Does the Torah forbid us to cut or shave our beards (the men)?
In last few weeks we read from the Torah readings,
Lev_19:27 ‘Do not round the corner (1) of your head, nor destroy the corner (1) of your beard.'
Lev 21:4-5 ‘A leader does not defile himself among his people, to profane himself; they do not make any bald place on their heads, and they do not shave the corner (1) of their beard, and they do not make a cutting in their flesh.
Lev 23:22 ‘And when you reap the harvest of your land do not completely reap the corners (1) of your field when you reap, and do not gather any gleaning from your harvest. Leave them for the poor and for the stranger. I am יהוה your Elohim.' ”
The Hebrew word for the "corners" is פּאה
Feminine of H6311; properly mouth in a figurative sense, that is, direction, region, extremity: - corner, end, quarter, side.
In all these instances, corner in the Hebrew is 'peah', which could only mean one thing to me - not the extremities of the hair (hair ends), but the edge of the hairline or beard.
When the crop was harvested, the corners had to be left for the poor. If the corners were the tips of the stalks, they would not have harvested anything. The corners were the edges of the field as I see it.
Similarly the corners of the head or beard would be the edges or hairline.
We know that the Egyptians had strange hair-styles. It was probably YHWH’s intent that Israel should not do as the pagan nations did (although this is not stated in the text). Irrespective, we should not question the intent of YHWH’s command – we should just obey it.
In Isa. 7:20 it appears that YHWH's removal of the hair and the beard is regarded as a shame.
The same in Isa. 15:2, Jer. 47:37 and Eze. 5.
You have to HAVE a beard in order to not trim the corners of your beard?
Or another similar point would be that if you shave all of a beard, does that not mean that however you define the corners, you have shaved them?
Ritual effected to prevent the pagan practice as done by the heathen.
Joke time : "Corners of my beard? Whutubout the corners of my Square head!?"
Beard is part of being a natural man. Shaving one’s beard is militarily a strategic practice; Beards were a liability in hand-to-hand as well as hindering the accuracy of bowman and evolved into a Pseudo-sign of masculinity.
Hmmm... I hears that shaving originated with homosexual men attempting to emulate the appearance of women.