Body Piercing, Tattoos, and Marring the Body
The topic of body piercing and tattooing has gotten more popular in the last couple decades. Body piercing and getting tattoos are now trends that many young people are interested in. Lip rings, nose rings, bellybutton rings, gauges (for ears), tattoos, and such are in high demand among the youth but why are these so popular today? And, where did these practices originate?
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God told the Children of Israel (Hebrews) not to follow after the pagan practices of the people who would surround their small country. They were to be separate from the pagans because God wanted a pure and holy people for Himself.
In Leviticus 19:28, God says through Moses: “Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the Lord.”
What is this practice of cutting the flesh for the dead and what
did it signify?
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Herodotus wrote: "I have before related in what manner the rites of Isis are celebrated at Busiris. After the ceremonies of sacrifice the whole assembly [...] flagellate [or whip] themselves[...] The Carians of Egypt treat themselves at this solemnity with unparalleled severity; they cut themselves in the face with swords, and by this distinguish themselves from the Egyptian natives." (Herodotus, Volume 1.)
Hislop wrote of this practice of cutting the flesh and how it was practiced by Hindus, Romans, Egyptians, and others (The Two Babylons, pg. 129).
Besides cutting themselves with swords and whips, ancient people purposely mutilated their hair and beards for the same reason.
Alexander Hislop wrote (Ibid, pg. 175):