From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament [1]

The importance attributed to the head in ancient psychology must not be supposed to spring from scientific knowledge of the function of the brain and nervous system. ‘The psychical importance of the head would be an early result of observation of the phenomena and source of the senses of sight, hearing, taste, and smell, and of such facts as the pulsation of the fontanel in infants and the fatal effect of wounds in this complex centre of the organism’ (A. E. Crawley, The Idea of the Soul , 1909, p. 239). Plato assigned reason to the brain, ‘the topographically higher region being Correlated with the reason’s higher worth’ (Aristotle, Psychology , translationW. A. Hammond, 1902, Introd. p. xxvi); but, to Aristotle, ‘the brain is merely a regulator for the temperature of the heart’ ( ib. p. xxiv). By the time of Galen (2nd cent. a.d.), sensation was located in the brain, acting in conjunction with the nerves; but there is no evidence that such technical Greek knowledge is implied in the literature of apostolic Christianity.*[Note: Even if it were, Galen’s ascription of psychical attributes to organs other than the brain would show the wide gulf between ancient and modern psychology.]We are there concerned in general with an extension of Hebrew psychology, for which the brain was of no psychical importance. In fact, there is no Hebrew word for ‘brain,’ and we must suppose that it would simply be called, as it actually is in Syriac, the ‘marrow of the head.’ Certain (Aramaic) references to ‘the visions of the head’ in the Book of Daniel ( Daniel 2:28 etc.) merely refer to the position of the organ of sight, and the phrase is actually contrasted with ‘the thoughts of the heart’ ( Daniel 4:5; cf.  Daniel 2:30).

The head (κεφαλή) is named as a representative part of the whole personality in St. Paul’s words to blaspheming Jews at Corinth: ‘Your blood be upon your own heads’ ( Acts 18:6; cf.  Joshua 2:19,  2 Samuel 1:16, etc.), and in the proverb that kindness to an enemy heaps coals of fire on his head ( Romans 12:20; cf.  Proverbs 25:22). The mourning custom of casting dust on the head ( Revelation 18:19; cf.  Ezekiel 27:30) may spring from the desire to link the dead with the living, if the dust was originally taken from the grave itself, as W. R. Smith and Schwally have supposed. (As to cutting off the hair of the head, because of a vow, see articleHair.) St. Paul argues against the Corinthian practice of allowing women publicly to pray or prophesy with unveiled heads, on three grounds ( 1 Corinthians 11:3 f.): (1) there is an upward gradation of rank to be observed-woman, man, Christ, God; (2) woman was created from and for man, and so she must show by her covered head that she is in the presence of her superior-man (cf. the covering of the bride in presence of her future husband,  Genesis 24:65);†[Note: The original motive of this wide-spread practice is probably, as Crawley suggests (ERE v. 54), ‘the impulse for concealment before on object of fear.’](3) the long hair of woman shows that the covering of the veil is natural to her. If she unveils her head, therefore, she dishonours it by making a false claim for the personality it represents, as well as by outraging decency, which should be the more carefully observed because of the presence of the angels in public worship. (No satisfactory explanation of the phrase ‘authority [ἐξουσία] on her head’ [ 1 Corinthians 11:10] seems yet to have been given, but the context seems to imply that the veil expresses the authority of man over woman, in accordance with which the Revised Versioninserts the words ‘a sign of’ before ‘authority.’ See articleAuthority.) It should be noted that it is the whole head, and not simply the face, that is covered in the East: ‘The women of Egypt deem it more incumbent upon them to cover the upper and back part of the head than the face, and more requisite to conceal the face than most other parts of the person’ (Lane, Modern Egyptians , 1895, p. 67).

The Custom of anointing the head is mentioned (figuratively) in I Clem. lvi. 5; Ign. Eph. xvii. 1; It is crowned in token of honour ( Revelation 4:4;  Revelation 9:7;  Revelation 12:1;  Revelation 19:12; cf.  Revelation 10:1). The frequent references in the Odes of Solomon to a crown on the Christian’s head are best explained from the Eastern practice of placing a garland on the head of candidates for baptism (i. 1, ix. 8, xx. 7, 8, and J. H. Bernard’s notes in Texts and Studies viii. 3 [1912] ad locc. ). The seven heads of the Apocalyptic red dragon ( i.e. Satan [ Revelation 12:3]) apparently denote the abundance of his power; the seven heads of his agent, the Beast 13:1; 17:9), are explicitly referred both to the seven hills of Rome and to seven Emperors. The head smitten to death, but healed (13:3), appears to be Nero, who was widely believed not to have died in a.d. 68 (see Swete, ad loc. ). The lion-heads and snake-headed tails of  Revelation 9:17;  Revelation 9:19 merely heighten the horror of the scene.

The most remarkable use of the term ‘head’ in apostolic literature is its application to Christ, the ‘body’ being the Church. This analogy is more than illustration; it forms an argument, like the psychological analogies of Augustine in regard to the Trinity. Just as the lower level of primitive thought represented by symbolic magic often finds a real connexion in acts, because they are similar, so ancient theology (cf. the ‘Recapitulation’ doctrine of Irenaeus) often finds positive argument in mere parallelism. In the Pauline use of the analogy between the human body and the Church, Christ is sometimes identified with the whole body, and sometimes with the head alone; this will occasion no difficulty to those who remember St. Paul’s doctrine of the believer’s mystical union with Christ, so that his life is Christ’s. In the most detailed application of the analogy ( 1 Corinthians 12:12 f; cf.  Romans 12:4-5), the head is simply contrasted with the feet, without special reference to Christ, the whole Church-body being identified with Him. NT commentators,*[Note: g. J. Armitage Robinson (Ephesians, 1903, p. 103), who bases the Pauline thought of Christ as Head of the body on the fact that ‘that in the seat of the brain which controls arid unifies the organism,’ and goes on to speak of ‘the complete system of nerves and muscles by which the limbs are knit together and are connected with the head’ (p. 104).]whilst often crediting St. Paul with the knowledge of modern physiology, usually overlook the contribution of Hebrew psychology to the elucidation of this analogy. In the OT the body is regarded as a co-operative group of quasi-independent sense-organs, each possessed of psychical and ethical, as well as physical, life (see articles Eye, Ear, Hand, and cf.  Matthew 5:29-30). This gives new point to the comparison with the quasi-independent life of the members of the Church; in the social as in the individual body, health depends on the (voluntary) subordination of this quasi-independence to the common good. This unity of purpose St. Paul elsewhere traces to the Headship of Christ. The Apostle can identify the head with Christ, without at all thinking of the brain, because the head is the most dignified part of the psychophysical personality. As a centre of life (cf.  Matthew 5:36), not specially of thought or volition (which St. Paul located in the heart), the head dominates the body, the separate organs of which each contribute to the whole personality ‘according to the working in due measure of each several part’ ( Ephesians 4:16; cf.  Colossians 2:19). Christ is ‘the saviour of the body’ ( Ephesians 5:23), as it is the head on which the safety of the whole body defends, because of the special sense-organs located in it. On the other hand, the body is necessary to the completion and fullness of the life of the head, as is the Church to Christ ( Ephesians 1:22-23). Elsewhere, this Headship of Christ over the body denotes simply His priority of rank ( Colossians 1:18), and this is extended to His dominion over the ‘principalities and powers’ of the unseen world ( Colossians 2:10).

The bodily union of the members with Christ the Head is conceived in close relation with the initial act of baptism: ‘in one Spirit were we all baptized into one body’ ( 1 Corinthians 12:13). St. Paul’s doctrine of the Spirit of God (or of Christ) as creating the spiritual unity and efficiency of the body through which it circulates from the head has an interesting parallel in the Pneuma doctrine of contemporary physiology. According to this, ‘spirit’ was conveyed by the arteries to the different sense-organs (H. Siebeck, Gesch. der Psychologie , 1884, ii. p. 130f.; G. S. Brett, A History of Psychology , 1912, p. 286f.). Something of this popular doctrine may, of course, have reached St. Paul through the physician Luke. It would certainly have appealed to him as an example of ‘spiritual’ law in the ‘natural’ world, confirming and enforcing his own moral and spiritual conception of the Hebrew doctrine of the Spirit.*[Note: From this ‘biological’ Headship at Christ most be distinguished the purely architectural figure of Him as ‘the Head of the corner’ ( Acts 4:11;  1 Peter 2:7).]

