Cuttings
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International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
CUTTINGS IN THE FLESH

(sereT, sareTeth): For relatives or friends to cut or beat themselves even to free blood-flowing, especially in the violence of grief in mourning for their dead (see BURIAL; MOURNING), was a widely prevalent custom among ancient peoples, and is well-nigh universal among uncivilized races today (see Spencer, Prin. of Soc., 3rd edition, I, 163). The fact is abundantly attested for most of the nations of antiquity, but there are two notable exceptions, the Egyptians (Herod. ii.61, 85; Wilkinson, Anc. Egyptian II, 374), and the Hebrews (Deuteronomy 14:1 Leviticus 21:5). According to Plutarch (Sol. 21) Solon forbade the women of Athens to beat themselves to the effusion of blood, and the laws of the Twelve Tables, quoted by Cic. (De leg. ii.23) contained a like injunction. Among the ancient Arabs the forbidden practice was associated, as among the Hebrews, with the cutting off of the hair (Wellhausen, Skizzen, III, 160).

That the prohibition among the Hebrews was urgently called for is made clear by the way it is dealt with by the Law and the prophets. The Law of Holiness reads: "Ye are the children of Yahweh your God: ye shall not cut yourselves" (Deuteronomy 14:1), or "make any incision" (sereT; Leviticus 19:28, sareTeth; Septuagint entomis) in the flesh "for the dead." Probably the earliest reference to the custom as actually prevalent among the Hebrews is in Hosea 7:14 (ERVm). It was widely prevalent in the time of Jeremiah among his countrymen, even as among the Philistines (Jeremiah 47:5) and the Moabites (Jeremiah 48:37; compare Amos 8:10 Isaiah 3:24; Isaiah 15:2; Isaiah 22:12 Micah 1:16 Ezekiel 7:18).

In seeking for the reason or purpose underlying all such prohibitions, we may note, first, that the "cuttings" and "baldness" forbidden are alike said to be "for the dead." Not less explicitly are they said to be incompatible with Israel's unique relation to Yahweh-a relation at once of sonship (Deuteronomy 14:1) and of consecration (Deuteronomy 14:2). Moreover such mutilations of the body are always dealt with as forming part of the religious rites of the heathen (as of the Canaanitish Baal (1 Kings 18:28) note "after their manner," see article in HDB, under the word). Both such shedding of blood and the dedication of the hair are found in almost all countries of that day in intimate connection with the rituals of burial and the prevailing belief in the necessity of propitiating the spirit of the deceased. The conclusion, then, seems clearly warranted that such tokens of grief were prohibited because they carried with them inevitably ideas and associations distinctly heathen in character and so incompatible with the pure religion of Yahweh, and unworthy of those who had attained to the dignity of the sons ("children") of Yahweh.

See also STIGMATA, MARK;

LITERATURE
.

Benzinger, Heb Arch., section 23; Nowack, Heb Arch., I, 33; Tylor, Prim. Cult.; W. R. Smith, Rel Semitic, Lect IX; and Comm., Knobel-Dillmann, Exodus-Leviticus on Leviticus 19:28; Driver, De on 14:1; and Lightfoot, Galatians on 6:17.

George B. Eager

Strong's Hebrew
8295. sarat -- to incise, scratch
... cut in pieces, make cuttings pieces. A primitive root; to gash -- cut in pieces,
make (cuttings) pieces. 8294, 8295. sarat. 8296 . Strong's Numbers.
/hebrew/8295.htm - 6k
Library

February 7. "Faithful in that which is Least" (Luke xvi. 10).
... can do that I will not try to do anything." One of the finest windows in Europe
was made from the remnants an apprentice boy collected from the cuttings of his ...
/.../simpson/days of heaven upon earth /february 7 faithful in that.htm

Heathen Orgies.
... rivers and woods and groves, where there are entertainments and convivialities and
shady places, or where there is the madness of demons, and cuttings of hands ...
/.../unknown/the clementine homilies/chapter xiv heathen orgies.htm

A Provision Ground
... It has been cultivated so long that though it flowers and fruits, it seldom
or never seeds, and is propagated entirely by cuttings. ...
//christianbookshelf.org/kingsley/at last/chapter xvi a provision ground.htm

How Christ is Made Use of for Justification as a Way.
... we would spare no pains, no cost, no labour, no expenses; nay, we would put ourselves
to much pain and torment by whippings, cuttings, fastings, watchings, and ...
/.../brown/christ the way the truth and the life/chapter iv how christ is.htm

The Close of the Theban Empire --(Continued)
... placed between the legs, the arms and the hips, and in the eviscerated abdomen,
contained the heart, spleen, the dried brain, the hair, and the cuttings of the ...
/.../chapter ithe close of the.htm

As the Terrors of Imagined Suffering are Always Worse than Actual ...
... dome of air wherein the moon soared serenely, bathing all visible things in a
crystalline brilliancy so pure and penetrative, that the finest cuttings on the ...
//christianbookshelf.org/corelli/the master-christian/iv as the terrors of.htm

Loving Advice for Anxious Seekers
... his salvation. Those cuttings of the lancet are sharp, and you think that
the surgeon means to kill, but he intends to cure. When ...
/.../spurgeon/spurgeons sermons volume 13 1867/loving advice for anxious seekers.htm

The Church as She Should Be
... builded together. A church is not a bundle of cuttings in the gardener's
hand: it is a vine, of which we are the branches. The true ...
/.../spurgeon/spurgeons sermons volume 17 1871/the church as she should.htm

Acts xx. 1
... They are cuttings and cauteries, the punishments sent by God: but it is for this
we ought to weep, that they were sick, that they needed such a mode of cure. ...
/.../chrysostom/homilies on acts and romans/homily xliii acts xx 1.htm

