When one thinks of the Bible, biblical beauty secrets are probably not the first thoughts to come to mind. As I've read the Bible throughout my life, I have always been curious about the beautiful women mentioned within its pages and what were their beauty secrets?
King David killed one of his best soldiers so that he could marry his beautiful wife, Bathsheba, whom he had seen bathing on her roof. What were this woman's biblical beauty secrets that had the King so mezmerized?
Olive oil, myrrh oil, and cassis oil were popular skin treatments in those days and I imagine that when King David spied this mysterious beauty, Bathsheba or one of her hand-maidens could have quite possibly been massaging her skin with these oils or with honey (another popular ancient skin treatment and one of
my favorite natural beauty secrets
) after stepping from a milk bath.
She may have used fragrance as a biblical beauty secret and scented herself with saffron, myrrh, calamus, nard, cinnamon, henna, or frankincense...just a handful of the many delicious scents often mentioned in the Bible. Perfumes and essential oils were undoubtedly one of the beauty secrets of the Bible.
I imagine that another biblical beauty secret that women may have used is beet juice and pomegranate seed juice for blush and lip stain. Pomegranates are mentioned in the Bible (see Song of Solomon below) and beets and beet greens were said to be a prized food in ancient Israel.
I personally have used beet juice on my cheeks and lips while chopping beets for juicing. I have also tried pomegranate juice in the same way while eating a pomegranate one day. For someone with fair skin like me, it made an excellent blush and lip stain. The cosmetic company Stila actually makes a Pomegranate Lip and Cheek Stain.
Henna is also mentioned throughout the Bible and it is known as an ancient lip stain so this could be another biblical beauty secret. I have not tried this one myself, however.
So, even though we don't always know the all of the exact details of the biblical beauty secrets, it is clear that beauty and cleanliness were just as important to women and men of the Bible as they are to us in the modern day. (Continued below...)
Another biblical beauty, Queen Esther was chosen out of many women to be the new queen via a beauty pageant of sorts. The
Bible mentions the preparations she underwent prior to being presented to the king. This is one area of the Bible where biblical beauty secrets are clearly revealed.
In Esther 2:8-9 it says, "When the king’s order and edict had been proclaimed, many girls were brought to the citadel of Susa and put under the care of Hegai. Esther also was taken to the king’s palace and entrusted to Hegai, who had charge of the harem. The girl pleased him and won his favor. Immediately he provided her with her beauty treatments and special food. He assigned to her seven maids selected from the king’s palace and moved her and her maids into the best place in the harem."
And in Esther 2:12 it continues, "Before a girl's turn came to go in to King Xerxes, she had to complete twelve months of
beauty treatments prescribed for the women, six months with oil of myrrh and six with perfumes and cosmetics."
So, clearly oil of myrrh was a big biblical beauty secret. It is believed that this myrrh oil was massaged daily into the skin (possibly combined with olive oil). Myrrh oil is said to be extremely moisturizing, toning, healing, and rejuvenating. It is often used in the Bible for purification rituals.
The Biblical beauty secret that is most impressive to me about Esther, however, is her inner beauty. She is mentioned as being very humble and kind and liked by others around her. She risked her own safety for the lives of her people.
Proverbs 31:10-31 is one of my favorite parts of the Bible and contains wonderful Biblical beauty secrets for inner beauty. It describes a Godly, beautiful woman. Although it mentions her
garments being beautiful, note that the focus is on a woman's character and inner beauty:
"A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.
Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.
She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.
She selects wool and flax
and works with eager hands.
She is like the merchant ships,
bringing her food from afar.
She gets up while it is still dark;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her servant girls.
She considers a field and buys it;
out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.
She sees that her trading is profitable,
and her lamp does not go out at night.
In her hand she holds the distaff
and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
She opens her arms to the poor
and extends her hands to the needy.
When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
She makes coverings for her bed;
she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
Her husband is respected at the city gate,
where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
She makes linen garments and sells them,
and supplies the merchants with sashes.
She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.
She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
“Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all.”
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Give her the reward she has earned,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.
Now that is some kind of a beautiful woman and those are some great biblical beauty secrets for the beauty from within. May we all inspire towards that type of beauty.
Besides the Proverbs, my other favorite book in the Bible is Song of Solomon. It is truly romantic and passionate -- filled with metaphors of beauty and love. Song of Solomon 4:1-15 reads of a young husband telling his wife how beautiful she is.
As women we love to hear our beloved tell us in great detail what he likes about us as it brings us joy to please our man. Well, this man certainly knows how to beautifully speak a language of love...and love is a not only a Biblical beauty secret but one that stands the test of time.
Song of Solomon 4:1-15
How beautiful you are, my darling! Oh, how beautiful!
Your eyes behind your veil are doves. Your hair is like a flock of goats descending from Mount Gilead.
Your teeth are like a flock of sheep just shorn, coming up from the washing. Each has its twin; not one of them is alone.
Your lips are like a scarlet ribbon; your mouth is lovely.
Your temples behind your veil are like the halves of a pomegranate.
Your neck is like the tower of David, built with elegancea;
on it hang a thousand shields, all of them shields of warriors.
Your two breasts are like two fawns, like twin fawns of a gazelle
that browse among the lilies.
Until the day breaks and the shadows flee, I will go to the mountain of myrrh and to the hill of incense.
All beautiful you are, my darling; there is no flaw in you.
Come with me from Lebanon, my bride, come with me from Lebanon.
Descend from the crest of Amana, from the top of Senir, the summit of Hermon, from the lions’ dens and the mountain haunts of the leopards.
You have stolen my heart, my sister, my bride; you have stolen my heart with one glance of your eyes, with one jewel of your necklace.
How delightful is your love, my sister, my bride! How much more pleasing is your love than wine, and the fragrance of your perfume than any spice!
Your lips drop sweetness as the honeycomb, my bride; milk and honey are under your tongue. The fragrance of your garments is like that of Lebanon.
You are a garden locked up, my sister, my bride;you are a spring enclosed, a sealed fountain.
Your plants are an orchard of pomegranates with choice fruits,
with henna and nard, nard and saffron, calamus and cinnamon,
with every kind of incense tree, with myrrh and aloes and all the finest spices.
You are a garden fountain, a well of flowing water streaming down from Lebanon.
Lastly, remember that our beauty, inner and outer, should always be used for good. If we are married, it is a gift to our
husbands when we present ourselves as beautiful in all ways--physically and being of good character.
To quote a book that I came across during my research (Yes, there is someone out there who was just as curious about beauty in the Bible and wrote a book about it!), I will leave you with a passage from "Beauty Secrets of the Bible" by Ginger Garrett:
Rabbi Efraim Davidson of the DoJewish Campaign of Atlanta spoke with me about the legacy of beauty and faith. "When the Jews were enslaved in Egypt," he explained, "the men were humiliated all day long, degraded. The women took special care to make themselves look beautiful, so that when their husbands came home, they felt respected. It made them feel human again." Beauty was not about how the women judged themselves, but the effect it had on those around them. It reached the men's souls where words could not."