The Pauline analogy of ‘body’ and ‘Church’ is employed by Clement of Rome, though without explicit reference to the Headship of Christ, the head being named here simply as a higher member: ‘The head without the feet is nothing; so likewise the feet without the head are nothing: even the smallest limbs of our body are necessary and useful for the whole body: but all the members conspire and unite in subjection, that the whole body may be saved’ (1 Clem. xxxvii. 5). The same analogy re-appears in several of the Odes of Solomon . Thus Christ says, ‘I sowed my fruit in hearts, and transformed them into myself; and they received my blessing and lived; and they were gathered to me, and were saved; because they were to me as my own members, and I was their Head’ (17:13, 14; cf. xxii. 16). Similarly, Christ speaks of His descent into Hades, where He gathers His saints and delivers them: ‘the feet and the head he [Death] let go, for they were not able to endure my face’ (xlii. 18). These passages continue the mystic realism of Pauline and Johannine thought, and throw an interesting light on the earlier ideas of the relation of the believer to Christ, even though they belong to the 2nd century.

H. Wheeler Robinson.

Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types [2]

This word is used as a type of many and varies things in the Scriptures. Since it occurs so often, and in so many ways, it will not be possible to give all the Scripture references pertaining to it. The typical meanings most used are presented with a few Scriptures as examples.

 Genesis 3:15 (b) This is a type of the utter defeat that shall be brought upon Satan by the Lord Jesus Christ

 Genesis 49:26 (a) This type is used to represent the superiority of this great man of GOD. He was to receive the best of GOD's blessings above his brethren, as in the dream the sheaves bowed down to his sheaf, and the stars made obeisance to him. (See  Deuteronomy 33:16).

 Exodus 29:10 (a) The figure in this case indicates that the entire animal is to be taken as an offering, as the head is the important and directing power of the body. (See  Leviticus 4:4;  Leviticus 8:14).

 Deuteronomy 28:44 (b) By this figure we understand that the nations were to rule over Israel and the people of Israel were to be slaves to their neighbors.

 Joshua 2:19 (b) The type in this passage is one that is quite often used throughout the Scriptures indicating that the whole person is to blame and is guilty in the sin that is committed. The head is taken as a type of the entire person, his body, soul and spirit. (See1Sa  25:39;  2 Samuel 1:16;  2 Chronicles 6:23).

 2 Samuel 1:2 (c) The placing of earth upon the head was a sign of deep grief, sorrow, shame and humiliation. It was commonly practiced by the Israelites and by others. (See2Sa  15:32;  Joshua 7:6).

 2 Samuel 22:44 (2). This passage is evidently a type or picture of the crowning glory of the Lord Jesus David often speaks in this manner about the Messiah. Christ is to be supreme, He is to be the sovereign over all the creation. The word is used often about the Saviour in His glory, grandeur and majestic power.

 2 Kings 2:3 (c) The type is used in this place to describe the leadership of Elijah over Elisha. Elisha was subservient to Elijah. His life was directed by Elijah. Now the master of Elisha was to be taken away from him.

 2 Kings 19:21 (b) Here we see a picture of the contempt with which Assyria was to be held by Israel. GOD compares Israel to a weak young woman, and her attitude as that of showing perfect disdain for the great nation and army of Assyria. (See also  Isaiah 37:22).

 2 Kings 25:27 (c) This is a beautiful way of saying that the imprisoned king was released from his confinement, and was given, just out of courtesy, a throne on which to sit in Babylon. No power accompanied this honor, it was only a mark of the king's favor.

 Psalm 3:3 (c) By this figure David is expressing his belief in the GOD of Heaven, and his confidence that his GOD would restore him to his throne.

 Psalm 22:7 (c) This action on the part of those who surrounded the Cross indicated their contempt of the Lord JESUS. It showed how they despised Him in their hearts.

 Psalm 23:5 (b) David uses this type to show that GOD Himself had made CHRIST the Lord of Heaven and earth, a King and a Priest. It also indicates that David gave GOD the credit for making him the King of Israel.

 Psalm 24:7 (b) This picture is taken from the records of wars. When the conqueror came back to the walled city the gate of the city was raised to admit the victor. So David is describing the return to glory of the Lord JESUS after His success at Calvary.

 Psalm 44:14 (b) This action on the part of the nations among whom Israel is scattered indicates their contempt of the Jew. These unfortunate people throughout the world are the objects of derision, and this is indicated by the action mentioned.

 Psalm 60:7 (c) This strange passage may mean that GOD's constant acts of forgiveness toward Ephraim, and the many times He restored the nation to a place of prominence prove the character of GOD, and magnified His righteous acts and judgments.

 Psalm 68:21 (b) Here we see a type of the complete mastery that GOD would have over the enemies of Israel.

 Psalm 110:7 (a) This type asserts without question that Christ Jesus will be on the throne of the world and will rule and reign without competition.

 Proverbs 25:22 (a) There was a custom in Palestine which is referred to by this type. When the fire in one home went out, the friend would go to a neighbor carrying an earthen vessel on the head, and would borrow a few coals of fire with which to rekindle his own fire. If the neighbor was unusually kind, he would not give his unfortunate neighbor just a few coals, but would give him a good quantity. These would be carried back in the vessel on the head. The Lord takes advantage of this custom to remind us that when our neighbor is in an unfortunate position mentally or otherwise, we are to be unusually kind and liberal with him. Then he will find it difficult to hold a grudge against one who has been so helpful. (See  Romans 12:20).

 Song of Solomon 2:6 (c) A figure of the tender love of the Lord JESUS for His church. (See also  Song of Solomon 8:3).

 Song of Solomon 5:2 (c) This probably is a picture of the diligence and constancy of the Lord JESUS in serving His people, the Church, all day and night.

 Song of Solomon 5:11 (c) The beautiful purity of CHRIST, as well as His supreme value, are represented in this picture. The same figure was used in regard to the image which Nebuchadnezzar saw and in which he was the head of gold. This indicated that his kingdom and his own personal self were to he the finest, the greatest, the most powerful of all kingdoms mentioned or represented by the image. So Christ Jesus and His kingdom, His Gospel, His business, and everything connected with Him is supreme purity, marvelous power and magnificence.

 Song of Solomon 7:5 (c) Here Christ Jesus is represented as being the supreme authority and power, having the ascendancy over all others. Carmel is probably the greatest mountain ridge in Palestine. It was on this peak that Elijah and Elisha saw the mighty power of GOD, and the enemies of GOD saw the wrath of GOD, as well as His wonderful display of vengeance. Christ Jesus embodies all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. To Him has been given all judgment. Because of this He is likened to Mount Carmel.

 Isaiah 1:5 (a) This is a type of the mind and the thoughts. The Lord is telling us that all the thoughts, plans and meditations of His people were evil, therefore their hearts or their feelings were evil as well.

 Isaiah 59:17 (a) GOD has in a wonderful way made provision in Christ Jesus for projecting the thoughts which emanate from the mind. CHRIST is our salvation. As we put on CHRIST He turns our thoughts to heavenly things, and enables us to think GOD's thoughts after Him. (See  Ephesians 6:17).

 Daniel 2:38 (a) This is a type of Nebuchadnezzar and his kingdom, which was more excellent than any of the other world kingdoms that would follow.

 Habakkuk 3:13 (a) By this figure the Lord is informing us that He will destroy the leaders of His enemies so that their kings and their captains will go down in utter defeat. It may also be taken as a prophecy of the destruction of Satan.

 Matthew 21:42 (a) CHRIST is the chief of all Christians. He is the originator, the designer and the builder of His church. All the structure of GOD's church rests on Jesus Christ His Word, His work, and His character. Any building outside of CHRIST is a structure on sinking sand. (See  Mark 12:10;  Luke 20:17;  Acts 4:11;  1 Peter 2:7).

 Matthew 27:39 (b) This action indicated the derision of the people against the Saviour. It showed that they held Him in contempt. (See  Mark 15:29).

 Luke 7:38 (a) This is a type of great humility for the hair of the woman is her glory. She took that which was most precious to her, that which marked her beauty and her sweetness, bowed her head at JESUS' feet, and wiped the tears with her hair. By this act she revealed her utter humiliation in His presence, and her trust in Him.

 Luke 21:28 (b) This is a picture of victory, joy and anticipated blessing. It is a figure that represents courage, hope and expectancy.

 John 13:9 (b) Evidently Peter wanted his thoughts, his works, and his walk to be, all of them, cleansed by our precious Lord. The feet represent the walk, the hands represent the work, and the head represents the will. Peter would have all of this in complete submission and subjection to His blessed Lord.