The Seventh Commandment
... Proverbs 7:10. A wanton dress is a provocation to lust. Cuttings and braidings of
the hair, a painted face, naked breasts, are allurements to vanity. ...
/.../watson/the ten commandments/2 7 the seventh commandment.htm

Thesaurus
Cuttings (5 Occurrences)
... Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia CUTTINGS IN THE FLESH. (sereT ... George B. Eager.
Multi-Version Concordance Cuttings (5 Occurrences). Leviticus ...
/c/cuttings.htm - 11k

Vine-cuttings (1 Occurrence)
Vine-cuttings. Vine-branches, Vine-cuttings. Vinedresser .
Multi-Version Concordance Vine-cuttings (1 Occurrence). Isaiah ...
/v/vine-cuttings.htm - 6k

Cutting (178 Occurrences)
... Israelites, (Deuteronomy 14:1 1 Kings 18:28 Jeremiah 16:6; Jeremiah 41:5; Jeremiah
47:5); sereT, sareTeth, "incision," are also used of those "cuttings of the ...
/c/cutting.htm - 46k

Flesh (468 Occurrences)
... accustom. 13. (vt) To remove flesh, membrane, etc., from, as from hides. Int.
Standard Bible Encyclopedia. CUTTINGS IN THE FLESH. (sereT ...
/f/flesh.htm - 69k

Cut (616 Occurrences)
... Israelites, (Deuteronomy 14:1 1 Kings 18:28 Jeremiah 16:6; Jeremiah 41:5; Jeremiah
47:5); sereT, sareTeth, "incision," are also used of those "cuttings of the ...
/c/cut.htm - 45k

Beard (23 Occurrences)
... Leviticus 21:5 "'They shall not shave their heads, neither shall they shave off
the corners of their beards, nor make any cuttings in their flesh. ...
/b/beard.htm - 21k

Vinedresser (2 Occurrences)

/v/vinedresser.htm - 7k

Vine-branches (1 Occurrence)
Vine-branches. Vine-branch, Vine-branches. Vine-cuttings . Multi-Version
Concordance ... (See JPS ASV DBY). Vine-branch, Vine-branches. Vine-cuttings . ...
/v/vine-branches.htm - 6k

Gashes (1 Occurrence)
... Gashes (1 Occurrence). Jeremiah 48:37 For every head is bald, and every beard clipped:
on all the hands are cuttings, and on the waist sackcloth. (See NAS RSV). ...
/g/gashes.htm - 6k

Welfare (32 Occurrences)
... 1 Samuel 17:18 and these ten cuttings of the cheese thou dost take in to the head
of the thousand, and thy brethren thou dost inspect for welfare, and their ...
/w/welfare.htm - 16k

Concordance
Cuttings (5 Occurrences)

Leviticus 19:28
"'You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor tattoo any marks on you. I am Yahweh.
(WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS RSV)

Leviticus 21:5
"'They shall not shave their heads, neither shall they shave off the corners of their beards, nor make any cuttings in their flesh.
(WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS RSV)

1 Samuel 17:18
and these ten cuttings of the cheese thou dost take in to the head of the thousand, and thy brethren thou dost inspect for welfare, and their pledge dost receive.'
(YLT)

Jeremiah 48:37
For every head is bald, and every beard clipped: on all the hands are cuttings, and on the waist sackcloth.
(WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT)

Jonah 2:6
To the cuttings of mountains I have come down, The earth, her bars 'are' behind me to the age. And Thou bringest up from the pit my life, O Jehovah my God.
(YLT)

Subtopics

Cuttings

Cuttings [In the Flesh]

Cuttings in the Flesh

Related Terms

Vine-cuttings (1 Occurrence)

Cutting (178 Occurrences)

Flesh (468 Occurrences)

Cut (616 Occurrences)

Beard (23 Occurrences)

Vinedresser (2 Occurrences)

Vine-branches (1 Occurrence)

Gashes (1 Occurrence)

Welfare (32 Occurrences)

Imprint (2 Occurrences)

Imported (9 Occurrences)

Inspect (22 Occurrences)

Finest (23 Occurrences)

Tattoo (1 Occurrence)

Tonsures (1 Occurrence)

Edges (28 Occurrences)

Delightful (11 Occurrences)

Diminished (11 Occurrences)

Marks (25 Occurrences)

Modin

Piping (3 Occurrences)

Bald (12 Occurrences)

Baldness (11 Occurrences)

Bringest (18 Occurrences)

Bank (28 Occurrences)

Beards (6 Occurrences)

Cutting-off (1 Occurrence)

Cuza (1 Occurrence)

Cuts (20 Occurrences)

Clipped (1 Occurrence)

Adonis (1 Occurrence)

Set (6715 Occurrences)

Shiloah (1 Occurrence)

Shelah (18 Occurrences)

Siloah (1 Occurrence)

Shave (19 Occurrences)

Slashed (2 Occurrences)

Olive (61 Occurrences)

Siloam (4 Occurrences)

Zion (169 Occurrences)

Almond (7 Occurrences)

Shaved (23 Occurrences)

Gihon (6 Occurrences)

Tree (245 Occurrences)

Vines (39 Occurrences)

Waist (36 Occurrences)

Corner (60 Occurrences)

Corners (56 Occurrences)

Print (3 Occurrences)

Circumcision (98 Occurrences)

Savior (60 Occurrences)

Sackcloth (47 Occurrences)

Mark (182 Occurrences)

Bodies (144 Occurrences)

Loins (72 Occurrences)

Heads (439 Occurrences)

Garden (68 Occurrences)

Vine (76 Occurrences)

Alien (102 Occurrences)

House (20110 Occurrences)

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