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The Horn Of The Face Paint

Some people oppose the use of cosmetics ("face paint"), primarily because practically every obvious example of it in the Holy Scriptures involved immorality, literal or figurative, as quoted below. However, it should also be noted that righteous Job named one of his righteous daughters Keren-happuch, which in Hebrew means horn of the face-paint i.e. a container for cosmetics. Why would a righteous man give his righteous daughter ("in all the land were no women found so fair as the daughters of Job"), that "the LORD blessed" him with, such a name if "face-paint" were always wrong?

"42:12 So the LORD blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning: for he had fourteen thousand sheep, and six thousand camels, and a thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand she asses. 42:13 He had also seven sons and three daughters. 42:14 And he called the name of the first, Jemima; and the name of the second, Kezia; and the name of the third, Kerenhappuch. 42:15 And in all the land were no women found so fair as the daughters of Job: and their father gave them inheritance among their brethren.

42:16 After this lived Job an hundred and forty years, and saw his sons, and his sons' sons, even four generations. 42:17 So Job died, being old and full of days." (Job 42:12-17 KJV)

"In vain shalt thou make thyself fair"

In contrast to Job's daughters, other recorded examples of "painted faces" plainly involved sinful women. But what was it that made them sinful? Was it their appearance, or how they misused their appearance, in vain and evil ways? Consider the perhaps most well-known "painted face" in the Bible, the wicked Jezebel. The "tired her head" in the verse quote below means to arrange her hair - should that be regarded as "evil" too? Or was it her despicable behavior what was evil? (see The Fall Of Ahab and Jezebel).


"9:30 And when Jehu was come to Jezreel, Jezebel heard of it; and she painted her face, and tired her head, and looked out at a window." (2 Kings 9:30 KJV)

Jezebel's intent to charm Jehu by mere appearance didn't work. He figuratively saw through her outer appearance and recognized her evil behavior. Jehu didn't have her executed for her use of makeup - she died because of the wicked things that she did.

"9:31 And as Jehu entered in at the gate, she said, Had Zimri peace, who slew his master?

9:32 And he lifted up his face to the window, and said, Who is on my side? who? And there looked out to him two or three eunuchs.

9:33 And he said, Throw her down. So they threw her down: and some of her blood was sprinkled on the wall, and on the horses: and he trode her under foot." (2 Kings 9:31-33 KJV)

The same principle is spoken of in Jeremiah whereby a beautiful appearance is misused to cover up moral ugliness.

"4:30 And when thou art spoiled, what wilt thou do? Though thou clothest thyself with crimson, though thou deckest thee with ornaments of gold, though thou rentest thy face with painting, in vain shalt thou make thyself fair; thy lovers will despise thee, they will seek thy life.

4:31 For I have heard a voice as of a woman in travail, and the anguish as of her that bringeth forth her first child, the voice of the daughter of Zion [see Zionism], that bewaileth herself, that spreadeth her hands, saying, Woe is me now! for my soul is wearied because of murderers." (Jeremiah 4:30-31 KJV)

Two other examples were Aholah and Aholibah - symbolic painted faces that represented the lewd behavior of Israel and Judah (see the Fact Finder question below).

"23:36 The LORD said moreover unto me; Son of man, wilt thou judge Aholah and Aholibah? yea, declare unto them their abominations; 23:37 That they have committed adultery [i.e. Spiritual Adultery], and blood is in their hands, and with their idols have they committed adultery, and have also caused their sons, whom they bare unto me, to pass for them through the fire, to devour them. 23:38 Moreover this they have done unto me: they have defiled my sanctuary in the same day, and have profaned my sabbaths. 23:39 For when they had slain their children to their idols, then they came the same day into my sanctuary to profane it; and, lo, thus have they done in the midst of mine house.

23:40 And furthermore, that ye have sent for men to come from far, unto whom a messenger was sent; and, lo, they came: for whom thou didst wash thyself, paintedst thy eyes, and deckedst thyself with ornaments" (Ezekiel 23:36-40 KJV)

Fact Finder: What was it that made Aholah and Aholibah wrong in the LORD's sight? Was it their outer makeup, mere cosmetics, or their inner makeup - their evil state of mind?
See The Two Naughty Sisters

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