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Flat Nose

FLAT NOSE. The KJV tr. of חָרֻ֖ם, used only in Leviticus 21:18 to describe one of the conditions that rendered a man unfit for priestly service. Although the root is not known elsewhere in Heb. (except perhaps for הֶחֱרִ֣ים in Isa 11:15, see Driver JTS 32 [1931]: 251), cognates in other Sem. languages, esp. Arab., suggest some such meaning as “having a slit or split nose or lip.” So it was taken in the Talmud, see M. Jastrow, A Dictionary of the Talmudim (New York: Pardes, 1950), Vol. I, p. 503. It possibly referred to the condition that often accompanies a cleft palate.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

(charum; Septuagint koloborin):

Used only in Le 21:18 as the name of a deformity which disqualified a member of a priestly family for serving the altar.

The root of the word signifies "to cut off" or "to cut flat," and in the Revised Version, margin "slit nose" is substituted. The condition indicated is most probably the depressed, flattened nose which so often accompanies harelip, especially in its double form.

A mere snub-nose can scarcely be regarded as a blemish of sufficient importance to unfit a priest for the service of "offering the bread of God"; but harelip, like blindness or the other congenital malformations or deformities enumerated in this passage, might well render a son of Aaron unfit or unsuitable for public religious duty.