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A List of the Beautiful People in the Bible

Here is a list of the 9+ men and 15+ women described as beautiful (יָפֶה), or good looking (טוֹב), or something similar in the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament). No one is described as beautiful or good-looking in the New Testament apart from the infant Moses who is described as asteios (Acts 7:20; Heb. 11:23 cf. Exod. 2:2). I’ve provided this list as a quick resource.

Human Daughters
Genesis 6:2
good [looking]
More on these women here.

Genesis 12:11
beautiful in looks
yəp̄aṯ-  mar’eh

Genesis 12:14
that she was very beautiful
kî- yāp̄āh hî mə’ōḏ
כִּֽי־יָפָ֥ה הִ֖וא מְאֹֽד

Genesis 24:16
very good looking
ṭō-ḇaṯ mar’eh mə’ōḏ,
טֹבַ֤ת מַרְאֶה֙ מְאֹ֔ד

Genesis 29:17
beautiful in form and beautiful in looks
yəp̄aṯ-  tō’ar  wîp̄aṯ  mar’eh
יְפַת־תֹּ֖אַר וִיפַ֥ת מַרְאֶֽה

Genesis 39:6
Beautiful in form and beautiful in looks
yəp̄êh-  ṯō’ar  wîp̄êh  mar’eh
יְפֵה־תֹ֖אַר וִיפֵ֥ה מַרְאֶֽה

Exodus 2:2
good [looking]

Samson’s Sister-in-law
Judges 15:2
[more] good [looking]

1 Samuel 9:2
and good [looking] … good [looking]
wāṭōwḇ … ṭōwḇ
ט֣וֹב … וָט֔וֹב

1 Samuel 16:12
beautiful eyes and good looking
yəp̄êh  ‘ênayim  wəṭōwḇ  rō’î
יְפֵ֥ה עֵינַ֖יִם וְטֹ֣וב רֹ֑אִי

1 Samuel 16:18
and a man with a fine figure
wə’îš  tō’ar
וְאִ֣ישׁ תֹּ֑אַר

1 Samuel 17:42
beautiful in looks
yəp̄êh  mar’eh
יְפֵ֥ה מַרְאֶֽה

1 Samuel 25:3
And beautiful in form
wîp̄aṯ  tō’ar
וִ֣יפַת תֹּ֔אַר
More on Abigail here.

2 Samuel 11:2
good looking
ṭōwḇaṯ mar’eh
טֹובַ֥ת מַרְאֶ֖ה
More on Bathsheba here

Tamar (Daughter of David and sister of Absalom)
2 Samuel 13:1

Absalom (Son of David)
2 Samuel 14:25
Absalom is especially praised for his good looks:
“Now in all Israel there was no one who was praised as much as Absalom for his beauty (yāp̄eh-יָפֶ֛ה). From the sole of his foot to the crown of his head there was no blemish in him” (2 Sam. 14:25).
More on Absalom here.

Tamar (Absalom’s daughter)
2 Samuel 14:27
beautiful in looks
yəp̄aṯ-  mar’eh
יְפַ֥ת מַרְאֶֽה

Abishag (David’s Nurse)
1 Kings 1:3-4
beautiful … very beautiful
yāp̄āh … yāp̄āh ‘aḏ-  mə’ōḏ
יָפָ֣ה עַד־מְאֹ֑ד… יָפָ֔ה

Adonijah (Son of David)
1 Kings 1:6
very good looking
ṭōwḇ  tō’ar  mə’ōḏ
טֹֽוב־תֹּ֙אַר֙ מְאֹ֔ד

Esther 1:11
The king wanted to “show off her beauty (yāp̄əyāh-יָפְיָ֔הּ) because she was good looking (ṭōwḇaṯ mar’eh-טֹובַ֥ת מַרְאֶ֖ה).”
More on Vashti here.

Girls for Xerxes’ Harem
Esther 2:2
good looking
ṭōwḇōwṯ  mar’eh
טֹובֹ֥ות מַרְאֶֽה
More on these girls here.

Esther 2:7
beautiful in form and good looking
yəp̄aṯ  tō’ar  wəṭōwḇaṯ  mar’eh
יְפַת־תֹּ֙אַר֙ וְטֹובַ֣ת מַרְאֶ֔ה
More on Esther here.

Job’s Daughters
Job 42:15

The Lovers
In Song of Songs, the man is called beautiful (masculine: yāp̄eh-יָפֶ֤ה) in Song 1:16. The woman is called beautiful (feminine: yāp̄āh) in Song 1:8, 15; 2:10, 13; 4:1, 7; 5:9; 6:1, 4, 10; 7:1.

Daniel and other Jewish men chosen for Persian training
Daniel 1:4.
and good looking
wəṭōwḇê  mar’eh
וְטֹובֵ֨י מַרְאֶ֜ה

King of Tyre
Ezekiel 28:12
perfect in beauty
ūḵəlîl  yōp̄î
וּכְלִ֥יל יֹֽפִי

See also Psalm 45:2 and 45:11, and Isaiah 33:17 which is about the Messiah.

More than Skin Deep?

In the Hebrew Bible, beauty was a desirable quality in men and in women. But was there something more behind the idea of being beautiful than just superficial appearances?

For some, like Moses and Saul, their good looks apparently signified that they were special. For others, like Joseph and Esther, being beautiful is an important element of their stories. For still others, their outward beauty may also have been an indication of character.

In some societies in the ancient world, a person’s looks was thought to indicate character traits. We do this a bit too (e.g., “beady eyes”). However, people are seldom described by their looks in the Hebrew Bible, one way or the other, so I have doubts the Israelites did this.

Note also that several people on the list are royalty and attached to David’s family.

What seems obvious is that, like today, natural good looks were considered an advantage from a human perspective. However, quite a few of the beautiful people on this list were taken advantage of and exploited, even abused.

Thankfully, God does not operate like us. “Humans do not see what the LORD sees, for humans see what is visible, but the LORD sees the heart” 1 Samuel 16:7b CSB.

Explore more

Beauty, Marriage, Motherhood, and Ministry
Hair Lengths and Hairstyles in the Bible


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