O son of man!
Take a sharp sword!
As a barber’s razor!
Run it over your head!
Run it over your beard!
Then take the balances
Divide the hair!”
Yahweh gave Ezekiel, the son of man, a series of commands to do another symbolic action. Ezekiel was to take a sharp sword and use it as a barber’s razor on his head and beard. It must have been common for men to have a full beard with a full head of hair. Then Ezekiel was to weigh all his hair and divide it up.
A song of ascents.
“How very good it is!
How pleasant it is!
Kindred brothers live together in unity!
It is like the precious oil upon the head.
It runs down upon the beard.
It runs down on the beard of Aaron.
It runs down over the collar of his robes.
It is like the dew of Hermon.
It falls on the mountains of Zion.
For there Yahweh has commanded his blessing,
Psalm 133 is another very short psalm in this series of pilgrimage songs on the ascent to Jerusalem. This wisdom song emphasizes the value of brothers living together in unity. This was like the holy oil that one puts on one’s head. As in the ceremony for the consecration of the Levitical priests, it runs down as on the beard of Aaron and over the collar of his robes. This good fraternal life is like the dew from the mountains of Hermon in Syria. Here the dew falls on Mount Zion. From Mount Zion, Yahweh gives his blessings of life forever. Thus this very short psalm concludes with everlasting life.
“A psalm of David, when he feigned madness before Abimelech, so that he drove him out, and he went away
“I will bless Yahweh at all times!
His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul makes its boast in Yahweh.
Let the humble hear and be glad.
O magnify Yahweh with me!
Let us exalt his name together!”
Psalm 34 is a long sapiential psalm about what happened to David in 1 Samuel, chapter 21. It is also an acrostic or alphabet psalm as each verse starts with another letter of the Hebrew alphabet like Psalms 9, 10, and 25. In the 1 Samuel story, David pretended to be deranged when he appeared before the Philistine King Achish at city of Gath. David had spit all over his beard and started to scratch at everything around him. However, the king’s name was not Abimelech, who was another Philistine King of Gerar around the time of Abraham and Isaac. However, this psalmist did not use this name within the psalm, so that it might have been a title misidentification. However, the story in 1 Samuel did have David pretend that he was mad so that he was dismissed by the Philistine king of Gath as a crazy person and not David. This psalm actually makes very little reference to that story. David or the psalmist began by blessing and praising Yahweh as he boasted in Yahweh. He wanted his name to be magnified. He wanted the humble ones to hear and be exalted.
“When a man or woman has a disease on the head or the beard, the priest shall examine the disease. If it appears deeper than the skin and the hair in it is yellow and thin, then the priest shall pronounce him unclean. This is an itch, a leprous disease of the head or the beard. If the priest examines the itching disease, and it appears no deeper than the skin and there is no black hair in it, then the priest shall confine the person with the itching disease for seven days. On the seventh day the priest shall examine the itch. If the itch has not spread, and there is in it no yellow hair in it, and the itch appears to be no deeper than the skin, then he shall shave. But the itch he shall not shave. The priest shall confine the person with the itch for seven days more. On the seventh day the priest shall examine the itch. If the itch has not spread in the skin and it appears to be no deeper than the skin, then the priest shall pronounce him clean. He shall wash his clothes, and be clean. But if the itch spreads in the skin after he was pronounced clean, then the priest shall examine him. If the itch has spread in the skin, the priest need not seek for the yellow hair. He is unclean. But if in his eyes the itch is checked, and black hair has grown in it, the itch is healed. He is clean. The priest shall pronounce him clean.”
Once again the priest/doctor examines the head or beard to see if an itch is leprous or not. If it is only skin deep, there is a 7 day confinement. Then on the 7th day, if the itch has not spread or the hair has not become yellow, he shall shave, but not the itch. The priest shall confine the person with the itch for another 7 days. Then if everything is okay, he shall be declared clean as long as he washes his clothes. However, if the itch has spread in the skin, he is unclean