A permanent mark or design on the skin made by cutting the skin to produce scars or by inserting coloring matter under the skin. The Israelites were forbidden to engage in this practice, one that was doubtless common among other ancient peoples. (Lev. 19:28) For example, there were times when the Egyptians tattooed the names or symbols of their deities on their breast or arms. By complying with Jehovah’s law not to disfigure their bodies, the Israelites would have stood out as different from other nations. (Deut. 14:1, 2) The prohibition would also have impressed upon them a proper respect for the human body as God’s creation, to be used in honoring him.—Ps. 100:3; 139:13-16; Rom. 12:1.