Song of Solomon 5:13 “His cheeks are as a bed of spices, as sweet flowers…” In the Old Testament, a man’s beard signified his strength and honor. It was a great disgrace to have one’s beard shaved off. Do you remember the account of David and the King of Ammon? When the King of Ammon died, David sent a delegation to comfort Hanun, the king’s son. However, the new king’s advisors didn’t believe David’s noble intentions and thought he was sending in the men as spies. So, instead of receiving comfort, King Hanun seized the men and disgraced them but cutting off the skirts of their robes and shaving off half of their beards. This shamed them so deeply that David told his men to tarry in Jericho until their beards had grown back before returning to their homes (2 Samuel 10:4-5). In the Old Testament, a full beard was synonymous with the dignity of manhood.
(In this picture, the philosopher Epictetus is stating that he’d rather die than have his beard cut off!) According to the Law of Moses, a man was not even supposed to trim off the corners of his beard (Leviticus 19:27). When Jesus had the hair of his beard plucked out, it was not only terribly painful, it was as if mankind was trying to destroy the manhood of Christ. Can you imagine how you would react had you been Jesus? I’m sure if I had been in Jesus’ place I would have been tempted to think, “If they want to deny me and reject that I am a man…so be it! I will call ten thousand angels and show them that I am God. I will burn them up in an instant, like the fire that devoured the wicked men trying to capture Elijah (2 Kings 1:10)…and I will have the earth swallow them down, like the 250 wicked sons of Korah who offered strange fire before God in Numbers 17!” How hopelessly human I am. But, how divinely perfect Jesus was, who bore the beatings and the plucking, and the pain. Blessed Jesus, exalted now and forever at the right hand of God. When we see him in glory, I believe he will be radiant with manliness, his cheeks “as a bed of spices, as sweet flowers.”