Cutting : the flesh in various ways was an idolatrous practice, a part of idol-worship (Deuteronomy 14:1; 1 Kings 18:28). The Israelites were commanded not to imitate this practice (Leviticus 19:28; 21:5; Deuteronomy 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 (Jeremiah 16:6; 41:5; 48:37).
Allusions are made in Revelation (Jeremiah 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 (Galatians 6; 7) and by Ezekiel (Galatians 9:4). (See HAIR.)