A sharp instrument used to remove hair. The two Hebrew words for razor come from a root meaning “lay bare.” (Isa 3:17) Specimens of this instrument found in Egypt are of bronze. These finds harmonize with the Bible record that razors were used there from very early times.—Ge 41:14.
Although the men of Israel wore beards and moderately long hair, a razor was apparently used for trimming; mention is made also of having the hair “shorn” (KJ), or “clipped short” (NW), at Acts 18:18. (See also 2Sa 19:24; Eze 44:20.) The Levites shaved all their flesh with a razor in connection with their installation into service at the tent of meeting in the wilderness. (Nu 8:7) A person under a Nazirite vow was not to use a razor on his head until the completion of the period of his vow. (Nu 6:5, 18; Jg 13:5; 16:17; Ac 21:23, 24) Samuel, a Levite, was devoted by his mother before his birth to the service of the tent of meeting. A razor was never to be used on the hair of his head.—1Sa 1:11.
Jehovah forewarned Judah that the Assyrian would be used as a “razor” by Jehovah to “shave the head and the hair of the feet” and to “sweep away even the beard itself,” evidently picturing the devastation of much of the land of Judah and the carrying away of the captured population.—Isa 7:20.
That swords could be made razor sharp is shown by God’s command to Ezekiel to use a sword as a barber’s razor to cut off his hair and beard, and then to strike one third of the hair with the sword, pictorial of the destruction by the sword to come on a portion of Jerusalem’s populace. (Eze 5:1, 2, 12) This also reveals that barbering was an early profession.
Because of the cutting damage a tongue used deceitfully can do, it is likened to a razor.—Ps 52:2.