Babylonian Beauty is a term I associate with Babylon which was the ancient capital city of the Babylonian Empire located in the Southern Mesopotamian region, which is located in present-day Iraq. Founded in 2300 B.C. and abandoned in 1000 A.D., the empire had a dominant presence in the 19th, 15th, 7th & 6th centuries B.C. Babylon was the center of Mesopotamian civilization ruled by prominent and influential kings such as Nebuchadnezzar [2 Kings 24, 25; 2 Chronicles 36; Jeremiah 21-52; Daniel 1-4]& Hammurabi. The cultural heritage of this region was devoted to paganism, idol worship, materialism, and sensual pleasure. We can actually find many variations of Babylonian influences in other time periods including during the Egyptian civilization.
Today, we’ll highlight a major aspect of the Neo-Babylonian influences in a popular area of our society which is a crucial stumbling block for many believers today.
So let’s get started:
First, let’s start with the definition and purpose of makeup.
Although there are several entries that define the word, we’ll go over the ones that hold relevance to our topic.
Number 1. Cosmetics such as lipstick or powder applied to the face used to enhance or alter the appearance.
In the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, you’ll find something very interesting pertaining to the word makeup…bringing me to the following:
Number 2. To COMPENSATE for (something, such as a deficiency or omission).
Number 3. To do or take in order to CORRECT an omission.
Number 4. To ACT ingratiatingly and flatteringly
Number 5. To MAKE advances
Number 6. Preparations INTENDED to beautify the face
In our modern society, one could ask the following question to the general population regarding standards of beauty or the application of achieving the accepted standard.
“Why do you COMPENSATE by CORRECTing your God-given beauty and in that ACT flatteringly, by MAKING advances with the INTENTion of obtaining an aspired outcome?”
This is the Merriam-Webster Thesaurus example:
She never left the house without applying her makeup and arranging her jewelry.
In the Thesaurus the examples used to help describe each word will usually use a well-known concept that most people can identify with. So it’s no surprise an example like the statement, “She never left the house without applying her makeup and arranging her jewelry.” would be used because this is really the general idea and feeling many women have if they are used to wearing makeup, accessories or anything else that they feel comfortable and most beautiful in.
Even though at this point you may be thinking, “…hmm…ok I know what makeup is and there’s no need to go over the definition.“
I’m hoping you’ll stick with me because I want to bring it back to Who is important…Yeshua HaMashiach.
Here’s one last definitive entry…
Number 7. The way in which the elements of something (as a work of art) are arranged
So now we know that there are at least 7 ways to identify the purpose and meaning of makeup.
But why is it so dangerous?
Yes…I said it!
As believers, we have to beware…and Be Aware! So, I’m flashing the red lights, sounding the alarms and I’m going to bring awareness and correction [in biblical context] because there are many that love The Lord in The Body of Christ and need to understand this concept scripturally.
Makeup was first created by ancient Egyptians and they regarded beauty as a sign of holiness. Everything the ancient Egyptians used had a spiritual aspect to it, including cosmetics.
Traders traded makeup often, especially in the upper classes. In tombs, cosmetic palettes were found buried in gold with the deceased as grave goods which further emphasized the idea that cosmetics were not only used for aesthetic purposes but rather magical and religious purposes.
Vanity is as old as civilization, and the ancient Egyptians were no exception. Both men and women were known to wear copious amounts of makeup, which they believed gave them the protection of the gods Horus and Ra. These cosmetics were made by grinding ores like malachite and galena into a substance called kohl.
Ancient Egyptian temples illustrating daily life reveal men often wore makeup. In fact, it’s almost impossible to find a portrait of an ancient Egyptian whose eyes are not decorated. During all periods and dynasties, eye makeup was a daily prerequisite for both men and women. [Book of Ecclesiastes, Vanity]
It may seem like it’s just a new age thing where we see men wearing makeup. However, men have worn wigs and makeup just as long as women and as we can see from the Eygptian culture men wore very pronounced eye makeup.
