teach Yahweh's design for a marriage: "Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of woman" (1 Corinthians 11:3). When this is reversed, there is spiritual anarchy, mutiny, rebellion, and confusion. From the beginning the man is the head – dominant in physical appearance and responsibility. When the “black widows” prevail, man and his seed are the victims! When women dress, adorn themselves, or wear cosmetics (from the Greek word "kosmos" or "world" – that ought to tell us something ladies) that draw attention away from their husbands, they follow in the usurping steps of Satan and the angels "who did not keep their own domain, but abandoned their proper abode" (Jude 1:6). And when weak men passively or purposefully abdicate their God-ordained glory and headship to the wife, they doom the wife, children, and society to a troubled pit. Men need to be the head Yahweh has ordained them to be. And to the ladies, Tertullian (an early church writer around 150 to 210 A D) wrote this like truth:

Obtain your whiteness from simplicity. Get your ruddy hue from the blush of modesty. Paint your eyes with meekness and your mouth with silence. Implant the words of God in your ears. Array your neck with the yoke of Christ. Submit your head to your husband, and you will be adequately adorned. (From A Glimpse at Early Christian Church Life, by David W. Bercot.)

In stark contrast to Tertullian, consider this poem:


I'm the black widow spider; the glory is mine!
I love how I'm made; it fits me just fine.

You see, my husband is small; a worrisome sort.
He's dull and lackluster, spindly, and short.

But me, I'm the more beautiful; I'm shiny and large.
Much more attractive than my husband. Men? –
I give them a charge!

An hourglass spot I have on my back –
A distinct beauty mark, my husband does lack.

That frail weasely husband approaches me,
To woo me, and mate me; there's certainly no glee.

I'll go along with his frivolous tact,
Unless I'm disposed to a more self-serving act!

Just let him think he's got me bound;
And I'll unleash! My fury he's found!

I'll bite him, and bite him, till you'll surely see,
That of the two spiders, there's only one, that's me!

I'm the exception in creation; I like it that way –
I supplant my husband, in beauty to display.

But I'm not alone in my supplanting act;
For women wise like me can take it by tact!

Just let that male reduce his appearance
By shaving his face, to our image adherence.

And when you can, ladies, with glee,
Let him wear soft clothing –
an attribute to me.

And, dearies, I know, what you have at hand,
To make your appearance a more striking command.

They say "paint your face;” it's easy to see,
That in worldly cosmetics you'll be beautiful like me.

Take the red of male cardinal, and the green of he mallard,
And the blue of pop mandrill, and make yourself glamoured.

And don't forget my shimmering black!
A trace on your eyes; oh, my beauty you'll not lack.

So go on creation; I see your silly plan,
Of making the female less glorious than man!

But don't you worry, as long as there be
Razors, garments, and cosmetics, us women you'll see!

We'll deck ourselves out with color and charm;
And your lead appearance we'll surely disarm.

Mustaches for mice! Beards are for beast!
Shame on you man; you'll dare not compete!

We'll turn on our charm and seductively woo you!
We'll then rise to the front and shadow you blue!

Come on, my dearies, let nature agree,
That women should all look like me!

Man is a man, not a woman. Man is a man, not a boy. Yahweh has set forth a clear, substantive, and causative difference; and a man should, according to His holy design, preserve that difference – for his wife's sake, for the sake of his children, for the sake of Yahweh's kingdom and His creation, for the sake of society, and for the sake of truth. Let a man proclaim: Wear the beard men! God has set it upon your jaw. Preserve it. Uphold it. Let His distinctive identifying mark upon you be in harmony with His glory, His creation, and His purpose.

Will a beard make a man? Not necessarily. But, a beard unmistakably tells others he is a man. A sign outside a building lets one know what kind of business is inside; but it does not necessarily reveal the character or quality of the business. And if a man is not capable of even growing a beard, he is no less a man. He too should equally accept the distinctive way Yahweh has made him (just as the man who can grow a beard should accept the way he is made). Again, what has Yahweh shown in nature but diversity and acceptance? The raven and the dove do not lament that they have not a showy appearance over their mates. Likewise, there are whole groups of people who cannot grow beards. But that is alright. The point is – men should accept Yahweh's individual design for them. His prevailing testimony, both in nature and in men, is that the man is to have a more striking appearance, which included a beard. Frankly, there is something to be said for the man who grows a scraggly, thin, or patchy beard and seeks to honor Yahweh's unique and complete creation of him, when other men who can grow a robust beard remove it daily.

