Religion existed in the world, before the establishment of Christianity (Acts 11:26) at Antioch. (additional scripture reading: Acts 13:14-50).
Tattoos and Self-laceration is an ancient pagan religion!
In ancient times, people believed that tattooing protected them from harmful magic. And, some tattoos indicated that a person belonged to a certain god or cult.
Fertility figurines (carved or molded statuettes), discovered in Jordan, is the earliest evidence of tattooing in the ancient Near East.
Middle Kingdom (Egypt)
Tattoos, associated with Hathor (a fertility goddess), were discovered on the mummy of a priestess, and on figurines as well. These figurines linked sexuality with rebirth, as a means of ensuring the resurrection of the dead. The figurines were directly related to “Brides of the Dead”.
New Kingdom (Egypt)
Tattoos, which were worn or displayed on the skin of people, depicted Bes, a god of childbirth and the home.
Temple slaves were often tattooed (branded with a mark) with the symbol of the respective temples to which they belonged.
In the ancient Near East, self-laceration and tattooing was associated with death. Mesopotamian women slashed themselves as a sign of grief. Self-laceration, in the fertility cult of Baal, was associated with mourning for a “deceased” deity.
A deity is defined as a pagan god or goddess worshipped by the pagan people. Several of these pagan practices have been combined with Christian religious worship. It is historically referred to as The Big Compromise.
Baal – Canaan storm god. (1 Kings 16:31; 18:18-46).
Ashtoreth (Astarte) – Canaan mother-goddess; love; fertility.
(Judge 2:13; 10:6; 1 Samuel 12:10; 1 Kings 11:5).
Queen of Heaven – also similar to Anat and Ishtar. The same as Ashtoreth.
(Jeremiah 7:8; 44:17-25).
Ishtar – “Queen of Heaven” Babylonian goddess of fertility. And even today, there are still some women who are involved in this type of worship.
Lady of Heaven – Anat, Astarte (Ashtoreth), counterpart Ishtar (also called “Queen of Heaven”) is a Mesopotamian goddess. All of these goddesses are connected to the worship of the planet Venus; astral worship was popular during the 7th Century B.C.
A well-known fertility motif (design on a work of art) was discovered on a baking mold at Mari. The motif was in the form of a naked female with hands supporting her breasts.
“The children gather wood, the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead dough, to make cakes for the queen of heaven; and they pour out drink offerings to other gods, that they may provoke Me to anger…” -Jeremiah 7:18.
“…to burn incense to the queen of heaven and pour out drink offerings to her, as we have done, we and our fathers, our kings and our princes, in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem. For then we had plenty of food, were well-off, and saw no trouble. But since we stopped burning incense to the queen of heaven and pouring out drink offerings to her, we have lacked everything and have been consumed by the sword and by famine.” The women also said, “And when we burned incense to the queen of heaven and poured out drink offerings to her, did we make cakes for her, to worship her, and pour out drink offerings to her without our husbands permission?” -Jeremiah 44: 17-19.
For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. –1 Kings 11:5.
For he built the high places which Hezekiah his father had destroyed; he raised up altars for Baal, and made a wooden image, as Ahab king of Israel had done; and he worshipped all the host of heaven and served them. –2 Kings 21:3.
Then he removed the horses that the kings of Judah had dedicated to the sun, at the entrance to the house of the Lord, by the chamber of Nathan-Melech, the officer who was in the court; and he burned the chariots of the sun with fire… Then the king defiled the high places that were east of Jerusalem which were on the south of the Mount of Corruption, which Solomon king of Israel had built for Ashtoreth the abomination of the Sidonians, for Chemosh the abomination of the Moabites, and for Milcom the abomination of the people of Ammon. –2 Kings 23:11,13
“…nor shall you practice devination or soothsaying.” -Leviticus 19:26.
Astrology is also a form of astral worship!
Marduk – Babylonian storm god; chief god. (Jeremiah 50:2).
Bel – is another name for Marduk. (Isaiah 46:1; Jeremiah 50:2; 51:44).
Nebo (Nabu) – son of Marduk (Isaiah 46:1).
Tammuz (Dumuzi) – Sumerian storm god. (Ezekiel 8:14).
There are some other basic major deities that are also associated with the deities in scripture:
Anu – head of the pantheon
Osiris – death
Isis – life
Horus – sun
Hathor – mother goddess
Ra (Re) – sun
Seth – evil storm
Enlil – storm
Ea-Enki – water
Sin (Nanna) – moon
Ishtar – sex, fertility
Ninurta - war
One of the above deities is associated with the Easter celebration, and three of the above deities have been assimilated into the celebration of Christmas! The reference to their names will give you a clue. Can you guess who they are?
Deities varied in attributes and rank according to the time period, and areas of the country. Therefore, these very same deities are still being worshipped in our society today. Some people have various statues, or small figurines of these deities in their homes right now. The statues and figurines are commonly used for decorations in interior designs. Others are used in various arts, such as paintings, pictures, etc. Perhaps you have also seen a few of these decorations. Many of these decorations may not be intended for use as pagan worship, but regardless of that fact, they still exalt a varied form of the pagan practices. Why do pagan practices and pagan concepts still exist in modern society? This powerful influence, in the world even today, is the subtle works of Satan!
The practices of pagan worship led to God’s judgment upon His people.
Biblical prohibition against tattoos and self-laceration for the dead was directed against specific idolatrous practices, particularly erotic religious rites associated with the dead.
“You shall not shave around the sides of your head, nor shall you disfigure the edges of your beard. You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor tattoo any marks on you: I am the Lord…” - Leviticus 19:27-28.
The Old Testament considered tattooing, and bodily disfigurement to be a pagan and depraved habit.
“You are the children of the Lord your God; you shall not cut yourselves nor shave the front of your head for the dead. For you are a holy people to the Lord your God, and the Lord has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.” -Deuteronomy 14:1-2.
So they took the bull, which was given them, and they prepared it, and called on the name of Baal from morning even till noon, saying, “O Baal, hear us!” But there was no voice; no one answered. Then they leaped about the altar, which they had made.
Elijah shows his talent as a comedian:
And so it was, at noon, that Elijah mocked them and said, “Cry aloud, for he is a god; either he is meditating, or he is busy, or he is on a journey, or perhaps he is sleeping and must be awakened."
So they cried aloud, and cut themselves, as was their custom, with knives and lances, until the blood gushed out on them. -1 Kings 18:26-28.
A Historical Note: The name “Queen of Heaven” is applied to several goddesses throughout the ancient Near East, and this same name is used in several variations.
Another name variation in existence, and associated with the name “Queen of Heaven” is still used throughout the world today. Some people are already familiar with this pagan practice. The popular and famous name is an object of religious worship, and associated with Christmas celebrations!
~ Jonahs Sister ~