 1 Corinthians 11:3-4 (a) The Lord JESUS is the sovereign Master of every Christian, and also of the Church. In the home, and a godly home is intended in this passage, the man is the authority in charge but not as a "boss," but rather as a leader and guide for the family. The Lord JESUS came as a servant of GOD, though He Himself was GOD and so He followed out all the will, plan, and purpose of GOD, His Father.

 1 Corinthians 12:21 (a) Here we see a picture of Christian relationships. The leader of the church, or the pastor, cannot get along without the janitor, the organist, the usher, and all the other various members of the church.

 Ephesians 1:22 (a) This figure represents the Lord JESUS as the reigning power in the church. His Word is supreme, His will is sovereign. Every other person who claims to be a lord over the church is a usurper, a traitor to CHRIST, and a curse to men. (See  Ephesians 4:15;  Ephesians 5:23;  Colossians 1:18;  Colossians 2:10).

 Colossians 2:19 (a) This is a true type of Christ Jesus the founder, the leader, and the Lord of the church.

 Revelation 1:14 (a) By this we learn of the age of our Lord JESUS who was "from the beginning," and who is the "Ancient of days." We learn from this that the Lord JESUS has eternal experience, good judgment, wonderful discretion, and therefore knows exactly what to do under every circumstance.

 Revelation 9:7 (a) Here we see a type of the host of warriors led by men who have received their power from GOD to punish the inhabitants of the earth.

 Revelation 13:1 (a) This hydra-headed monster represents the antichrist. The seven heads probably represent the seven hills of Rome from which there emanates the tremendous power of the great apostate church. It seems from this figure that the antichrist will emerge from the Roman power under the leadership of ten mighty men, and that by these the world will be brought into complete subjection with the exception of GOD's people who refuse to thus bow.

 Revelation 17:9 (a) We are told quite plainly here the meaning of this type. The Roman power is situated on seven hills, and is already ruling with despotism and cruelty over many millions of helpless subjects.

Vine's Expository Dictionary of OT Words [3]

A. Nouns.

Rô'sh ( רֹאשׁ , Strong'S #7218), “head; top; first; sum.” Cognates of rô'sh appear in Ugaritic, Akkadian, Phoenician, biblical Aramaic, Arabic, and Ethiopic. Rô'sh and its alternate form re'sh appear about 596 times in biblical Hebrew.

This word often represents a “head,” a bodily part (Gen. 40:20). Rô'sh is also used of a decapitated “head” (2 Sam. 4:8), an animal “head” (Gen. 3:15), and a statue “head” (Dan. 2:32). In Dan. 7:9, where God is pictured in human form, His “head” is crowned with hair like pure wool (i.e., white).

To “lift up one’s own head” may be a sign of declaring one’s innocence: “If I be wicked, woe unto me; and if I be righteous, yet will I not lift up my head. I am full of confusion; therefore see thou mine affliction” (Job 10:15). This same figure of speech may indicate an intention to begin a war, the most violent form of selfassertion: “For, lo, thine enemies make a tumult: and they that hate thee have lifted up the head” (Ps. 83:2). With a negation, this phrase may symbolize submission to another power: “Thus was Midian subdued before the children of Israel, so that they lifted up their heads no more” (Judg. 8:28). Used transitively (i.e., to lift up someone else’s “head”), this word may connote restoring someone to a previous position: “Yet within three days shall Pharaoh lift up thine head, and restore thee unto thy place …” (Gen. 40:13). It can also denote the release of someone from prison: “… Evilmerodach king of Babylon in the year that he began to reign did lift up the head of Jehoiachin king of Judah out of prison” (2 Kings 25:27).

With the verb rum (“to raise”), rô'sh can signify the victory and power of an enthroned king—God will “lift up [His] head,” or exert His rule (Ps. 110:7). When God lifts up ( rum ) one’s “head,” He fills one with hope and confidence: “But thou, O Lord, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head” (Ps. 3:3).

There are many secondary nuances of rô'sh. First, the word can represent the “hair on one’s head”: “And on the seventh day, he shall shave all his hair off his rô'sh  ; he shall shave off his beard and his eyebrows, all his hair” (Lev. 14:9, RSV). The word can connote unity, representing every individual in a given group: “Have they not sped? have they not divided the prey; to every man a damsel or two …” (Judg. 5:30). This word may be used numerically, meaning the total number of persons or individuals in a group: “Take ye the sum of all the congregation of the children of Israel, after their families, by the house of their fathers, with the number of their names, every male by their polls” (Num. 1:2) Rô'sh can also emphasize the individual: “And there was a great famine in Samaria: and, behold, they besieged it, until an ass’s head [i.e., an individual donkey] was sold for fourscore pieces of silver …” (2 Kings 6:25). It is upon the “head” (upon the person himself) that curses and blessings fall: “The blessings of thy father have prevailed above the blessings of my progenitors … : they shall be on the head of Joseph …” (Gen. 49:26).

Rô'sh sometimes means “leader,” whether appointed, elected, or self-appointed. The word can be used of the tribal fathers, who are the leaders of a group of people: “And Moses chose able men out of all Israel, and made them heads over the people …” (Exod. 18:25). Military leaders are also called “heads”: “These be the names of the mighty men whom David had: The Tachmonite that sat in the seat, chief among the captains …” (2 Sam. 23:8). In Num. 1:16, the princes are called “heads” (cf. Judg. 10:18). This word is used of those who represent or lead the people in worship (2 Kings 25:18—the chief priest).

When used of things, rô'sh means “point” or “beginning.” With a local emphasis, the word refers to the “top” or summit of a mountain or hill: “… Tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in mine hand” (Exod. 17:9). Elsewhere the word represents the topmost end of a natural or constructed object: “Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven …” (Gen. 11:4).

In Gen. 47:31, the word denotes the “head” of a bed, or where one lays his “head.” In 1 Kings 8:8, rô'sh refers to the ends of poles. The word may be used of the place where a journey begins: “Thou hast built thy high place at every head of the way …” (Ezek. 16:25); cf. Dan. 7:1: “the sum of the matters.…” This sense of the place of beginning appears in Gen. 2:10 (the first occurrence): “And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became [the source of four rivers].” This nuance identifies a thing as being placed spatially in front of a group; it stands in front or at the “head” (Deut. 20:9; cf. 1 Kings 21:9). The “head” of the stars is a star located at the zenith of the sky (Job 22:12). The “head” cornerstone occupies a place of primary importance. It is the stone by which all the other stones are measured; it is the chief cornerstone (Ps. 118:22). This word may have a temporal significance meaning “beginning” or “first.” The second sense is seen in Exod. 12:2: “This month shall be unto you the beginning of months.…” In 1 Chron. 16:7 the word describes the “first” in a whole series of acts: “Then on that day David delivered first this psalm to thank the Lord into the hand of Asaph and his brethren.”

Rô'sh may also have an estimative connotation: “Take thou also unto thee [the finest of] spices …” (Exod. 30:23).

Rê'shı̂yth ( רֵאשִׁית , Strong'S #7225), “beginning; first; choicest.” The abstract word rê'shı̂yth corresponds to the temporal and estimative sense of ro’sh. Rê'shı̂yth connotes the “beginning” of a fixed period of time: “… The eyes of the Lord thy God are always upon it, from the beginning of the year even unto the end of the year” (Deut. 11:12). The “beginning” of one’s period of life is intended in Job 42:12: “So the Lord blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning.…” This word can represent a point of departure, as it does in Gen. 1:1 (the first occurrence): “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” Estimatively, this word can mean the “first” or “choicest”: “The first of the first fruits of thy land thou shalt bring into the house of the Lord thy God” (Exod. 23:19). This nuance of rê'shı̂yth may appear in the comparative sense, meaning “choicest” or “best.” Dan. 11:41 exhibits the nuance of “some”: “… But these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom, and Moab, and the chief [NASB, “foremost”] of the children of Ammon” (Dan. 11:41).

Used substantively, the word can mean “first fruits”: “As for the oblation of the first fruits, ye shall offer them unto the Lord: but they shall not be burnt on the altar for a sweet savor” (Lev. 2:12). “… The first fruits of them which they shall offer unto the Lord, them have I given thee” (Num. 18:12). Sometimes this word represents the “first part” of an offering: “Ye shall offer up a cake of the first of your dough for a heave offering …” (Num. 15:20).

B. Adjective.

Ri'shôn ( רִאשֹׁן , Strong'S #7223), “first; foremost; preceding; former.” This word occurs about 182 times in biblical Hebrew. It denotes the “first” in a temporal sequence: “And it came to pass in the six hundredth and first year, in the first month, the first day of the month …” (Gen. 8:13). In Ezra 9:2, ri'shôn is used both of precedence in time and of leadership: “… The holy seed have mingled themselves with the people of those lands: yea, the hand of the princes and rulers hath been chief in this trespass.”