Men who have lesser beards should wear them proudly. The sparrow does not lament that he does not have the splendor of a peacock. The quail does not grieve that his colors do not match that of the pheasant. The dog does not sulk that he does not possess the mane of the lion. We should accept the beard Yahweh has given us, and wear it, groom it, let it be distinctive; not for what others have, but for what each of us has been given by Yahweh. Small or great, patchy or full, we should acceptingly wear the beard; it is Yahweh's own distinctive design for each of us individually.


A groomed beard is the only proper appearance for a godly man. In the Greek, the word "godly,” as used in 2 Peter 1:6-7 and other verses, actually means – to honor others by one's actions. It does not mean – God-like. It was used to describe Greek children who honored their parents by what they did. Likewise, we honor God and respect His design when we wear and groom the beard. Wearing the beard is godly – honoring God our Creator who made men with a beard. It is His order for men’s faces, not fair skin like women or boys.

The beard, by the will and design of Yahweh, is a mark of respect and intimacy. One can never know this truth unless they have grown a full beard – one which can be grasped with the hand. The Scriptures certainly assign this honor, affection, and respect of the beard. In the story of Joab and Amasa (2 Samuel 20:9-13), we find that Joab grasped Amasa's beard in a gesture of respect. Verse nine says: "And Joab said to Amasa, 'Is it well with you, my brother?' And Joab took Amasa by the beard with his right hand to kiss him."  

Though this gesture of good was used by Joab to deceive Amasa and make him vulnerable to him, whereby he killed him, it nonetheless reveals the honor and respect that was given to the beard. Throughout the Scriptures, the beard is respected. It has been a point of honor and intimacy.

David drew from that intimacy to explain a very pleasant relationship. He said, "Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity!" What is that pleasantness like? The beard is a fitting expression. "It is like the precious oil upon the head, coming down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard, coming down upon the edge of his robes" (Psalm 133:1-2).

There have been precious, memorable moments when my children have intimately clasped my beard and stroked it in affection and love. I can tell you personally that their loving gesture is deeply satisfying. It is like warm oil! Children cannot show this same act of affection to mother, sister, or young brother. It is uniquely and especially for father. But men have been robbed of this fulfilling and appropriate exchange. They can only be touched on the cheek like a woman or a boy. And even then, the little ones just say – "scratchy!" Scratchy? No thanks, I'll take the beard!


Let us further examine this matter of the man being made in the image of God. Genesis 1:26-27 state: “Then God said, 'Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness ....' And God created the man in His Own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them." It should be noted here that “the man” was made "in our image," in the image of the triune God. Since Yahshua has a beard (Isaiah 50:6), and He is "the image of the invisible God" (Colossians 1:15, 2 Corinthians 4:4), it can equally be stated that God the Father has a beard. Yes, "God is Spirit,” but the Bible also talks about His back, His hands, His feet, His eyes. Can He not also have a beard? Indeed so, for the Son of God has a beard!

Likewise, it is simple to reason that if the man is made in the image of God, conversely God has a beard. All paintings throughout history confirmingly represent Him as bearded. Since God has a beard, He shared His image with the man and created Him to likewise wear it. Since God shared His image with the man, for this cause alone a man seeking to glorify God should be compelled to wear what He has personally shared with him. Gillette and Norelco are cheap and shameful escapes from the image God bears and uniquely shared with the man.

God is a father, not a mother. He is masculine, not feminine. He is the head, and headship is passed down with the image that He shares – to His Son, and then to the man. Headship, as laid out in 1 Corinthians 11:3, begins with Yahweh God and ends with the man. Headship does not extend to the woman, because she is not the image of our Heavenly Father. 1 Corinthians 11:7 specifically states that the man "is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man." The woman is not the image of man; she is not the shared image of God; but she came from the man to make the man complete – not to compete.

