>The Old Testament and Baldness

>Are you going bald?  

What has baldness to do with the Old Testament?

Read what Nicholas Lezard wrote in his article “The horror of going bald”:

“Baldness is a curse that demands all the fortitude at one’s disposal. It is a curse not only because it looks as though something biblical has happened to your head — it is also the way it is seen as comical, both as a fact, and as an occasion for comical reaction. The Moabites, reckless high-livers who made too many incursions into Israeli territory in the Old Testament, were afflicted, according to Jeremiah, by baldness. At one point Elisha is mocked by children (‘There came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head’). Later God sends a couple of she-bears from the woods and they tear 42 of the Moabites to pieces.

And for those fans of Star Trek:

“There are those who can and do carry baldness off. There is Patrick Stewart, who played Star Trek’s Jean-Luc Picard with one of the most gleaming pates ever seen on television. Stewart managed to carry it off, partly because of his natural and hard-earned authority as a starship captain, and also because he had been playing Shakespearean heroes since the year dot. He drove a surprising number of women wild, and indeed I do know a couple of women who claim to find bald men attractive. Why? I asked. The answers, it has to be said, revolved alarmingly close around a focal point which could tentatively be labelled ‘father-figure-related issues’. Still, it’s nice to know that there’s someone out there for everyone.”

And for those who read Portuguese:

“É dos carecas que elas gostam mais.”

If you want to read the whole article on  “The horror of going bald,” click here.

Claude Mariottini
Professor of Old Testament
Northern Baptist Seminary

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