Augustine, Aaron’s Beard, and Psalm 133


For a bit of biblical reflection on this Sunday, I thought that I would quote a great passage from St. Augustine’s exposition of Psalm 133:6, specifically with reference to Aaron’s beard:

Let the Psalm tell us what [the brethren who dwell together in vs. 5] are like. “As the ointment on the head, which descended to the beard, to Aaron’s beard, which descended to the fringe of his garment” (ver. 2). What was Aaron? A priest. Who is a priest, except that one Priest, who entered into the Holy of Holies? Who is that priest, save Him, who was at once Victim and Priest? save Him who when he found nothing clean in the world to offer, offered Himself?…Our Head is Christ crucified and buried; He rose again, and ascended into heaven; and the Holy Spirit came from the head. Whither? To the beard. The beard signifies the courageous; the beard distinguishes the grown men, the earnest, the active, the vigorous. So that when we describe such, we say, he is a bearded man. Thus that ointment descended first upon the Apostles, descended upon those who bore the first assaults of the world, and therefore the Holy Spirit descended on them. For they who first began to dwell together in unity, suffered persecution, but because the ointment descended to the beard, they suffered, but were not conquered.…[1]

In conclusion to this, all I can say to this is: amen and amen!

Augustine of Hippo, 1888. Expositions on the Book of Psalms. In P. Schaff, ed. Saint Augustin: Expositions on the Book of Psalms. A Select Library of the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, First Series. New York: Christian Literature Company, p. 623.


3 thoughts on “Augustine, Aaron’s Beard, and Psalm 133

  1. Bobby Grow 25 July 2016 / 02:08

    The interesting thing is, is that nowadays most guys assume that long big beards are the standard. I prefer to go with the short kept beard as the standard 😉 (which is my style — so of course it is the standard Lol).


  2. The Reformissionary 25 July 2016 / 05:07

    Bobby, since I’m somewhat new at this blogging thing, how do I ‘dislike’ a comment? As for the beard standard, there are four guys on my blog header who would disagree! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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