Why do Amish wear Beards?


  1. Why do the Amish men have to wear long beards?
  2. Is it Biblical?
  3. Why do they not have mustaches?

Answer: This seems to be one of those situations where we take a few Bible verses and make a command out of them where God never intended it to be so, or where humans add yet another rule and another yoke of bondage where God intended freedom. Below are some scriptural reasons given for why the Amish think men should wear beards:

Referring to Jesus: “I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting” (Isa 50:6).

This prophetic verse shows that Jesus had a beard, they say, and so if we want to follow Jesus, we should have beards, too (they do not mention that Jesus wore robes and suggest that we should do the same).

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments” (Psalm 133:1-2).

In 2 Samuel 10, we see that Hanun shaved off half of the beards of some Israelite men to shame them, and David told them to stay at Jericho until their beards grew back. Certainly the prophets and others in the Bible had beards, they say—great men like Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Isaiah, David, etc.

The Amish mindset is: if these Bible characters had beards and if Jesus had a beard, then men should have beards.

Leviticus 19:27 says that "Ye shall not round the corners of your heads, neither shalt thou mar the corners of thy beard.

Therefore, the Amish do not shave their beards.

If Jesus had a beard, if God made men with facial hair, if the prophets and apostles had beards, then we who follow Jesus should have beards, too, they might argue. However, for the Amish, it is also a sign of manhood, and so once an Amish man marries, it is then that he grows a beard.

Why, then, do they wear beards but not mustaches?

This tradition goes back to the earlier days of the Amish, when mustaches were associated with military men. The Amish, who are pacifists, did not want to be associated at all with military men, and so Amish males were forbidden to wear mustaches.

-- Paul Miller


 

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