International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)


((1) tsitsith,

(2) pera’;

(3) machlaphah,

(4) qewutstsah):

See in general the article on HAIR.

(1) The first word, tsitsith, means really a tassel, such as is worn by the Jews on the four corners of the prayer-shawl or Tallith and on the ’arba` kanephoth (De 22:12), translated in the New Testament by kraspedon (Mt 9:20; 14:36; 23:5; Mr 6:56; Lu 8:44). Once it is applied to a forelock of hair. The prophet Ezekiel, describing his sensations which accompanied his vision of Jerusalem, says: "He put forth the form of a hand, and took me by a lock of my head; and the Spirit lifted me up between earth and heaven, and brought me in the visions of God to Jerus" (Eze 8:3).

(2) The word pera` signifies the uncut and disheveled locks of the Nazirite (Nu 6:5) or of the priests, the sons of Zadok (Eze 44:20).

(3) The Book of Judges employs the word machlaphah when speaking of the "seven locks" of Samson (Jud 16:13,19), which really represent the plaited (etymologically, "interwoven") strands of hair still worn in our days by youthful Bedouin warriors.

(4) Qewutstsah (So 5:2,11) means the luxuriant hair of the Hebrew youth, who was careful of his exterior. It is called bushy (the Revised Version margin "curling") and black as a raven. the King James Version translations also the word tsammah with "locks" (So 4:1; 6:7; Isa 47:2), but the Revised Version (British and American) has corrected this into "veil," leaving the word "locks" in So 4:1 margin.