Specimens of this instrument found in Egypt are of bronze. A limestone handle for a razor blade of flint or obsidian was discovered near the site of ancient Nineveh. These finds harmonize with the Bible record that razors were used from very early times.—Gen. 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” (AV), or “clipped short” (NW), at Acts 18:18. (See also 2 Samuel 19:24; Ezekiel 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. (Num. 8:7) One under a Nazirite vow was not to use a razor on his head until the completion of the period of his vow. (Num. 6:5, 18; Judg. 13:5; 16:17; Acts 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.—1 Sam. 1:11.
Jehovah forewarned Israel 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 captivity and carrying away of the population of the northern kingdom of Israel as well as the invasion of much of Judah.—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. (Ezek. 5:1, 2, 12) This also reveals that the barber profession was an early one.
Because of the cutting damage a deceitfully used tongue can do, it is likened to a razor.—Ps. 52:2.