What is said about long hair in the bible being Dreadlocks and does the YHWH support Dreadlocks as a holy hair style. Today having Dreadlocks represents spirituality, this hair style has been made popular world wide mainly by the Jamaicans and the Rastafarian movement. Other names for this hair style are locks, a ras, dreads, or Jatayein (Hindi).
Some even claim that dreadlocks parallel the story in the scriptures associated with Samsom who grew his hair and organised it into 7 long locks. Dread locks actually date back much further than the 20th century, which is when they became the most popular by the Rastafarian movement. Evidence of historic relics found in East Africa, in places such as Egypt, Tanzania, but to name a few have been found which show resemblance to the hair style currently being called dreadlocks.
Dreadlocks are basically hair which is left to grow by itself with out a comb or razor ever touching it. The hair will naturally become twisted together and tangled as it does so.
The questions is does the long hair in the bible mentioned in regards to Samson have anything to do with Dreadlocks.
NOTE: The point here is not to demonize dread locks, as many might think. This is not the point, the point is whether having dreadlocks automatically qualifies for the Nazarite vow spoken of in the scriptures.
There is no doubt to me that Dreadlocks can be grown as a hairstyle, but to give them a spiritual attachment that has something to do with the bible, even though no vow has been made is unbiblical.
First we should look at the vow of the Nazarite concerning the the long hair in the bible that is grown.
2Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When either man or woman shall separate themselves to vow a vow of a Nazarite, to separate themselves unto the LORD:
3He shall separate himself from wine and strong drink, and shall drink no vinegar of wine, or vinegar of strong drink, neither shall he drink any liquor of grapes, nor eat moist grapes, or dried.
4All the days of his separation shall he eat nothing that is made of the vine tree, from the kernels even to the husk.
5All the days of the vow of his separation there shall no razor come upon his head: until the days be fulfilled, in the which he separateth himself unto the LORD, he shall be holy, and shall let the locks of the hair of his head grow.
6All the days that he separateth himself unto the LORD he shall come at no dead body.
As we read the above verses we see quite clearly what is involved, in regards to growing of the hair as a Nazarite:
First thing to note is that this spiritual activity is a vow which lasts a certain amount of time.
There are also conditions when making the vow, such as abstaining from Strong drink, today called alcohol and even abstaining from any drink that contains grapes and grapes themselves.
The person taking the vow is also not permitted to cut their hair, while the vow is happening. A person under the Nazarite vow is also not permitted to touch any dead bodies during the vow.
If we look at the above requirements for a vow as Nazrarite we can contrast them with dreadlocks.
The first thing to look at is the actual history of Dreadlocks and how it came to be accepted in the Rastafarian movement.
The Rastafarian movement claims to be start by Marcus Garvey in the 1920′s with the ‘Back to Africa movement’. It is claimed that Marcus Garvey prophesied that a king would come out of Africa, to lead the people of Jamaica. This king is said to be Ethiopia’s king, Haile Selassie, who is the only person Marcus Garvey is second too.
It is important to understand that the Rastafarian movement Recognize the Messiah to just be one of the prophets (not the son of YHWH), just as other faiths tend to recognize the Messiah and their different prophets, that they see above him.
This should immediate ring alarm bells because the Messiah said
6Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Which is a requirement of following YHWH (God).
This being said, it has to be said that the customary dreadlocks took their development from Indians who were enslaved and brought to Jamaica.
For more interesting claims about the Rastafarian religion you can go to http://www.rasta-man.co.uk/religion.htm.
If this is not enough evidence that Dreadlocks are in no way associated to the scriptures or the bible lets look at what the Scriptures have to say about the locks that Samsom had in his hair and whether or not they are Dreadlocks.
Somethings to think about
Although the vow of the Nazarite does say that no razor should touch the head of the person making this vow, it says nothing about not combing the hair.
Lets look at the scriptures
….. and shall let the locks of the hair of his head grow.”
If we look at the hebrew for the word “locks”, we see the meaning as untidy hair, which is Strongs
From H6544; the hair (as dishevelled): – locks.
There is no reason to presume that this alluded to not combing the hair, although it does say the hair might be untidy.
The most important thing to take from this, is that Dreadlocks are not grown with respect and inspiration coming from the Scriptures, but rather as a tradition taken from a people notably asians who had a custom which involved growing their hair.
I hope this has been a help to somebody, If you have Dreadlocks and you intend to walk with the Messiah it is advisable to cut them. If after this you would like to grow your hair as a Nazarite, by all means do this. It will require you to re-frame from strong drink. But it would be dishonest, to automatically equate having Dreadlocks to the vow of the Nazarite.
Remember learning how to interpret the bible is you first priority