310. Lacerations in Idol Worship

1 Kings 18:28  •  1 min. read  •  grade level: 9
1 Kings 18:2828And they cried aloud, and cut themselves after their manner with knives and lancets, till the blood gushed out upon them. (1 Kings 18:28). They cried aloud, and cut themselves after their manner with knives and lancets, till the blood gushed out upon them.
It was customary among the heathen to make lacerations in their flesh, not only as a mark of mourning for the dead, as shown in the note on Leviticus 19:2828Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the Lord. (Leviticus 19:28) (#166), but also as an act of idolatrous worship. This custom was not, however, of Egyptian origin, as were many of the customs practiced in Canaan. Wilkinson says that the Egyptians beat themselves at the close of their sacrifices, as is shown by paintings in the tombs. He also says that the custom of cutting was from Syria. The same practice is followed at the present day among idolaters of different nations. They cut their flesh in various ways until they are streaming with blood. They consider that this voluntary blood-shedding is meritorious, and will help to wash away their sins.