Moses had initial warned the Jewish people about cutting themselves when mourning for the dead.

KJV Leviticus 19

28 Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the LORD.

But it seems during Jeremiah's time the Jewish people were actually practicing this ritual

KJV Jeremiah 16

5 For thus saith the LORD, Enter not into the house of mourning, neither go to lament nor bemoan them: for I have taken away my peace from this people, saith the LORD, even lovingkindness and mercies. 6 Both the great and the small shall die in this land: they shall not be buried, neither shall men lament for them, nor cut themselves, nor make themselves bald for them:

Did the Jewish people eventually practise this ritual as mentioned in the book of Jeremiah?


Did the Jews eventually emulate the ritual of cutting themselves during mourning for the dead in Jeremiah 16:5-6?

The answer is "yes" the apostate Israelites emulated the pagan custom of gashing themselves as a token for mourning. Jeremiah 47: 5 reads:

Jeremiah 47:5 (AMPC)

5" Baldness [as a token of mourning] will come upon Gaza; Ashkelon will be cut off and be dumb. O remnant of their valley and of the giants, how long will you gash yourselves [as a token of mourning]?"

Jeremiah 47:5 (NIRV)

5 "The people of Gaza will be so sad they will shave their heads. And Ashkelon’s people will be silent.You who remain on the plain how long will you cut yourselves?"

Jeremiah 47:5 (ESV)

5 "Baldness has come upon Gaza;Ashkelon has perished.O remnant of their valley,how long will you gash yourselves?"


Other translations for the verse Leviticus 19:28 read as follows: Leviticus 19:28 Amplified Bible (AMP)

28" You shall not make any cuts on your body [in mourning] for the dead, nor make any tattoo marks on yourselves; I am the Lord."

Although Christians are not under the Law given to Moses, at least should avoid making tattoos on their bodies, in view of the above and what also Paul wrote, Romans 12:1 (NIV) says:

Living as a Holy Sacrifice to God

12 "Brothers and sisters, God has shown you his mercy. So I am asking you to offer up your bodies to him while you are still alive. Your bodies are a holy sacrifice that is pleasing to God. When you offer your bodies to God, you are worshiping him in the right way."

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