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Holman Bible Dictionary
often were associated with sacrifices, mourning, and fasting. Grief, humiliation, and repentance were expressed by placing ashes on the head or by sitting in ashes. Dirt, sackcloth, fasting, the tearing of clothing, and ashes visibly demonstrated the person's emotions. At times the ashes that remained from a sacrifice were kept and used for ritual purification. They also symbolized the results of divine destruction. The use of ashes to express grief and repentance continued into the New Testament period. Their use in purification rites are contrasted with the cleansing brought by Christ's blood. They also represent the devastating effect of God's wrath on Sodom and Gomorrah (2 Peter 2:6
These dictionary topics are from the Holman Bible Dictionary, published by Broadman & Holman, 1991. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman & Holman.
Butler, Trent C. Editor. Entry for 'Ashes'. Holman Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/hbd/a/ashes.html. 1991.