What Do Birthmarks Mean In The Bible?

The bible does not specifically talk about birthmarks. The closest term used is blemish. 

For the everyday person in the Old Testament, having a blemish of any kind, whether a birthmark or a disability, was not a big deal.

Blemishes only mattered for priests who had to stand in the presence of God and animals that were presented as sacrifice. 

What Do Birthmarks Mean In The Old Testament?

What Do Birthmarks Mean In The Old Testament

The Old Testament talks about blemishes multiple times, particularly in the set of laws handed to the Israelites through Moses

The law forbade any man with a blemish to offer sacrifices or enter the altar for any reason. 

(Leviticus 21:16-17) The Lord said to Moses, “Say to Aaron: ‘For the generations to come none of your descendants who has a defect may come near to offer the food of his God.

There’s further admonition in verse 21:

No descendant of Aaron the priest who has any defect is to come near to present the food offerings to the Lord. He has a defect; he must not come near to offer the food of his God.

Men with blemishes could still carry out certain priestly duties and even partake of food offered for sacrifice. But he could not go into the altar or offer sacrifice. 

What’s not clear from these scriptures is whether any kind of birthmark on the skin counted as a blemish. The Bible does mention a few blemishes explicitly, but birthmarks are not included. 

(Leviticus 21:18-20) No man who has any defect may come near: no man who is blind or lame, disfigured or deformed; no man with a crippled foot or hand, or who is a hunchback or a dwarf, or who has any eye defect, or who has festering or running sores or damaged testicles. 

In addition, animals with blemishes could not be offered up for sacrifice. 

(Leviticus 22:21) When anyone brings from the herd or flock a fellowship offering to the Lord to fulfill a special vow or as a freewill offering, it must be without defect or blemish to be acceptable.

Again, it is not clear whether birthmarks on animals counted as blemishes. Or perhaps only certain birthmarks counted. 

What Do Birthmarks Mean In The New Testament?

What Do Birthmarks Mean In The New Testament

The new testament also does not specifically mention birthmarks. 

But in keeping with the spirit of the New Covenant, it’s safe to say that it doesn’t matter for a believer today whether you have a birthmark or not. 

Even things that were clearly considered blemishes and defects in the Old Testament such as blindness or disfigurement are not of consequence in the New Covenant. 

The only thing that matters is the state of your heart. Thus, the only blemishes that can separate you from the Grace of God are those of the heart – basically, sins. 

(Colossians 1:22) But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation.

Blemishes in the New Testament refer to sins and impurities.

What Do Birthmarks Mean Today?

Different people, cultures, and religions have their own interpretations of birthmarks. For some people, it’s a sign of good luck depending on the type and shape of the mark. 

Medically, birthmarks are generally harmless. Researchers are not sure what causes them. 

In Christianity, birthmarks carry no particular meaning. They are not a sign from God nor are they a blemish that can prevent one from carrying out certain duties like becoming a priest. 

God accepts everyone with all their physical differences. The most important thing is to keep your heart pure. 

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