In Genesis 1:27 in the New American Standard, the word "the" that is in the phrase – "God created the man” – is not in the printed text; but it very significantly does exist in the original Hebrew and is thus inserted here. Likewise, in Genesis 9:6 God spoke to Noah, affirming: "for in the image of God He made the man." This is an important distinction. It was "the man" who was created first, not a man and a woman. Granted, all of mankind was in Adam, as Eve was in Adam; but Adam was created a man in the image of God. It was "the man" who needed a helper "corresponding to" but not replacing him (Genesis 2:18). This important original text phrase – "the man" – with the definite article "the,” was accurately translated in numerous verses afterwards: Genesis 2:8, 15, 16, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25; 3:8, 9, 12, 20, 22, 24; 4:1. It was "the man" who was communing, walking, working on the earth. "The man" clearly identified a man, not a "male and female," but – a man.

God created “the man" in "His own image, in the image of God He created him, ...." The word "him" is very significantly singular, not plural – God created Adam, a man, in His image. Then added separately, the Scriptures go on to say: "male and female He created them." It does not say: "God created male and female in His own image." When He made the man, the woman (meaning - "taken out of man," Genesis 2:23) was in the side of the man. "Male and female He created them,” but not until after He first made the man, conformed to His own father image.

Men are not "in the image of God" when they shave their beards. They become a confusing, distorted mixture – partly in the image of God who made them, and partly in the image of the woman who came out of the man. Instead of being clearly identifiable bearded men, they are a woeful mix – woe-men! Men are no longer “in His own image,” but take on the distorted, self-designed appearance of “in his own image,” an image that man fashions of his own creating. Woe-men should quit sending mixed signals! God distinctly forbids it, as in dress and hair length. Men should be absolute, not persuaded by the fashions or expectations of a corrupted society, but wear the beard He has given them from His fatherly image.

Very interestingly and most significantly, starting in Genesis, the first five instances in which the word "image" (meaning – to form a likeness) is used, four of these instances state that God has made the man in the likeness of Himself. Four is the number which denotes God's creation. And thus, Yahweh God gives testimony to the creation of the man in His image. The fifth usage of the word "image" in Genesis 5:3, replicates this "image" process from men to men: “When Adam had lived one hundred and thirty years, he became the father of a son in his own likeness, according to his image, and named him Seth [who was in the ancestry of Yahshua – Luke 3:38]." Note that it does not state that Adam produced in his own likeness his daughters; no, it was his son Seth. His daughters were in the likeness of Eve, his wife.

Five is the number for grace or God's goodness. By God's grace and goodness, He continues to share His image with men – from Adam, to Seth, to Yahshua, and on to men today. Interestingly, it is the man's chromosomes that determine the gender of children. The woman has no influence at all on this. The male sex chromosome possesses the determining "x-y" factor; while the female chromosome possesses a nondescript "x-x" factor. Upon fertilization, the woman's egg can only share an "x" component, while the man's sperm can contribute either the "x," which will produce a daughter, or the "y," which will produce a son. To the son he gives his own chromosomal image. To the daughter he gives the woman's image.

Now back to the Scripture's use of the word image. Throughout the remainder of the Old Testament, the word "image" finds an entirely new usage. No longer does it give testimony to Yahweh's plan to share His image with the man; but instead, in the remaining eighty-six usages of this word, it now solely denotes man's attempt to alter and recast His image into perversions and replacements – in other words, man began to make and worship images created by himself! Today men do the same. The man, who was made in God's image, seeks again to alter His image to conform to the fair-skinned woman who was created from man. Man continues striving to become like (to worship) the created, and not the Creator. This is idolatrous to Yahweh God who has affectionately and purposefully shared His glorious image and likeness with the man. Instead of being the distinct "x-y" image God created, man became a mutation with the "x-x" image which came from him.

The most compelling argument in favor of men wearing a beard is the fact that it is Yahweh God who placed the beard on man, a reflection of His own image. Man does not go to a fashion store and purchase one, nor does he buy seeds to sprout one, nor does he go to a plastic surgeon and have it added to his face. A beard is not the creation of man. In fact, for a man to not have a beard, he must daily resist God’s creation. Daily he must remove what is God's persistent will.

Men have beards not because it is something they add to their face. It is a natural, God-given identifying feature specifically for the man. When a man does not have a beard, he must daily alter his face, God’s image, in order to keep from having it. What is more natural than having a beard? What is more fitting with God's creation from the beginning than having a beard? What is more in keeping with the order of Yahweh God than having a beard? What is more consistent with the image God has shared with “the man” than having a beard? To be otherwise must be the creation of idolatrous man, not of God! Man, by his own hand, becomes a woe-man!

(How to abandon creation)

In the Beginning God made man, in His very own image according to His plan .