A second meaning of this adjective is “preceding” or “former”: “… Unto the place of the altar, which he had made there at the first …” (Gen. 13:4). Gen. 33:2 uses this word locally: “And he put the handmaids and their children foremost, and Leah and her children after, and Rachel and Joseph hindermost.” The “former ones” are “ancestors”: “But I will for their sakes remember the covenant of their ancestors, whom I brought forth out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the heathen …” (Lev. 26:45). But in most cases, this adjective has a temporal emphasis.

Holman Bible Dictionary [4]

 Genesis 48:18 Mark 6:24 Leviticus 1:4 Acts 18:6 1 Samuel 28:2

“Head” was used frequently to refer to inanimate objects such as the summit of a mountain ( Exodus 17:9 ), or the top of a building ( Genesis 11:4 ). The word “head” often has the meaning of “source” or “beginning,” that of rivers ( Genesis 2:10 ), streets ( Ezekiel 16:25 ), or of periods of time ( Judges 7:19 , translated here as “beginning”).

In  Psalm 118:22 , “head of the corner” (cornerstone) refers metaphorically to a king delivered by God when others had given him up (compare  Matthew 21:42;  Acts 4:11;  1 Peter 2:7 , where it is used in reference to the rejection of Christ). “Head” designated one in authority in the sense of the foremost person. It can mean leader, chief, or prince ( Isaiah 9:15 ), and it can have the idea of first in a series ( 1 Chronicles 12:9 ). Israel was the “head” (translated “chief”) nation, God's firstborn ( Jeremiah 31:7 ). Damascus was the “head” (capital) of Syria ( Isaiah 7:8 ). A husband is the “head of the wife” ( Ephesians 5:23 ).

A distinctive theological use of the word “head” was seen in the New Testament concept of the “headship” of Christ. Christ is the “head” ( kephale ) of His body the church; the church is His “bride” ( Ephesians 5:23-33 ). In His role as “head,” Christ enables the church to grow, knits her into a unity, nourishes her by caring for each member, and gives her strength to build herself up in love ( Ephesians 4:15-16 ). Not only is Christ “head” of the church, but also He is “head” of the universe as a whole ( Ephesians 1:22 ) and of every might and power ( Colossians 2:10 ). The divine influences on the world result in a series: God is the “head” of Christ; Christ is the “head” of man; man is the “head” of the woman, and as such he is to love and care for his wife as Christ does His bride ( 1 Corinthians 11:3 ). This theological use of the word may be an extension of the Old Testament use of the word “head” for the leader of the tribe or community or may be a reaction to early Gnostic tendencies. See Gnosticism .

Because the head was the seat of life, value was placed on it. Injury to it was a chief form of defeating an enemy ( Psalm 68:21 ). As part of contemptuous insult, the soldiers struck Jesus' head with a reed and crowned Him with a crown of thorns ( Mark 15:16-19 ). Decapitation was a further insult after the defeat. Herodias, through treachery and out of spite, had John the Baptist beheaded ( Matthew 14:1-11 ). David cut off Goliath's head and brought it before Saul ( 1 Samuel 17:51 ). The Philistines cut off Saul's head ( 1 Samuel 31:9 ), and the sons of Rimmon cut off that of Ish-bosheth ( 2 Samuel 4:7 ). Attested to in many inscriptions and portrayed on several monuments, it was common for the Babylonians, Assyrians, and the Egyptians to cut off the heads of their dead enemies slain in battle.

Conversely, blessing comes upon the head ( Genesis 49:26 ); and, therefore, hands are laid on it ( Genesis 48:17 ). Anointing the head with oil symbolized prosperity and joy ( Psalm 23:5;  Hebrews 1:9 ). In the service for ordination of priests and dedication to priestly service, the head of the high priest was anointed with oil ( Exodus 29:7;  Leviticus 16:32 ). Human sins were transferred to the animal of the sin offering by laying on of hands upon the head of the animal ( Exodus 29:10 ,Exodus 29:10, 29:15 ,Exodus 29:15, 29:19 ).

The head is involved in several colloquial expressions. The Jew swore by his head ( Matthew 5:36 ). Sadness or grief was shown by putting the hand on the head or putting ashes on it ( 2 Samuel 13:19 ). In other instances, grief was shown by shaving the head ( Job 1:20 ). To “heap coals of fire upon his head” was to make one's enemy feel ashamed by returning his evil with good ( Proverbs 15:21-22;  Romans 12:20 ). Wagging the head expressed derision ( Mark 15:29 ), but bowing the head was a sign of humility ( Isaiah 58:5 ). Finally, “The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness” ( Proverbs 16:31 ).

Darlene R. Gautsch

King James Dictionary [5]

HEAD, n. hed.

1. The uppermost part of the human body, or the foremost part of the body of prone and creeping animals. This part of the human body contains the organs of hearing, seeing, tasting and smelling it contains also the brain, which is supposed to be the seat of the intellectual powers, and of sensation. Hence the head is the chief or more important part, and is used for the whole person, in the phrase, let the evil fall on my head. 2. An animal an individual as,the tax was raised by a certain rate per head. And we use the singular number to express many. The herd contains twenty head of oxen.

Thirty thousand head of swine.

3. A chief a principal person a leader a commander one who has the first rank or place,and to whom others are subordinate as the head of an army the head of a sect or party.  Ephesians 5 4. The first place the place of honor, or of command. The lord mayor sat at the head of the table. The general marched at the head of his troops. 5. Countenance presence in the phrases, to hide the head, to show the head. 6. Understanding faculties of the mind sometimes in a ludicrous sense as, a man has a good head, or a strong head. These men laid their heads together to form the scheme. Never trouble your head about this affair. So we say, to beat the head to break the head that is, to study hard, to exercise the understanding or mental faculties. 7. Face front forepart.

The ravishers turn head, the fight renews. Unusual.

8. Resistance successful opposition in the phrase, to make head against, that is, to advance, or resist with success. 9. Spontaneous will or resolution in the phrases, of his own head, on their own head. But of is more usual than on. 10. State of a deer's horns by which his age is known. The buck is called, the fifth year, a buck of the first head. 11. The top of a thing, especially when larger than the rest of the thing as the head of a spear the head of a cabbage the head of a nail the head of a mast. 12. The forepart of a thing, as the head of a ship, which includes the bows on both sides also,the ornamental figure or image erected on or before the stem of a ship. 13. The blade or cutting part of an ax, distinct from the helve. 14. That which rises on the top as the head or yeast of beer. 15. The upper part of a bed, or bed-stead. 16. The brain.

They turn their heads to imitate the sun.

17. The dress of the head as a laced head. Unusual. 18. The principal source of a stream as the head of the Nile. 19. Altitude of water in ponds, as applicable to the driving of mill-wheels. The mill has a good head of water. 20. Topic of discourse chief point or subject a summary as the heads of a discourse or treatise. 21. Crisis pitch highth. The disease has grown to such a head as to threaten life. 22. Influence force strength pitch. The sedition got to such a head as not to be easily quelled. 23. Body conflux. 24. Power armed force.

My lord, my lord, the French have gathered head.

25. Liberty freedom from restrain as, to give a horse the head. Hence, 26. License freedom from check, control or restraint. Children should not have their heads.

He has too long given his unruly passions the head.

27. The hair of the head as a head of hair. 28. The top of corn or other plant the part on which the seed grows. 29. The end, or the boards that form the end as the head of a cask. 30. The part most remote from the mouth or opening into the sea as the head of a bay, gulf or creek. 31. The maturated part of an ulcer or boil hence, to come to a head, is to suppurate.

Head and ears, a phrase denoting the whole person, especially when referring to immersion. He plunged head and ears into the water. He was head and ears in debt, that is, completely overwhelmed.

Head and shoulders, by force violently as, to drag one head and shoulders.

They bring in every figure of speech, head and shoulders.

Head or tail, or head nor tail, uncertain not reducible to certainty.

Head, as an adj. or in composition, chief principal as a head workman.

By the head, in seamen's language, denotes the state of a ship laden too deeply at the fore-end.

HEAD, hed. To lead to direct to act as leader to as, to head an army to head an expedition to head a riot.

