Isaiah 15:2

Hebrew Bible

1 This is an oracle about Moab: Indeed, in a night it is devastated, Ar of Moab is destroyed! Indeed, in a night it is devastated, Kir of Moab is destroyed! 2 They went up to the temple; the people of Dibon went up to the high places to lament. Because of what happened to Nebo and Medeba, Moab wails. Every head is shaved bare, every beard is trimmed off. 3 In their streets they wear sackcloth; on their roofs and in their town squares all of them wail; they fall down weeping. 4 The people of Heshbon and Elealeh cry out; their voices are heard as far away as Jahaz. For this reason Moab’s soldiers shout in distress; their courage wavers.

Micah 1:16

Hebrew Bible

14 Therefore you will have to say farewell to Moresheth Gath. The residents of Achzib will be as disappointing as a dried up well to the kings of Israel. 15 Residents of Mareshah, a conqueror will attack you; the leaders of Israel shall flee to Adullam. 16 Shave your heads bald as you mourn for the children you love; shave your foreheads as bald as an eagle, for they are taken from you into exile.

 Notes and References

"... This verb גזז [shear] in 1:20 is linguistically linked to the noun גז [wool, fleece] in 31:20 (vide infra). This link is significant because the majority of other instances (Genesis 31:19, 38:12.13; Deuteronomy 15:19; 1 Samuel 15:2, 4, 7, 11; 2 Samuel 13:23, 24; Isaiah 53:7) in the Hebrew Bible where this verb is used concern the shearing of sheep. It is only in Jeremiah 7:29, Micah 1:16 and Nahum 1:12 where it concerns a human being, in the former two instances more specifically suggesting lamentation and in the latter case a reference to destruction. In all the instances of ritual lamentation or mourning, that is, Isaiah 15:2, 22:12, Jeremiah 16:6, 41:5, 47:5, 48:37, Ezekiel 7:18 and Amos 8:10, which Clines (1989:135) mentions, this verb is never used. Many of these texts do not even mention the word שערה [hair] as if to avoid it, but describe the bodily state already after shaving as קרח [make]/[be] bald) or קרחה [baldness], a word, which does not appear in the book of Job either, despite both this book and these two words being closely linked to mourning and lamentation. In Micah 1:16, it is said of a נשר [vulture], which God mentions in Job 39:27 but then not related to its baldness. Another word, גרע [withdraw, diminish, shave], which sometimes appears as past participle connected to זקן [beard, not found in the book of Job either] in these texts is found in the book of Job but not in the sense of 'shaving' ..."

Van der Zwan, P. Hair Matters: The Psychoanalytical Significance of the Virtual Absence of Hair in the Book of Job in an African Context (pp. 1-8) HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies 78(4), 2022

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