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Deuteronomy 21:12

    Deuteronomy 21:12 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    Then thou shalt bring her home to thine house; and she shall shave her head, and pare her nails;

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    Then you shall bring her home to your house, and she shall shave her head, and pare her nails;

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    then thou shalt bring her home to thy house; and she shall shave her head, and pare her nails;

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    Then take her back to your house; and let her hair and her nails be cut;

    Webster's Revision

    then thou shalt bring her home to thy house; and she shall shave her head, and pare her nails;

    World English Bible

    then you shall bring her home to your house; and she shall shave her head, and pare her nails;

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    then thou shalt bring her home to thine house; and she shall shave her head, and pare her nails;

    Clarke's Commentary on Deuteronomy 21:12

    She shall shave her head - This was in token of her renouncing her religion, and becoming a proselyte to that of the Jews. This is still a custom in the East; when a Christian turns Mohammedan his head is shaven, and he is carried through the city crying, la alahila allah we Mohammed resooli Allah; "There is no God but God, and Mohammed is the prophet of God."

    Pare her nails - ועשתה את צפרניה veasethah eth tsipporneyha, "she shall make her nails." Now whether this signifies paring or letting them grow, is greatly doubted among learned men. Possibly it means neither, but colouring the nails, staining them red with the hennah, which is much practiced in India to the present day, and which was undoubtedly practiced among the ancient Egyptians, as is evident from the nails of mummies which are found thus stained. The hennah, according to Hasselquist, grows in India, and in Upper and Lower Egypt; it flowers from May to August. The manner of using it is this: the leaves are powdered, and made into a paste with water: they bind this paste on the nails of their fingers and toes, and let it stand on all night; in the morning they are found to be of a beautiful reddish yellow, and this lasts three weeks or a month, after which they renew the application. They often stain the palms of their hands and the soles of their feet in the same way, as appears from many paintings of eastern ladies done in India and Persia, which now lie before me. This staining the soles of the feet with the hennah is probably meant in 2 Samuel 19:24 : Mephibosheth had not dressed (literally made) his feet - they had not been thus coloured.

    Barnes' Notes on Deuteronomy 21:12

    The shaving the head (a customary sign of purification, Leviticus 14:8; Numbers 8:7), and the putting away "the garment of her captivity," were designed to signify the translation of the woman from the state of a pagan and a slave to that of a wife among the covenant-people. Consistency required that she should "pare" (dress, compare 2 Samuel 19:24), not "suffer to grow," her nails; and thus, so far as possible, lay aside everything belonging to her condition as an alien.

    Wesley's Notes on Deuteronomy 21:12

    21:12 She shall shave her head - In token of her renouncing her heathenish idolatry and superstition, and of her becoming a new woman, and embracing the true religion.