Cutting — the flesh in various ways was an idolatrous practice, a part of idol-worship (Deut. 14:1; 1 Kings 18:28). The Israelites were commanded not to imitate this practice (Lev. 19:28; 21:5; Deut. 14:1). The tearing of the flesh from grief and anguish of spirit in mourning for the dead was regarded as a mark of affection (Jer. 16:6; 41:5; 48:37).
Allusions are made in Revelation (13:16; 17:5; 19:20) to the practice of printing marks on the body, to indicate allegiance to a deity. We find also references to it, through in a different direction, by Paul (Gal. 6:7) and by Ezekiel (9:4). (See HAIR.)