Of sinew strong and features stark, of ruddy appearance man was not to depart!

His face was covered with hair unlike his head, but course and strong to match his stead.
His eyes were framed within this mass, and his stern jaw was covered from lad and lass.

Out of the man the woman was made; fair and frail her image was laid.
But man to the woman his image he slew, when by razor and clothing his appearance he made anew.

The point of this poem is very clear, for shaving a man from ear to ear,
Is like saying to our Creator –
"I don't like how I'm made!
So move over ladies and pass me the blade!"


Despite Paul's warning to "not be conformed to this world" (Romans 12:2), the world has often regrettably set the course for the Christian's face, hair, and dress. Joseph naively gave himself to the world after being Egypt's slave and prisoner for thirteen years. In the Scriptures, Egypt represents the place of bondage and curse. It was in Egypt where, three generations earlier, great-grandfather Abraham jeopardized his wife, and acquired Sarah's Egyptian maid, Hagar, who concubined the son of the flesh – Ishmael. Now, likewise in Egypt, Joseph was also adversely impacted by his abode in "the world." He conformed to being like them by shaving his head and beard and dressing like the Egyptians. In Genesis 41:14 we read: “Pharaoh sent and called for Joseph, and they hurriedly brought him out of the dungeon; and when he had shaved himself and changed his clothes, he came to Pharaoh." The Hebrew word for "shaved" means – to be bald. In most cases in its usage, it means to shave the head; but in other instances it was applied to "balding" the face as well.

The Egyptians fittingly had such a disdain for Yahweh's created hair that daily, wealthy men and women visited barbers who shaved and plucked the hair from their balded heads and face. "Hair was not only shunned but it was considered evil.... Egyptian priests had their heads and entire bodies shaved at least three times a week" (The Long And Short of It, by Bill Severn, pp. 22, 23). Such was the world this bearded Hebrew conformed to – not only in baldness but also in dress. His identity with Egypt led to other transgressions – taking an Egyptian wife, entering into the occult practice of divination (Genesis 44:5, 15), and intentionally misleading, lying to, and deceiving his brothers as he further altered his appearance. In fact, his appearance was so altered that his own family could not recognize him, though he talked face to face with them – bare-faced to bearded-faced! Joseph had conformed to Egypt, their soon-to-be captors!

I have a friend who, like Joseph, shaved his beard. In fact, his name is Joseph. As with so many others, he too at one time was concerned that his beard created an "image" that he was afraid would interfere with his worldly success. Also, he did not think it "looked good" on him, so he shaved it off. I shared this with another friend who responded – "he is trusting in the flesh, rather than faith." So true! He was relying on his conformity to the world to produce his success, and not on humbling himself before Yahweh God who would exalt him through His ways and plans. My friend was overcome by his lower nature of vanity (as so many are), being more concerned about how he appeared before other vain men and women, thereby becoming like them. Shaving the beard is most often a vain decision. Men who will not wear a beard because it makes them look older or less attractive are simply giving themselves over to pitiful vanity! (However, my friend did later become very convicted that wearing the beard was not a choice, and now wears it out of conviction.)

When shaving the beard for worldly promotion and acceptance, one relies upon the flesh, both literally and figuratively. Isn’t it interesting that it is indeed the flesh that a man misguidingly presents upon removing the beard? Every man must thus choose whether he will daily work at removing the covering Yahweh has placed upon his flesh, and trust in self for promotion; or rest from his daily works and yield to that which Yahweh has placed on the man's face, trusting in Him for promotion, success, acceptance, and, if necessary, a new job. A man who daily labors to keep the beard off does so by works; while a man who ceases from that daily labor enters into Yahweh's rest – with the glorious results of a God-honoring beard!

It seems appropriate to ask a simple question at this point: Are we to conform our lives to the standard of worldly acceptance and reward, or do we conform our lives to the plan and design of God? The beard – this unique visible point of acceptance and trust – can be the building block for further faith and trust in Yahweh! The natural always precedes the spiritual (1 Corinthians 15:46), and this one important natural act of accepting His beard can precede and produce added spiritual yieldedness and growth. It can be a constant, important, physical reminder of an important spiritual truth – to not trust in the flesh but in God who made us. "God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised, God has chosen, the things that are not, that He might nullify the things that are, that no man [Lit. – flesh] should boast before God" (1 Corinthians 1:27-29). The beard in our society may seem base (though, thankfully, less so today; and not without meaning), but God will use it as a point of spiritual growth – to cover the "flesh" in our life.

