Tyndale Bible Dictionary

BEAUTY Harmonious combination of qualities pleasant to see. Archaeological materials indicate that the ancient Hebrews were concerned more with usefulness than with beauty. Hebrew pottery, for example, was generally more bulky than Canaanite pottery. Yet such artifacts do not mean that the Hebrews had no aesthetic appreciation.
The OT speaks of God’s creation as beautiful (Gn 2:9; Jb 26:13; Ps 19:1–6; Sg 6:10). The land of Canaan is a “pleasant land” (Jer 3:19). Jerusalem is called “beautiful” (Is 52:1; Lam 2:15), as is one of its temple gates (Acts 3:2, 10). The Hebrews admired the wild grandeur of the Lebanon mountain range (Ps 104:16; Is 60:13). The Canaanite city of Tirzah (“beauty”), King Baasha’s capital in the northern kingdom (1 Kgs 15:33), was so named for its attractive location.
Although the Hebrews did not exalt the human form as did the ancient Greeks, the OT does idealize physical attractiveness. A bride’s beauty is described eloquently by her bridegroom in love lyrics in Song of Songs 4:1–15; 6:4. Such praise of the bride may have been a traditional feature of Israelite weddings. Several women prominent in the OT are described as beautiful (Gn 29:17; 2 Sm 11:2; Est 2:7). But sensual beauty was secondary to industry, resourcefulness, and traditional piety in a woman (Prv 31:10–31). A number of men also were known for their physical attractiveness—for example, David (1 Sm 16:12) and Absalom (2 Sm 14:25). Cosmetics, jewelry, and other accessories were used as female beauty aids in OT times. The prophet Isaiah listed such items (Is 3:18–24), and Ezekiel mentioned cosmetic practices current in his day (Ez 16:10–13). Israelite worship was beautiful, too, with the high priest’s elaborate ceremonial robes designed for glory and beauty (Ex 28:2, 40).
The concept of beauty is applied also to God in the OT. The Lord’s favor is called his “beauty” (Ps 90:17). Isaiah recorded God’s promise to give his people “beauty for ashes” (Is 61:3). The psalmist expressed a desire to spend time in the temple enjoying the Lord’s beauty, his “incomparable perfections” (Ps 27:4). Isaiah described God as a “diadem of beauty” to the faithful Israelite remnant (Is 28:5), and the Messiah was spoken of as a beautiful king (33:17). Thus in the OT the concept of beauty had a deeper meaning than simply physical attractiveness. It became a theological concept affirming God’s essential glory.
The NT urges Christ’s followers to live lives that will “adorn” the teaching of the Savior, making it attractive to nonbelievers (Ti 2:10). Those who preach the gospel of Christ are spoken of as beautiful (Rom 10:15). The apostles Paul and Peter warned women against being satisfied with outward beauty (1 Tm 2:9–10), reminding them that beautiful character is the true adornment of godliness (1 Pt 3:3–5). The beauty of the believer’s final home in heaven is reflected in the description of the “new Jerusalem” as a bride and in the symbolism of treasured precious stones of antiquity (see Rv 21–22).
Elwell, Walter A. ; Comfort, Philip Wesley: Tyndale Bible Dictionary. Wheaton, Ill. : Tyndale House Publishers, 2001 (Tyndale Reference Library), S. 154



Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations

Betsey Patterson of Baltimore was regarded as the most beautiful woman in America, and the charm of her beauty was acknowledged in the highest circles of Europe. In 1804 Napoleon’s youngest brother, on a visit to America, became infatuated with Elizabeth and married her; but the marriage was afterward annulled through the influence of Napoleon.

Toward the end of her remarkable career, Betsey Patterson said, “Once I had everything but money. Now I have nothing but money.” Writing in middle life to a friend, she confessed, “I am dying with ennui. I am tired of reading, and of all my ways of killing time. I doze away my existence. I am too old to croquet, and without this stimulus I die of ennui. The Princess Gallitizin tries to keep me up to the toil of dressing by telling me I am a beauty. I am tired of life, and tired of having lived.”
Such was the melancholy confession of a woman who had great beauty of body and delighted to adorn that body, but had no inner beauty of the soul.
Tan, Paul Lee: Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations : A Treasury of Illustrations, Anecdotes, Facts and Quotations for Pastors, Teachers and Christian Workers. Garland TX : Bible Communications, 1996, c1979