Ancient Egyptian eye makeup was very elaborate and used as early as 4000 B.C. Eye makeup equipment (palettes, grinders, applicators) has been found among the earliest burials of the pre-dynastic period and seem to have been essential items for the afterlife.
Ancient Egyptians used a variety of cosmetics such as eye makeup, rouge, and perfumed oils that softened the skin and prevented burning in the sun and damage from the sandy winds. Galena powder possesses disinfectant and fly-deterrent properties. The powder is also believed to offer the eyes protection from the intense sun.
The smoky kohl liner served both practical and ritualistic purposes. It was thought to repel flies, protect the eyes from the Sun’s rays and ward off infection. Makeup helped to imitate the looks of the gods. Favorite eye make up colors were black and green and outlining the eyes with pigment was deliberately done to created an almond or feline shape.
Eye makeup provided psychic protection as well. The Egyptian word for eye-palette seems to derive from their word for “protect.” An unadorned and thus unprotected eye was believed vulnerable to the Evil Eye. Outlining the eyes thus became a personal protective amulet drawn right upon the skin; an amulet that once applied could not be lost or misplaced. Makeup was believed to have magical healing powers.
Although cosmetics were certainly used for the purpose of beautification, in ancient Egypt, eye makeup did more than paint a pretty face.
So now we know there are a variety of reasons why this civilization upheld the beautification process but what does all of this have to do with us today?
The beauty industry is a billion-dollar industry and with the internet, it’s easier than ever to share tips and info on how to perfect the look and technique.
There is an intense focus on the latest palettes and applications so the everyday woman [or man] can look and feel how a select few portray on camera. This is absolutely a driving force in fueling the need to be beautiful not by God’s standards but by the world’s standards which for some has melded with their idea of beauty.
The need for the wig, the makeup, and the accessories is nothing new and has been a standard for thousands of years. This is the normal presentation for those who are in the world from the time of ancient civilizations.
Ecclesiastes 1:9 NKJV
That which has been is what will be,
That which is done is what will be done,
And there is nothing new under the sun.
But why is it dangerous for you as a believer?
When you research the history of why and where it all began what seems harmless on the surface has roots that don’t align with the Holy Standard of The Father and His Beloved Son.
We are called out from among them and are called as a people who are separate…gathered unto God for His good pleasure.
I’m not saying that wearing makeup is the definitive line of being a child of God or even loving the Lord. What I am saying is that this world is not our own and therefore, we must be careful and aware of what we partake of.
If God is calling you unto Himself then you must be set apart.
The Lord has commanded us to be holy because He is Holy.
When you are serious about your faith and your relationship in and with Yeshua, you will feel different, look different, act different, think different, talk different and your walk will definitely be different.
Surely, there were many uses for the heavy applications of cosmetics and elaborate eye makeup. However, the ancient civilizations like the Egyptians were very religious people groups and they worshipped and paid homage to their pagan gods. There are museums bursting at the seams with the amounts of treasures found from tombs in Egypt. As mentioned they even buried items including cosmetics that they believed their ancestors would use in the afterlife and would bring them closer to their false idols.
The Lord has given instruction on the character and appearance of His people.
We cannot afford to proclaim one thing and display another. This is a form of hypocrisy and it causes offense when you look to correct others according to The Word of God but you don’t look any different from the gentile nations.
Just a disclaimer, if you are in Christ then you are a saint grafted into The Body as a citizen of the kingdom of God…so you are no longer a sinner or a gentile.
[Please note: To clarify, gentile can traditionally mean a non-believer OR a non-Jew. We are indeed spiritual Jews (Engrafted together both gentile believers who were not born Jewish & natural-born Jews who are in Yeshua). We all being born again spiritually through the Blood of Jesus Christ (Judah – gentile believers) engrafted or reunited in Christ with the Jews (Israel)who have had a revelation of Yeshua; they are known as Messianic Jews. ] Jeremiah 30, Restoration of Israel and Judah
It is the industry standard to apply heavy amounts of makeup. Layer after layer to the point that many don’t even look the same without it. They are literally putting on their face…a false face.
