blank

goatskin 2 Kings 1:8 They replied, “He had a garment of hair and had a leather belt around his waist.” The king said, “That was Elijah the Tishbite.”

Hair where?

Is Elijah’s hair on his shaggy head or on his goatskin shirt?

“Lord of hair” בַּעַל שַׂעָר occurs only in 1 Kings 1:8 and might be nothing more than a literary device to balance “lord of the flies” in the same paragraph. Opinions vary about its meaning. goatskin: 2 Kings 1:8 They replied, “He had a garment of hair and had a leather belt around his waist.” The king said, “That was Elijah the Tishbite.”For instance, although the NIV reads, “He had a garment of hair,” their footnote says it could mean “He was a hairy man.”

Shaggy

Many authors and translations say it means Elijah’s hair and beard were a mess.

  • goatskin 2 Kings 1:8 They replied, “He had a garment of hair and had a leather belt around his waist.” The king said, “That was Elijah the Tishbite.”“hair down to his waist”
  • “Chest hair coming out your shirt, arms a woolly carpet, a big bushy beard and wild, unkempt hair”
  • Both the New Living Translation and the NASB say, “He was a hairy man.”

In this view, Ira had to explain to Elijah: Look, when you hear, “How are you?” don’t say, “Not too shaggy.”

goatskincoatA garment?

I put a goatskin shirt on Elijah, but not as fancy as this.

  • Zechariah 13:4 notes that prophets wear hairy garments.
  • The English Standard Version and Darby’s word-for-word translation have “garment of hair” and “hairy garment.”
  • Easton’s Bible Dictionary gives him a garment of camel hair.
  • The Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry says, “Elijah wore, most probably, a camel’s hair girdle.”
  • The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge says, “a rough garment, either made of camels’ hair… or of a skin, dressed with the hair on.” 🙂
  • goatskin-coat-landais-shepherdSir J. Chardin says, “a hairy garment.”
  • One author even wonders if the priest Zecharias in Luke 1:5 found Elijah’s old camel hair garment in the temple and gave it to John the Baptist!
  • Maybe the deciding factor was my 1950s middle-class upbringing among clean-shaven men with neatly trimmed hair.

At any rate, I dressed Elijah in a goatskin shirt with the hair turned out, something like the one on this shepherd.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Elijah

Elijah