What the Egyptians did for Joseph, the Greco-Romans have accomplished for man today. It is the Greeks who have most influenced the beard's removal. Let us quote at length from the book Apologia Dome. Apologia De Barbis, edited by RB. C. Huygens (pp. 58, 59).

In Greek society, hair-style was an important aspect of liminality [the transitional phase in social status], especially during the period between youth and adulthood, when young men all shared the characteristics of their age group. The offering of cut hair to a god was a form of thank offering or dedication through which the god acquired some power over the person whose hair was offered. Hair was regarded as a source of life in Roman society and was cut at the approach of death. The traditional tearing of hair as a sign of grief was "the first offering or sacrifice to the dead" and has been seen by some scholars "as a substitute for blood and human sacrifice."

The beard in particular was a sign of age and physical maturity. It marked the borderline both between boys and men and between men and the gods, who never grew old. Alexander's shaving of his beard, which inaugurated a long period of beardlessness in the Greco-Roman world, may have been inspired by his desire for the appearance of perpetual youth associated with the gods. In ancient Greek society, the growth of a beard marked the end of the stage when a boy might legitimately be the object of sexual advances from an older man. It was also the distinction between the two major categories of performers, the juniors and the adults, in the Games. The custom of shaving was introduced at Rome probably in the third century BC.

For chronology sake, we will insert a portion from The Long And Short of It, by Bill Severn, pp. 28-29. This quote gives us further insight about the accepted styles during the time of Yahshua and the early church.

Shaving was so customary by the time Cicero was delivering his orations in the 1st century BC that senators with "five-o'clock shadow" were turned away from the senate and refused their seats until they visited the barber. Caesar, it was said, went unshaven only once, during a vow to let his beard grow until he avenged a military defeat. Caligula, who became emperor in the year 37, sometimes wore a false beard of gold [as did the Egyptians]. Nero, who came to power a decade later, made a public ceremony of dedicating his beard to the gods, presenting it at the temple in a small casket covered with jewels.

The Greco-Roman society has unquestionably had the greatest influence of any other society on man today – in government, in art, in architecture, in language, in literature, in thought, and, yes, in the clean-shaven image. But the early church rejected this gods-worshipping vain appearance. Instead, they accepted the design of their Creator. Let us continue this quote from Apologia Dome.

Beards thus came into the Christian world with a heavy baggage of pre-historic and classical symbolism, of which the Church Fathers were not unaware. Lactantius in the De opificio Dei wrote, "It is incredible how much the reason of beard (barbae ratio) confers, either for distinguishing the maturity of bodies, or for differentiating the sexes, or for adorning virility and strength." The beard for Epiphanius was "the proper form of man,” and for Clement, the sign of his superiority to woman. In Augustine's De civitate Dei the fact that beards served "not for protection but for manly adornment" was evidence that some things were placed on the body for decoration rather than for use. These texts helped to establish the basic Christian view of beards, in both East and West, as the natural mark of manhood, both in a general and in a specifically sexual sense. According to a medieval proverb, "A beard suites a man."

To specifically examine what the early church fathers did say about removing the beard, let us quote from the book, Why I Wear A Beard, by William R. Mc Grath, pp. 15-16. Here he quotes the early church fathers.

From Clement of Alexandria (ca. 190 AD): "Men are also infected with the disease of vanity.... But for those who are men to shave and smooth themselves; how ignoble! ... how womanly! For God wished women to be smooth, and rejoice in their locks alone growing spontaneously, as a horse in his mane; but has adorned man, like the lions, with a beard, and endowed him, as an attribute of manhood, with hairy chest – a sign this of strength and rule. This, then, the mark of the man, the beard, by which he is seen to be a man, is older than Eve, and is the token of the superior nature.... It is therefore impious to desecrate the symbol of manhood, hairiness. But the embellishment of smoothing (for I am warned by the word), if it is to attract men, is the act of an effeminate person, if to attract woman is the act of an adulterer; and both must be driven as far as possible from our society. 'But the very hairs of your head are all numbered,' says the Lord; those on the chin, too, are numbered .... For it is not lawful to pluck out the beard, man's natural and noble ornament.”