1. To behead to decapitate. Unusual. 2. To form a head to to fit or furnish with a head as, to head a nail. 3. To lop as, to head trees. 4. To go in front of to get into the front as, to head a drove of cattle. 5. To set on the head as, to head a cask. 6. To oppose to veer round and blow in opposition to the course of a ship as, the wind heads us.

HEAD, hed. To originate to spring to have its source, as a river.

A broad river that heads in the great Blue Ridge of mountains.

Webster's Dictionary [6]

(1): ( n.) The seat of the intellect; the brain; the understanding; the mental faculties; as, a good head, that is, a good mind; it never entered his head, it did not occur to him; of his own head, of his own thought or will.

(2): ( n.) The source, fountain, spring, or beginning, as of a stream or river; as, the head of the Nile; hence, the altitude of the source, or the height of the surface, as of water, above a given place, as above an orifice at which it issues, and the pressure resulting from the height or from motion; sometimes also, the quantity in reserve; as, a mill or reservoir has a good head of water, or ten feet head; also, that part of a gulf or bay most remote from the outlet or the sea.

(3): ( n.) Each one among many; an individual; - often used in a plural sense; as, a thousand head of cattle.

(4): ( n.) A separate part, or topic, of a discourse; a theme to be expanded; a subdivision; as, the heads of a sermon.

(5): ( n.) The place or honor, or of command; the most important or foremost position; the front; as, the head of the table; the head of a column of soldiers.

(6): ( n.) A headland; a promontory; as, Gay Head.

(7): ( n.) Power; armed force.

(8): ( n.) A headdress; a covering of the head; as, a laced head; a head of hair.

(9): ( n.) An ear of wheat, barley, or of one of the other small cereals.

(10): ( n.) Culminating point or crisis; hence, strength; force; height.

(11): ( n.) The antlers of a deer.

(12): ( n.) The most prominent or important member of any organized body; the chief; the leader; as, the head of a college, a school, a church, a state, and the like.

(13): ( n.) Tiles laid at the eaves of a house.

(14): ( a.) Principal; chief; leading; first; as, the head master of a school; the head man of a tribe; a head chorister; a head cook.

(15): ( n.) The place where the head should go; as, the head of a bed, of a grave, etc.; the head of a carriage, that is, the hood which covers the head.

(16): ( n.) The uppermost, foremost, or most important part of an inanimate object; such a part as may be considered to resemble the head of an animal; often, also, the larger, thicker, or heavier part or extremity, in distinction from the smaller or thinner part, or from the point or edge; as, the head of a cane, a nail, a spear, an ax, a mast, a sail, a ship; that which covers and closes the top or the end of a hollow vessel; as, the head of a cask or a steam boiler.

(17): ( v. t.) To be at the head of; to put one's self at the head of; to lead; to direct; to act as leader to; as, to head an army, an expedition, or a riot.

(18): ( v. t.) To form a head to; to fit or furnish with a head; as, to head a nail.

(19): ( n.) The anterior or superior part of an animal, containing the brain, or chief ganglia of the nervous system, the mouth, and in the higher animals, the chief sensory organs; poll; cephalon.

(20): ( v. t.) To cut off the top of; to lop off; as, to head trees.

(21): ( v. t.) To go in front of; to get in the front of, so as to hinder or stop; to oppose; hence, to check or restrain; as, to head a drove of cattle; to head a person; the wind heads a ship.

(22): ( v. t.) To set on the head; as, to head a cask.

(23): ( v. i.) To originate; to spring; to have its source, as a river.

(24): ( v. i.) To go or point in a certain direction; to tend; as, how does the ship head?

(25): ( v. i.) To form a head; as, this kind of cabbage heads early.

(26): ( n.) A rounded mass of foam which rises on a pot of beer or other effervescing liquor.

(27): ( n.) A dense cluster of flowers, as in clover, daisies, thistles; a capitulum.

(28): ( n.) A dense, compact mass of leaves, as in a cabbage or a lettuce plant.

(29): ( v. t.) To behead; to decapitate.

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [7]

HEAD . Not the head but the heart was regarded as the seat of intellect; it was, however, the seat of life, and was naturally held in honour. Hence phrases such as ‘keeper of my head’ (  1 Samuel 28:2; cf.   Psalms 140:7 ), ‘swearing by the head’ (  Matthew 5:36 ), and the metaphorical use, common to all languages, as equivalent to ‘chief.’ In   Deuteronomy 28:13 ,   Isaiah 9:14 , we find ‘head and tail’ as a proverbial expression. Christ is the head of the Church (  Ephesians 4:15 ,   Colossians 1:18;   Colossians 2:19 ), as man is of the woman (  Ephesians 5:23 ). To lift up the head is to grant success (  Psalms 27:6;   Psalms 110:7 ,   Genesis 41:13 , where there is an obvious ironical parallel in   Genesis 41:19 ). The hand on the head was a sign of mourning (  2 Samuel 13:19 ,   Jeremiah 2:37 ); so dust or ashes (  2 Samuel 1:2 ,   Lamentations 2:10 ); or covering the head (  2 Samuel 15:30 ,   Jeremiah 14:3 ). On the other hand, to uncover the head, i.e . to loose the turban and leave the hair in disorder, was also a sign of mourning (see AV [Note: Authorized Version.] and RVm [Note: Revised Version margin.] ,   Leviticus 10:6;   Leviticus 13:45 ,   Ezekiel 24:17 ). Similarly shaving the head , a common practice in the East (  Job 1:20 ,   Isaiah 15:2;   Isaiah 22:12 ,   Ezekiel 7:18 ,   Amos 8:10 ); it was forbidden to priests (  Leviticus 21:5 ), and, in special forms, to all Israelites (  Leviticus 19:27 ,   Deuteronomy 14:1 ). It might also mark the close of a period of mourning (  Deuteronomy 21:12 ), or of a Nazirite’s vow (  Numbers 6:9 ,   Acts 18:18 ), or of a Levite’s purification (  Numbers 8:7 ). In   Deuteronomy 32:42 there is a reference to the warrior’s long hair, RVm [Note: Revised Version margin.] . Laying hands on the head was ( a ) part of the symbolism of sacrifice (  Leviticus 16:21 ), ( b ) a sign of blessing (  Genesis 48:14 ), ( c ) a sign of consecration or ordination (  Numbers 27:23 ,   Acts 6:6 ). In   2 Kings 2:3 the reference seems to be to the pupil sitting at the feet of his master. ‘Head’ is also used, like ‘face,’ as a synonym for ‘self’ (  Psalms 7:16; and probably   Proverbs 25:22 ,   Romans 12:20 ).

C. W. Emmet.

Bridgeway Bible Dictionary [8]

In most languages and cultures, a characteristic of everyday speech is to use the names of parts of the body (eyes, head, hands, feet, etc.) figuratively as well as literally. People in Bible times, for example, often referred to the head in a figurative sense. This was because they considered the head to be in some way representative of the whole person ( 1 Kings 2:32;  Acts 18:6).

People in Bible times might therefore show their shame or grief by covering the head, throwing dust on the head, or shaving the head ( 2 Samuel 15:30;  Isaiah 15:2;  Jeremiah 14:3;  Revelation 18:19). By contrast people were honoured by the anointing or crowning of the head ( Psalms 23:5;  Proverbs 4:9;  Mark 14:3;  Hebrews 2:9). Lifting up the head symbolized victory ( Psalms 3:3;  Psalms 27:6;  Psalms 110:7); hanging the head symbolized shame or grief ( Lamentations 2:10;  Luke 18:13).

When used figuratively of people or nations, ‘head’ could indicate leadership or authority ( Deuteronomy 28:13;  Judges 11:9;  1 Samuel 15:17). The rulers of Israel were called the heads of Israel ( Micah 3:1).

By New Testament times the figurative usage of ‘head’ was largely concerned with its being the source of life and the seat of authority. This is clearly seen in Christ’s headship of the church. As the head is both the source and controller of the body’s life, so Christ is the source of the church’s life and has supreme authority over it ( Ephesians 1:22;  Ephesians 4:15-16;  Colossians 1:18;  Colossians 2:10;  Colossians 2:19).

Another form of headship is found in the marriage relationship. The husband’s headship of the wife results from the different responsibilities given to each as created by God. For the Christian husband and wife, this relationship should be patterned on Christ’s self-sacrificing love for the church and the church’s obedient love for Christ ( Ephesians 5:23-25). Although the husband’s headship means that he has a certain authority, it does not mean that he is superior. There is an equality in status, though a difference in function. The husband is head of the wife in the same way as God the Father is head of God the Son. Yet the Son, though under the Father’s authority, is equal with him ( 1 Corinthians 11:3; cf.  John 5:19;  John 8:28-29;  John 10:30;  John 14:9-10; see Husband ; WIFE).

Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary [9]

It would have been unnecessary to have noticed this article in the general acceptation of the word, since every one cannot but know, that as the head of the body, in every thing that liveth, is the prime mover of the body; and, indeed, is sometimes put for the whole of the body, so is it in common conversation considered as the first and pre-disposing cause of all life and action, whether considered individually, or in a community at large. But the term Head when applied to the Lord Jesus Christ, as the Head of his body the "church," opens so sweet a subject for contemplation, that in a work of this kind it would be unpardonable to pass it by. Indeed, the subject even looks farther than this, and directs the mind of the truly regenerated believer to behold Jehovah in his threefold character of person, as being the Head of Christ, considered in his mediatorial office, and giving truth to all the glorious purposes of salvation in him. It was the Lord JEHOVAH, in the great scheme of redemption, before the earth was formed, that set up Christ as the Head of his church. All the persons of the GODHEAD engaged in this plan of grace, and set the wheels agoing from all eternity; and hence God the Father is called the God and Father"of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family, in heaven and earth, is named." ( Ephesians 3:14-15) And as to God the Father is peculiarly ascribed the calling, of Christ, as the Head of his body the church, ( Isaiah 42:6) so to God the Holy Ghost is peculiarly ascribed no less the anointing of Christ to the special office of Mediator. ( Isaiah 48:16-17) And hence, in conformity to this order of things, the apostle tells the church, when speaking of this subject, "I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is the man, and the head of Christ is God." ( 1 Corinthians 11:3)

Next, in the order of things, we may view the Headship of Christ to his church, and a most blessed and interesting subject it becomes to our view. The Scriptures are full of this most delightful truth. Jesus, as Mediator, is the Head the Surety, the husband, the all in all, of his people. He is the source of life, of light, of salvation, of grace here, and glory forever. So that in this view of the Lord Jesus, and the church in him, it is incalculable in how many ways, and by what a variety of communications, this Headship of Christ becomes a source of continual joy and comfort to all his redeemed. They have an unceasing, communion with him whether they are conscious of it or not; and it should be among the highest felicities of the soul to go every day, and all the day, in the perpetual actings of faith upon the glorious person of the Lord Jesus, as the Head of his body the church, "the fulness of him that filleth all in all." ( Ephesians 1:22-23)

Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary [10]

This word has several significations, beside its natural one, which denotes the head of a man. It is sometimes used in Scripture for the whole man: "Blessings are upon the head of the just,"  Proverbs 10:6 .; that is, upon their persons. God says of the wicked, "I will recompense their way upon their head,"  Ezekiel 9:10 . It signifies a chief or capital city: "The head of Syria is Damascus,"  Isaiah 7:8 . It denotes a chief or principal member in society: "The Lord will cut off from Israel head and tail. The ancient and honourable, he is the head,"  Isaiah 9:14-15 . "The seed of the woman shall bruise the head of the serpent,"  Genesis 3:15; that is, Christ Jesus, the blessed seed of the woman, shall overthrow the power, policy, and works of the devil. The river in paradise was divided into four heads or branches. In times of grief, the mourners covered their heads: they cut and plucked off their hair. Amos, speaking of unhappy times, says, "I will bring baldness upon every head,"  Amos 8:10 . In prosperity, they anointed their heads with sweet oils: "Let thy head lack no" perfumed "ointment,"  Ecclesiastes 9:8 . To shake the head at any one, expresses contempt: "The virgin, the daughter of Zion, hath despised thee, and laughed thee to scorn; the daughter of Jerusalem hath shaken her head at thee,"  Isaiah 37:22 .

Head is taken for one that hath rule and preeminence over others. Thus God is the head of Christ; as Mediator, from him he derives all his dignity and authority. Christ is the only spiritual head of the church, both in respect of eminence and influence; he communicates life, motion, and strength to every believer. Also the husband is the head of his wife, because by God's ordinance he is to rule over her,  Genesis 3:16; also in regard to pre- eminence of sex,  1 Peter 3:7 , and excellency of knowledge,  1 Corinthians 14:35 . The Apostle mentions this subordination of persons in  1 Corinthians 11:3 : "But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is the man, and the head of Christ is God." "The stone which the builders rejected was made the head of the corner,"  Psalms 118:22 . It was the first in the angle, whether it were disposed at the top of that angle to adorn and crown it, or at the bottom to support it. This, in the New Testament is applied to Christ, who is the strength and beauty of the church, to unite the several parts of it, namely, both Jews and Gentiles together.

Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words [11]

1: Κεφαλή (Strong'S #2776 — Noun Feminine — kephale — kef-al-ay' )

besides its natural significance, is used (a) figuratively in  Romans 12:20 , of heaping coals of fire on a "head" (see COALS); in  Acts 18;6 , "Your blood be upon your own heads," i.e., "your blood-guiltiness rest upon your own persons," a mode of expression frequent in the OT, and perhaps here directly connected with  Ezekiel 3:18,20;  33:6,8; see also  Leviticus 20:16;  2—Samuel 1:16;  1—Kings 2:37; (b) metaphorically, of the authority or direction of God in relation to Christ, of Christ in relation to believing men, of the husband in relation to the wife,  1—Corinthians 11:3; of Christ in relation to the Church,  Ephesians 1:22;  4:15;  5:23;  Colossians 1:18;  2:19; of Christ in relation to principalities and powers,  Colossians 2:10 . As to  1—Corinthians 11:10 , taken in connection with the context, the word "authority" probably stands, by metonymy, for a sign of authority (RV), the angels being witnesses of the preeminent relationship as established by God in the creation of man as just mentioned, with the spiritual significance regarding the position of Christ in relation to the Church; cp.  Ephesians 3:10; it is used of Christ as the foundation of the spiritual building set forth by the Temple, with its "corner stone,"  Matthew 21:42; symbolically also of the imperial rulers of the Roman power, as seen in the apocalyptic visions,  Revelation 13:1,3;  17:3,7,9 .

Morrish Bible Dictionary [12]

Besides the common use of this as 'chief,' referring to the heads of families and heads of tribes, the word was used symbolically of government and power, as when God declared that the Seed of the woman should bruise the serpent's 'head.'  Genesis 3:15 . In the N.T. the term κεφαλή is employed for the relative position of man in nature, and of Christ and of God: the head of the woman is the man; the head of every man is Christ; and the head of Christ is God.  1 Corinthians 11:3 . In another connection Christ is the head of the church,  Ephesians 5:23;  Colossians 1:18; and He is head over all things to the church.  Ephesians 1:22;  Colossians 2:10 . As head of the church Christ removes entirely every other controlling or guiding authority. As the head of a man guides and controls his body, so Christ has the complete control over His church.

In  Revelation 12:3 the 'head' symbolises a form of power or kingdom; and in   Revelation 17:3,9 , the seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sitteth, representing Rome, which was commonly described as built upon seven hills, and the woman signifies Papal Rome.

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature [13]

As the head is the topmost part of the human body, it came derivatively to signify that which is highest, chief, the highest in position locally being regarded as highest in office, rank, or dignity: whence, as the head is the center of the nervous system, holds the brain, and stands above all the other parts, Plato regarded it as the seat of the deathless soul; and it has generally been considered as the abode of the intellect or intelligence by which man is enlightened and his walk in life directed; while the heart, or the parts placed near it, have been accounted the place where the affections lie (;; ). The head and the heart are sometimes taken for the entire person . Even the head alone, as being the chief member, frequently stands for the man . The head also denotes sovereignty . Covering the head, and cutting off the hair, were signs of mourning and tokens of distress, which were enhanced by throwing ashes on the head, together with sackcloth (;; ,;; ); while anointing the head was practiced on festive occasions, and considered an emblem of felicity (;; ). It was usual to swear by the head .

1. Ethiopian; 2. Mongolian; 3. Caucasian; 4. Malay; 5. American

The general character of the human head is such as to establish the identity of the human race, and to distinguish man from every other animal. At the same time different families of mankind are marked by peculiarities of construction in the head, which, though in individual cases, and when extremes are compared together, they run one into the other to the entire loss of distinctive lines, yet are in the general broadly contrasted one with the other. These peculiarities in the structure of the skull give rise to and are connected with other peculiarities of feature and general contour of face. In the union of cranial peculiarities with those of the face certain clear marks are presented, by which physiologists have been able to range the individuals of our race into a few great classes, and in so doing to afford an unintentional corroboration of the information which the Scriptures afford regarding the origin and dispersion of mankind. Physiologists have established five classes of heads, corresponding with five great families. 1. The Caucasian family, comprising the nations of Europe, some of the Western Asiatics, etc. have the head of the most symmetrical shape, almost round, the forehead of moderate extent, the cheek bones rather narrow, without any projection, but a direction downwards from the molar process of the frontal bone; the alveolar edge well rounded; the front teeth of each jaw placed perpendicu

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [14]

(properly ראֹשׁ , Rosh, Κεφαλή ), the topmost part of the human body.

