The Hebrews regarded a thin, scanty beard as a great deformity; while a long, full, flowing beard was esteemed the noblest ornament of personal beauty and dignity. A man’s honor was lodged, as it were, his beard. To insult it by word or act was the grossest indignity; to take it respectfully in the right hand and kiss it, was a mode of expressing high esteem and love permitted only to the nearest friends. It was cherished with great care, Psalms 133:2 Daniel 10:3. To neglect, tear, or cut it, indicated the deepest grief, Ezra 9:3 Isaiah 15:2 Jeremiah 41:5 48:37; while to be deprived of it was a mark of servility and infamy. Many would prefer death to such a mutilation. These facts explain many passages of Scripture: as the gross insult offered to David’s ambassadors, 2 Samuel 10:4-14; the zealous indignation of Nehemiah, Nehemiah 13:25; the mode in which the feigned insanity of David was expressed, 1 Samuel 21:12, and the grief of Mephibosheth, 1 Samuel 19:24; the treachery of Judas; also several passages in the prophets, Isaiah 7:20 50:6 Ezekiel 5:1-5.