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary of Quotations

There is no excellent beauty that hath not some strangeness in the proportion.Francis Bacon, Essays
If you get simple beauty and nought else,
You get about the best thing God invents.
Robert Browning, “Fra Lippo Lippi”
She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that’s best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes.
Lord Byron, “She Walks in Beauty”
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.Margaret Wolfe Hungerford, Molly Bawn
[The idea is an old one, having been used earlier by Shakespeare, Franklin, and Thoreau among others. However Hungerford was the first, apparently, to phrase the notion in such enduring words.]
“Beauty is truth, truth beauty,”—that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.
John Keats, “Ode on a Grecian Urn”
A thing of beauty is a joy forever:
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness.
John Keats, Endymion
Beauty is everlasting
And dust is for a time.
Marianne Moore, “In Distrust of Merits”
Remember that the most beautiful things in the world are the most useless; peacocks and lilies for instance.John Ruskin, The Stones of Venice
What is beautiful is good, and who is good will soon also be beautiful.Sappho (fragment)
Beauty is all very well at first sight, but who ever looks at it when it has been in the house three days?George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman
Beauty is momentary in the mind—
The fitful tracing of a portal;
But in the flesh it is immortal.
The body dies; the body’s beauty lives.
Wallace Stevens, “Peter Quince at the Clavier”
I do not know which to prefer,
The beauty of inflections
Or the beauty of innuendoes,
The blackbird whistling
Or just after.
Wallace Stevens, “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird”
Beauty more than bitterness
Makes the heart break.
Sara Teasdale, “Vignettes Overseas: Capri”
The perception of beauty is a moral test.Henry David Thoreau, Journal
It is amazing how complete is the delusion that beauty is goodness.Leo Tolstoy, The Kreutzer Sonata
The beauty of the world has two edges, one of laughter, one of anguish, cutting the heart asunder.Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own
Merriam-Webster, Inc: The Merriam-Webster Dictionary of Quotations. Springfield, Mass. : Merriam-Webster, 1992, S. 31

New American Standard Updated Edition Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible

your brother, for glory and for beauty.     Ex 28:2     8597
for them, for glory and for beauty.     Ex 28:40     8597
“Your beauty, O Israel, is slain on     2Sa 1:19     6643a
beauty to the people and the princes,     Es 1:11     3308
life, To behold the beauty of the Lord And     Ps 27:4     5278
Then the King will desire your beauty.     Ps 45:11     3308
Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty,     Ps 50:2     3308
and beauty are in His sanctuary.     Ps 96:6     8597
present you with a crown of beauty.”     Pr 4:9     8597
Do not desire her beauty in your heart,     Pr 6:25     3308
Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain,     Pr 31:30     3308
take away the beauty of their anklets,     Is 3:18     8597
And branding instead of beauty.     Is 3:24     3308
And Babylon, the beauty of kingdoms,     Is 13:19     6643a
it, to defile the pride of all beauty,     Is 23:9     6643a
fading flower of its glorious beauty,     Is 28:1     6643a
fading flower of its glorious beauty,     Is 28:4     6643a
eyes will see the King in His beauty;     Is 33:17     3308
form of a man, like the beauty of man,     Is 44:13     8597
of beauty in the hand of the Lord,     Is 62:3     8597
‘The perfection of beauty,     La 2:15     3308
the beauty of His ornaments into pride,     Ezk 7:20     6643a
the nations on account of your beauty,     Ezk 16:14     3308
“But you trusted in your beauty and     Ezk 16:15     3308
and made your beauty abominable,     Ezk 16:25     3308
‘I am perfect in beauty.’     Ezk 27:3     3308
builders have perfected your beauty.     Ezk 27:4     3308
they perfected your beauty.     Ezk 27:11     3308
swords Against the beauty of your wisdom     Ezk 28:7     3308
Full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.     Ezk 28:12     3308
was lifted up because of your beauty;     Ezk 28:17     3308
could compare with it in its beauty.     Ezk 31:8     3308
‘Whom do you surpass in beauty?     Ezk 32:19     5276
his beauty will be like the olive tree And     Hos 14:6     1935
comeliness and beauty will be theirs!     Zch 9:17     3308
and the beauty of its appearance is     Jas 1:11     2143
Thomas, Robert L. ; The Lockman Foundation: New American Standard Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible : Updated Edition. Anaheim : Foundation Publications, Inc., 1998, c1981, c1998