I. Anatomically considered, the general character of the human head is such as to establish the identity of the human race, and to distinguish man from every other animal. At the same time, different families of mankind are marked by peculiarities of construction in the head, which, though in individual cases, and when extremes are compared together, they run one into the other, to the entire loss of distinctive lines, yet are in the general broadly contrasted one with the other. These peculiarities in the structure of the skull give rise to and are connected with other peculiarities of feature and general contour of face. In the union of cranial peculiarities with those of the face, certain clear marks are presented, by which physiologists have been able to range the individuals of our race into a few great classes, and in so doing to afford an unintentional corroboration of the information which the Scriptures afford regarding the origin and dispersion of mankind. Camper, one of the most learned and clear-minded physicians of the 18th century, has the credit of being the first who drew attention to the classification of the human features, and endeavored, by means of what he termed the facial angle, to furnish a method for distinguishing different nations and races of men, which, being himself an eminent limner, he designed for application chiefly in the art of drawing, and which, though far from producing strictly definite and scientific results, yet affords views that are not without interest, and approximations that at least prepared the way for something better (see a collection of Camper's pieces entitled l'Euvres qui ontpour Objet l'Histoire Naturelle, la Physiologie, et l'Anatomie comparae, Paris, 1803). It is, however, to the celebrated J. F. Blumenbach, whose merits in the entire sphere of natural history are so transcendent, that we are mainly indebted for the accurate and satisfactory classifications in regard to cranial structure which now prevail. Camper had observed that the breadth of the head differs in different nations; that the heads of Asiatics (the Kalmucs) have the greatest breadth; that those of Europeans have a middle degree of breadth; and that the skulls of the African Negroes are the narrowest of all. This circumstance was by Blumenbach made the foundation of his arrangement and description of skulls. By comparing different forms of the human cranium together, that eminent physiologist was led to recognize three great types, to which all others' could be referred-the Caucasian, Mongolian, and Ethiopic. These three differ more widely from each other than any other that can be found; but to these three, Blumenbach, in his classification of skulls, and of the races of men to which they belong, added two others, in many respects intermediate between the three forms already mentioned. In this way five classes are established, corresponding with five great families.

1. The Caucasian family, comprising the nations of Europe, some of the Western Asiatics, etc., have the head of the most symmetrical shape, almost round the forehead of moderate extent, the cheek-bones rather narrow, without any projection, but a direction downwards from the molar process of the frontal bone; the alveolar edge well rounded; the front teeth of each jaw placed perpendicularly; the face of oval shape, straight, features moderately prominent; forehead arched; nose narrow, slightly arched; mouth small; chin full and round.

2. The second is the Mongolian variety.

3. Ethiopian.

4. Malay and South Sea Islanders.

5: American. The description of their peculiarities may be found in Prichard's Researches Into The Physical History Of  Prayer of Manasseh 1:2 nd ed. 1, 167 sq. The reader may also consult Lawrence's Lectures On The Natural History of Man; J. Muller's Handbuch der Physiologie. But the most recent, if not the best work on the subject before us is Prichard's Natural History of Man (1843), a work which comprises and reviews, in the spirit of a sound philosophy, all that has hitherto been written and discovered on the origin, physical structure, and propagation over the earth of the race of man. In this invaluable work full details may be found of the methods of studying the human head of which we have spoken, and of some others, not less interesting in themselves, nor less valuable in their results (see particularly p. 116 sq.).

II. Scriptural References. This part of the human body has generally been considered as the abode of intelligence, while the heart, or the parts placed near it, have been accounted the place where the affections lie ( Genesis 3:15;  Psalms 3:3;  Ecclesiastes 2:14). The head and the heart are sometimes taken for the entire person ( Isaiah 1:5). Even the head alone, as being the chief member, frequently stands for the man ( Proverbs 10:6). The head also denotes sovereignty ( 1 Corinthians 11:3). Covering the head, and cutting off the hair, were signs of mourning and tokens of distress, which were enhanced by throwing ashes on the head, together with sackcloth ( Amos 8:10;  Job 1:20;  Leviticus 21:5;  Deuteronomy 14:1;  2 Samuel 13:10;  Esther 4:1); while anointing the head was practiced on festive occasions, and considered an emblem of felicity ( Ecclesiastes 9:8;  Psalms 23:5;  Luke 7:46). (See Anoint).

It was not unusual to swear by the head ( Matthew 5:36). Kitto, s.v. The phrase to lift up the head of any one, is to exalt him ( Psalms 3:3;  Psalms 110:7); and To Return or Give Back Upon One'S Head, is to be requited, recompensed ( Psalms 7:16;  Joel 3:4;  Ezekiel 9:10;  Ezekiel 11:21;  Ezekiel 16:43;  Ezekiel 17:19;  Ezekiel 22:31). So, your blood be on your own heads ( Acts 18:6); the guilt of your destruction rests upon yourselves ( 2 Samuel 1:16;  1 Kings 2:33;  1 Kings 2:37). The term Head is used to signify The Chief, one to whom others are subordinate; the Prince of a people or state ( Judges 10:18;  Judges 11:8;  1 Samuel 15:17;  Psalms 18:43;  Isaiah 7:8-9); of a family, the head, chief, patriarch ( Exodus 6:14;  Numbers 7:2;  1 Chronicles 5:24); of a husband in relation to a wife ( Genesis 3:16;  1 Corinthians 11:3;  Ephesians 5:23). So of Christ the Head in relation to his Church, which is his body, and its members his members ( 1 Corinthians 12:27;  1 Corinthians 11:3;  Ephesians 1:22;  Ephesians 4:15;  Ephesians 5:23;  Colossians 1:18;  Colossians 2:10;  Colossians 2:19); of God in relation to Christ ( 1 Corinthians 11:3). Head is also used for what is highest, uppermost: the top, summit of a mountain ( Genesis 8:5;  Exodus 17:9-10;  Exodus 19:20). The mountain of the Lord's house shall be established at the Head of the mountains, and shall be higher than the hills, i.e. it shall be a prince among the mountains (Isaiah 2, 2). Four heads of rivers, i.e. four rivers into which the waters divide themselves (Genesis 2, 10). Head stone of-the corner ( Psalms 118:22), either the highest, forming the top or coping of the corner; or lowest, which forms the foundation of the building. (See Corner).

III. Hair Of The Head ( פֶּרִע ) was by the Hebrews worn thick and full as an ornament of the person (comp.  Ezekiel 8:3;  Jeremiah 7:29); a bald head, besides exposing one to the suspicion of leprosy ( Leviticus 13:43 sq.), was always a cause of mortification ( 2 Kings 2:23;  Isaiah 3:17;  Isaiah 3:24; comp. Sueton. Caes. 45; Domit. 18; Homer, Iliad, 2, 219; Hariri, 10, p. 99, ed. Sacy); among the priestly order it therefore amounted to a positive disqualification ( Leviticus 21:20; Mishna, Bechoroth, 7, 2); among the Egyptians, on the contrary, the hair was regularly shorn ( Genesis 41:14), and only allowed to go uncut in seasons of mourning (Herod. 2, 36). Hair so long as to descend to the shoulders, however, seems only in early times to have been the habit, in the male sex, with youth ( 2 Samuel 14:6; Joseph. Ant. 8, 7, 3; Horace, Od. 2, 5, 21; 3:20, 14). Men cropped it from time to time with shears ( מוֹרָה תִּעִר ; comp.  Ezekiel 44:20, and the Κόμη Μικρἀ O f the Babylonians, Strabo 16:746). (See Nazarite). Among the late Jews long hair in men was esteemed a weakness ( 1 Corinthians 11:14; comp. Plutarch, Quaest. Romans 14 ; Clem. Alex. Paed. 3, 106; Epiphaii. Haer. 68, 6; Jerome Ad Ezech. 44); but it was otherwise in Sparta (Aristot. Rhet. 1, 9; Herod. 1, 82; Xenoph. Lac. 11, 3; comp. Aristoph. An. 1287 sq.); and to the priests any curtailment of it was forbidden (Otho, Lex. Rabb. p. 118; for the long hair on the