From Tertullian (160-220 AD): "Are there then, some things that to men are also not permissible, if we are god-fearing, and have a due regard for gravity? There are indeed .... My own sex recognizes some tricks of beauty which are peculiarly ours, for example, to cut the beard too sharply, to pluck it out in places; to shave round about the corners; to arrange the hair and conceal grayness by dyes .... But all these tricks are rejected by (Christians) as being frivolous and hostile to modesty, as soon as the knowledge of God has destroyed the wish to please."

From Cyprian (195-258 AD): who was writing of the reasons for apostasy among the churches, mention is made of a worldliness among church members which led them to have "no discipline in manners. Men defaced their beards (or wore their beards disfigured), and the beauty of women was a (painted) counterfeit. Their eyes were changed from what God had made them, and a lying color was placed upon the hair."

From Lactantius (240-320 AD), we read a condemnation of the effete and effeminate walk, dress and appearance of the worldly men and a defense of the beard for Christians: “The nature of the beard contributes in an incredible degree to distinguish the maturity of bodies, to the distinction of sex, and to the beauty of manliness and strength; so that it appears that the system of the whole (body) would not have been in agreement if anything had been made otherwise than it is.”

As in the words of Yahshua to a hardened world concerning divorce, we see that, though men of God shave today, "from the beginning it has not been this way" (Matthew 19:8). The early church had a single-hearted resistance to effeminatizing the man by vainly removing Yahweh's appointed beard. But due to division of heart between the vanity of this world and Yahweh's design, man has defaced his appearance. One must choose whether he will establish his appearance like unto the examples of Abraham, Moses, Eli, David, Yahshua, et al; or rather, like unto the Egyptians and Greco-Romans and those today who follow in their denuding practices. And in making this decision; remember, the first and last men in the Bible to shave, Joseph and Paul, were thereby given into bondage and death by both of these.


I'm on, I'm off, I'm sometimes a snare;
For some I'm never seen –
I'm the beard of your hair.

For some I'm an offense, for others a joy;
When I'm left to grow, for the baby I'm a toy!

Affectionately held and stroked with the hand,
I like my position on the jaw of a man.

In the past I was even regal and wisdom sublime.
But since Alexander and Nero I've changed in time.

Men like to hide me, remove me, and cut me each day;
And if you will listen, I'll tell you what I'd say.

From the beginning I was the Master's plan;
But man thought himself wiser and removed me by hand.

So now I am hidden by man wise in himself;
No longer do I grow but cut by razor on shelf!

I guess in time men will come to see,
That his and my Creator is wiser than thee.

So please let me be the glory of God;
And let me adorn you and accent your nod.

Please let me be that mane in the hand,
Of respectful men, of wisdom in land.

And distinguish yourself, young budding lad,
From sister and mother, and grow up like dad.

A hearty "AMEN!" I’ll shout through the land,
When men wise put down razors, and once again stroke me in hand!


We know Yahweh God did not create anything without a purpose. He did not put hair on the man's face just because it was a cute, unfulfilling, or even distracting idea, or just to needlessly cover a face. Yahweh gave us hands for a purpose. He gave us feet for a purpose. He gave us eyes, ears, taste, feel, everything for a purpose. He does not make mistakes or add to His creation needlessly. When Yahweh said, ”Let there be ...,” He included a beard on a man. So, “Let there be” a beard on His created man!

Yahweh has numerous purposes for the beard – to distinguish the sexes, to distinguish from adolescence, to place His image upon the man, and far more, as we will see in the pages yet before us. But when men remove this distinguishing mark, they confuse creation and Yahweh's order in masculine headship, promoting an unmooring and slipping away from His ways.

Women may wear our clothes and cut their hair short like ours. They may work at our jobs and join the military. They may teach in seminaries and become pastors and priests. But there is one thing they can never do, no not ever – they can never grow the beard! The beard is clearly and overtly male! But, woe-men shamefully accommodate the woman's inability and cut it off!

I am humored by men's perception that today's trend of a boy, or even now a man, wearing an earring is an unacceptable departure from masculinity and a move toward femininity. Yet those very men who share these remarks and would not follow their example, are often clean-shaven like the appearance of a woman. Actually, men have been desensitized to the more extreme, yet now accepted, marked change in appearance through the feministic removal of the man's beard. In times past it would have been an unthinkable shame for a man to shave his beard. In fact, the removal of a man's beard was so offensive that some crimes were punishable by its humiliating removal. Remember, King David would not even allow his partially shaven men to return until their beards returned (2 Samuel 10:1-5). Where has the beardless stigma gone? It was removed by Satan and fallen worldly man as men accepted feminization.

