International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
See in general the article on HAIR.
(1) The first word, tsitsith, means really a tassel, such as is worn by the Jews on the four corners of the prayer-shawl or Tallith and on the 'arba` kanephoth (Deuteronomy 22:12), translated in the New Testament by kraspedon (Matthew 9:20; Matthew 14:36; Matthew 23:5 Mark 6:56 Luke 8:44). Once it is applied to a forelock of hair. The prophet Ezekiel, describing his sensations which accompanied his vision of Jerusalem, says: "He put forth the form of a hand, and took me by a lock of my head; and the Spirit lifted me up between earth and heaven, and brought me in the visions of God to Jerus" (Ezekiel 8:3).
(2) The word pera` signifies the uncut and disheveled locks of the Nazirite (Numbers 6:5) or of the priests, the sons of Zadok (Ezekiel 44:20).
(3) The Book of Judges employs the word machlaphah when speaking of the "seven locks" of Samson (Judges 16:13, 19), which really represent the plaited (etymologically, "interwoven") strands of hair still worn in our days by youthful Bedouin warriors.
(4) Qewutstsah (Songs 5:2, 11) means the luxuriant hair of the Hebrew youth, who was careful of his exterior. It is called bushy (the Revised Version margin "curling") and black as a raven. the King James Version translations also the word tsammah with "locks" (Songs 4:1; Songs 6:7 Isaiah 47:2), but the Revised Version (British and American) has corrected this into "veil," leaving the word "locks" in Songs 4:1 margin.
H. L. E. Luering