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Bible Dictionaries

People's Dictionary of the Bible

Mourning

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Mourning. Oriental mourning is public and careful of prescribed ceremonies. Genesis 23:2; Job 1:20; Job 2:12. Among the forms observed the following may be mentioned: Rending the clothes, Genesis 37:29; Genesis 37:34; Genesis 44:13, etc.; dressing in sackcloth, Genesis 37:34; 2 Samuel 3:31; 2 Samuel 21:10, etc.; ashes, dust or earth sprinkled on the person, 2 Samuel 13:19; 2 Samuel 15:32, etc.; black or sad-colored garments, 2 Samuel 14:2; Jeremiah 8:21, etc.; removal of ornaments or neglect of person, Deuteronomy 21:12-13, etc.; shaving the head, plucking out the hair of the head or beard, Leviticus 10:6; 2 Samuel 19:24, etc.; laying bare some part of the body, Isaiah 20:2; Isaiah 47:2, etc.; fasting or abstinence in meat and drink, 2 Samuel 1:12; 2 Samuel 3:35; 2 Samuel 12:16; 2 Samuel 12:22, etc. In later times for the employment of persons hired for the purpose of mourning, Ecclesiastes 12:5; Jeremiah 9:17; Amos 5:16; Matthew 9:23, friends or passers-by to join in the lamentations of bereaved or afflicted persons, Genesis 50:3; Judges 11:40; Job 2:11; Job 30:25, etc.; and in ancient times the sitting or lying posture in silence indicative of grief, Genesis 23:3; Judges 20:26, etc. The period of mourning varied. In the case of Jacob it was seventy days, Genesis 50:3; of Aaron, Numbers 20:29, and Moses, Deuteronomy 34:8, thirty. A further period of seven days in Jacob's case. Genesis 50:10. Seven days for Saul, which may have been an abridged period in the time of national danger. 1 Samuel 31:13.

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Bibliography Information
Rice, Edwin Wilbur, DD. Entry for 'Mourning'. People's Dictionary of the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/rpd/m/mourning.html. 1893.

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