Shaving a man's beard off is a far greater and more destructive departure from masculinity than any earring in one's ear. There are no specific scriptures denouncing wearing an earring; but there are numerous specific scripture's denouncing shaving the beard (Leviticus 19:27, 21:5-6)! Those same boys who put an earring in their ear(s), would have in other times shaved their beards. "In the beginning man created God in His own image!" No! It is time for men to accept the image God made a man to be – returning back to "in the beginning God" when a man had a beard!

A man growing a beard will not necessarily bring instant results, either in himself or in the world. But it is an important formative, harmonious truth that should be followed. The mind of Yahweh is expressed in a trinity – first wisdom, then understanding, and then knowledge. Man perverts this by reversing it and saying – first knowledge, which brings understanding, and then comes wisdom. But no – first pursue wisdom! Knowledge without understanding and wisdom is dangerous and erroneous.

In this godly process, growing the beard that Yahweh planted is wisdom. One cannot fully understand nor express some truths apart from this harmony with Yahweh's plan for the man. With this initial wisdom will come understanding – understanding about his role as a man, as a father, and as a husband; understanding his headship and his great responsibilities therewith; and understanding his relationship with his Heavenly Father, who governmentally and purposefully shared His image with him. And to understanding will come knowledge – a true confirmed knowing of his role in all three of these areas, and more. The beard is a marked reminder of his important commitment to and progress in the ways of his Creator. It is a beginning, or a renewed commitment, to pursuing the mind and will of Yahweh.

Yahweh gave the man the beard. We need to quit resisting it, establishing ourselves as wiser than our Creator, and let it bear fruit. There are indeed fruits of obedience; and there are valuable and important fruits from growing the beard that Yahweh has given the man. Let a man thus look to Him to bear these fruits. Let the man rejoice that he has come into harmony with His will and design. Yahweh will bear the fruit if we look wholly to Him.

And before we move on, let us consider some caution about restoring the beard back to its original place. The beard is not an end in itself, but a means to an end – a beginning for some, a continuation for others. The beard is a reminder, a sign of being a man who sets his heart for the will and design of the Father and for the care and love of his wife and children. This headship that Yahweh has given the man cannot be in stern harshness, but in firm but caring love. The coarseness of a man's beard should not reflect harshness; but as the mercy seat covers the ark of the covenant which contained the Law, in like manner let the man's facial hair give caring testimony to the need for mercy on the stern and powerful jaw of the man. Let the strength of the hair on a man's face show the strength of mercy and compassion in one's life.

Bearded men should pray that Yahweh would lead them to be the godly heads that He would have them to be – in submission to Yahshua's headship, and in true, honorable, responsible, and right headship to one's wife, family, and others. Let him pray that as he has yielded himself to Yahweh's design for his head, that He will complete that design for his entire self according to His perfect will. Let him yield to Yahweh in like appearance, that he might be reflective of Him in like purpose and actions – yielding to Him in hope that he might be like Him.

If you are a husband, love your wife. Be the man Yahweh has called and created you to be. Lovingly "groom" your wife. As "grooms" we be called, men; then to "groom" let us be about. As Yahshua is preparing a bride, let us "groom" our brides for godliness with care – knowing that our prayers are hindered when we fail (1 Peter 3:7). And let us groom our face as Yahweh intended it to be. Appropriately groom the "groom" men! Let the beard be the mark of calling for you to be His intended husband and father in Yahweh's image. Do not put your confidence in a beard, but put your confidence in Him who purposefully gave you the beard. As Yahweh gave you a beard as a man, seek Him to likewise provide the grace and fruit to be a man of God.

( A riddle in rhyme)

A groom we be called, then to groom bid we be,
Yon bride for the Master, spot nor wrinkle to see.

And wisely one note that to groom bears no disgrace;
When yon bride is groom's affection, and grooming groom grooms groom's face.

Bon bride, be no burden when bound to yon groom;
But boast in the bounty of his pleasure consume.

For brittle the bridal when bridaled bride bridles not
Barbed words of contention –
a perilous lot.

Fain flee fair children from father to fract;
When father the further his will thou attack.

To mother and father, thou will to obey,
And Father from further bids happy and gay!

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