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mourn

Frequent references are found in Scripture to…

  1. MOURNING FOR THE DEADAbraham mourned for Sarah (Gen. 23:2); Jacob for Joseph (37:34-35); the Egyptians for Jacob (50:3-10); Israel for Aaron (Num. 20:29), for Moses (Deut. 34:8), and for Samuel (1 Sam. 25:1); David for Abner (2 Sam. 3:31, 35); Mary and Martha for Lazarus (John 11); devout men for Stephen (Acts 8:2), etc.

  2. FOR CALAMITIES—Job (1:20-21; 2:8); Israel (Ex. 33:4); the Ninevites (Jonah 3:5); Israel, when defeated by Benjamin (Judg. 20:26), etc.

  3. PENITENTIAL MOURNING—by the Israelites on the day of atonement (Lev. 23:27; Acts 27:9); under Samuel's ministry (1 Sam. 7:6); predicted in Zechariah (Zech. 12:10-11); in many of the psalms (51, etc.).

Mourning was expressed…

  1. …by weeping (Gen. 35:8, marginal note; Luke 7:38, etc.)
  2. …by loud lamentation (Ruth 1:9; 1 Sam. 6:19; 2 Sam. 3:31)
  3. …by the disfigurement of the person, as rending the clothes (Gen. 37:29, 34; Matt. 26:65)
  4. …by wearing sackcloth (Gen. 37:34; Ps. 35:13)
  5. …by sprinkling dust or ashes on the person (2 Sam. 13:19; Jer. 6:26; Job 2:12)
  6. …by shaving the head and plucking out the hair of the head or beard (Lev. 10:6; Job 1:20)
  7. …by neglect of the person, or the removal of ornaments (Ex. 33:4; Deut. 21:12-13; 2 Sam. 14:2; 19:24; Matt. 6:16-17)
  8. …by fasting (2 Sam. 1:12)
  9. …by covering the upper lip (Lev. 13:45; Micah 3:7)
  10. …by cutting the flesh (Jer. 16:6-7)
  11. …by sitting in silence (Judg. 20:26; 2 Sam. 12:16; 13:31; Job 1:20)

PROFESSIONAL MOURNERS—In the later times we find a class of mourners who could be hired to give by their loud lamentation the external tokens of sorrow (2 Chr. 35:25; Jer. 9:17; Matt. 9:23).

THE PERIOD OF MOURNING for the dead varied. For Jacob it was seventy days (Gen. 50:3); for Aaron (Num. 20:29) and Moses (Deut. 34:8) thirty days; and for Saul only seven days (1 Sam. 31:13). In 2 Sam. 3:31-35, we have a description of the great mourning for the death of Abner.

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