386. Plucking the Hair

Nehemiah 13:25; Ezra 9:3; Isaiah 50:6
This is equivalent to what we term “tearing the hair out by the roots.” It was sometimes a self-inflicted suffering as a token of mourning (see Ezra 9:33And when I heard this thing, I rent my garment and my mantle, and plucked off the hair of my head and of my beard, and sat down astonied. (Ezra 9:3)), sometimes an act of wanton persecution (see Isa. 50:66I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting. (Isaiah 50:6)), and sometimes punishment, as represented in the text. It is said that the ancient Athenians punished adulterers by tearing the hair from the scalp and then covering the head with hot ashes.