So how else is this dangerous for the believer?
Aside from being set apart, our character is a defining marker of Who we belong to.
The Lord calls for us to be modest in appearance, causing no offense, making ourselves of no reputation.
When The Lord gives instruction, just as He makes a covenant with His people. It is a sign of being set apart for Him.
Vanity has been around throughout the ages and where there’s vanity, there’s pride, there’s self-righteousness…It becomes a stumbling block for you and others because it causes a domino effect. It causes lust, covetousness, envy, jealousy…traits that are not godly.
It also causes a trait that is most times seen by many but goes under the radar for the one carrying it…
Very, very dangerous, not only can it cause some of the things I mentioned just a moment ago, but it can also cause one to feel abnormal if they go out in public without their usual beautification process, i.e. makeup routine. It should be a normal thing to feel comfortable in your own skin. Nowadays, it’s easy to cover up rather than to address an issue. Some people may have skin problems and it’s easy to put on a few layers of makeup. Wouldn’t it do you well to just address the skin problems? There’s no better feeling than to have beautiful, glowing, and healthy skin.
I have provided a few scriptures below to help clarify where we should stand as believers in Yeshua (Jesus).
1 Timothy 2:8-10
Men and Women in the Church (Church a.k.a Body of Christ)
8 I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting; 9 in like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and [b]moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing, 10 but, which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works.
Proverbs 31:30 NKJV
30 Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing,
But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.
Jeremiah 4:30 NKJV
30 “And when you are plundered,
What will you do?
Though you clothe yourself with crimson,
Though you adorn yourself with ornaments of gold,
Though you enlarge your eyes with paint,
In vain you will make yourself fair;
Your lovers will despise you;
They will seek your life.
Matthew 18:6-7 NKJV
Jesus Warns of Offenses
6 “But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea. 7 Woe to the world because of [a]offenses! For offenses must come, but woe to that man by whom the offense comes!
2 Corinthians 6:17-18 NKJV
“Come out from among them
And be separate, says the Lord.
Do not touch what is unclean,
And I will receive you.”
18 “I will be a Father to you,
And you shall be My sons and daughters,
Says the Lord Almighty.”
Our journeys in life are a weening and pruning process but sometimes we stay in the wilderness longer than God intended because we don’t seek Him, we don’t spend time with Him we don’t read His Word because we’re too busy relying on others to teach and interpret for us when the Holy Spirit here to be not only the Helper but The Teacher as well.
Remember in 2 Kings 9:30 when Jezebel heard Jehu was coming into Jezreel, she adorned her head and painted her face and looked out of the window. Why?
Seductive nature..lustful intentions and a lack of purity.
The Lord said that the daughters of Zion were haughty walking with stretched-out necks and wanton eyes in Isaiah 3:16-26.
Attention…wanting to be noticed by everyone…this is the opposite of the fearful woman who is seen as a precious blessing and is upheld in the eyes of God.
We must press into God, we must have a desire to know the things of God according to His Will. We as the children of God must make a decision to not make excuses for our sin, sinful nature, and sinful appearance.
If you’re changing on the inside let it show on the outside. For God is the provider and will give what is sufficient. We should absolutely have a neat, clean appearance with all things in modesty and within reason as long as it is not out of character as a follower of Christ.
We should not do as the heathen do.
We are a special and unique people.
We are all beautiful because we are made in the image of the One True Living God.
Let us take care to be mindful of what we wear and how we wear it. Causing no offense, especially in sharing the Gospel and being acceptable representatives of the kingdom.
In closing, I pray that you will take heed to the warning of our Messiah. Be mindful not to cause offense with your temple for your life is to be a sweet-smelling aroma… an offering…a living sacrifice to The Lord. May The Word of God be your standard for His Word is holy because He is Holy. May we boldly walk, speak, and look according to the standard of God, the Most Holy One of Israel.
Now that you know the truth of the root of the matter…
Which will you reject and which will you embrace?
The world’s standard or God’s Holy Standard?
Be Holy for He Is Holy.