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [15]

hed ( ראשׁ , rō'sh , Aramaic ע ֿ2 #100 100 10rנ , rē'sh , and in special sense גּלגּלת , gulgōleth , literally, "skull," "cut-off head" (  1 Chronicles 10:10 ), whence Golgotha ( Matthew 27:33;  Mark 15:22;  John 19:17 ); מראשׁה , mera'ăshāh , literally, "head-rest," "pillow," "bolster" ( 1 Kings 19:6 ); קדקד , ḳodhḳōdh , literally, crown of the head ( Deuteronomy 28:35;  Deuteronomy 33:16 ,  Deuteronomy 33:20;  2 Samuel 14:25;  Isaiah 3:17;  Jeremiah 48:45 ); בּרזל , barzel , "the head of an axe" ( Deuteronomy 19:5 , the Revised Version margin "iron";  2 Kings 6:5 ); להבה , lehābhāh , להבת , lahebheth , "the head of a spear" ( 1 Samuel 17:7 ); κεφαλή , kephalḗ ): The first-mentioned Hebrew word and its Aramaic form are found frequently in their literal as well as metaphorical sense. We may distinguish the following meanings:

1. Used of Men

By a slight extension of meaning, "head" occasionally stands for the person itself. This is the case in all passages where evil is said to return or to be requited upon the head of a person (see below).

2. Used of Animals

The word is also used in connection with the serpent's head ( Genesis 3:15 ), the head of the sacrificial ram, bullock and goat ( Exodus 29:10 ,  Exodus 29:15 ,  Exodus 29:19;  Leviticus 4:4 ,  Leviticus 4:24 ), the head of leviathan ( Job 41:7 (Hebrew 40:31)).

3. The Head-Piece

It is used also as representing the top or summit of a thing, as the capital of column or pillar ( Exodus 36:38;  Exodus 38:28;  2 Chronicles 3:15 ); of mountains ( Exodus 19:20;  Numbers 21:20;  Judges 9:7;  Amos 1:2;  Amos 9:3 ); of a scepter ( Esther 5:2 ); of a ladder ( Genesis 28:12 ); of a tower ( Genesis 11:4 ).

4. Beginning, Source, Origin

As a fourth meaning the word occurs ( Proverbs 8:23;  Ecclesiastes 3:11;  Isaiah 41:4 ) in the sense of beginning of months ( Exodus 12:2 ), of rivers ( Genesis 2:10 ), of streets or roads ( Isaiah 51:20;  Ezekiel 16:25;  Ezekiel 21:21 ).

As a leader, prince, chief, chieftain, captain (or as an adjective, with the meaning of foremost, uppermost), originally: "he that stands at the head"; compare "God is with us at our head" ( 2 Chronicles 13:12 ); "Knowest thou that Yahweh will take away thy master from thy head?" ( 2 Kings 2:3 ); "head-stone" the Revised Version (British and American) "top stone," i.e. the upper-most stone ( Zechariah 4:7 ).

5. Leader, Prince

Israel is called the head of nations ( Deuteronomy 28:13 ); "The head (capital) of Syria is Damascus, and the head (prince) of Damascus is Rezin" ( Isaiah 7:8 ); "heads of their fathers' houses," i.e. elders of the clans ( Exodus 6:14 ); compare "heads of tribes" ( Deuteronomy 1:15 ), also "captain," literally, head ( Numbers 14:4;  Deuteronomy 1:15;  1 Chronicles 11:42;  Nehemiah 9:17 ). The phrase "head and tail" ( Isaiah 9:14;  Isaiah 19:15 ) is explained by the rabbis as meaning the nobles and the commons among the people; compare "palm-branch and rush" ( Isaiah 9:14 ), "hair of the feet ... and beard" ( Isaiah 7:20 ), but compare also  Isaiah 9:15 . In the New Testament we find the remarkable statement of Christ being "the head of the church" ( Ephesians 1:22;  Ephesians 5:23 ), "head of every man" ( 1 Corinthians 11:3 ), "head of all principality and power" ( Colossians 2:10 ), "head of the body, the church" ( Colossians 1:18; compare  Ephesians 4:15 ). The context of  1 Corinthians 11:3 is very instructive to a true understanding of this expression: "I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God" (compare   Ephesians 5:23 ). Here, clearly, reference is had to the lordship of Christ over His church, not to the oneness of Christ and His church, while in  Ephesians 4:16 the dependence of the church upon Christ is spoken of. These passages should not therefore be pressed to include the idea of Christ being the intellectual center, the brain of His people, from whence the members are passively governed, for to the Jewish mind the heart was the seat of the intellect, not the head. See Heart .

6. Various Uses

As the head is the most essential part of physical man, calamity and blessing are said to come upon the head of a person ( Genesis 49:26;  Deuteronomy 33:16;  Judges 9:57;  1 Samuel 25:39;  2 Chronicles 6:23;  Ezekiel 9:10;  Ezekiel 11:21;  Ezekiel 16:43;  Ezekiel 22:31 ). For this reason hands are placed upon the head of a person on which blessings are being invoked ( Genesis 48:14 ,  Genesis 48:17 ,  Genesis 48:18;  Matthew 19:15 ) and upon the sacrificial animal upon which sins are laid ( Exodus 29:15;  Leviticus 1:4;  Leviticus 4:29 ,  Leviticus 4:33 ). Responsibility for a deed is also said to rest on the head of the doer ( 2 Samuel 1:16;  2 Samuel 3:29;  1 Kings 8:32;  Psalm 7:16;  Acts 18:6 ). The Bible teaches us to return good for evil ( Matthew 5:44 ), or in the very idiomatic Hebrew style, to "heap coals of fire upon (the) head" of the adversary ( Proverbs 25:22;  Romans 12:20 ). This phrase is dark as to its origin, but quite clear as to its meaning and application (compare  Romans 12:17 ,  Romans 12:19 ,  Romans 12:21 ). The Jew was inclined to swear by his head ( Matthew 5:36 ), as the modern Oriental swears by his beard. The head is said to be under a vow ( Numbers 6:18 ,  Numbers 6:19;  Acts 18:18;  Acts 21:23 ), because the Nazirite vow could readily be recognized by the head.

There are numerous idiomatic expressions connected with the head, of which we enumerate the following: "the hoary head" designates old age (see Hair ); "to round the corners of the head," etc. ( Leviticus 19:27; compare also  Deuteronomy 14:1;  Amos 8:10 ), probably refers to the shaving of the side locks or the whole scalp among heathen nations, which was often done in idolatrous shrines or in token of initiation into the service of an idol. It was therefore forbidden to Israel, and its rigid observance gave rise to the peculiar Jewish custom of wearing long side locks (see Hair ). "Anointing the head" ( Psalm 23:5;  Psalm 92:10;  Hebrews 1:9 ) was a sign of joy and hospitality, while the "covering of the head" ( 2 Samuel 15:30;  Esther 6:12;  Jeremiah 14:3 ), "putting the hand upon the head" ( 2 Samuel 13:19 ) and putting earth, dust or ashes upon it ( Joshua 7:6;  1 Samuel 4:12; 2 Sam 12;  2 Samuel 13:19;  Lamentations 2:10; compare  Amos 2:7 ) were expressive of sadness, grief, deep shame and mourning. In  Esther 7:8 Haman's face is covered as a condemned criminal, or as one who has been utterly put to shame, and who has nothing more to say for his life.

In this connection the Pauline injunction as to the veiling of women in the public gatherings of the Christians ( 1 Corinthians 11:5 ), while men were instructed to appear bareheaded, must be mentioned. This is diametrically opposed to the Jewish custom, according to which men wore the head covered by the ṭallı̄th or prayer shawl, while women were considered sufficiently covered by their long hair ( 1 Corinthians 11:15 ). The apostle here simply commends a Greek custom for the congregation residing among Greek populations; in other words, he recommends obedience to local standards of decency and good order.

"To bruise the head" ( Genesis 3:15 ) means to injure gravely; "to smite through the head" ( Psalm 68:21 ) is synonymous with complete destruction. "To shake or wag the head" ( Psalm 22:7;  Psalm 44:14;  Psalm 64:8;  Jeremiah 18:16;  Jeremiah 48:27;  Lamentations 2:15;  Matthew 27:39;  Mark 15:29 ) conveys the meaning of open derision and contempt. "To bow down the head" ( Isaiah 58:5 ) indicates humility, sadness and mourning, but it may also be a mere pretense for piety. (Sirach 19:26).